Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Book Review “Success” Authored By John C. Maxwell –Professor M.S.Rao, Reviewer

John C. Maxwell’s book titled Success - What Every Leader Needs to Know distills success down to its essential components. It is a short and easy-to-read volume wherein Maxwell shows you exactly what success looks like. He provides specific steps you can take and ways you can overcome obstacles that might otherwise keep you from achieving success. He cherry-picked the essentials in subjects such as leadership, attitude, relationships, teamwork, and mentoring and put them into a format that you very likely can read in one sitting. Or you can easily toss a book into a briefcase or purse and read here and there as time allows. However, this book dwells from the perspective of success.

The book is divided into three parts. The first part describes the right picture of success, the second part outlines the core qualities for success and the third part unfolds success at the next level. The book preludes with the quote of Maltbie D. Babcock, “One of the most common mistakes and one of the costliest is thinking that success is due to some genius, some magic, something or other which we do not possess.”

Maxwell spells the definition of success as:

Success is ….
Knowing your purpose in life,
Growing to reach your maximum potential, and
Sowing seeds that benefit others.

Maxwell reveals that more new information has been produced in the last thirty years than in the previous five thousand. A single weekday edition of the New York Times contains more information than most people in seventeenth-century England were likely to encounter in their lifetimes.

He provides four principles to put you on the road to growing toward your potential:

concentrate on one main goal; concentrate on continual improvement; forget the past and focus on the future. He observes that leaders in the middle of an organization often have to deal with what he calls “the ABCs energy-drain.”

• Activity Without Direction-doing things that don’t seem to matter.
• Burden Without Action-not being able to do things that really matter.
• Conflict Without Resolution-not being able to deal with what’s the matter.

He outlines four fold process of building character: search for the cracks, look for patterns, face the music and rebuild. He provides tools to improve your teachability such as observing how you react to mistakes; trying something new - go out of your way today to do something different that will stretch you mentally, emotionally, or physically; and learning in your area of strength. In addition, he unveils time management techniques as follows:

80 percent of the time-work where you are strongest
15 percent of the time-work where you are learning
5 percent of the time-work in other necessary areas

Maxwell reveals that organizations have only three kinds of people when it comes to momentum. There are momentum breakers- people who sabotage the leader or organization and actually sap momentum as a result. These people have terrible attitudes and represent the bottom 10 percent of the organization (At General Electric, Jack Welch made it his goal every year to identify and fire these people.) The second group is comprised of the momentum takers-people who merely take things as they come. They neither create nor diminish momentum; they simply flow with it. These people represent the middle 80 percent. The final group is the momentum makers-the people who move things forward and create momentum. These are the leaders in the organization and comprise the top 10 percent. These momentum makers make progress. They overcome obstacles. They help move others along. They actually create energy in the organization when the rest of the team is feeling tired or discouraged.

For freeing your mind from clutter, Maxwell refers from Jim Collins’ book, Good to Great as follows:

“Most of us lead busy, but undisciplined lives. We have ever-expanding “to do” lists, trying to build momentum by doing, doing, doing-and doing more. And it rarely works. Those who build the good-to-great companies, however, made as much use of “stop doing” lists as the “to do” lists. They displayed a remarkable amount of discipline to unplug all sorts of extraneous junk.”

About giving your best, Maxwell explains about General George Washington. During the entire course of the Revolutionary War, he won only three battles. But he gave all he had, and when he did win, it counted. British general Cornwallis, who surrendered to Washington at Yorktown to end the war, said the American commander, “Sir, I salute you not only as a great leader of men, but as an indomitable Christian gentleman who wouldn’t give up.”

Maxwell cites the example of the Greek orator Demosthenes who stuttered! The first time he tried to make a public speech, he was laughed off the rostrum. But he had a dream of being a notable speaker. He pursued that dream and grew toward his potential. It is said that he used to put pebbles in his mouth and practice speaking over the sound of crashing surf at the seashore. His persistence paid off. He lived his dream: he became the greatest orator of the ancient world.

Napoleon, despite humble parentage, became an emperor. Beethoven brought to life his inner vision for music when he composed symphonies, even after he lost his hearing. Charles Dickens dreamed of becoming a writer and became the most-read novelist in Victorian England – despite being born into poverty.

Oliver Wendell Holmes noted. “The great thing in this world is not so much where we are but in what direction we are moving.” This is also one of the great things about having a dream. You can pursue your dream no matter where you are today. And what happened in the past isn’t as important as what lies ahead in the future. As the saying goes, “No matter what a person’s past may have been, his future is spotless.” You can begin pursuing your dream today!

Maxwell refers the quotes of A.L. Williams who says, “You beat 50 percent of the people in America by working hard. You beat another 40 percent by being a person of honesty and integrity and standing for something. The last 10 percent is a dogfight in the free enterprise system.” To improve your tenacity, work harder and/or smarter, stand for something and make your work a game.

Successful people face the danger of contentment with the status quo. After all, if a successful person already possesses influence and has achieved a level of respect, why should he keep growing? The answer is simple:

• Your growth determines who you are.
• Who you are determines who you attract.
• Who you attract determines the success of your organization.

