John Maxwell: Living out values key to changing one’s world

In order for one to change their world, they must first change themselves—and that starts with learning and living out good values.

It’s simple enough advice from leadership expert John Maxwell, who was interviewed by bestselling author Jon Gordon for the second episode of The 21st Century Business Forum presented by Business Report, which took place today.

However, during the webinar, Maxwell said his greatest leadership challenge has always been leading himself. That’s because changing oneself takes action, and it generally requires resilience and flexibility, which can be hard to come by in challenging times like a global pandemic.

“In a crisis, you can’t sit on the fence,” Maxwell says. “Crises separate the players from the pretenders. You never really know who your real leaders are until there’s a difficult time.”

COVID-19 has knocked all business leaders out of their comfort zones, but that doesn’t mean it’s a problem. Instead, Maxwell says the pandemic has become a fact of life, and how companies respond to the virus will ultimately supersede the fact that there was a virus.

Those businesses that stick to their values and transform according to their new realities will emerge victorious, but it’s going to take several shifts; namely, shifting from a “solo” to “conductor” mentality, or thinking about the entire orchestra rather than oneself, as well as shifting from being “goal-oriented” to being “growth-oriented.”

“Values that have not been tested cannot be trusted,” Maxwell says.

He offered the following tips for business leaders looking to make a change in 2021:

• Trade good intentions for good actions. No one’s ever been changed by intentions; to effect change, one must live out the values they exalt.

• A decision to take action still isn’t decisive. Just because someone decides to jump, it doesn’t mean they’re jumping. Know when to make a move.

• Don’t have a “trying” attitude; have a “doing” attitude. “If I have a ‘trying’ attitude, I’m asking myself, ‘Can I?’” Maxwell says. “With a ‘doing’ mentality, it becomes, ‘How can I?’ and removes the excuse [inherent in the question].”

The 21st Century Business Forum is on the second Wednesday of each month, with Gordon interviewing guests in a Q&A format. It’s sponsored by LaPorte CPAs & Business Advisors and the East Baton Rouge Parish Library.