Defining Greatness (Part 1)

Happy New Year, podcast family! To kick off 2021, we’re starting a new series called Defining Greatness. We recorded this series last year just before COVID-19 drastically changed the way many of us live our lives. After recording it, we decided that it wasn’t the right time to release the series.

But, with high expectations for the new year––which we believe will be a year of greatness and transformation––this is the perfect series with which to kick off 2021, and we’re excited to finally share it with you! In this series, John shares the qualities he believes make great leaders great. In part one, John shares how great leaders think and how they prepare.

We’re also excited to have Traci Morrow back on the podcast with Mark Cole. Together, they discuss how their own thinking habits play a role in their leadership, influence, and growth.

Our BONUS resource for this series is the Defining Greatness Worksheet, which includes fill-in-the-blank notes from John’s teaching. You can download the worksheet by clicking “Download the Bonus Resource” below.


Mark Cole:       Happy new year everyone. Mark Cole here. Welcome to the John Maxwell leadership podcast. Over the next two weeks we have something very special for you to help you kick off this new year. This is actually a two-part series we recorded last year just before COVID-19 started to change, radically change our lives in 2020. After we recorded it we decided it wasn't the right time to release this series but now, 2021, this is the perfect series to begin our new year. We're calling this series Defining Greatness. We believe this year will be a year of transformation, of change, yes even of greatness. Throughout this series John teaches that there are four areas in a leader's life that determines their greatness. This series walks you through those four areas, provides examples for each quality and how they are played out in leadership.

In part one, John talks about the first two qualities and next week he'll talk about the third and fourth qualities that determine a leader's greatness. After John's lesson I'll be joined by my friend, my co-host, Traci Morrow to dive deeper into John's lesson and how to apply it to our lives and to our leadership. To get the fill-in-the-blank notes for this series please go to Click on the bonus resource button, grab a pen and lean in. We hope you enjoy. We hope you activate. Here is Dr. John C. Maxwell. (Music)

John Maxwell:  Today I want to talk to you on the subject of greatness. Greatness you're not born with. Greatness will be determined by the choices you make throughout your entire life. And defining greatness is almost to me as challenging as achieving it. And I've studied success and I've studied significance and I've studied greatness and I'm going to try to define it for you now because I think they are all wonderful but I do think they are different. Success is how well I have done for myself. Significance is how well I have done for myself and others. Obviously that's a whole different level. I've often said, "Success is about me but significance is about others but greatness is how well I have inspired others to do well for themselves and for others." Greatness is multi-generational in time and in influence. It transcends time, culture, talent, years. And I have now brought the word greatness down and tried to condense it and I'm going to do my best to teach you what I think it is.

And one of the things I want to talk to you about greatness is how they think, how great people think. Pascal said, "Man's greatness lies in the power of thought." And there are three things I want to share with you about how great people think. Number one is I think great people think possibilities. When you are around a person of greatness they continually think about the possibilities that are before them. I am going to give you a quote by Brother Lawrence, he was a mystic but way back in the 15th century. Brother Lawrence said this phrase here, "All things are possible to him who believes, they are less difficult to him who hopes, they are easy to him who loves and they are simple to anyone who does all three."

There should be something going on with inside of you right now that is calling you to greatness because that's how we are created. And you should be as you're listening to this you should be saying within yourself, "Oh my goodness, there's room for me." And by the way, let me tell you something, there's a lot of room at the top. It's not overcrowded at the top. Now, you've got mass traffic problems at the bottom. You understand, you've got to have all kind of people helping you navigate through the crowd at the bottom because the bottom is Times Square on New Years Eve but the top all kind of room my friend. In fact let me say this, there's room for you at the top.

Would you in your notes write these words, there's room for me at the top. There's room for me at the top. There's room for you at the top. And I will die believing that. Even when you stop believing in yourself John hasn't stopped believing in you. Believe in yourself and then get around people that believe in you. Possibilities, great people think possibilities. And what has possibility thinking done for me? Three things, number one it's given me options. Listen carefully, possibility thinkers don't think there are several ways to get to the top, possibility thinkers know there are several ways to get to the top. A possibility thinker always thinks options. A limited thinker always thinks, "Dear God, I hope I can find one way." And see, when you think there's only one way and you get roadblocked and detoured you're in trouble aren't you? So, possibility thinking has given me options.

