John Maxwell: How Leaders Can “See More” and “See Earlier” Than Others

You can’t listen to a John Maxwell message without leaving encouraged. The longtime pastor and leadership guru didn’t disappoint at the recent Pushpay Summit at the Disneyland Hotel.

Even at 70 years old, Maxwell seemed full of energy and, of course, so full of wisdom. He concluded the first evening of Summit with a message on what all leaders have in common, a message God woke him up at 4 AM to give him a few days earlier. The premise was that leaders “see more” and “see earlier” than others.

To see more and see earlier, Maxwell told leaders who were present to…

1. Believe “more more” and “more before” are out there

Leaders must believe more is possible. Maxwell urged listeners to remember two important words—creativity and flexibility. “Creativity means there is always an answer,” he asserted. If you don’t believe there is an answer, you don’t embrace creativity because you quit.

Flexibility means, “There’s more than one answer.” Maxwell noted that he is less sure about more things than he was when he was younger. “But the things I’m certain about today, I’m more certain than I ever have been,” he added.

2. Develop a process for finding “more more” and “more before”

You need a process for increasing your faith and increasing your vision. He talked about his own process with his leadership consultancy company.  He recommended attendees risk failure, overcome it, and learn from it.

“When you fail, ask yourself what happened,” Maxwell said. “Why is this not going well? Out of that failure, learn. Out of that learning, improve. Out of that improving, re-enter. This is a cycle of success that will help you. This is a cycle of success that will help you to live in this ‘more more’ and ‘more before’ world. That’s on the edge, and it keeps you on the edge where you should be.”

3. Put yourself in places with people who inspire you to see “more more” and “more before”

Maxwell said the most important luck you can have is who luck: “It’s about who you know.” Maxwell told the story about visiting with some of the pastors of America’s largest churches when he was just starting in ministry. He’d fill pages upon pages of legal pads with notes from those meetings, trying to learn about leading a growing church. He urged listeners to look for ways to develop similar relationships with strong leaders today.

Like usual, Maxwell was a quote machine during the message. Many of his one-line zingers could be an entire message someday. Here were 10 of the best.

  • “When you’re in the greatest time of your life, you have to hold on even tighter to God than before.”
  • “The greatest threat to tomorrow’s success is today’s success.”
  • “Cycle of success: test, fail, learn, improve, and re-enter.”
  • “When you are with the right people in the right places, you are investing time not spending it.”
  • “You transform a culture when you’ve been transformed yourself.”
  • “Intentionally grow everyday! Growing today is the only guarantee tomorrow will be better.”
  • “Quit asking how long will it take and start asking how far can I go?”
  • “Dependence on God means He is my first thought every morning.”
  • “I think the best days for the church are ahead of it.”
  • “I want to live until I die and not get the two confused.”

Check out the video highlights from Maxwell’s message here!