Much of successful leadership has to do with a desire to make a difference. Being dissatisfied with the way things are and a sense that you can change those things, is an important understanding for any leader.
John Maxwell has written more books that I could name and the one thing that seems to be a constant in each one is that a leader must have a conviction that things can be better. The other consistent theme I have found in each of his books is simplicity. It is not a specialized subject hidden to all but the most clever. The problem is that even if it is simple, not many understand and use basic principles of leadership. I believe Will Rogers once said that there is nothing so common about common sense!
Maxwell has articulated seven steps to success. None of these steps are surprising but how many people actually take these steps from knowing them to acting upon them. They are:
1) Make a commitment to grow daily.
2) Value the process more than events.
3) Don't wait for inspiration.
4) Be willing to sacrifice pleasure for opportunity.
5) Dream big.
6) Plan your priorities.
7) Give up to go up.
I face the daily temptation of simply getting my to-do list accomplished without taking the time to step back and reflect on the bigger picture. This list is helpful because it forces me to get beyond the “tyranny of the urgent” and move to a place where I continue to move forward, step by step, to a place where I hope to be and the person I hope to become.
Do not limit yourself by being so focused on the task at hand that you cannot see the bigger picture. Do you have goals? If not, make some. Review them every day and record even the smallest steps that you will take today to move closer to realizing them. When you choose to just make it through the day without moving closer (small step by small step) to your goals, you are not only cheating yourself, but you are cheating those who need you to be the person God created you to be. Make today count!