Number two, possibility thinking has given me perseverance. You show me a person who thinks it's possible and I will show you a person who won't quit. You show me a person who thinks that hope is gone and I will show you a person that will quit. Thirdly, it's given me creativity. You have never known a creative person that wasn't a possibility thinker. All creativity is birthed in imagination and what could happen and what should happen and what may happen. It's all birthed there.

The second way that great people think is win, win. You show me a great person and I'll show you a person that doesn't beat up on other people. I'll show you a person who they win but everybody that ever comes into contact with them they get the short end of the stick. Great people think win, win. I have in your notes if you want to go quickly, if you want to travel quickly, go alone but if you want to go far go together. So, great people they think possibilities. Great people think win, win.

Number three, thinking of greatness is always abundance, it's abundance. Kevin Hall, my friend who wrote the book of Aspire, what a wonderful book. If you don't have it you need to get it. Here is how he defines abundance, he said, "Abundance originated from the undulation and the bounty of the sea. Each wave carries the anticipation of another succession of waves attesting to the fact that nature gives all and loses nothing." That's greatness. Abundance is the foundation of generosity and abundance is the catalyst of creativity, that's a fact. When you are abundant you are generous and you become creative. Greatness is all about abundance.

So, we talked about how greatness and how great people think but let's go now to, let's go to how they prepare. Because one of the things I've discovered about greatness is that they prepare well. Great people don't rely on giftedness to make them great. John Wooden, my friend, said, "When opportunity comes it's too late to prepare." Great people prepare number one continually. They are continually preparing. Now, there are two types of people. Number one the person who says, "I will wait for an opportunity and then I'll get ready." And number two, "I will get ready and find the opportunity." Do you see the difference?

Great people are always getting ready, they're not saying, "Boy if I get that job." I have people every once in a while who say, "You know what? If I ever become a leader I'm going to read one of your books. Well yeah boy if I ever become a leader I'm just going to read one of them, there leadership books." Here's a thought, why don't you read some of those leadership books and become a leader? Why wait for something to happen to you before you make something happen? Why not make something happen so you assure that something happens to you? And you can either hit and miss on this or you can absolutely become a person who disciplines themself daily to prepare. Champions do not become champions in the ring, they merely are recognized in the ring. Their becoming happens in their daily routine.

When I was at ToastMasters the other night when I finished and those people we're going nuts and then I signed books for an hour and a half. We signed books and they all sold out. I mean we just signed books. And a lady came by and she said, "That was the greatest teaching lesson I have ever heard." She said, "Can I ask you because I'm a ToastMaster and I have to prepare lessons too and speeches, how long did it take you to prepare that?" I smiled and said, "All my life." She said, "What do you mean all your life?" Now I had a whole crowd of people to sign books because I couldn't stop there. I'm sure that she left me thinking, "That is about the slowest person I've ever met. I mean it was good but if it took him all his life to prepare that, that wasn't that good." Can I tell you something? All my life. All my life. When I do any teaching I mean it may take me a day and a half to put it together. Are you with me? But all my life. That's greatness. Greatness understands that you prepare continually.

Number two, you prepare visually because your expectation determines your preparation. You give me the number of expectation that you place on the event or the relationship and I'll give you the number of preparation that you'll do for that event. So, if I look at something and I think it's about a six my preparation will be about a five. Are you with me? So, your expectation, what you visually anticipate will determine how well you prepare. I could not live with myself coming in here and talking and communicating to you that have invested so much time and money, I could not live with myself to come in here with anything less than a 10 preparation because I have to give you my best. My expectation of you is so high I could not let you down nor could I ever let myself down. Expectation, visualization, how do you see it? Because how you see it will determine how you prepare.

Do you see yourself in a picture of success? I mean when you think of what you want to become and what you want to do are you in the middle of that picture or do you have the picture and it doesn't have you in it? I see all the time people with dreams and they've got the dream. It's a visualization, it's a clear dream but they forgot the most important part of the dream, they didn't put them in it. If you won't put you in it you don't get it. Somebody else may get it but you don't get it. And great people, greatness says visualize not what is, visualize what can be. You have no idea. How many times do we have a tendency to look beyond or look around or look over something or someone that has it's potential for greatness? Here's what I know, the deposit you make in people and that deposit is preparation. The deposit you make in people has a direct return back to you.

