Dr. John C. Maxwell is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, coach, and speaker who has sold more than 25 million books in 50 languages. In 2014 he was identified as the #1 leader in business by the American Management Association® and the most influential leadership expert in the world by Business Insider Inc. magazine. He has also been voted the top leadership professional in the world on LeadershipGurus.net for six consecutive years.
As the founder of The John Maxwell Company, The John Maxwell Team, EQUIP, and The John Maxwell Leadership Foundation, he has trained more than 5 million leaders. In 2015, he reached the milestone of having trained leaders from every country in the world. The recipient of the Mother Teresa Prize for Global Peace and Leadership from the Luminary Leadership Network, John speaks each year to Fortune 500 company executives, presidents of nations, and many of the world’s top business leaders.
John has always had a love for network marketers and admired their desire for growth. Last fall his company partnered with Jamie Minton, cofounder of MULTIPLY, to organize a global Simulcast training for network marketers that reached every state in the U.S. and 79 other countries. John took the stage in Atlanta, GA and was joined by top leaders who delivered high-impact lessons as they helped customize John’s 15 Laws of Growth for the network marketing profession.
Part of this event was to gather content for an exclusive, 12-week online class for network marketing entrepreneurs who want to accelerate their business growth and revenue. Over 60 leaders were selected to contribute and teach how each of the 15 Laws applies to network marketing. Prior to the January 2017 launch of the class, we connected with John to learn more and help him spread the word about “15 Laws of Growth” for the network marketing profession.—J.G.
John, how did you get started in the work you do? Please share a little about your background.
I was fortunate to grow up in a home with parents who loved me and encouraged me to be my best. My father, Melvin, is a great encourager, and he urged me to discover my strengths and pursue them with all my heart. I knew early on that I wanted to encourage others and that I was a good communicator, so I began in pastoral ministry. Then, because I’ve always had an interest in leadership, I soon began teaching leadership conferences and recording messages on tape to help leaders grow. When I decided to make a change and focus full-time on teaching leadership development and personal growth, I took those early lessons my father taught me, and have used them ever since to add value to people each day.
Can you give us an overview or some milestones of your career and leadership topics covered over the years?
I’ve had many milestones in my career, but I’m most proud of the things that I’ve been able to accomplish with my team. We’ve taught leadership principles in 196 countries around the world. I am truly grateful for an amazing team that has brought out the best in me and multiplied my influence.
My message is based on four basic topics: relationships, equipping, attitude, and leadership.
Relationships are the cornerstone of everything I do, whether it is mentoring someone, teaching at a conference, or speaking to readers through a book. I often say, “My name is John, and I’m your friend,” and I really mean this. If I can help people develop good relationships, I know it will make their life much richer.
Equipping provides people with the resources for growth. I started by developing those resources for myself, and then began sharing them with others.
Attitude is, I believe, the key to everything else. We may not be able to control everything, but we can control our attitude. With the right attitude, difficulties can be seen as a means to build character, and failures can become teaching moments. Plus, it just makes you more enjoyable to be around!
Leadership is what I’m best known for. I’m glad about that, because I believe everything rises and falls on leadership. Good leaders make their people better; bad leaders drive their people away. And leadership isn’t about position. In fact, you can be a leader no matter what your title is, because leadership is influence.
I believe that in network marketing, your approach to relationships, equipping, attitude, and leadership can make or break your business.
We understand you are in “legacy mode.” What does that mean to you?
I will soon be 70 years old. A few years ago, I began thinking that I would start to transition into retirement at age 70. I started making plans for my companies to function without me. But at that point a dear friend stopped me in my tracks by saying, “John, you’re crazy!” He went on to remind me that I have so much left to give. From that conversation, I realized that I needed to keep sharing what I’ve learned by teaching leadership and growth principles to a new generation.
I don’t think that legacy is something you can just turn on at the end of your life. Legacy is what you do each day. It is being intentional about living a life that matters—a life of significance, not just a life of success. It is true that I’m in legacy mode, but the reality is that I have been my whole life. Now I just have the gray hair and wrinkles to make it more official!
We heard you are working with world leaders (including meeting Pope Francis a few weeks ago) and heads of state to transform leadership on a global scale. Can you say more about that?
A few years ago, my team was asked to offer my teachings to the people of Guatemala. We developed a series of roundtables to help small groups of people learn basic values such as integrity, work ethic, attitude, and priorities. I also spoke to political leaders, as well as business, educational, and ministry leaders. Many of my coaches from the John Maxwell Team paid their own way to travel there and spend a week teaching people how to lead these roundtables in order to begin transforming their communities. Since then, we’ve begun the same process in the country of Paraguay, and leaders from other countries have started inviting us as well. It is humbling to undertake such a large task, but I’ve seen the effects on the people who go through the roundtable process. They’ve begun making a difference that not only impacts their communities, but their country as well. Transformation starts when one person decides to make a difference, and I feel honored to be a part of this transformational movement. I have now been invited by 21 heads of states and presidents into their countries.
