Posted by: Steve Aune | January 27, 2009


I have been a leader in some form my whole life.  If you think about it, everyone is and has been a leader, and whether they know it or not, they always will be a leader.

The older I get, the more I read, and learn about leadership, the more I realize that I am my own leader first.  I must choose to lead my life, not just live it.  Think about how powerful that is.  I read that from John Maxwell in “Leadership Gold”.  Great stuff.  What I enjoy about John’s writing is that he is constantly learning and growing and ultimately he changes what & how he writes about leadership. 

Perry Hurth, team lead at Keller Williams Realty, came to my good friend/biz partner Jorin and I with this great idea of taking John’s monthly message and creating a learning environment for other professionals to get together and listen to John’s message on leadership via his Maximum Impact program.  Seems really simple.  We had over 40 people showing up for a while, then it dropped off to about 20 where it is now and we have been doing this for over a year now.  Each month we ask ourselves why more people would not take advantage of this free opportunity to learn from John Maxwell on Leadership.   Are they too busy?  Do they already know this stuff?  Do they subscribe and get it that way?  Are they on another program?  A big part of me thinks that they have an understanding of how to be an effective leader and would rather spend that one hour doing something else.  Instead of pushing themselves a little harder and analyzing themselves a little more critically, they would rather do something that does not challenge them.  I can tell you that they will be challenged anyway, whether personally or professionally. 

It is not for me to decide why they do not attend.  We are not offering this to people for our benefit, we do it for them.  We are not offering it for profit, we do it because most people are not taking an hour a month for self development, let alone daily.  We want to help our community and its future leaders.  We want to give first, Perry is so good at that philosophy.  He is always all about how can we provide more benefit to them.  It is never about himself he is leading by example every single day.

Leadership is not about me.  It is about them.  A leader is demanding and has high expectations.  Those expectations are for themselves first, then their expectations turn to them.  They probably have higher expectations for them, than they do for themselves.  A leader is also caring and compassionate.  We care about people and the decisions we make and how they may affect people.  What we cannot control is how those expectations are received.  At the end of the day you must ask yourself, “Would I hire myself today or fire myself today?”  Don’t wait for someone else to tell you that.  Will you make a difference every day?  Will you do your very best every day?  Will you hire yourself every day?  Can you be that critical of yourself?  If you provide the right leadership to yourself, you be automatically be inspired to have a super fantastic day, and make a difference. 

So, lead your life.  Lead your BEST LIFE.  Don’t settle or just live.  Be a constant student of people who are great leaders.  Take on more responsibility to lead.  Not for your benefit, for theirs.  Don’t wait for the economy to change.  Don’t wait for the weather to break.  Don’t make excuses.  Choose to take charge and take responsibility for everything.

Sit down and write out how you want to lead your life:

             What do I want to do?
             What do I want to be?
             Where do I want to go?
             What do I want to see?
             What do I want to have?
             With whom do I want to share?

Guess who I got that from?  Yep, Jim Rohn.

Most of us will not take the time to do the exercise and then sit down and start the daily habits necessary to lead the life you are dreaming of, or admiring, or jealous of.  Just like eating that apple a day.

Don’t criticize, condemn, complain, or whine.

Lead your life,

Steve Aune


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