Chaplin’s Excellence

Charlie Chaplin always strived for continuous improvement and excellence as an artiste. He explained his desire to improve to an interviewer as follows:

When I am watching one of my pictures presented to an audience, I always pay close attention to what they don’t laugh at. If, for example, several audiences do not laugh at a stunt I mean to be funny, I at once begin to tear that trick to pieces and try to discover what was wrong in the idea or in the execution of it. If I hear a slight ripple at something I had not expected to be funny. I ask myself why that particular thing got a laugh.

Ben’s Brief Biography

Maxwell outlines the biography of Benjamin Franklin as follows: One of the seventeen children, Franklin was the son of a tradesman, a candlemaker, who was far from wealthy. He experienced a typical childhood. He attended schools for only two years. He invented numerous items such as the potbellied stove, the catheter, and bifocals. Maxwell further adds, “The evidences of Franklin’s talents were many. He helped establish Philadelphia’s first library. He started the nation’s first fire department. He developed the concept of daylight saving time. And he held many posts serving the government.” Like Benjamin Franklin, all highly competent people continually search for ways to keep learning, growing, and improving. They do that by asking why. After all, the person who knows how will always have a job, but the person who knows why will always be the boss.

When you think about people who are competent, you’re really considering only three types of people:

• Those who can see what needs to happen.
• Those who can make it happen.
• Those who can make things happen when it really counts.

Maxwell concludes the book with the quote of Donald McGannon, former CEO of Westinghouse Broadcasting Corporation, who stated, “Leadership is action, not position.” Taking action - and helping others to do the same in a coordinated effort - is the essence of leadership. Do those things where you are, and you won’t remain long there.

Great Quotes

“You have to pay the price. You will find that everything in life exacts a price, and you will have to decide whether the price is worth the prize.” - Former U.S. senator Sam Nunn
“He who makes no mistakes, makes no progress.” - Teddy Roosevelt
“The only conquests which are permanent and leave no regrets are our conquests over ourselves.” - Napoleon
“As long as you’re green, you’re growing. As soon as you’re ripe, you start to rot.” - Ray Kroc
“The greatest mistake once can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” - Elbert Hubbard
“For everything you gain, you lose something.” – Emerson
“Success is a little like wrestling a gorilla. You don’t quit when you’re tired – you quit when the gorilla is tired.” - Robert Strauss
“Every successful person finds that great success lies just beyond the point when they’re convinced their idea is not going to work.” - Napoleon Hill
“The meaning of earthly existing lies, not as we have grown used to thinking, in prospering, but in the development of the soul.” - Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Nobel Laureate
“I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” – Anonymous
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” - Theodore Roosevelt
“The whole secret of a successful life is to find out what it is one’s destiny to do, and then do it.” - Henry Ford
“If silly things were not done, intelligent things would never happen.” - Tom Peters
“Judge the results. We get paid to produce results. We don’t get paid to be right.” - said Goizueta


1. You cannot achieve what you have not defined.
2. You will never go farther than your dreams take you.
3. You will not succeed unless you are willing to fail.
4. The first step toward success is leading yourself exceptionally well.
5. It is no exaggeration to say that the ability to work with people is the most important ingredient for success.
6. Trust is the foundation of all relationships.
7. To hit the mark, aim above it.
8. Quitters never win and winners never quit.
9. The day you stop growing is the beginning of the end of your success.
10. Successful people do the things that unsuccessful people are unwilling to do.
11. Successful people become go-to players.
12. To reach the next level, lead others to success.

Final Word

The book contains several research studies, quotations and illustrations. In John Maxwell’s book, each and every word is important as it contains invaluable information based on his vast experience. He has the uncanny ability to connect with readers by arousing and sustaining their interest until the end of the book. It is an amazing book emphasizing on success that takes you to next higher level. Enjoy reading!

Professor M.S.Rao
Founder and Chief Consultant,
MSR Leadership Consultants, India
Blog: http://profmsr.blogspot.com
Where Knowledge is Wealth
Email: profmsr7@gmail.com

Dear readers,

I would appreciate your comments about this article.

Friday, January 21, 2011

“Are You A Pygmalion Professor?” – Professor M.S.Rao

"Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be." - Goethe

The term Pygmalion has its origin where a sculptor by name Pygmalion who fell in love with a female statue he had carved out of ivory. Pygmalion was a Cyprus king who crafted number of statues. However, he did not like them. When he created an ivory statue of a beautiful woman, Galatea (means sleeping love) he finally fell in love with her. The statue was so amazing that Pygmalion became mad of her and prayed Aphrodite to give life to the statue. Ultimately Pygmalion was blessed and the beautiful woman breathed life.

From this Greek mythological story, it becomes clear that when you expect more out of others you get more out of them. For instance, when parents expect a lot about their children, the children will live up to their expectations. Similarly, at workplace when superiors expect more out of their subordinates, they will get best out of them. Precisely, your outcome is directly proportional to your expectations and aspirations. The term Pygmalion is also associated with Professor Higgins who treated Eliza Doolittle, the heroine as a flower girl in George Bernard Shah’s play ‘Pygmalion’

Importance of Pygmalion Effect

The importance of Pygmalion effect is manifold in this current complex world. At a time when there is cut-throat competition due to rapid changes in technology, we need to look for innovative ideas and solutions to stay ahead of others. The Pygmalion effect helps lift performance levels in all walks of life. As human potential is unlimited, we can adopt this effect to unlock human potential for ensuring all round progress and success.

