10 Leadership Lessons You Can Learn The Easy Way


This is the first post in a leadership series. Make sure you subscribe to remain part of the conversation.  HERE WE GO... Fifteen or so years ago, I attended my first-ever leadership conference. This was my first exposure to John Maxwell. What an incredible leader, pastor, and communicator! During his keynote, he unpacked 10 lessons on leadership. I took a lot of notes. Now, 15 years later, I've had the pleasure of experiencing each of the 10 lessons. In this post, I give you the list of 10. In future posts, I'll unpack each one through my personal, leadership experiences. More, I hope these posts give you plenty of practical advice. The life of a leader is full of lessons. Most are learned the hard way through experience. My hope is too allow you to learn from my previous experience. See you on the blog!

This is the first post in a leadership series. Make sure you subscribe to remain part of the conversation. 

I’ll never forget the first leadership conference I attended. As a young and aspiring leader, each speaker mesmerized me with exceptional and practical content. It was like drinking from a leadership firehose.

Since that first conference experience, I’ve attended a dozen or so more and even spoken at a few, too. While moving into my new office space (I recently left my role as lead pastor of Woodstock City Church to consult and coach leaders and their organizations), I found my notes from that first conference.

I flipped through the pages considering what I learned, who spoke, and where some of these leaders are today. As I flipped through, I came across a talk from John Maxwell. I still remember his unique, steady voice of leadership and pastorship. As a leader, Maxwell had accomplished much. As a developer of other leaders, he stands relatively alone.

At the conference, he gave us 10 Lessons in Leadership. I wrote them all down.

  1. It’s lonely to lead.
  2. It’s dangerous to succeed.
  3. It’s hardest at home.
  4. It’s essential to be real.
  5. It’s painful to obey.
  6. Brokenness and failure are necessary.
  7. My attitude is more important than my actions.
  8. Integrity eclipses image.
  9. God’s way is always better than my way.
  10. Christ-likeness begins and ends with humility.

I heard this list some 15 years ago. Since this conference experience, I’ve led in a few different capacities and now serve other leaders and their organizations as a consultant and coach.

It’s fascinating for me to see this list today. One thing I know for sure – John Maxwell was right.

I’m sure this list is not complete, but if you’re a leader, you’re assured to experience all ten lessons.

I’d love to unpack each of these lessons in future posts. We all learn life lessons one way or another. Unfortunately, learning the hard way is the teacher we experience most frequently. I’d love to help you learn the easy way – through my experiences.

In the coming posts, I want to address each of these lessons:

  1. It’s lonely to lead… How can leaders reduce loneliness without abdicating their leadership?
  2. It’s dangerous to succeed… How can we make success less risky while keeping success as a priority?
  3. It’s hardest at home… How can we, as leaders, bring our best to the people who have our best interests in mind?
  4. It’s essential to be real… How can honesty and vulnerability increase your leadership influence?
  5. It’s painful to obey… How can you follow and serve to become a better leader?
  6. Brokenness and failure are necessary… How did a month’s sabbatical away from my leadership role save my emotional world?
  7. My attitude is more important than my actions… How can we maintain a positive attitude regardless of the circumstances?
  8. Integrity eclipses image… How can we grow our integrity behind the scenes?
  9. God’s way is always better than my way… How can we discern between God’s way and our way?
  10. Christ-likeness begins and ends with humility… How can we best incorporate humility into our leadership life?

I encourage you to follow this conversation if you believe these ten lessons could help shape your leadership. All you need to do is subscribe — boom, that simple.

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