The magnetism of Martin Luther King Jr. (Law #9) . . . Cicero’s ability to captivate an audience with his eloquence (Law #5) . . . the connection Will Rogers made with the common man (Law #10) . . . all of these leaders were using the 21 Laws of Leadership long before John Maxwell ever put pen to paper.
Through enlightening discussion, author James Garlow illustrates how these 21 key principles have been at work throughout history. Learn from the great General Robert E. Lee why the Law of Respect is so important when leading men into battle. Let the story of the Donner Party’s failed expedition demonstrate the significance of the Law of Navigation. Learn from church leader John Wesley how the Law of Process kept his converts steady in their faith while others floundered. These laws have been tested by history; now test them for yourself.
The 21 Laws of Leadership – Tested by Time follows the same outline as John Maxwell’s book, discussing all 21 Laws:
1. Lid Leadership Ability Determines a Person’s level of Effectiveness
2. Influence The True Measure of Leadership Is Influence-Nothing More, Nothing Less
3. Process Leadership Develops Daily, Not in a Day
4. Navigation Anyone Can Steer the Ship, But It Takes a Leader to Chart the Course
5. EF Hutton When the Real Leader Speaks, People Listen
6. Solid Ground Trust Is the Foundation of Leadership
7. Respect People Naturally Follow Leaders Stronger Than Themselves
8. Intuition Leaders Evaluate Everything with a Leadership Bias
9. Magnetism Who You Are Is Who You Attract
10. Connection Leaders Touch a Heart Before They Ask for a Hand
11. Inner Circle A Leader’s Potential Is Determined by Those Closest to Him
12. Empowerment Only Secure Leaders Give Power to Others
13. Reproduction It Takes a Leader to Raise Up a Leader
14. Buy-In People Buy Into the Leader, Then the Vision
15. Victory Leaders Find a Way for the Team to Win
16. The Big Mo Momentum Is a Leader’s Best Friend
17. Priorities Leaders Understand that Activity Is Not Necessarily Accomplishment
18. Sacrifice A Leader Must Give Up to Go Up
19. Timing When To Lead Is As Important As What to Do and Where to Go
20. Explosive Growth To Add Growth, Lead Followers-To Multiply, Lead Leaders
21. Legacy A Leader’s Lasting Value Is Measured by Succession
Conclusion: Everything Rises and Falls on Leadership
Excerpt from Chapter 2, The Law of Influence: Pope Innocent and St. Francis
POPE INNOCENT III AND ST. FRANCIS
A most profound and intriguing example of this leadership principle comes from the Middle Ages. There were two men:
* One of them held one of the most powerful positions-if not the most powerful position-in the world.
* The other one had nothing, no position at all. In fact, what little position he did have, he insisted on giving up!
Francis, obedient as he was, sought out a nearby pigpen and did exactly as he had been ordered. He rolled in the mud with the pigs!
These two men present quite a study in contrasts. Here is what is amazing:
* The first man-the one who held the position of great power- is virtually unknown today. He had a mighty position. And he did have influence of sorts for a time. But he had little long-term influence.
* The second man-the one with no position of authority-has had enormous influence. This man who had nothing went on to influence the entire world. His reputation is held in highest esteem to this day. Amazingly, his name is known globally today, some eight hundred years after he lived.
Now, I ask you: Which one was a leader? Of course, the man who was without a position yet had enormous influence. Now, let me tell you the story of these two men: Pope Innocent III (1161-1216) and St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226). Here is the account of these two individuals who lived at the same time, and whose lives intersected in history, in a profound and dramatic moment in 1209.
Innocent III’s real name was Lotario de’ Conti di Segni. (Aren’t you glad they shortened his name?) In 1198, at age thirty-seven, he was unanimously elected pope. He brought the papacy to the zenith of power, intimidating even princes and kings. Anyone who challenged his supremacy lost. Challengers were met with the force of his commands or even excommunication (banishment from the church).
In 1213, Innocent III humiliated King John of England by declaring him to be a vassal, which would have forced him to yield the whole country of England to the pope. (As a side note, this action was undone when some barons compelled King John to sign the Magna Carta in 1215, a document that has great significance for American liberties.) In addition, the ruthless Pope Innocent III called for a bloody campaign against the Albigensi, a small religious group in northern Italy and southern France.
Innocent III believed that he was the “vicar [representative] of Christ,” and as such, he was to rule all mankind. He believed that he had the right to appoint all earthly rulers, including the emperor. Innocent took literally Jeremiah 1:10, which was preached at his ordination sermon: “See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.” In Innocent’s mind, his position gave him the authority to declare, in effect, “I’m the boss, so follow me!” He mistakenly thought that leadership flows from position.
Admittedly, he did leave a legacy. He convened a major church con- ference, known as the Fourth Lateran Council, in which it was decided that Catholics should be required to go to confession and partake of Communion at least annually.
But in spite of the fact that he was the most powerful pope, and even more powerful than any secular rulers, he is little known today. One of his greatest accomplishments was his positive response to St. Francis of Assisi in 1209 (after a very negative response a few days earlier), the other man in this historical illustration of the true nature of leadership: influence.
Francis, delineated simply by his hometown-“of Assisi”-was born into a wealthy family in Assisi, in what is now northern Italy. His father was a wealthy cloth merchant. Francis was a flippant youth, without a serious thought. If one were to predict his future based on his earliest years, one would presume that his life would be quite lackluster. Two events radically altered Francis’s life: a severe sickness and a military expedition at age twenty that resulted in his becoming a prisoner of war for one year. He became repulsed at his love for things and thus rejected materialism. He left the potential of his father’s wealth and pursued a life of prayer.