If you expect more you get more is the slogan of Pygmalion effect. As success is won twice; first in your reel life and then in your real life, your outcome depends on your earnest efforts. If you think good, good things will happen; and if you dream big, you become big. Similarly, if your love is true you will succeed in love. When you really love someone and miss then you will get back if you have Pygmalion mindset.

Are You a Pygmalion Professor?

You may be surprised when I coined the concept of Pygmalion Professor! Pygmalion Professor is the one who counsels, crafts, mentors and moulds students. He helps students tap and realize their potential by encouraging and expecting best out of them.

If the educators are passionate they can convert dull students as bright students. If they have command in their subject and if their commitment is strong they can arouse interest among the students and influence and impact them. Educator is like a violinist and students are like violins. As a violinist can generate various types of sounds the educators can also generate various techniques to share their knowledge for creating enlightened students.

When you teach with great intentions and passion, you will get positive response from your students. A good educator must be a Pygmalion Professor at heart as s/he expects and strives the best out of students. If a professor is passionate s/he can get the best out of students. Pygmalion Professor creates bright students. However, here is a caution! Like mythological sculptor Pygmalion, the Pygmalion Professor should not fall in love personally with students but must fall in love professionally in developing and grooming students as successful personalities.

Final Word

Pygmalion effect is useful in walks of life. When you lead at home, it is essential; when you lead people at the workplace, you need to demonstrate; when you love someone, you need to adopt. As the saying goes, ‘As you sow, so you reap’, if you praise your people you get the best out of them. It is like an echo. When you shout good, you hear good, when you shout bad you hear bad. To conclude, adopting Pygmalion effect in all walks of life is in imperative for all round peace, prosperity and success.

Professor M.S.Rao
Founder and Chief Consultant,
MSR Leadership Consultants, India
Blog: http://profmsr.blogspot.com
Where Knowledge is Wealth
Email: profmsr7@gmail.com

Dear readers,

I would appreciate your comments about this article.

Monday, January 17, 2011

What is ‘Theory of Constraints’ (TOC) – Professor M.S.Rao

My friend Tom was asking me to come to park for a walk since long time. However, I could not make it due to my hectic schedules, training programs and assignments. When I met him after a long time for a walk, he was excited. We had series of discussions on various topics and finally the ball was set rolling on the concept of Theory of Constraints (TOC). He said that we need to identify the weak links, rectify and move forward in achieving success in life. Then I thought for a while and explained him about TOC and its importance to achieve success in personal, professional and social life.

Life is full of challenges. We face several constraints in order to survive and grow. Most of the constraints are external rather than internal in nature and which is beyond the control of human beings. People often fail due to external constraints rather than internal constraints. Internal constraints are easily manageable while he the external constraints are tough to predict and manage. However, TOC helps handy in managing external key constraints. In this regard, let us know what is all about TOC.

What is TOC?

TOC has been coined by Dr. Eliyahu M. Goldratt, in his book ‘The Goal’. It is also known as Constraint Management. It is closely connected with TQM (total quality management). It is widely used by everyone but people often don’t know that they are using this approach. TOC goes closely with change management as change can be effected through TOC very easily. It emphasizes what is to be changed, how it is to be changed and when it is to be changed to make things better qualitatively. It is a qualitative tool to improve the processes in order to make goods or services better. Currently its importance is being felt in all sectors and industries.

Merits of TOC

TOC can be used in all walks of life where we want to add value by breaking the bottlenecks. It adds value and makes difference in the lives of others. TOC can also be used in problem-solving. It helps us identify the root of the problem and provides suitable remedial measures. Most of the people fail to spot the bottlenecks while resolving their problems or while ensuring their success. However, TOC helps spot where exactly the problem lies and corrects the same.

TOC Process

In his book Theory of Constraints, Goldratt outlines a five-step process to applying the theory:
1. Identify the process' constraints
2. Decide how best to exploit the process constraints
3. Subordinate everything else to the above decisions
4. Evaluate the process constraint
5. Remove the constraint and re-evaluate the process
Succinctly, the process of TOC is all about spotting the system constraints; searching for the weakest links; thinking of means to strengthen them; addressing them effectively and evaluating for takeaways.

Final Word

The concept of TOC is catching up globally due to rapid changing times and technologies. It is a boon for the companies that are struggling to compete and stay ahead of others. Organizationally, leaders have a challenging role to identify the key constraints in processes, systems and work on to strengthen for enhancing organizational effectiveness and excellence. Individually, people can make use of this concept to accomplish their goals and reach success. To conclude, TOC is going to play a crucial role in future.

Professor M.S.Rao
Founder and Chief Consultant,
MSR Leadership Consultants, India
Blog: http://profmsr.blogspot.com
Where Knowledge is Wealth
Email: profmsr7@gmail.com

Dear readers,

I would appreciate your comments about this article.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Book Review “Attitude” Authored By John C. Maxwell –Professor M.S.Rao, Reviewer

John C. Maxwell’s book titled Attitude What Every Leader Needs to Know helps you make you as a successful person and leader. It contains Maxwell’s invaluable experiences and anecdotes. The book is divided into three parts with the part one dealing with the impact of attitude, the second part describing the formation of attitude and the third part projecting the future with the right attitude. The book preludes with Maxwell’s passion for basketball.

