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Answering These 2 Questions Can Determine Your Success

Has anyone ever explained something to you in a way that finally made it click? All of a sudden, you understand it and you wonder, “How did I not see it before now?” John C. Maxwell, renowned business speaker and No. 1 New York Times bestselling author, does this when explaining how to develop into a better leader.

In a recent Paycom webinar on the concepts of his book, The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential, he said, “Whenever I teach the five levels, the lights come on and people say, ‘Oh, I get it. This is a way that I can learn to lead, and be better. And this is a way that I can grow as a leader.’ It’s a common language and a realistic way to develop yourself as a leader.”

Maxwell added that getting the answers to two questions in a personal conversation can determine someone’s success as a person, as a businessperson and – more than anything else –  as a leader.

1. What are you doing to develop yourself?

 Remember you can and should grow and develop yourself as a leader. You can’t take people further than you have been yourself. You also can’t give what you don’t have. So, you must develop yourself as a leader before you can successfully lead others, and that requires a growth plan. You can do this through reading blogs like this one, listening to leadership podcasts on your daily commute or finding a mentor who can help you chart a course for your career.

Whatever it may be, you should be able to answer this question quickly, since it should be something on which you’re constantly working. But, just like everyone else (Maxwell included), you have to start somewhere: at the beginning. You just don’t have to stay there. And you won’t if you adopt his leadership principles.

2. What are you doing to develop others?

 If you develop yourself, you can get a lot accomplished in life. However, according to Maxwell, the real magic happens when you develop other people. “When you equip, train and develop fellow leaders, you go from addition to multiplication,” he says. “Everything compounds: your time, your money, your efforts, your energy, your influence – everything compounds.”

Leaders develop themselves daily, but not in a day. It doesn’t happen with one blog or podcast– it’s a daily growth process. Although you start by lifting yourself, your improvements also will lift your business and the people around you. It’s not all about you, so you must find ways to help others succeed. Maxwell says it’s a tendency for us to want to take shortcuts and develop leaders as quickly as we can, but you have to remember to embrace the process and place a focus on developing others the right way.

Maxwell’s principles within The 5 Levels of Leadership have life-changing potential for those at any level. To find out where you are currently in your leadership journey and how to continue to move up the ladder, listen to our recent interview with Maxwell on the HR Break Room podcast.

For more about leadership development, be sure to check out Levels and Landscapes: Equipping Tomorrow’s Leaders.