Another event would rock the world of Francis. In 1205 he made a trip to Rome. Outside St. Peter’s Basilica, the world’s largest church, he conducted an odd experiment. For a full day, he exchanged places with a beggar.What he experienced transformed his understanding of life. Equally unusual was his response to a person who had leprosy. Most people would have absolutely nothing to do with someone plagued with this horrific disease. But Francis violated all known protocol. He not only embraced the person; he actually kissed the person’s sores, a repulsive thought to most.
In contrast to his contemporary Innocent III, who chose Jeremiah 1:10 as a Bible verse that was self-exalting, Francis, in 1209, chose Matthew 10:7-10 as his scripture of choice. These Bible verses instruct followers of Christ to go out and preach and heal persons, but not to take any financial provision for the journey. He chose to live in poverty and to practice forgiveness and brotherly love. He chose the lowly life of a beggar, asking for funds not for himself, but for the purpose of repairing church buildings that had fallen into disrepair. His passion for a simple life and his zeal for Christ quickly attracted followers.
FRANCIS MEETS INNOCENT III
However, this following created a problem. In order to have a recognized religious group, one had to have permission from the pope. And the intrigue of the story enters at this point. Francis, the man who chose to have nothing, had to gain permission from Pope Innocent III, the man who wielded all power. The two figures met. What a sight that must have been: one lowly beggar standing before the most powerful earthly leader.
The year was 1209. Francis and his motley-appearing group traveled to Rome in order to get permission from Innocent III to continue to minister. Quite by accident, they encountered the pope in a hallway. It was a moment of drama. Francis, surprised to see the world’s most powerful person, inarticulately blurted out his request. There was a moment of silence as the all-powerful Innocent looked at the lowly Francis. Finally, the stunned and angry pope told the strange-appearing man from Assisi “to go roll in the mud with the pigs.” And how did Francis respond? Did he retaliate for Innocent’s thoughtless command? No. Francis, obedient as he was, sought out a nearby pigpen and did exactly as he had been ordered. He rolled in the mud with the pigs!
Had Bishop Guido, who was also from Assisi, not been in Rome at that time, our story might have ended with Francis in the pigpen. But it doesn’t end there. Bishop Guido persuaded Francis to leave the hogs behind and meet with a well-placed cardinal who would be able to arrange a more appropriate and formal meeting with the pope. At the second meeting, Pope Innocent III was quite intrigued with Francis, particularly the fact that Francis had taken his words literally (which Innocent likely never meant) and had rolled around in the mud with the pigs. The world’s most powerful person was charmed by Francis’s life and zeal, and the pope granted him and his followers official recognition. Francis and his followers became known as the Preachers of Penance, a title which was later changed to Franciscans.
POSITION VS. TRUE INFLUENCE
No one there could have conceived the strange twist of history that would occur.Who could have guessed that the all-powerful Innocent III would become largely unknown, and that St. Francis of Assisi, the man who had nothing, would, centuries later, become one of the most celebrated persons on earth? Who would have thought that Francis would be called “the world’s favorite saint, [the] gentle lover of everyone and everything in God’s creation”?
Let me ask you a question. How many persons today recognize the name Innocent III? What did you know about him before you read this chapter? How many know that in the Middle Ages, he was the most authoritative pope, wielding power over kings and princes? Very few, if any. How many persons today would recognize the name St. Francis of Assisi? Many. Very many. And equally amazing, the Franciscans, named after this powerless, positionless wandering preacher, blanket the entire earth with a massive network of hospitals, schools, and numerous other ministries. Let me ask you the question one more time. Pope Innocent III and St. Francis met in 1209. One had position. One did not.Which has had more influence? Francis, of course. And Francis, not Innocent, was the strongest leader because leadership is influence.
Excerpt from Chapter 3, The Law of Process: John Wesley vs. George Whitefield
THE LAW OF PROCESS
Leadership Develops Daily, Not in a Day
PRINCIPLES OF THE PROCESS OF LEADERSHIP
I am uniquely qualified to write this book. Of the six billion persons on earth, I am the only one who had to follow John Maxwell in a leadership position since he has become so knowledgeable on leadership. For fourteen years, John served as the senior pastor of Skyline Wesleyan Church in the San Diego area. In 1995, he announced his resignation so that he could follow his calling to teach leadership globally.
The neighbors, seizing the moment, formed a human ladder, standing on each other’s shoulders, until one could reach in and rescue young John, only seconds before the house collapsed in the flames.
FOLLOWING THE LEADER
The church began to look for a new pastor. I was one of those who was contacted. I remember the day very well! It was May 1, 1995. I (along with other potential pastoral candidates) was asked if I would be open to consider coming to Skyline as the new senior pastor. I immediately declined, saying, “Anyone who tries to follow John Maxwell is a fool.” (Several years have passed since I made that comment. I think the statement might still be true!) But four months later, I found myself accepting the senior pastoral role at Skyline Church. I did follow-or attempted to follow-Maxwell. And it has been a challenge.
It was not a challenge because of anything that John did. He did everything within his power to help me succeed. During my first two years as senior pastor, he still lived in San Diego, so he was frequently in the congregation when I was preaching. He could not have been more supportive. What made it so difficult following him as a leader? The answer is probably obvious to every reader-his incredible leadership skills. Frankly, I needed to grow a lot in my leadership skills. People were amazingly patient with me. Most stayed. Some left. But overwhelmingly, they stayed. The church has grown and prospered in many ways.
This chapter is extremely important to me, for it focuses on the one area that I have most lacked in my leadership skills-process. I understood process in other arenas of my life: academics, spirituality, and parenting. But when it came to developing leaders, I underestimated the importance of process.
