John Maxwell is the world’s foremost authority on leadership and has authored more than 60 books. Maxwell gives Sam’s Dream Blog readers his advice on going further than you ever thought you could on your dream journey.
Sam’s Dream Blog: Talk about how, by being diligent in pursuit of a dream, you will not only achieve that dream, but will go way beyond it. How have your dreams exceeded your original dream?
John Maxwell: When I started EQUIP, I had a strong sense that I wanted to train leaders internationally. But I didn’t have a strong sense of specific goals. Only by starting and doing the training were we able to discover the goal -- of training a million leaders worldwide. Once we focused on that, we not only reached it but exceeded it. Today we’ve trained over five million leaders in more than 150 countries.
SDB: On "Minute with Maxwell," you made the point that authority is earned rather than a title. How does someone become an authority on a subject, like you have with leadership?
John Maxwell: When I said that, I was speaking in the context of influence, not expertise. One gains authority in that context by progressing up the five levels of leadership. Position is just the starting point. To increase your influence, you go to level two and develop relationships. Once you’ve done that, you move up to level three, production, to help the team succeed. Once you’ve accomplished that, you focus on developing people, which is level four. If you continue to do that, you have the chance of someday reaching level five [the pinnacle of respect.]
Now when it comes to being an authority on a subject, spend one hour a day, five days a week, for five years. Earl Nightingale says that by doing that, you can become an expert on any subject, and I’ve found that to be true.
SDB: What’s a big lesson you have learned in regard to pursuing dreams?
John Maxwell: Don’t sell yourself too short. Coming out of college, my "lifetime" goals really were the goals for the next five years, but I didn’t know it. You have to dream big, based on the reality of your strengths and situation.