How many people all the time say, "Well, nothing great has ever happened to me." And when I hear them say that I look at them and I say, "I can believe that. It makes a lot of sense to me. In fact, after you just said it I can understand why. Because you never had an expectation. You never visualized yourself as successful." You cannot perform in a way that is inconsistent with how you see yourself. You cannot consistently do things of greatness if you see yourself in terms of average, you just can't, I can't, you can't. We perform and behave in a way that is consistent with how we see ourselves.

So, greatness prepares continually, it prepares visually, thirdly it prepares realistically. Greatness has a sense of reality about it that gives it a foundation to build on. William Arthur Ward said, "The pessimist complains about the wind, the optimist expects it to change but the realist adjusts the sails." And great people, they're not just pie in the sky people, they have a real sense of realism.

I put in your notes six rules for successful leadership because one of the areas that I had to really work on in my life because it was a shortcoming was realistic thinking. I read Jack Welch's book and it was entitled Winning. In fact, one day I had lunch with him and I showed him what I'm going to give you here, six rules for successful leadership. Number one, control your destiny or someone else will. Oh my goodness. Can I tell you something? You are a fool to give your future to someone else. Control your own destiny. Number two, face reality as it is, not as it was or you wish it were. Three, be candid with everyone. Four, don't manage, lead. Five, change before you have to. And six, if you don't have a competitive advantage don't compete. Isn't it interesting five of those six rules for successful leadership deal with reality? Five of the six. And for three years I laminated that and carried it around with me for three years and everyday I read it just to keep me thinking realistically.

Alex Haley said, "Either you deal with what is the reality or you can be sure that the reality is going to deal with you." So, let's review. How do great people prepare? Continually. How do you do for that from a one to 10? They prepare visually. They prepare realistically

Traci Morrow:  Okay wow Mark that's a lot, that's a lot, defining greatness. So, this is really we're going to dive right into it and I would love to hear your thoughts on it because my mind is just swirling with what John left us with. But I just want to say at the very beginning something that I think is going to be soothing to both of us and all of our podcast listeners and we've probably heard him say it before but it's just nice to hear it again, "Greatness, we're not born with it." Every time I hear that I think, as you get into leadership you think, "I'm working on this." And I'm trying to take notes and follow what John's saying but when we remember we're not born with it. Every person can have it and it's going to take some work. And so, that to me is just a reminder right off the bat like, "Calm down Traci. This is not something that is expected today. This is a process." And so, what jumped out at you from the beginning?

Mark Cole:       Well, it's the magnitude of the word greatness. So, when do I get to a place that I go, "I have achieved greatness."

Traci Morrow:  Right.

Mark Cole:       It feels so non-humble. I mean John doesn't even talk like that. So, and I think that he is great. I think he does incredibly great things. So, the first thing I did is I go, "Okay is greatness an aspiration?" Am I sitting there going, "Hey guys what are you doing?" "I'm chasing greatness. What are y'all doing?" So, I really as John was teaching today I went, "Wow." There's a couple of things that I heard and I'm getting ready to talk about that in just a moment. There's a couple of things that I heard that I haven't heard him position it like that before. But, even this idea of going after greatness or have achieved greatness or to say, "I'm doing great things," is a big jump for me. And I love being candid Traci as you know with our podcast audience. And I'm struggling with the magnitude of that word and wanting it to be said about me or wanting it to be an aspiration of me. And I'm okay with that struggle.

Here's what I can tell you and this is the part that was new for me, success is how well I've done for myself and by the accounts of my aspirations in life the things that I wanted to accomplish, I've been successful. Now some of you listening to the podcast today go, "Dude, you haven't done anything yet. Let me tell you success." Okay, you're more successful than I but in my world of perceived aspiration I've experienced some success. I can even understand the word significance, how well I have done for myself and others. A lot of our work Traci as you know you're partnered with us on our non-profit, a lot of our work is about others. It's about doing things for others. And I go, "You know what? I can tell the difference between when I do successful things which is benefiting me and when I do significant things when it's benefiting other people." John said, "Success is what happens to you, significance is what happens through you."