On occasion, someone would say, “Jim, you’re too ‘event-driven.'” That would sting! But I knew the speaker was right. I was an “event king.” In fact, I can “out-event” anybody. At “eventing,” I’m good! But leaders are not produced in events. They are made in process. So I have been on a huge learning curve for the past few years. I wish I could say that I have changed and that I have conquered the process concept. I haven’t. But I’m growing. I’m not where I want to be. But I’m not where I used to be. And while I see how far I have to go, I am thankful for the progress.
I felt that this brief autobiographical insight might be valuable to you. You can see why I value the precepts of this chapter so much. I am on a journey. I am a learner. And if it’s not too late for me, it’s not too late for you. I am not only a writer of this chapter. I am a reader too. I want to learn everything I can from those who have gone before us. Some understood process. Others, to their detriment, did not.
GEORGE WHITEFIELD’S FOLLOWERS vs. JOHN WESLEY’S FOLLOWERS
History provides some spectacular examples of this, but none so impressive as the difference between two men-both living in England in the 1700s. George Whitefield and John Wesley were phenomenal leaders, who were both exceptionally gifted. Both commanded enormous respect. Tens of thousands followed them. And they were friends (except for a period of time in which they had little contact due to a theological conflict).Wesley even preached the sermon at Whitefield’s funeral.
ONE STRIKING DIFFERENCE: PROCESS
Whitefield and Wesley shared many things in common, but they had one noticeable difference. As the years went by,Whitefield’s followers dissipated. His organization faltered.Wesley’s did not.What was the difference? Both men were brilliant. Both were winsome and compelling communicators. Both experienced phenomenal success in their lives. But Wesley understood process.Whitefield, it would appear, did not.
George Whitefield (1714-70) was one of the most effective public communicators of the eighteenth century. As a preacher, he moved the crowds. The son of a poor innkeeper in Gloucestershire, England, Whitefield experienced a meteoric preaching career beginning at age twenty-one when he was ordained by the Church of England (which in the U.S. was called the Episcopal Church).
He became a household name on both sides of the Atlantic, making more than seven exhausting trips to the American colonies, the first in 1738. He traveled in all thirteen of the American colonies, from Maine to Georgia. He preached more than eighteen thousand times! His sermons were so inspiring that they touched off what has been called the Great Awakening in America. George Whitefield preached not merely in the safety of church buildings, but in the less safe open air where he could be heckled or pelted with stones from unruly critics. But he was undaunted. He was bold and courageous. Thousands responded to his booming voice, which could be heard by a crowd of 20,000 (some have even dared to say 40,000) without present-day public address systems.
Many gave of their finances to help support the orphanage that his wife operated in the Georgia Colony. His British followers organized into a denomination known as the Calvinist Methodists in 1743. It is at this point that the Law of Process begins to play a part in our story. But before we talk about Whitefield’s understanding (or lack of understanding) regarding the Law of Process, let’s visit the life of Whitefield’s friend, John Wesley (1703-91).
Susanna Wesley (1669-1742) gave birth to nineteen children, eleven of whom died in infancy. The fifteenth child was a baby boy named John.
Susanna’s husband, Samuel, was a Church of England pastor in the small community of Epworth in 1709 when an angry parishioner decided to torch the parsonage. Fortunately, the flames and smoke awakened Samuel and Susanna from their sleep in time to get their children out of the house-or so they thought. Tragically, they had miscounted. Young John, age five, was still in the house, standing at a second story window, looking helplessly down at his panicked parents. The neighbors, seizing the moment, formed a human ladder, standing on each other’s shoulders, until one could reach in and rescue young John, only seconds before the house collapsed in the flames. The grateful mother clutched her five-year-old in her arms and exclaimed, “Truly, you are a brand plucked from the burning,” a statement of destiny that foreshadowed the enormous legacy that Wesley would someday leave.
Like the other Wesley boys, John attended Oxford. Eventually, he became a notably unsuccessful missionary to the Native Americans in Governor Oglethorpe’s Georgia Colony. As one historian wryly observed, if John Wesley had died before his thirty-sixth birthday, he would not have rated even a footnote in anyone’s history book. Instead thousands of books have been written about him, hundreds of doctoral dissertations have pondered his life and thought, and millions of persons globally, from scores of denominations, point to him as the father of their faith. How could this be? What happened? And what can present-day leaders learn from him regarding the Law of Process?
On May 24, 1738,Wesley wrote, his “heart was strangely warmed.” That phrase depicts a profound change in his life-from one who lacked a deeply Christian experience with God to one who was willing to travel every day for the rest of his life to share with others what had happened to him. He was challenged by his friend George Whitefield to stop preaching to the small civil crowds who gathered in church buildings, but to be willing to stand in open fields before thousands and preach. That is the last thing Wesley, a very orderly, proper Oxford graduate, wanted to do. But he accepted the challenge, and his field (outdoor) preaching touched off a half-century spiritual explosion that is referred to as the Wesleyan Revival, or Evangelical Awakening, which altered the course of English history.
Wesley’s traveling and speaking schedule was impressive, even by today’s standards. He operated out of three headquarters-London, Oxford, and Bristol-traveling constantly. His energy level was amazing. He arose every morning at four o’clock, working eighteen-hour days. He rode on horseback a quarter of a million miles. He stopped riding a horse when he reached about seventy years of age, but he continued the rigorous travel schedule by horse and buggy. He traveled 4,000 to 5,000 miles a year, as many as 80 miles a day! It is believed that Wesley may have spent more time in the saddle that any other man who ever lived, including Bonaparte and Caesar. Equally amazing was his ability to convert the saddle to a library chair, reading literally hundreds of books while riding on horseback.