Maxwell shares about attitude as:

It is the advance man of our true selves.
Its roots are inward, but its fruit is outward.
It is our best friend or our worst enemy.
It is more honest and more consistent than our words.
It is an outward look based on past experiences.
It is a thing which draws people to us or repels them.
It is never content until it is expressed.
It is the librarian of our past.
It is the speaker of our present.
It is the prophet of our future .

He compares a person with a positive attitude is like a bumblebee. The bumblebee should not be able to fly, because the size, weight, and shape of its body in relationship to its wingspread makes flying aerodynamically impossible. But the bumblebee, being ignorant of scientific theory flies anyway and makes honey every day.

Maxwell outlines the equation of abilities, attitudes and results as follows:

Great Talent + Rotten Attitudes = Bad Team
Great Talent + Bad Attitudes = Average Team
Great Talent + Average Attitudes = Good Team
Great Talent + Good Attitudes = Great Team

He reveals the research findings, “The Stanford Research Institute says that the money you make in any endeavor is determined only 12.5 percent by knowledge and 87.5 percent by your ability to deal with people. He outlines the equation for success as follows:
87.5% people knowledge + 12.5% product knowledge = Success

Maxwell narrates the story of two shoe salesmen who were sent to an island to sell shoes. The first salesman, upon arrival, was shocked to realize that no one wore shoes. Immediately he sent a telegram to his home office in Chicago saying, “Will return home tomorrow. No one wears shoes.”

The second salesman was thrilled by the same realization. Immediately he wired the home office in Chicago saying. “Please send me 10,000 shoes. Everyone here needs them.” In another instance, Maxwell shares, “In ancient Israel when Goliath came up against the Hebrews, the soldiers all thought, He’s so big we can never kill him. David looked at the same giant and thought; He’s so big I can’t miss.”

He unfolds the factors that influence a person from pre-birth to the age of 61 as follows:

Pre-birth : Inherent personality/temperament
Birth : Environment
Ages 1-6 : Word expression, adult acceptance/affirmation
Ages 6-10 : Self-image, exposure to new experiences
Ages 11-21 : Peers, physical appearance
Ages 21-61 : Marriage, family, job, success, adjustments, assessment of life

Maxwell reveals the formula for growth as follows: New experiences + teaching applications x love = growth. He suggests to replace few words by better and positive words such as ‘I can’t’ by ‘I can’, ‘If’ by ‘I will’, ‘doubt’ by ‘expect the best’, ‘I don’t think’ by ‘I know’, ‘I don’t have the time’ by ‘I will make the time’, ‘may be’ by ‘positively’, ‘I’m afraid of’ by ‘I am confident’, ‘I don’t believe’ by ‘I do believe’, ‘It’s impossible’ by ‘all things are possible’ and finally minimize the usage of ‘I’ and maximize the usage of ‘you’ In addition he explains about the importance of failure. He says that tumble will make you humble.

Maxwell motivates readers by listing out the great people who initially failed miserably like Erma Bombeck who shot to fame to Time magazine cover girl from newspaper copy girl; Wolfgang Mozart, a musician; Thomas Edison, an inventor; Albert Einstein, the greatest thinker and Harry S.Truman, President of America. He unfolds three fold approach while leadership such as valuing people; praising their efforts; and rewarding their performance. He outlines the definition of success as:

Success is ….
Knowing your purpose in life,
Growing to reach your maximum potential, and
Sowing seeds that benefit others.

Maxwell believes that God created every person for a purpose. According to psychologist Viktor Frankl, “Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life. Everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus everyone’s task is as unique as his specific opportunity to implement it.” Each of us has a purpose for which we were created. Our responsibility – and our greatest joy – is to identify it.

He says, “Usually the person who rises within an organization has a good attitude. The promotions did not give that individual an outstanding attitude, but an outstanding attitude resulted in promotions.” He adds further, “There is very little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.”

What is Success?

Most people have a vague picture of what it means to be a successful person that looks something like this:

The wealth of Bill Gates,
The physique of Arnold Schwarzenegger, (or Tyra Banks)
The intelligence of Albert Einstein,
The athletic ability of Michael Jordan,
The business prowess of Donald Trump,
The social grace and poise of Jackie Kennedy,
The imagination of Walt Disney, and
The heart of Mother Teresa.

However, Maxwell says that comparing with others is not success. Success comes at a cost. Success comes from struggles and sacrifices. Maxwell reveals the success story of Erma Bombeck who shot to fame from newspaper copy girl to Time Magazine cover girl in his book Attitude as follows:

For slightly more than thirty years, Erma Bombeck wrote her humor column. During that time she published fifteen books, was recognized as one of the twenty-five most influential women in America, appeared frequently on the television show Good Morning America, was featured on the cover of Time magazine, received innumerable honors (such as the American Cancer Society’s Medal of Honor), and was awarded fifteen honorary degrees.

But during that span of time, Erma Bombeck also experienced incredible troubles and trials, including breast cancer, a mastectomy, and kidney failure. And she wasn’t shy about sharing her perspective on her life experiences.

