Have you ever had an image of someone and when you met them personally you were disappointed?  It is when we see people in unguarded moments or behind closed doors that reality often sets in.

I went to work for Injoy Stewardship Solutions in 2002 primarily because I wanted to work for my spiritual hero Dr. John Maxwell.  Upon arriving I discovered that many people had similar intentions.

After meeting John and getting to know him, I am proud to say that, believe it or not, he is better than advertised.  He is the real deal and truly a great, great man.  There is nothing I would not do for him.

I recently told a certain leader that he reminded me a lot of John in his personality and leadership.  As I began to unpack the reasons why, I felt these 10 characteristics provided a great template for anyone who wants to be a great leader and leave a legacy of influence.

To lead like John Maxwell you must do the following:

  1. Have a burning desire to see church leaders succeed that is birthed out of struggle and compounded behavior.
  2. Have favor with pastors and Christian leaders that crosses denominational and geographic boundaries.  You must get out of circles.
  3. Have a short memory and also learn to laugh at yourself.
  4. Learn how to get your thoughts and resources scalable and into as many hands as possible.  Many of us first learned of John when someone passed us a copy of an Injoy Life Club tape.
  5. Rescue people and give them a second chance to be used by God.
  6. Be sought out by church leaders and help them build their personal platforms. Always point to others and say, “Look at them!  Look at what God is doing over there!”
  7. Always takes the high road.  John never talked bad about other Christian leaders even when they took advantage of or spoke poorly of him.
  8. Be secure enough to build a team of leaders that produces quality content that is easy for any church leader to process, utilize, and multiply in their unique church environment.
  9. Let your team shine.  It is one thing for someone to be a star.  It is another thing to be able to make stars.  These are just some of the people who have worked for John – Tim Elmore, Brad Lomenick, Gabe Lyons, Ken Coleman, Kevin Small, and at least 10 people who launched their own stewardship companies.
  10. Be extravagantly generous.  This is the one thing many leaders simply cannot do.  Dr. Maxwell is the most generous person I have ever met.  The most important thing I learned working for John is how much God blesses a generous life.

What is one thing you can improve on today that will help you lead like John Maxwell?

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