He preached 40,000 times, often up to 5 times a day! On September 21, 1773, his crowd at Gwennap Pit, a natural amphitheater, was estimated at 32,000. He authored (and in some cases edited) an estimated 233 books. At the time of his death in 1791, he led an enormous organization: 120,000 members in the Methodist movement, with some suggesting that the total adherents numbered one million. What happened to the organization that he founded-the people called Methodists (or the Wesleyan Methodists, as they were later called)-after his death? Did it disappear? Did it flourish? What occurred?
STRUCTURES THAT EMBRACE PROCESS
Wesley’s Methodist movement flourished globally after Wesley’s death. Today there are scores of denominations that point to Wesley as their inspiration. There are millions of believers who see him as the father of their denominations. In contrast, George Whitefield’s denomination, the Calvinist Methodists, had insignificant impact, eventually ceasing to even exist. Why? What was the difference between Wesley’s and Whitefield’s leadership style?
PRINCIPLE OF THE PROCESS OF LEADERSHIP # 1:
Gathering People Is Easier Than Keeping People
Wesley understood the Law of Process. He quickly saw that gaining followers was not the key issue; sustaining them was the real challenge.To that end, Wesley began to organize his new converts. He understood process.
PRINCIPLE OF THE PROCESS OF LEADERSHIP # 2:
People Grow Best When There Is Relationally Based Accountability
Throughout England, with very little clergy support (some say as few as forty Anglican clergy were sympathetic to his movement), Wesley and his army of lay leaders organized. “Class leaders,” as they were called, had oversight over a dozen or so believers, monitoring their growth toward spiritual maturity. Class members were expected to candidly report their personal spiritual progress (or lack of it) in their weekly meetings.
Within the class (about a dozen persons) was a smaller organizational structure. “Bands” were small groups of four or five persons, with even more in-your-face accountability. Persons were organized in bands according to their gender and marital status. Married men in one; single men in another; married women in another; and single women in yet another band.
PRINCIPLE OF THE PROCESS OF LEADERSHIP # 3:
Wesley had the capacity to multiply himself. To oversee the burgeoning organizational structure that proliferated throughout England, a multitude of traveling “lay preachers” watched over the class leaders. And if one could not travel full time, one could still assist in leadership in Wesley’s massive army of volunteers as a “local preacher.” The entire organizational scheme had one crystal clear goal: to provide a structure whereby persons could grow from one level to the next. And it worked! In fact, it worked brilliantly.
PRINCIPLE OF THE PROCESS OF LEADERSHIP # 4:
Crowds Dissipate; Disciples Follow
Whitefield’s followers had no such structure to assist them in their personal growth. Once converted, they were simply to gather in churches. But that did not happen. What was lacking was a process, a system or device by which a person would be enabled to go to the next level of growth.
PRINCIPLE OF THE PROCESS OF LEADERSHIP # 5:
Understand the Difference Between Programs and Movements
What is the difference between a movement and a program? Programs begin big and end small. Movements begin small and end big. Wesley led a movement-it started small, but kept growing. Whitefield’s church might be called a “program,” in that it enjoyed early success, but ended small. It lacked the durability of a “movement.” Process thinking helps you make certain what you are leading is a movement, not a program. Two men. Two leaders. Both were outstanding. But only one understood process. The other didn’t.
Excerpt from Chapter 4, The Law of Navigation: The Exxon Valdez
THE LAW OF NAVIGATION
Anyone Can Steer the Ship, But It Takes a Leader to Chart the Course
PRINCIPLES OF NAVIGATIONAL LEADERSHIP
Failure to care about the numbers of your organization is simply another way of saying that you do not care whether your organization -be it a school, factory, company, church, or civic group-lives or dies. Leaders do care about the numbers of their organization, in the same way that a conscientious parent cares about the vital signs of his child.
Jesus talked about numbers. He said that if ninety-nine sheep were safe, but one was lost, He would go looking for the lost sheep. Numbers do matter, especially if you are the one lost sheep!
Numbers are important! The importance of numbers was recently demonstrated in college basketball. In the 2001-2 University of Kansas basketball program, an amazing thing happened. The men’s team became the first team to sweep through the Big 12 with a 16-0 record. The women’s team, the same year, likewise broke a record, going 0-16 in the Big 12. Some people say numbers aren’t important. Really? Are 16-0 and 0-16 unimportant? Not if you’re on the men’s team! Numbers, in and of themselves, matter little. But what numbers represent means everything, especially if you were playing basketball for the University of Kansas in the 2001-2 school year.
Jesus talked about numbers. He said that if ninety-nine sheep were safe, but one was lost, He would go looking for the lost sheep. Numbers do matter, especially if you are the one lost sheep! The bottom line: numbers do matter; at least what they represent matters. Always. And they certainly matter when it comes to strategizing, plotting the course for the organization that one leads.
Leaders don’t merely plot the course and then walk away. They monitor progress or the lack of it. They look for early indicators that might demonstrate the potential for success or failure. Leaders anticipate early enough to make midcourse or, preferably, early-course corrections. But as we shall learn in the following stories, that is no easy task.
THE EXXON VALDEZ: A LESSON IN NAVIGATIONAL FAILURE
Several years ago, my wife, Carol, and I were taken fishing in Valdez Harbor in Alaska by our good friends Al and Donna Woods.When we arrived at a particular area of the harbor, they pointed out where a major oil tanker had failed to make a sharp right turn, a dogleg turn that should have led it safely out into the ocean.
PRINCIPLE OF NAVIGATIONAL LEADERSHIP # 1:
Leaders Pay Attention and Anticipate
What Might Shipwreck Their Organization
On March 23, 1989, at 9:12 P.M., the old tanker Exxon Valdez left the Trans Alaska Pipeline Terminal.William Murphy, the ship’s pilot, attempted to maneuver the 986-foot vessel through the Valdez Narrows. Helmsman Harry Claar was steering. Joe Hazelwood, the captain, was nearby. Murphy left Hazelwood in charge.