Maxwell about Failures

Psychologist Martin E. Seligman believes we have two choices when we fail: we can internalize or externalize our failure. “People who blame themselves when they fail … think they are worthless, talent less, unlovable,” says Seligman. “People who blame external events do not lose self-esteem when bad events strike. ” (Reference Brodin “The Key to Bouncing Back,” Discipleship Journal, issue 109, 1999, 67.) To keep the right perspective, take responsibility for your actions, but don’t take failure personally.

In The Psychology of Achievement, Brian Tracy writes about four millionaires who made their fortunes by age thirty-five. They were involved in an average of seventeen businesses before finding the one that took them to the top. They kept trying and changing until they found something that worked for them.

Great Quotes

Maxwell provides good number of quotes in each of his books. Let us look at few of the important quotes:
“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” - President Thomas Jefferson
“All my country has is spirit. We don’t have petroleum dollars. We don’t have mines of great wealth in the ground. We don’t have the support of a worldwide public opinion that looks favorably on us. All Israel has is the spirit of its people. And if the people lose their spirit, even the United States of America cannot save us.” - The former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir
“There is plenty of security in the cemetery; I long for opportunity.” – David Sarnoff
“The greatest discovery of my generation is that people can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.” - Philosopher William James
“The person interested in success has to learn to view failure as a healthy, inevitable part of the process of getting to the top.” - Dr. Joyce Brothers, Psychologist
“Good people are good because they’ve come to wisdom through failure. We get very little wisdom from success, you know.” - William Saroyan said, American novelist
“A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thought.” - James Allen, Author
“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” - Lord Acton, English historian
“He who does not look head remains behind.” - Spanish proverb
“What you will become in five years will be determined by what you read and who you associate with.” - Charles “Tremendous” Jones, Author of Life Is Tremendous
“In science, mistakes always precede the truth.” – Horace Walpole


1. Attitude is really about how a person is. That overflows into how he acts.
2. When confronted with a difficult situation. A person with an outstanding attitude makes the best of it while he gets the worst of it.
3. Generally, people with certain temperaments develop specific attitudes common to that temperament.
4. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
5. Fall in love with the challenge of change and watch the desire to change grow.
6. In order to achieve your dreams, you must embrace adversity and make failure a regular part of your life. If you’re not failing, you’re probably not really moving forward.
7. We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
8. Higher the level of leadership you want to reach, the greater the sacrifices you will have to make.


• Attitude is always a “player” on your team.
• Your attitude and your potential go hand in hand.
• A lot goes into an attitude – but a lot more comes out of it!
• They key to having a good attitude is the willingness to change.
• The greatest battle you wage against failure occurs on the inside, not the outside.
• Every successful person is someone who failed, yet never regarded himself as a failure.
• Attitude determines how far you can go on the success journey.
• Leaders have to give up to go up.

Final Word

The book provides several research studies, quotations and illustrations. It contains pearls of wisdom based on the rich experience of Maxwell. He has the uncanny ability to connect with readers by arousing and sustaining their interest until the end of the book. It is an inspirational book emphasizing from the perspective of attitude. It is worth reading not only to build right attitude but also to excel as a successful leader.

Professor M.S.Rao
Founder and Chief Consultant,
MSR Leadership Consultants, India
Blog: http://profmsr.blogspot.com
Where Knowledge is Wealth
Email: profmsr7@gmail.com

Dear readers,

I would appreciate your comments about this article.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Book Review “Developing the Leaders Around You” Authored By John C. Maxwell –Professor M.S.Rao, Reviewer

“Excellence breeds character, and character breeds excellence. Demand excellence from your people, and they will develop into people who also demand excellence of themselves and the people they lead.” – John C. Maxwell

John C. Maxwell’s book titled Developing the Leaders around You helps others reach their full potential by identifying and training potential leaders around you. It contains Maxwell’s invaluable experiences and anecdotes. The book is divided into ten chapters. The book preludes with the success story of John Wooden, a great basket ball coach who brought ten national basketball championships to UCLA in a span of twelve years.

Maxwell finds three things that characterize disciplined leaders:

• They have identified specific long – and short-term goals for themselves.
• They have a plan for achieving those goals.
• They have a desire that motivates them to continue working to accomplish those goals.

He outlines Five A’s while hiring an employee:

Assessment of needs: What is needed?
Assets on hand: Who are the people already in the organization Who are available?
Ability of candidates: Who is able?
Attitude of candidates: Who is willing?
Accomplishments o candidates: Who gets things done?

He reveals his leadership success as follows:

Every good piece of information a person finds needs to be processed and filed. He has used this system for more than thirty-five years. As he finds good articles or quotes, he clips and files them. This has two advantages. First, whenever he needs materials for a talk or seminar, he has thirty-five years of collected resources to draw upon. Second, each time he reduces an article down to its one most relevant sentence or paragraph, he has processed through all the information digested it, summarized it, and learned it.

Each time you learn something new, it’s good to ask yourself, “Where, when, and how can I use this?” He prefers to do more than simply make a mental connection with the things he learns.

• Select one thing each week that he has learned.
• Put it on a 3 x 5 card. (he keeps it in front of him for a week.)
• Shares it with his wife.
• Shares it with someone else within twenty-four hours.
• Teaches it to someone else. (he puts it in a lesson.)

