John Maxwell has been a mentor to me for many years. No, I don’t have his cell phone number, but I have been blessed to be under his mentorship through his books and resources most of my leadership life. I’ve had the privilege of having dinner with him with my leadership team and get his personal input on our situation. One of the reasons this has been possible is that I started letting John speak into my life through his seminars and materials when he was just beginning. I will never forget my first time hearing him speak.
Forced To Listen
I was in my early twenties and my boss told me that I was going to have to go with him for a few days to a leadership conference with a man named John Maxwell. I didn’t want to go. I had never heard of him and even though I was in a leadership position I didn’t think or feel I needed to develop myself as a leader. (I often joke that my board of directors should have hired me back then because that is when I knew everything.) But my boss at the time would not have it, I had to go.
I am forever grateful to that man, his name is Bob Huffaker, Bob drug me to my first leadership conference and my life was changed. It was a small group of leaders. There were probably less than 50 in the room. Remember, John was just beginning to launch out on the speaking circuit training and equipping leaders. In fact the crowd was small enough that at one point we heard and Ice Cream truck driving by and right in the middle of the training, John Maxwell stopped and told one of his key leaders who had travel with him to go and buy everyone there some Ice Cream. He did and it was fun. (Don’t miss tomorrow’s blog on having fun in what you do with your life.)
I went home from those few days and told my wife I would have traded my college education for that leadership conference. Why? Because I learned more about leadership in a few days than I did in the years I had spent in college, up to that point in my life. I’m so grateful to Bob for forcing me to go and to John Maxwell for being faithful to his life’s mission.
That early connection with John Maxwell was an incredible blessing in my life. I’ve been blessed as well to have many other mentors throughout the years and now I want to give my life to mentor other leaders. You may not have a Bob Huffaker in your life forcing you to take the first step. Take the initiative and do so yourself. Since that first leadership conference with John Maxwell, I have taken the initiative to continue to get mentored by him through his books and resources and I have sought out others that I could personally connect with. You and you alone have to take the initiative to find and receive mentorship. Your life mission and your vision are too important.
What one initiative can you take today to begin to get mentorship in your life? An email to connect? Set a date for a conference? Some research on those who are mentors and coaches in your area of life?