When the Valdez encountered an iceberg, Claar was ordered to take the ship out of the normal shipping lanes in hopes of avoiding the icebergs. Claar then handed the wheel over to Third Mate Gregory Cousins with instructions to turn back into the shipping lanes at a specified point. Claar left and was replaced by Helmsman Robert Kagan. Cousins and Kagan were at the helm.
Slightly past midnight, early in the morning on March 24, 1989, Cousins and Kagan failed to read the numbers and did not navigate back into the normal shipping lanes. At 12:04 A.M., the oil tanker struck Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound. The result? More than eleven million gallons of crude oil were released in the ocean, the largest spill in U.S. history.
FOUR BAD DECISIONS
What went wrong? There were at least four obvious causes for the disaster.
PRINCIPLE OF NAVIGATIONAL LEADERSHIP # 2:
Fatigue, Incompetence, Alcohol (and a Host of Other Things) Can Impair the Leader’s Ability to Read the Numbers
Several bad judgments forebode the disaster.
* First, where was the captain? In the wrong place! He was in his quarters at the time. He should have been navigating his ship through this treacherous area.
* Second, there is ample evidence that the crew was fatigued.
* Third, there was the failure to have proper escort, the lack of badly needed competency.
* Fourth, and most offensive, the clearly impaired judgment skills were caused by alcohol. Simply stated, it was a preventable disaster!
But it is equally catastrophic when present-day leaders fail to navigate their “ships” through the treacherous “waters” of contemporary culture. It might be caused by fatigue. It might be caused by incompetence. And the use of alcohol has destroyed many an organization.Wise is the man or woman who reads the numbers and charts the course carefully. There is a name for that. It is called leadership.
Excerpt from Chapter 11, The Law of the Inner Circle: R.G. Letourneau
THE LAW OF THE INNER CIRCLE
A Leader’s Potential Is Determined by Those Closest to Him
PRINCIPLES OF INNER-CIRCLE LEADERSHIP
When I was in the fifth grade, my dad drove me to the nearest sizable town-Concordia, Kansas, population 7,000-to hear a great speaker. (Note: Just in case you are interested, the three closest towns to our Kansas farm were Ames, population 40; Rice, population 8; and Huscher, population 3, that is, until Ralph passed away and Julie went away to college, then it was down to a population of 1.) The auditorium was filled with men and their sons to hear the author of the book Mover of Men and Mountains. The author? The famous inventor of the world’s largest earth-moving equipment, R. G. LeTourneau of the LeTourneau Company. I remember it as if it were last night.
“…But if I am quiet and listen, I will soon know not only what I knew before, but I will know what the other person knows too.”
R. G. LETOURNEAU
R. G. LeTourneau dropped out of school at age fourteen and began shoveling sand and dirt by hand. But his mind begin to think of ways to do the job better. Moving from Portland, Oregon, to Stockton, California, LeTourneau eventually opened a repair shop. But due to the incompetency of his partner, he was $5,000 in debt (an enormous sum at the time) by age thirty-one. Desperately trying to find a way to pay it back, LeTourneau bought a tractor and scraper and began an earth-moving company.
His inventive mind began to think of a better way to move dirt. He designed equipment that would not merely push dirt around, but would pick it up. From his creative mind came more than three hundred novel inventions. From 1930 to 1940, Stockton, California, was the “earth-moving capital of the world,” with both LeTourneau and Caterpillar companies located there. The advent of World War II brought with it new needs in earth moving. Seventy percent of all the equipment used in the war was built by LeTourneau. If you have ever seen footage of the D-Day invasions, much of the equipment was built by this simple mechanic: transporters, missile launchers, and bridge builders.
In 1946, LeTourneau established a technical school in Longview, Texas. That school-now known as LeTourneau University-has flourished and has many satellite campuses across Texas. But the zenith of LeTourneau’s career was his invention of the electric wheel, special motors that were placed inside each wheel of his massive equipment. As a child, I was fascinated by earth-moving equipment that had tires ten feet tall and six feet wide, tires that were capable of literally walking through a forest, crushing the trees.
LeTourneau’s monthly newsletter from the late 1950s titled Now, which reached 600,000 persons, featured pictures of this heavy equipment on the cover of each issue. As a child, I saved every one of them in a well-worn shoe box, frequently reviewing the pictures of the earth movers that he built. When it was my turn to fix the bulletin board in my one-room country school-Hillcrest School, District #6, in Cloud County, Kansas-I covered the entire surface area with pictures of LeTourneau machines. My teacher and classmates, used to frilly and colorful bulletin board displays, were likely not as enamored with a solid mass of black-and-white photos of enormous earth movers, but I sat back and gazed at the pictures with sheer delight. It was the best bulletin board I had ever seen!
Why have I told you this? Certainly not to teach you something about huge machines or my fascination with them. Or to let you know about one fifth grader’s bulletin board project. The reason for the story is this: R. G. successfully lived out the Law of the Inner Circle. You see, the only comment I can recall from R. G. LeTourneau’s speech when I was a fifth grader pertained to his brilliance in understanding this principle.
PRINCIPLE OF INNER-CIRCLE LEADERSHIP #1:
A Good Inner Circle Helps You to Know Things You Do Not Know and Do Things You Cannot Do
Based upon my childhood memory, R. G. stated the Law of the Inner Circle in the following way that night in Concordia, Kansas: “When I hire someone, I hire someone smarter than I am. Then I am quiet and listen. If I do all the talking, then I will learn nothing. I will only know what I knew before I hired him. But if I am quiet and listen, I will soon know not only what I knew before, but I will know what the other person knows too.”
