Saturday, February 19, 2011

Maxwell - Doing Something Great

John Maxwell has been writing for quite a few years - I used to listen to his top 100 lessons for leaders when I would commute from Colorado Springs to Denver - 3-4x per week.

He certainly is known for freely quoting from others - but in the process of his extensive qoutations - he has distilled quite a few persons other thoughts, in to great thoughts and sapiential wisdom of his own - usually in presented in simple and straightforward ways. 

I do like Maxwell's stuff - and though most of it can be easily read and discerned into a series of bullet points - he does a good job of taking lots of stuff - and distilling it down.  He's built his life on it, in fact!  And his stuff is easy to re-read as a simple re-view is all that is needed.

His most recent book:  Everyone Communicates, Few Connect - has simple ideas for, guess what, communicating in ways that connect.  Good review of some good ideas, for sure.

Here is my one "take away" from a story he narrates including Abraham Lincoln:

President Abraham Lincoln, an incredible communicator, was known during the Civil War to attend a church not far from the White House on Wednesday nights. The preacher, Dr. Gurley, allowed the president to sit in the pastor’s study with the door open to the chancel so he could listen to the sermon without having to interact with the crowd.

One Wednesday evening as Lincoln and a companion walked back to the White House after the sermon, the president’s companion asked, “What did you think of tonight’s sermon?”

“Well,” Lincoln responded, “it was brilliantly conceived, biblical, relevant, and well presented.”

“So, it was a great sermon?”

“No,” Lincoln replied. “It failed. It failed because Dr. Gurley did not ask us to do something great.”

As one who often preaches - - I would note, too - it seems that often times, too often - from the perspective of the pulpit - too often it is distressing and even depressing to ask persons to do something great - and have no person respond.  But, I am motivated by Lincoln - Maxwell's words to continue to invite persons to do something - something great!

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