So, I got that one and then he pulls out greatness and he says, "How well I have inspired others to do well for themselves and others." And now his definition I can get caught up in, it's level four in his five levels of leadership. It's reproducing our leadership through others. It's really legacy. I mean, he talks about legacy a lot and I'll look at that and his definition makes greatness back achievable to something I want to not only learn in this lesson but something I want to aspire toward from this lesson.

Traci Morrow:  That's right. And I like that you said the word legacy because we were looking at each other like, "Have we heard John say this before?" Success, significance and then greatness. And that is a scary word a little bit of what does that mean. Does anybody ever really reach it? And so, I do love that you bring up the word legacy. Because sometimes the words in leadership and just the profound impact of leadership of what it can do in a person and for generations to come can start to feel lofty to me. I'm simple. I need to grab something and anchor it back down and legacy is something that I can anchor to. That to me is connecting your heart to what you're doing in and for others. So, John will say that inheritance is what you leave to someone, legacy is what you leave in someone. And again, bringing it back and what makes the most sense to me is remembering that every person listening to this podcast have had some success to some level and you still want to have more success but then success does not, you're not settled with it. It doesn't fill you up like significance does. But then when you go to greatness or legacy then it's really like what's going to happen? What's going to stick around long past me being gone?

Mark Cole:       Yeah, so Simon Sinek, I've referenced this multiple times in some teachings that I'm doing lately. Simon Sinek, we had him on a podcast, a candid conversation John and I did, and he writes in his book The Infinite Game. He talks about how that all of us should be working toward an end that the end is us moving out of the way and letting the next generation go to the next level with our life's work.

Traci Morrow:  That's right.

Mark Cole:       I think that's greatness. I think greatness is when we don't have a win or an MVP or a trophy to show for greatness but greatness is when I step aside from my leadership role and somebody from the next generation steps in and begins to take it to the next level. Now that I get pumped about. I want that. I want that.

Traci Morrow:  That's right, I do too. I do too.

Mark Cole:       Just sign me up because that's what I really want. So then, let's jump into this defining greatness. What makes them great? So then, John is going to give us two or he gave us two in the lesson today and then next week we'll be working in two more things that John gives us. And he says one of the things that makes people great is how they think. And then he had us all quote there's room for me at the top. Didn't that feel good to say?

Traci Morrow:  Yeah, it did.

Mark Cole:       I look around the studio and Jake, Jason, myself, Traci, we're all sitting there, "Hey there's room for me at the top." It's a little swag we got going right there. "There's room for me at the top." But really, isn't that true how we think matters in our pursuit of greatness or our pursuit of legacy.

Traci Morrow:  That's right. And that there's a space for us in our brand. I don't have to be Mark Cole and Mark Cole doesn't have to be John Maxwell. Because if that's the case then we're all messed up. If we have to be like somebody else then I mean the best person we can be is the best version of ourselves. I tell my kids all the time, "You do not have to be the best. You have to be your best." Because like John said, we are called to greatness. It is created inside of us and every one of us even though we might have pushed it down because maybe someone said something to us that made us discount ourselves or they've discounted us and we've come into an agreement with that but we are created for greatness.

And really when you think about, let's go back to what we said at the very beginning, what is greatness? It's such a big, heavy, high word. Greatness is what we leave in people, caring about people, doing something for them, loving them, showing up for them consistently. And so, I really love as he got into those three parts about possibilities, the options and perseverance and creativity that possibilities bring out. I love that we remember it's not just one way, there are lots of options. And we can persevere in that knowing that we are created and called, designed for greatness.

Mark Cole:       Yeah, as you were talking I was sitting here going, "How many times in my leadership has my aspirations to be better than another leader or better than someone else?" And you know the sad news? Is sometimes I have accomplished that aspiration. In other words, I was just a bit better than the previous leader. That's sad. While that felt good to be noted as a little bit better than the last leader really I short changed myself because that's not the game. It's a quote that I use all the time. I don't know where to attribute this or I would, authenticity has no competition. Traci, when you're the best version of you, when your kids like you were talking about, when you as a business leader at he best version of you there will never be somebody that can beat that, never. And it goes to John's, the second point on how people think win, win. It's such a colloquialism, it's a business overused statement but it's so true. And so many of us get in a win, lose or a win, neutral situation and we're not thinking we win when we help somebody else win.