PRINCIPLE OF INNER-CIRCLE LEADERSHIP # 2:
Your Inner Circle Will Write Your Future in the Present
R. G. knew his inner circle could make him or break him. So he hired people “smarter than I am.” (Note: LeTourneau was always extremely modest, saying that he was simply a “sinner saved by grace and a mechanic whom God had blessed.”) You see, R. G. LeTourneau had no formal education. He had two choices: to either (1) hire persons who were weaker than he was in order to make himself look good, or (2) hire persons who knew things he did not know so they could help take him to the next level. He chose the latter. And that is what the Law of the Inner Circle is all about.
Excerpt from Chapter 14, The Law of Buy-In: Bill Clinton
THE HIGH COST OF VIOLATING A LAW
Let’s observe this same law at work in more contemporary times-specifically in the presidency of Bill Clinton, elected to the White House in 1992. But this time, we will see the law working negatively.
The Law of Buy-In is (like the other laws) not just a guideline or a principle. It is a law. And when laws are broken, they break the people who broke them. Bill Clinton did not grasp the Law of Buy-In.
The Law of Buy-In took its toll on Al Gore, a sitting vice-president, who lost the election of 2000 during a time of unprecedented prosperity and peace.
James Carville, Lanny Davis, and Paul Begala, all Clinton advisors, tried to persuade Americans that character didn’t matter. And shockingly, it appeared that they were right. After all, polls consistently and amazingly showed that while Americans did not trust Bill Clinton, they still thought he was doing a good job as president. The president’s spin doctors skillfully, tirelessly, and constantly recited the mantra: “a person’s personal life has no relationship to his ability to govern.”
PRINCIPLE OF BUY-IN LEADERSHIP # 2:
Loss of Credibility of the Leader Threatens the Credibility of the Vision
But the American “gullibility tank” finally registered empty. Although it is true that the majority seemed to favor leaving Clinton in office after the impeachment, the Law of Buy-In took its toll on Al Gore, a sitting vice-president, who lost the election of 2000 during a time of unprecedented prosperity and peace.
Although Gore has to own his election loss, most pundits attach a significant portion of Gore’s loss to Clinton’s behavior. And that is precisely what the Law of Buy-In is all about. People accept the person first, then the vision. Unfortunately for Al Gore, he was the vicarious sacrifice on the altar of Clinton’s trysts. A sufficient number of voters subconsciously regarded Gore as Clinton incarnate. The Law of Buy-In cannot be violated.
Excerpt from Chapter 16, The Law of the Big Mo: Bill Clinton
THE LAW OF THE BIG MO
Momentum Is a Leader’s Best Friend
PRINCIPLES OF LEADERSHIP OF MOMENTUM
It was a chilly Monday night,November 2, the night before the national election of 1992. President George Bush, the incumbent, was being challenged by the governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton. Thrown into the mix was an independent candidate, Ross Perot, who later formed the Reform Party.
I turned to my two Republican friends and said, “They taste victory. They smell it! They know that victory is in the air.”
BILL CLINTON’S 1992 CAMPAIGN
Bill Clinton was barnstorming across America in a final-day, multicity, six-state, to-the-wire sweep. His last day of campaigning covered a full twenty-four hours, ending with a 6:00 A.M. rally in Little Rock, Arkansas. His next-to-the-last city was Fort Worth, Texas, with a stop at a small regional airfield-Meacham Field in the northern portion of the city. It was scheduled for 1:00 A.M. Yes, you read that right. One o’clock in the morning! I called my friends Dick Weinhold and Scott Fisher and said, “Let’s go out and hear him speak.” They love politics as much as I do, so they unhesitatingly agreed.
We wondered if we were crazy when we headed westbound on Highway 183/Airport Freeway, continuing farther west across extreme northern Fort Worth on I-820 in the midnight darkness. Exiting the freeway, we headed south down the unlit two-lane road toward the airport -the site of the Clinton rally. Approximately a mile and a half from our destination, brake lights came on as the traffic slowed to a crawl and finally stopped. Looking at what our headlights would reveal, we saw cars on both sides of the road and people walking on the highway in the darkness. We realized that the little airport parking lot was overwhelmed, and we would have to park our car on the grassy shoulder of the road and walk the rest of the way-some ten or fifteen minutes.
It was almost eerie.With limited moonlight, we could barely see the stream of persons around us walking on the asphalt road toward the airport. Fortunately, a few forward-thinking persons had brought flashlights, which proved helpful to all of us. But in spite of the fact that we could not see people very well in the darkness, we could hear people- lots of people. And the closer we got to the airport, the larger and more compacted the crowd became. I soon realized that we were in a massive flow of people, all walking together in the darkness.
When we arrived at the airport, the sight was even more impressive. Generator-driven lights had been hastily positioned around the tarmac where the crowd was swelling in size. At approximately 12:30 A.M. on that cold November night (or, rather, morning), thousands of persons had gathered to hear Bill Clinton make his next-to-the-last campaign speech before the polls opened at 7:00 A.M., November 3, 1992. Then we got a disappointing word. The Arkansas governor and his entourage were running late-a common problem throughout the Clinton campaign (and the later Clinton presidency). Instead of arriving at 1:00 A.M. as originally projected, he would be arriving at 1:30 or perhaps 2:00 A.M.
What I observed next amazed me. No one cared! The crowd handled the news with aplomb. Not even a hint of irritation in anyone! The crowd seemed quite happy to be there, even with an extended wait. The time passed quickly as a string of down-the-ballot candidates were very happy to be introduced to such a large crowd only hours before voting was scheduled to begin.
