What comes to mind when you read the words “Orlando Magic”? I assume that most of you will think of the NBA team, but that’s not what I’m referring to.
This past week I had the pleasure of attending the 2012 Toastmasters International Convention in Orlando, Florida where a few magical things happened (and NO, I’m not just talking about taking my kiddos to the Magic Kingdom- although they thought it was pretty fantastic!).
Each year the World Championship of Public Speaking competition is held at the Annual Convention bringing the best speakers from around the globe to compete in the semi-final and Championship rounds. What began as 25,000 competitors globally ended with one of nine finalists being crowned the 2012 World Champ. Nine amazing speeches and one incredible champ was just one magical moment of the week.
The highlight of my week- my magical moment of choice- was being able to sit just a few rows back from the stage while one of my literary heroes on leadership delivered a compelling keynote speech as he was honored as this year’s Golden Gavel Award recipient.
So who was I so thrilled to listen to? None other than John C. Maxwell- our Leadership Guru and Author Extraordinaire. Usually I enjoy listening to a great speaker, but I found his speech so engaging that I had to do more than listen- so I took copious notes so that I could share a bit of his message with you today.
Monday Morning Perspective
“Success is…knowing your purpose in life, growing to reach your maximum potential, and sowing seeds that benefit others.” –John C. Maxwell
“If you start today to do the right thing, you are already a success even if it doesn’t show yet.” -John C. Maxwell
John Maxwell spoke to us about success and what it takes to attain it. He told us that in order to be successful, we must do three things:
1. Find your passion.
He said that passion brings energy and enthusiasm that is required to be successful, but he warned that passion alone wouldn’t be enough. He gave the illustration of the very passionate (yet very tone deaf) contestants for shows like American Idol. They can have all of the passion in the world, but without the voice to sing the tunes it’s a pipedream for them and a painful experience for the judges and onlookers.
John said that where there’s passion and little talent, you’ve found a hobby-not a career. I love to play golf, but if I were counting on it to pay the electric bill, my kids would have the eyesight of a bat for all the darkness they’d be forced to endure.
2. Build on your strengths.
So often managers insist that employees work on improving their weaknesses, but that alone is an act in futility. He said that even with practice and patience, we truly only have the ability to improve by a small margin. On a scale of 1 to 10, where 3 and below represents below average (or poor), 4-6 is average, and 7-10 represents above average abilities, we are truly only capable of improving 2 points.
If you work on your weaknesses diligently and expend lots of time and effort to improve a function that you’re naturally a “3” at, you might improve to a “4” or a “5”. The problem is that you’ve now worked really hard to be average, and no one gets excited about average.
However, if you choose to work on your strengths- a skill that you’re naturally about a “7”, and over time you improve to about a “9”, then you have something unique and powerful. John said “People stand in line for 9’s”.
If you want people to stand in line for you, stop focusing on your weaknesses and start concentrating on your natural gifts and talents.
3. Find a way to plant seeds and serve others.
John said that great leaders always give of themselves at every opportunity, and that truly successful people have figured out a way to use their time and talents to give back to the world and community around them. Working toward the common good by planting seeds of success within others is a tried and true way to ensure there’s a plentiful harvest to be reaped later.
Who could you mentor or help to develop? If you don’t know where you can use your talents and gifts to start giving back, feel free to give me a call. There are a wealth of ways in which you can get involved- Let’s work together to follow steps number one and two. What are you passionate about and how are you gifted? I guarantee there’s an application for every combination known to man. Let’s figure it out and get you plugged in!
Have a wonderful week!