Traci Morrow:  That's right. And I think it was Simon that said when he was on the podcast that we are so conditioned from the time we're young that we love sport, we love competition, it's part of what's ingrained in us growing up especially in America. We love the sport of competition but there's always a winner and there's always a loser. And so, when we get to a certain place in our life when we're in our career we tend to revert back to that. And he says, "There's no winner and loser in business. There's no winner and loser when you're on a project with somebody else, there's collaboration." And if I am being the best Traci I can be and you are being the best Mark that you can be then the collaboration makes us both winners. So, I think we just need to really, we hear win, win and we say that's a nice lofty idea but when we really dive down into, "What do I really believe about myself? I'm not competing against anyone other than myself yesterday."

Mark Cole:       Yeah, see and I love this and Jake that's brilliant. Jake in the studio just wrote on my side of the white board Traci he says, "You can't be the best version of someone else." That is so good.

Traci Morrow:  Yeah could you tell that to my kids because I've been saying it wrong all these years Jake.

Mark Cole:       That's exactly right.

Traci Morrow:  Thanks for nailing it in three seconds, thanks.

Mark Cole:       You can't be the best version of someone else, there's no way. And so, when we are in this finite game that you were just referencing Traci or when we're in this competition with somebody else number one we can't have possibility thinking because all we're trying to do is competitive thinking. We can't have win, win because there's only one win. And by the way, we can't have abundance either. Because we've got to scrape just a little bit away from the next guy so that we can have a little bit more so we can be perceived as the winner. And what John says, great leaders don't think like that. They think possibility, they think win, win, they think abundance.

Traci Morrow:  That's right and it is all mindset. What we're talking about is not even behavior, it's what goes on between our ears. And a lot of times we are our own worst enemy. Who wouldn't want to have the words described about you, boy is she or he generous? Wow, what a creative person. But John is saying that abundance is the foundation of generosity. Abundance is the catalyst for creativity. It's a mindset that once we free ourselves... What Jake said, "You can't be the best version of someone else." If you try to do that and you try to compete, if I try to compete to be a better Mark than you I am setting myself up for failure both on the outside but also how I'm going to talk to myself. Because I'm going to tell myself, "You're not good at that. You're no good." I was never meant to be. But if I have abundance thinking that I am made for success, significance and passing on a legacy of greatness to the next generation that gets my creative juices flowing and I want to be generous to share what I've learned not keep it to myself to try to be the best.

Mark Cole:       Well, and so let's move to how they prepare. So one is how they think. Number two is how they prepare. But let's keep the same train of thought. You can't be the best version of someone else. I can't be the best version of John Maxwell. Now, I've been leading his companies for years. I am now speaking on his stage more than I even care to at times. I'm taking on responsibilities that has been his for many years. And what I do sometimes in my preparation is I go, "How would John say this?" And it's so that that will mentor me and stretch me to say it the best way that Mark can, it's so that I can say it just like him. And when I prepare with that in mind rather than prepare and say, "How would somebody I look up to do this? Now how can I make that mine?" That second question is incredibly important because in preparation we can go back to competition if we're not careful. And we need to be preparing for the way we can be our best not the way we can better emulate somebody else.

Traci Morrow:  I love to hear you say that because to me I always think as I think about you and pray for you this I would think would be a tough one to be Mark Cole. Because you're stepping onto the stage, you're stepping into companies, you're stepping out into the world with world leaders under the umbrella of John Maxwell but you aren't called to be John Maxwell. You are the CEO of John's companies. You are the person that John has poured more into than anyone else that walks this planet. And so, how do you find that, when you're being mentored by greatness how do you find that place where you still stay very connected to that abundance thinking and that Mark doesn't have to be John? How do you do that in your mind?