PRINCIPLE OF LEADERSHIP OF MOMENTUM # 1:
Momentum Is Highly Contagious
And then finally, he arrived. Bill Clinton’s plane taxied in. Doors opened. Then Governor Ann Richards, the “warm-up act,” emerged first and delivered some scathing attacks on then President George Bush.When Bill Clinton stepped out of that plane, the crowd went wild. I turned to my two Republican friends and said, “They taste victory. They smell it! They know that victory is in the air.” Dick and Scott looked at me, said nothing, and nodded in agreement. Our assessment was right. Only hours later, Bill Clinton became the president-elect of the United States.
PRINCIPLE OF LEADERSHIP OF MOMENTUM #2:
The Passion of the Leader Increases Momentum
How did he win the election? Obviously, Ross Perot, the third party candidate, affected the outcome, possibly functioning as a bit of a political “spoiler.” And the pundits analyzed all the possible reasons how a governor of Arkansas could unseat a popular sitting president.
PRINCIPLE OF LEADERSHIP OF MOMENTUM # 3:
Momentum Is Fueled by a Desire to Win
But I would like to bypass the more academic talk and cut to the chase: Bill Clinton and his assembled “War Room” campaign team really wanted the election, and they were willing to outwork their opponents. Many Americans responded to the vigor that Bill Clinton brought to the campaign. They were understandably enamored by it. And they voted for Clinton.
William Jefferson Clinton wanted to win. He really wanted to win. You could sense it. His passion to win was infectious. His campaign vibrancy was captivating. It was invigorating.
What I saw in the eyes of that crowd that chilly night was undeniable: they had momentum on their side, and they knew it. They really felt the Big Mo! And few things are more pervasive than momentum. Mo is your friend, as a leader. Embrace it. Cherish it when you have it.
Excerpt from Chapter 17, The Law of Priorities: My Graduate Degree
THE LAW OF PRIORITIES
Leaders Understand That Activity Is Not Necessarily Accomplishment
PRINCIPLES OF LEADERSHIP OF PRIORITIES
It was May of 1978. I was on the second floor of the library at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey, doing research for my doctoral dissertation. Suddenly, outdoors I heard music. I knew that Drew’s graduation ceremony, rich in tradition, had begun.
A doctoral program is, in part, an endurance test. And you cannot complete it unless you are willing to prioritize.
THE POWER OF PRIORITIES
Drew University is referred to as “the College in the Forest” because it is nestled in a breathtaking cluster of massive oak trees. In the middle of this picturesque campus is a small pond. Alongside the pond and through the trees is a walking path-actually a strip of asphalt-which lowers (along the pond) and raises like a blue ribbon amidst the bright green grass and towering oaks.
On that path, Drew’s graduates proudly march each spring until they arrive at the backside of an antebellum-style mansion with an enormous porch that serves as the platform for the school’s outdoor commencement. Looking out the window that May day, I saw the rows of white chairs that had been placed in neat rows across the lawn filled with proud parents and well-wishers. In the distance I saw the graduates and faculty coming toward the outdoor auditorium.
Undergraduates came first, followed by students who were completing their master’s degrees. Then I saw the doctoral candidates. And what I saw jolted me. There, in the midst of the Ph.D. graduates, was Tim. Tim had arrived at the university a year after me, and yet he was graduating well ahead of me. He had completed two years of full-time course work and had passed his comprehensive exams (four tests, eight hours each). He had successfully defended his rationale for his selected dissertation topic and had written the dissertation. He had defended his dissertation before his examining committee and made any necessary post-defense dissertation corrections.
PRINCIPLE OF LEADERSHIP OF PRIORITIES # 1:
Prioritized Living Means Seeing the Goal and Then Adjusting Everything Accordingly
Of those six steps, I had completed the first three, but had not done any of the last three. Finishing my dissertation certainly was a priority; it now had to become the priority.
At the second-floor library window, I stood still-watching him walk all the way to his seat. And in that moment, I made a resolution. I said it in a low murmur. “God,” I said, “with Your help, there will never be another graduation here at Drew University without me in it!” That was it. That was my prayer, or my statement of resolution. But talk is cheap. In order to live out that declaration, I would have to make changes in my life. And overhaul my schedule. I promptly cleared out anything I was doing June 1 through September 1, except writing my dissertation.
PRINCIPLE OF LEADERSHIP OF PRIORITIES # 2:
Your Priorities Are Revealed by Your Conversation, Your Calendar, and Your Checkbook
I knew that I would have to function during my best hours. I am not a morning person. I am a night person. So I would have to write during my peak hours, even though they were not conducive to living in the “real world.” My best “beginning time,” for optimum performance, is 9:30 A.M. (I have many meetings that start before that time, but I am never at my best. I am only operating at 85 percent before that time. This is really troubling when I fly from my home on the West Coast to the East Coast and have to speak for 7:00 A.M. events while my “body clock” says it is 4:00 A.M. in San Diego.
I do it often but only by great willpower!) I knew that I could stay fresh with maximum output till 2:30 A.M. So that is exactly what I did-every day, every single day (except Sunday) for the summer of 1978. But I didn’t merely write for seventeen hours. I followed a set schedule. By the end of May, I knew exactly how many pages I needed to write every day. And I followed it like clockwork.
PRINCIPLE OF LEADERSHIP OF PRIORITIES # 3:
Priorities Are Revealed Not by Words But by Actions
There are many “ABD’s” around the country. In case you are not familiar with the term, it stands for “All But Dissertation,” and it describes the condition of hundreds-perhaps thousands-of doctoral students who will never receive their Ph.D. degrees because they have not written their dissertations. Why? The answer to that may be varied, but most of them-perhaps 90 percent of them-are not willing to prioritize. They will not set a schedule and then follow it. A doctoral program is, in part, an endurance test. And you cannot complete it unless you are willing to prioritize.