He suggests that a daily discipline pays dividends. Here is the weekly plan that he recommends at his conferences:

Monday: One hour with God
Tuesday: One hour listening to a leadership tape.
Wednesday: Another hour with the same tape (including time filing notes on highlights and reflecting on what has been learned)
Thursday: One hour reading a leadership book.
Friday: Another hour with the same book (including time filing notes on highlights and reflecting on what has been learned)

Positive Attitude

Maxwell compares a person with a positive attitude is like a bumblebee. The bumblebee should not be able to fly, because the size, weight, and shape of its body in relationship to its wingspread makes flying aerodynamically impossible. But the bumblebee, being ignorant of scientific theory flies anyway and makes honey every day. He writes about attitude as:

It is the advance man of our true selves.
Its roots are inward, but its fruit is outward.
It is our best friend or our worst enemy.
It is more honest and more consistent than our words.
It is an outward look based on past experiences.
It is a thing which draws people to us or repels them.
It is never content until it is expressed.
It is the librarian of our past.
It is the speaker of our present.
It is the prophet of our future .

Not only does the future look bright when the attitude is right, but the present is much more enjoyable too. The positive person understands that the journey is as enjoyable as the destination.

Maxwell justifies Napoleon Bonaparte as one of history’s greatest leaders. One of his leadership secrets was knowing the needs of his men. He first determined what his men wanted most. Then he did everything possible to help them get it. He knew this was a key to successful motivation. Most leaders do the opposite. They first decide what they want. Then they try to persuade others to want the same thing as much as they do.

Maxwell asserts that the best type of training takes advantage of the way people learn. Researchers tell us that we remember 10 percent of what we hear, 50 percent of what we see, 70percent of what we say, and 90 percent of what we hear, see, say, an do. Knowing that, we have to develop an approach to how we will train. He has found the best training method to be a five step process of modeling, mentoring, monitoring, motivating and multiplying.

He adds, “When water boils at 212 degrees, but at 211 degrees, it is still just hot water. One extra degree, an increase of less than one-half of one percent, can make the difference between a pot of languishing liquid and a bubbling caldron of power. One degree can create a full head of steam – enough power to move a train weighing tons. That one degree is usually momentum.”

Maxwell explains about Dr. G. Campbell Morgan who tells the story of a man whose shop burned to the ground in the great Chicago fire. He arrived at the ruins the next morning carrying table and set it up amid the charred debris. Above the table he placed this optimistic sign: “Everything lost except wife, children, and hope. Business will resume as usual tomorrow morning.”

Maxwell unfolds the ten qualities to become a dream team coach based on his three decades of leadership experience.

1. A dream team coach chooses players well. Red Auerbach, longtime Boston Celtics president said, “How you select people is more important than how you manage them once they’re on the job. If you start with the right people, you won’t have problems later on. If you hire the wrong people, for whatever reason, you’re in serious trouble and all the revolutionary management techniques in the world won’t bail you out.”
2. A dream team coach constantly communicates the game plan.
3. A dream team coach takes the time to huddle.
4. A dream team coach knows what his or her players prefer.
5. A dream team coach excels in problem solving. A leader should strive for excellence, but he should expect problems to occur. And believe it or not, he should welcome them. Problems almost always create opportunities – to learn, grow and improve. Leaders must anticipate problems before they occur. They must maintain a positive attitude while they occur.
6. A dream team coach provides the support needed for success.
7. A dream team coach commands the respect of the players.
8. A dream team coach does not treat everyone the same.
9. A dream team coach continues to win.
10. A dream team coach understands the levels of the players.

He outlines ten guidelines for approaching confrontation with an attitude of win-win.

1. Confront ASAP.
2. Separate the person from the wrong action.
3. Confront only what the person can change.
4. Give the person the benefit of the doubt.
5. Be specific.
6. Avoid sarcasm.
7. Avoid words like always and never.
8. Tell the person how you feel about what was done wrong.
9. Give the person a game plan to fix the problem.
10. Affirm him or her as a person and a friend.

He unfolds that true leaders are able to attract potential leaders because:

• Leaders think like them.
• Leaders express feelings that other leaders sense.
• Leaders create an environment that attracts potential leaders.
• Leaders are not threatened by people with great potential.

Great Quotes from Book

“We grow by dreams. All big individuals are dreamers. They see things in the soft haze of a spring day, or in the red fire on a long winter’s evening. Some of us let those great dreams die, but others nourish and protect them; nourish them through bad days until they bring them to the sunshine and light which comes always to those who sincerely hope that their dreams will come true.” – Woodrow Wilson
“You can buy a man’s time, you can even buy his physical presence at given place, but you cannot buy enthusiasm .. you cannot buy loyalty … you cannot buy the devotion of hearts, minds, or souls. You must earn these.” - Charles Frances
“If you are doing big things, you attract big men. If you are doing the little things, you attract little men. Little men usually cause trouble.” - Winston Churchill
“Men are developed the same way gold is mined. Several tons of dirt must be moved to get an ounce of gold. But you don’t go into the mine looking for dirt, but you go in looking for the gold.” - Carnegie said
“Great leaders are never satisfied with current levels of performance. They constantly strive for higher and higher levels of achievement.” - Donna Harrison
“One of the great discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.” - Henry Ford
“It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
“You were born to be a winner, but to be a winner you must plan to win and prepare to win.” - Zig Zigler
“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.” - Vince Lombardi
“You can take my factories, burn up my buildings, but give me my people, and I’ll bring my business right back again.” - Henry Ford
“The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind in other people the convictions and will to carry one.” – Walter Lippman
“Example is not the main thing in influencing others … it is the only thing.” - Albert Schweitzer
“The speed of the boss is the speed of the team.” - Lee Iacocca
“No matter what size the bottle, the cream always came to the top.” - Charles Wilson, the former president of General Electric