Mark Cole:       Well, hit and miss that's how I do it. Some days it's okay, some days it's not okay. But I think it goes back to if I can use the model that John gave us here on how to prepare. I think it's continually there's a constant preparing of what? Being the next John? No. Of being the best Mark. And so, I'm constantly reminding myself in preparation, "Mark your responsibility is not to create content. Your responsibility is to show creative ways to implement or demonstrate content."

Traci Morrow:  That's excellent.

Mark Cole:       I think it goes to the second statement that John made on how people prepare, it's visually. And then, allow me Traci and if I don't answer the question well bring me back. But, I'm sitting here going to answer your question how do I do that with this big stage I visualize my role in it. Here's what John said, he said, "Are you in the vision?" Visually we have these visions of grandeur. We want to accomplish X. And I've never been struck like I was just now when John was teaching to go, "Am I in the vision?" Think about this, John has a vision for transformation. He wants to transform people, communities, countries. Imagine if John was unwilling to have personal transformation but yet he had a vision for transformation. And a lot of leaders the problem is not a good vision, the problem is that they don't have themselves in the vision. I want to see transformation but I'm unwilling to transform because after all I'm 72 and I've already accomplished everything in the world.

If John would have went, "I've already been transformed and my vision is for other people to be transformed," but that's not what he does. He visualizes how the message is going to impact him first before he sees what all the vision will do to impact the world. And I think a lot of leaders miss it at that point. For me, back to your question, I would be missing, in preparation I would be missing if I was trying to do all of this and not put myself, my best, who I'm supposed to be in the vision that I'm seeing.

Traci Morrow:  I think that's very clear and especially for podcast listeners who are stepping into a founders role. I mean, there are plenty of people who the baton is being passed and you're stepping in. And you might have known who you were in the other position but now you're stepping into a position that is all new to you but people have only seen one person in that spot. So, I love to hear that you have like what I described connected yourself, anchored yourself in the legacy part of it of what it's going to do in other people. Which takes it away from you. It's freeing when you think about legacy because the power is off of you. All you can do is be your best self as part of what goes into other people. But then also, that you have prepared yourself. How you ever really prepare to step into what you've stepped into? But you've now visualized yourself. And when you visualize yourself there then you see where to step. And a lot of that is between the ears.

Mark Cole:       It is. And we've spent a lot of time, John did in his teaching, we spent a lot of time personalizing greatness. But those of you out there like I am I'm trying to instill greatness in a team. Traci you're trying to instill greatness in a team.

Traci Morrow:  That's right.

Mark Cole:       And there's been a lot of personal consumption and personal application of both John's teaching and mine and your debriefing but I've got to talk to you leaders for just a minute that's listening to this podcast. How do you cause your team to think, how do you get your team to prepare so that you can be a great team? So, it's not by competing or comparing with another team. It's about how do we as leaders get our team to set up to greatness. Here's what that means. How well have we as a team inspired others to do well for themselves and for others? And it's that challenge that we as leaders need to put on ourself that we need to not only inspire personal greatness, we not only need to be inspired to personally be great, we need to be inspiring our teams to think and to prepare for greatness.

Traci Morrow:  That's right. It's not just stepping into the role and being great, it's preparing. And when is preparation done? I love that when Coach Wooden says, "When opportunity knocks it's too late to prepare." I realize I'm going back a little bit into his message but what I love about that is just keep anchoring back yourself to those points of have I prepared. How many people would die in love to have your position they think but they don't know all the things that you do and what it's taken for you to get to this place and the way that you've prepared outside of others people's lives. And now what you're doing is you now have this huge team. John's empire is now your team and now you're sharing into them and pouring into them how to prepare before they're on a big stage in the boring, in the mundane, when no one's saying attaboy, attagirl.

You're encouraging your team to prepare themselves for when that moment comes. And who knows when that moment comes? You don't even know for your own team, but that moment comes up. And I love when John says talking about visualizing the win, "How you see it will determine how you prepare." So, it isn't like you prepare and then the vision comes. It's you have a vision and you visualize yourself in that. And what you feel called to and how that connects deeply to your sense of significance and the greatness that was created in you. And then stepping out as you prepare for what you see in that vision.

