Friday, March 10, 2006

LEADERSHIP--Taking a "Maxwell Moment"

John Maxwell, one of the best minds on leadership issues, recently shared his thoughts on the trouble with success:

One of the biggest temptations leaders of successful organizations face is to stop thinking big. After a taste of success, even the best and brightest leaders suddenly start to think complacency. When a company gets on a roll, some leaders tighten up and start playing it safe. They stop playing to win and begin playing not to lose. Where they once thought big and new, now they think incrementally.

This temptation is a reality with a lot of sports teams. How many times have we seen teams lose their momentum and then lose the game because instead of playing to win, they began to play not to lose? They get ahead, but then they pull back and stop playing with the intensity that earned them the lead.

The same temptation traps company executives. With the organization exceeding expectations and making record profits, the leadership gets excited. The organization appears to be cruising toward its best year ever, when all of a sudden the focus shifts from gaining momentum to sustaining momentum. The moment leadership changes focus, momentum vanishes.

(This article is used by permission from Dr. John C. Maxwell's free monthly e-newsletter 'Leadership Wired' available at

Maxwell correctly points out that the corporate climate shows a tendency to be reactive after achieving their goals rather than embracing the proactive environment that made these companies successful in the first place.

If you're sensing stagnation in your career or organization, replace complacency with a bold new plan for the future. My leadership workshop, The Puzzle Principle, can help--check it out on my web site, (the link can be found in the right side column on this page!)

I look forward to hearing more about your future plans!

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