One year passed quickly. Drew University’s May 1979 commencement came. I had dreamed of walking through the forest. I had imagined what the selected commencement speaker-Jesse Jackson-might say, assuming that he might use the phrase for which he had become famous at that time: “I am somebody!”
But I never got to take the graduation walk through the forest. Nor did I get to hear the rousing graduation speech that I knew Jackson would bring. Why? Was it because I did not finish my doctoral dissertation? No. I did finish it. But northern New Jersey was hit with a tremendous rainstorm that day. The graduation was forced into a seri- ously overcrowded and perfectly unattractive gymnasium. And our speaker, Jesse Jackson, became ill and had to cancel. So, Alan Alda, of M*A*S*H fame, a neighbor of Drew University, was the graduation fillin.
The graduation, lacking the majesty of the outdoor forest atmosphere, along with some belligerent undergraduates who chose to be rowdy in response to Alda’s appearance, made for a rather unimpressive event. But I did not care. I was so happy! I had finished the task at hand. True to my prayer, Drew University did not have another graduation without me. I was included! And I received the coveted Ph.D. degree. Priorities do count!
Excerpt from Chapter 20, The Law of Explosive Growth: Robert Coleman’s Strategy
THE LAW OF EXPLOSIVE GROWTH
To Add Growth, Lead Followers – To Multiply, Lead Leaders
PRINCIPLES OF LEADERSHIP OF EXPLOSIVE GROWTH
Robert Coleman could have been simply another seminary professor with four academic degrees. Little did he know that his Ph.D. studies at the University of Iowa would develop into one of the premier leadership development books that would be translated into nearly one hundred languages and sell almost five million copies. Nor could he have imagined that it would become the “manifesto” for training Christian workers around the globe.
Ten of them were so devoted to Jesus that they, according to tradition, were willing to die for Him, and they were martyred.
THE INFLUENTIAL LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT BOOK
Written in 1963, The Master Plan of Evangelism has been hailed as one of the most significant books in recent times. Billy Graham, in the foreword, stated that “few books have had as great an impact on the cause of world evangelization in our generation as Robert Coleman’s The Master Plan of Evangelism.”
What is the genius of that book? Why is it read as much today as it was in the mid-1960s when it was first released? Because it teaches us how to train leaders. Every pastor, every school official, every business- man or woman, every political leader-every person in leadership-can learn much from this groundbreaking work.
PRINCIPLE OF LEADERSHIP OF EXPLOSIVE GROWTH # 1:
Leaders Understand the Steps for Producing Another Leader
Robert Coleman, one of my professors in the 1970s at Asbury Theological Seminary and later a professor at Trinity International University’s graduate school, became globally known because of his analysis of the method by which Jesus trained the twelve disciples. According to Coleman, Jesus changed the world by establishing a principle of discipling people in such a way that they would disciple others, who would, in turn, disciple others. He surmised that Jesus followed an eight-pronged strategy:
PRINCIPLE OF LEADERSHIP OF EXPLOSIVE GROWTH # 2:
Leadership Development Is Less a Commitment to a Program As It Is a Commitment to a Person or Persons
Each of these had a specific purpose that would ultimately produce a disciple or, in our case here, a leader:
1. In selection, the leader finds persons who are really willing to grow and concentrates most of his time on them, without totally neglecting others who are not selected for potential leadership.
2. During the association phase, the leader spends a great amount of time forming deep relationships with those he has selected and selects some (even among this group) who will form the core into whom he will invest the most.
3. The consecration stage is a time when the expectations are more clearly shared; the standard is racheted up; some fall away; and those left are willing to pay the price.
4. Impartation is the stage in which the leader demonstrates a life of sacrifice, love, and passion; the leader releases power to the followers to do what they are charged to do.
5. The demonstration period is a time in which the leader leads by “doing,” providing the followers with on-the-job training; the followers have the joy of seeing the leader model what they are about to become; the relationship foundation allows for the teaching to be done naturally and informally, yet constantly, as opposed to a sterile classroom experience. This is the “watch me do it” stage.
6. Delegation means the followers now do what they were shown without the leader present to assist them; they work in teams of two or more, attempting to emulate the leader. There will be many bumps and bruises at first, but that is an important part of the learning experience. This is the “I’ll watch you do it” stage.
7. Supervision is the season in which the leader watches them, instructs them, and brings gentle but needed correction; this is an exciting phase when the follower is in the full stage of development. This is the “go do it and come back and report” stage.
8. In the reproduction phase, we will no longer refer to them as “followers”; for our purposes, they are now “leaders” in their own right; the original leader has now multiplied himself several times over and enjoys great satisfaction. This is the “go and train others, just as I trained you, using these eight steps, beginning by selection” stage.
PRINCIPLE OF LEADERSHIP OF EXPLOSIVE GROWTH # 3:
The Real Test of a Leader’s Capacity to Reproduce Himself Occurs After the Leader Is Gone
According to Coleman, this was the strategy by which Jesus trained His original twelve followers into becoming the world-changers that they became. Ten of them were so devoted to Jesus that they, according to tradition, were willing to die for Him, and they were martyred.
Peter, it is said, was crucified because of his commitment to Christ. When they proceeded to kill him, he insisted that they hang him upside down (even more excruciating) as he said he was not worthy to die the same way Jesus had! John was one who did not die a martyr’s death- miraculously surviving being boiled alive in a huge container of oil! Only Judas proved to be a disappointment. That defection should be an encouragement to some of you when someone you have invested yourself in does not continue in what you taught him.
The essence of Coleman’s thesis is the same as that in John Maxwell’s twentieth chapter in The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: if you only lead followers, you will add; if you raise up leaders, you multiply.
PRINCIPLE OF LEADERSHIP OF EXPLOSIVE GROWTH # 4:
You Will Have More Impact If You Develop Disciples Than If You Entertain Crowds