• Acquiring and keeping good people is a leader’s most important task.
• Grow a leader – grow the organization.
• Everything rises and falls on leadership.
• It takes a leader to know a leader, grow a leader, and show a leader.
• There is no success without a successor.
• A leader’s success can be defined as the maximum utilization of the abilities of those under him.
• Momentum is the greatest of all change agents.
• It takes a leader with vision to see the future leader within the person.
• To develop positive, successful people, look for the gold, not the dirt.
• Character flaws cannot be ignored. They will eventually make a leader ineffective.
• A proven leader always has a proven track record.
• A great leader has the ability to instill within his people confidence in themselves.
• Liking people is the beginning of the ability to communicate.
• A leader who loves the status quo soon becomes a follower.
• Seek people who seek solutions.
• Nurturing has the ability to transform people’s lives.
• Leadership can only function on the basis of trust.
• Time spent with a potential leader is an investment.
• When you believe in people, you motivate them and release their potential.
• It is the leader’s job to hold hope high.
• Spend 80 percent of your time on the most promising 20 percent of the potential leaders around you.
• Equipping, like nurturing, is an ongoing process. Equipping must be tailored to each potential leader.
• A person should be spending 80 percent of his time doing things that require his greatest gifts and abilities.
• All good mentoring relationships begin with a personal relationship.
• The leader must know his people well enough to identify attainable goals that require a stretch.
• Good leaders are good listeners.
• Every idea is a good idea until you’ve settled on the best idea.
• Personal growth is like investing. It’s not your timing. It’s your time in.
• Excellence breeds character, and character breeds excellence.
• Teams that don’t bond can’t build.
• A good team fit requires an attitude of partnership.
• Individualism wins trophies, but teamwork wins pennants.
• Knowing where their team stands at every moment separates the great players from the adequate players.
• Success comes down to sacrifice-willing to pay the price.
• Having the right players determines 60 to 80 percent of the success of any organization.
• Problems almost always create opportunities – to learn, grow, and improve.
• Good coaches approach each opponent from a fresh perspective.
• Respect must be earned over time. There are no shortcuts.
• Give opportunities, resources, and playing time according to players’ past performance.
• Delegation is the most powerful tool leaders have.
• People development is life-changing for everyone involved.
• Believe in people, and they will rise to fulfill that belief.
• Look for opportunities to share yourself with people.
• People become empowered when you provide them with three things: opportunity, freedom, and security.
• To live a worthwhile, meaningful life, a person must be a part of something greater than himself.
• One of the greatest rewards of adding value to people is that it comes back to you multiplied.
• A leader who produces other leaders multiplies his influence.
• True success comes only when every generation continues to develop the next generation.
• Relational skills are the most important abilities in leadership.
• How big we think determines the size of our accomplishments.
• Progress and innovation are made by people who think without lines.
• Give your leaders deep, broad roots by growing them slowly and varying their experiences.
• Managers are maintainers, tending to rely on systems and controls. Leaders are innovators and creators who rely on people.
• If you want to become an expert in a subject, according to Earl Nightingale, spend an hour a day for five years focusing on that subject.

Leadership Lessons

1. Poor commitment equals poor development; great commitment equals great development.
2. When you look for potential leaders, select people with obvious strengths even if you see weaknesses.
3. A good team is made up of people with different talents playing different positions to accomplish one goal.
4. People must learn to do new things. When people do only what is comfortable for them, they get into a rut. They stop growing.
5. Great desire can overcome a multitude of natural deficiencies in a leader.
6. Leaders are abstract thinkers. They think in terms of intangibles like timing, morale, attitude, momentum, and atmosphere. They read between the lines. They anticipate the unexpected.
7. Leaders create and inspire new leaders by instilling faith in their leadership abilities and helping them develop and hone leadership skills they don’t know they possess.
8. Great leaders – the truly successful ones who are in the top 1 percent – all have one thing in common. They know that acquiring and keeping good people is a leader’s most important task.
9. Followers tell you want you want to hear. Leaders tell you what you need to hear.
10. Too often people limit their own potential. They think small. They are afraid of risk. People no longer willing to stretch are no longer able to grow. As author Henry Drummond says, “Unless a man undertakes more than the possible can do, he will never do all he can do.”
11. Hiring an employee is like skydiving: once you’ve jumped out of the plane, you’re committed. The key to making the right choice depends on two things: 1) your ability to see the big picture, and 2) your ability to judge potential employees during the selection process.
12. A potential leader who feels secure is more likely to take risks, try to excel, break new ground, and succeed. Great leaders make their followers feel bigger than they are. Soon the followers begin to think, act, and produce bigger than they are. Finally, they become what they think they are.
13. The very best leaders, the top 1 percent, take their people the next step and develop them so they can reach their potential. The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.

