A list can be a double-edged sword.
On the one hand, it is great for enabling you to give a quick read.
But on the other hand, and especially if it is a thoughtfully created list, it contains too much depth for a quick read to do it justice.
When I come across lists, I find myself too easily falling prey to the “quick read” tendency—just get through the list as swiftly as I can and then move on to my next task. Then there are those times when I practice what John C. Maxwell included prominently in one of his many books: reflective thinking.
The book is Thinking For a Change: 11 Ways Highly Successful People Approach Life and Work. Maxwell defines reflective thinking as “looking at the past to gain a better understanding of the future.”
One image that I recall from the book, as well as presentations that I have seen Maxwell give, is how he sets aside time to sit in a comfortable chair and just think.
It is a compilation of 100 quotes from Kevin Kruse, author of Employee Engagement 2.0. Gathering the list is a stroke of PR-and-marketing savvy by Kruse, who notes that he opens each of his chapters with a quote on leadership.
The sources are notable figures from various arenas of history, such as Peter Drucker, Winston Churchill, Eleanor Roosevelt, Nelson Mandela, Stephen Covey, Bill Gates, Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy.
Each quote is, by definition, a “look at the past.” By applying some thought to any number of these pearls of wisdom, you can gain a better understanding of how to approach your future.
Of particular note: Maxwell shows up with insights more than any of the other notable figures on the list. He may not be an internationally and historically recognizable name, but Maxwell and his points on leadership pop up six times (for those who want to zero in on his quotes, they are #11, #25, #29, #35, #67 and #92).
That prominence is another example of Maxwell's emergence as one of the most sought-after experts on leadership. With each new book that he authors (he must be somewhere north of 50 by now), Maxwell creates yet another public relations vehicle that further entrenches his stature in this arena.
Nothing begets success, they say, quite like success. And nothing cries out "leader of leaders" quite like being the most frequently quoted on a list of renowned leaders from throughout the annals of history.
Something else to think about it, and building on last week's Part 1 column related to WWDB Spring Leadership: Maxwell is once again a featured speaker for the World Wide DreamBuilders (WWDB) Spring Leadership conferences that are coming up across North America.
The organization helps people grow businesses with Amway, but you don't need to be a distributor, or Independent Business Owner, to attend and benefit from Maxwell's insights.
Here is the lineup of locations and dates for the 2013 World Wide DreamBuilders Spring Leaderships:
Las Vegas, Nevada (The Orleans Arena) from April 12-14; Spokane, Washington (The Spokane Arena) from April 19-21; Honolulu, Hawaii (The Modern), April 20-21; Washington, D.C. (Hyatt Dulles in Herndon, Va.), April 27-28; Denver, Colorado (Merchandise Mart), April 27-28; Calgary, Alberta (Calgary Stampede), May 3-5; and Minneapolis, Minnesota (Minneapolis Convention Center), May 4-5.