By Attending This Class and Learning from Dr. Maxwell and 60 Network Marketing Leaders...
Find out more and see the powerful line-up of presenters featured in this class at www.NetworkingTimes.com/15Laws
To find out how your company can participate in the class, email firstname.lastname@example.org
When and how did you grow an interest in connecting with the network marketing community?
I’ve always had a strong relationship with people in network marking organizations, because I’m an entrepreneur myself. I believe that at their core, network marketers have a strong desire to help others. They love people, and they love building relationships. It is through these relationships that they are able to build a sustainable business. Another thing I love about network marketers is that they are hungry for growth. They know that they can only be better when they are growing, and that gets me excited.
Some people say network marketing is a “leadership factory.” Do you agree? How do you feel about network marketing as a business model and its role in the global economy?
The world has changed a lot since I began teaching leadership, but I discovered early on that leadership isn’t something you are born withit is something you learn. It is working within your strengths and empowering others to grow. In my book, The 5 Levels of Leadership, I write about Level 4 leaders, whose focus is on people development. They leverage their relational skills and their productivity to train other leaders. The most successful network marketers don’t simply try to reproduce themselves. Instead, they look for the unique qualities in their team members and help develop them into their own kind of leader. It’s not about mass-producing leaders, but about influencing each individual to lead better.
The wonderful thing about network marketing as a business model is that anyone can get started, and their potential is limited only by their determination and willingness to grow. The world is a lot smaller now, and technology has enabled great ideas to spread quickly. Entrepreneurs who work hard, develop others, and help their clients, will be rewarded.
What’s your #1 message to network marketing professionals around the world?
My message to you would be: never stop growing. The only way to make tomorrow better is to grow today. Outside of my faith, the best decision I ever made was to develop a personal growth plan. It helped me to make key decisions based on what was important to me, and then manage those decisions every day for the rest of my life. I believe that if you are growing daily, then there is no limit to your potential.
Why did you create “15 Laws of Growth” for the network marketing profession, and what can people expect from taking the course?
“The 15 Laws of Growth” is about growing to reach your potential. I read a story one time about a Navy SEAL who said that when you feel like you’ve reached your capacity, you are really only at 40 percent of what you can do. When you push past that point, you are in the growth zone, and that provides the greatest returns. Network marketers know they have to keep an edge. Competition is fierce and they must keep growing if they want to succeed. “The 15 Laws of Growth” will help network marketers discover the areas where they can improve, and give them the tools to grow to their full potential.
We are really excited to partner with all these wonderful leaders that hold similar values as I do. My bigger goal in doing this for the network marketing profession is to start building lots of character-based leaders who then multiply. The business model can get a bad reputation and I want to help that—and it starts with one leader at a time.
When someone in network marketing goes through the class, (first semester starts January 3rd), they can expect to receive weekly teachings from me on personal growth and development. Then, carefully selected leaders in the profession (and from multiple companies) will be teaching how to apply these teachings in a network marketing business. We don’t talk at all about the companies, just the leaders’ stories of how they apply a specific law to their business. We do a kick-off call with all participants in the first week, which is recorded in case you missed it.
Learn to Apply Them in Your Business. Enroll today at www.NetworkingTimes.com/15Laws
Growth Doesn’t Just Happen
You Must Know Yourself to Grow Yourself
You Must See Value in Yourself to Add Value to Yourself
Learning to Pause Allows Growth to Catch Up with You
Motivation Gets You Going, Discipline Keeps You Growing
Growth Thrives in Conducive Surroundings
To Maximize Growth, Develop Strategies
Good Management of Bad Experiences Leads to Great Growth
Character Growth Determines the Height of Your Personal Growth
Growth Stops When You Lose the Tension Between Where You Are and Where You Could Be
You Have to Give Up to Grow Up
Growth Is Stimulated by Asking Why?
It’s Hard to Improve When You Have No One but Yourself to Follow
Growth Always Increases Your Capacity
Growing Yourself Enables You to Grow Others
Words of Wisdom by Dr. John C. Maxwell
“The more tuned in you are to your purpose, and the more dedicated you are to growing toward it, the better your chances of reaching your potential, expanding your possibilities, and doing something significant.”
“To reach your potential you must grow. And to grow, you must be highly intentional about it.”
“Small disciplines repeated with consistency every day lead to great achievements gained slowly over time.”
“Life is now in session. Are you present?”
“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.”
“If you do the things you need to do when you need to do them, then someday you can do the things you want do when you want to do them.”
“You will never get much done unless you go ahead and do it before you are ready.”
“Most people who decide to grow personally find their first mentors in the pages of books.”
“The longer you wait to do something you should do now, the greater the odds that you will never actually do it.”
“You’re more likely to act yourself into feeling than feel yourself into action.”
“I got to the top the hard way—fighting my own laziness and ignorance every step of the way.”
“If you don’t realize that you have genuine value and that you are worth investing in, then you will never put in the time and effort needed to grow to your potential.”