Final Word

Maxwell differentiates between nurturing, equipping and developing. And he outlines the differences between winning by competitiveness and wining by cooperation. He says that often the departing leader don’t pave smooth way for their successors leading to debacle.

Maxwell conveys an emphatic message that leaders who don’t develop people will one day find themselves hitting a wall in their success. No matter how efficient and strategic they are, eventually they run out of time. He concludes the book by questioning the readers, “Are you developing the leaders around you?”

The book contains several research studies, quotations, illustrations and self-assessment tests to ensure effective takeaways about the content. It unfolds pearls of wisdom based on the rich experience of Maxwell. He has the uncanny ability to connect with readers by arousing and sustaining their interest towards the contents. It is worth reading not only to become a good leader but also to build leaders around you so that you can successfully pass on the leadership baton to your next generation.

The End

Professor M.S.Rao
Founder and Chief Consultant,
MSR Leadership Consultants, India
Blog: http://profmsr.blogspot.com
Where Knowledge is Wealth
Email: profmsr7@gmail.com

Dear readers,

I would appreciate your comments about this article.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

“Do You Want to Become Another Mark Zuckerberg (Co-Founder of FaceBook)?”- Professor M.S.Rao

Most of the youth globally knows about FaceBook. You must also know the brain behind this amazing social networking site. He is none other than Mark Zuckerberg who surprised the world through his innovation and creativity and who raised the hopes of billions of youth by dreaming and achieving big. He bust traditional leadership myth that leadership is meant for experienced and aged people.

Mark’s Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg was born on 14 May 1984 in New York and the co-founder and CEO of Facebook. He is a drop out of Harvard College. He is the world’s youngest billionaire. He bagged Time magazine’s person of the year award. He has become a symbol of hope, role model and inspiration for youth globally. He broke the mental barriers and dreamt big and succeeded as the world’s youngest billionaire. He proved to the world that leadership has got nothing to do with age and experience. According to Mark, leadership is all about taking risk and dreaming big.

Mark – A Symbol of Success

You must have fire in your belly to excel as a leader. Don’t worry about the bottlenecks that come on your path towards success. Pursue your passions up to the hilt. Mark had initial setbacks when he first started his website with a severe criticism that his approach was improper. Subsequently he dropped out of Harvard and set up Facebook website and there has been no looking back for him ever since. Although several companies were ready to buy Facebook, Mark declined their offers.

Final Word

Mark has done good job! He is awesome! Age is not a deterrent to dreaming. Anyone can dream at any age. Do you want to become another Mark? Do you like to excel like Mark? Then don’t get into rat race. Be different and unique. Create something new and move forward despite opposition. Believe in your dreams firmly so that you too can become another Mark and leave a mark behind like Mark.

Professor M.S.Rao
Founder and Chief Consultant,
MSR Leadership Consultants, India
Blog: http://profmsr.blogspot.com
Where Knowledge is Wealth
Email: profmsr7@gmail.com

Dear readers,

I would appreciate your comments about this article.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

“Love Your Spouse, Else Somebody Will” – Professor M.S.Rao

Now-a-days people don’t find time to care their family members due to workplace pressures. People spend most of their time on professional front neglecting personal and social relations. Most of the people take their family members for granted. However, when you look at from the perspective of family members they crave for constant care and attention and they search for somebody who can care them.

It is rightly said that man cannot live by bread alone. Apart from food, man needs several other things such as cloth, shelter, sex and recreation. When we look at Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy needs, man has certain needs at every level such as physiological, security, social, self-esteem and self-actualization needs. Once the needs at a particular level are accomplished, man looks for next higher level of needs.

People often neglect their family members in the race for their survival and growth resulting into physical and psychological divisions within the family members. Married couples get separated leading to divorces. These days, there is an increased divorce rate. It is human nature to search elsewhere when there are emotional gaps among the people.

Human being has various needs such as physical, emotional, spiritual and mental needs. It is the role of the person to fulfill the needs of his/her spouse. Not caring or paying attention to these needs results into a void in the person. As a corollary, person looks elsewhere to fulfill the needs.

Here are the tips to connect with your spouse emotionally.

• Understand your spouse well and appreciate often. Be specific when you praise your spouse. Don’t exaggerate. Be honest to the core to connect with your spouse emotionally.
• Spend time regularly. Share her/his emotions and feelings. Gauge his/her needs regularly. Spend with your spouse on holidays occasionally. It unwinds you and also builds bond with your family members.
• Don’t create emotional gaps. It is human nature to look elsewhere if the basic needs and desires are not met.
• Life is very short. Make your life memorable. People often have the attitude of searching for stones by leaving gems at home as they often take their family members for granted. Robert Brault said, “Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”

Rapid growth in technology has changed the socio-economic equations drastically. Although technology is a boon in many aspects, it has become a bane in some aspects especially in creating divisions and differences within the family members. It is unfortunate that people are into the rat race for their materialistic gains and identity. Don’t lose so much for so little. Hence, connect with your spouse and enjoy your precious life meaningfully.

Professor M.S.Rao
Founder and Chief Consultant,
MSR Leadership Consultants, India
Blog: http://profmsr.blogspot.com
Where Knowledge is Wealth
Email: profmsr7@gmail.com

Dear readers,

I would appreciate your comments about this article.