Mark Cole:       Yeah, and I mean that goes right into the last point and we'll wrap and get ourselves ready for part two but it goes back into that realistically. So many times we prepare for a game and we don't count the reality of it. Is it possible? John says he can sing all day long I Believe I Can Fly but jump off the stage, wave his arms as much as he wants to, he's still going to fall flat to the earth. Well, I think in preparation we've really got to be very candid, very realistic with ourselves. Are we preparing for something that we really have the strength to accomplish, the ability. Is the raw talent there? And I would just challenge all of us as we're listening to this podcast, as we're defining greatness. And as we take even the next week and we start thinking through two more points that John brings, let's really prepare continually, visually, realistically to get where we want to go.

Traci Morrow:  That's right. And I love that when he talks about the six rules and I'll just close out on mine and then I'll let you wrap up. But, he talked about the six rules for being realistic with yourself and the vision that you have and where you're going. And he talks about a few of them, the first one being control your destiny or someone else will and that just takes trade offs. I mean you need to make sure, John talks about trade offs all the time, but that means if you're not preparing you're just falling in line for somebody else. Someone will place you where they have a need whether it's your gifts. How many times have you been placed, how many times have I been placed in a position that was not made for me? But because I wasn't preparing myself and learning and growing in that and making the trade-offs of training myself, preparing myself when it was easier to just watch a movie or take a day off or scroll Facebook, whatever it is. If you want to take that time to really, trade in that time to prepare yourself so that you don't land in someone else's agenda.

And so many of those I think we could talk about them but lastly I just, I love it says change before you have to. And John talks about all the different things that causes somebody to change but most of us... I love this quote, I don't know who said it but it says, "Change is painful but nothing is an painful as staying stuck somewhere you don't belong." And when we learn to change before we have to and know what we need to change then it saves us, it saves us the pain. Is change painful? Yes. Is it hard? Yes. Sometimes is it lonely? Yes. But it doesn't compare. At least you're feeling alive because you're moving towards something. But if you're stuck because you're comfortable and you're a little afraid and you don't want to make those trade-offs there's nothing that compares. I don't know about you but I felt it before where I have the pain of regret that I could be changing and growing. And the great news is you can change at any time. But in that moment of this is not where I'm supposed to be and I have no one to blame but myself.

Mark Cole:       Wow. Well, I have loved this podcast because success to significance I got, significance to legacy I got, but when John positioned this with greatness it's really challenged my thinking. So, not only have I enjoyed these first two, how they think how they prepare is what makes them great, I can't wait for the next two. And Traci will be back here. Thank you so much.

Hey, if you want to download the notes from this lesson go to Click the bonus resource button and you'll be able to get the notes there. Until next week, start defining greatness. Start thinking differently, start preparing and we'll see you next week.

5 thoughts on “Defining Greatness (Part 1)”

  1. Thanks for this greatness message for this year 2021 for leader’s transformation and we are preparing to see the greater things in this New year of 2021 it’s our our prayers I, Bishop Enoch B.Dusingizimana and my Wife, First Lady Dr. Margaret Udahogora Dusingizimana, we are very excited to be members of The John Maxwell Team Leadership and we very blessed to be in big family of leaders under JTM, Happy New Year to you, your entire families and your Ministry!*Psalm136:4:*
    *To Him who alone doeth great wonders: for His mercy endured for ever – 2021 shall be your year of GREAT WONDERS – the mercy that brings GREAT WONDERS shall speak for you, the mercy that makes new things to spring forth shall accompany you in the journey of 2021 – The year 2021 shall be your year of ENLARGEMENT, BOUNTIFUL HARVEST and DUMBFOUNDING MIRACLES. 2021 shall favor you with the anointing of all round VICTORY – The GARMENT of an OVERCOMER shall be your portion, throughout the journey of 2021 – go and take over, go and possess your possessions, go and subdue NATIONS and become the head wherever you find yourself, in JESUS MIGHTY NAME. AMEN!*👑⛪🇮🇱🙏🙏🙏🙌
    +Bishop Dr. Enoch and First Lady Dr. Margaret U. DUSINGIZIMANA

  2. Dear John C Maxwell podcast team
    Relentlessly continue to prepare generational leaders.
    I am consistently practicing the teachings herein.

    Ochan Charles
    Manager of an organization in Northern Uganda.

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