Eight Paradoxes of Great Leadership with Tim Elmore

This week, we are bringing you another incredible speaker who will be a part of our line-up at Live2Lead this year. Tim Elmore is a long-time friend of John Maxwell’s, and, in fact, he’s one of the first people John mentored. Tim is the founder and president of Growing Leaders––an organization that is aimed at developing emerging leaders.

Tim and John share some old stories of their time working together, and Tim talks about his latest book, The Eight Paradoxes of Great Leadership: Embracing the Conflicting Demands of Today’s Workplace. We’re excited for you to hear this conversation, and even more excited for you to hear Tim at Live2Lead 2021!

Our BONUS resource for this episode is the “Eight Paradoxes of Great Leadership Worksheet,” which includes our favorite takeaways from John and Tim’s conversation. You can download the worksheet by clicking “Download the Bonus Resource” below.


Mark Cole:       Hey. Welcome back to the John Maxwell Leadership Podcast. My name is Mark Cole. And yes, there is a little additional passion and excitement in my voice today because John Maxwell is in studio with me. I'm not dissecting a recent lesson and trying to tell you how we apply it or how we're experiencing that. I'm actually in studio with John. And John, we don't do this enough.

John Maxwell:  Not enough. But I love doing it with you. And I'm so glad you're with us too. I just enjoy the podcast so much. So thanks for finally inviting me on my podcast.

Mark Cole:       Yes! Yes. I will try to do it more.

John Maxwell:  Yes!

Mark Cole:       Podcasts listeners, you're welcome.

Yeah John, it is. And a lot of times, what it means, when I get the privilege of having John in studio in Atlanta, it means that we have another guest. We have somebody else to introduce you to. And today, John and I are excited beyond ability to communicate it, that it's Tim Elmore. And John, this is a young man, still a young man.

Tim Elmore:      Thank you.

Mark Cole:       That you have poured a lot of your life into. And so, I feel like I would just mess it up if I didn't give you a chance to really tell the significance of Tim Elmore to you.

John Maxwell:  Yeah, I agree with you. I think you would totally mess it up. Because you were hardly even born when this boy-

Mark Cole:       That's right.

John Maxwell:  [crosstalk 00:01:22]. I loved him calling you a young man, Tim. But honestly, in the 1980s, I was pastoring in San Diego, California. And I needed somebody to take care of the college work and ministry and our congregation.

Tim Elmore:      Yeah.

John Maxwell:  And Tim had just graduated from college. And his parents were members of our congregation.

Tim Elmore:      Yeah.

John Maxwell:  So I met him and I looked at him and I thought, "Man, we could use you." Because he was already a very gifted communicator, very creative, very sharp in his thinking. And so, I just said, "We would like to hire you." Little did I know, when we agreed, that almost 40 years later?

Tim Elmore:      Yeah.

John Maxwell:  We would still be together.

Tim Elmore:      Yeah.

John Maxwell:  And I mean, you were with me at the church, you were with me when we did the nonprofit EQUIP.

Tim Elmore:      Yeah.

John Maxwell:  But then, when we had too much to carry with the EQUIP, I asked you to take the young leaders.

Tim Elmore:      Yeah. Yeah.

John Maxwell:  The student work and ministry, and build it. And you've built it into growing leaders and you've done a fabulous job.

And then, when I told you to, "Let's build an all-star team." Obviously, we wanted to reach the younger generation. And you and I both looked at Tim and said, "He's the one. He's the one." Because Tim, you have been doing this so successfully for so long that your credibility is just beyond reproach. And we're thrilled that you would come and be on the team. And you're going to make us so much better and you're going to help us reach a generation that really, we haven't been as effective as we would like to be on. You're going to make us better. You're just going to make us better. So we're glad you're here. We're delighted that...

Tim Elmore:      Well John, it's my honor.

John Maxwell:  A joy.

Tim Elmore:      I tell you, almost every time, every time we're together. You have stock in every young leader that we build.

John Maxwell:  Yeah. It's beautiful.

Tim Elmore:      Because the timeless principles that you taught me when I was 22, 23 years old? I think I went to one of your conferences when I was in my senior year of college. Couldn't believe that people go to a whole week! It was a whole week-long conference at that time. But I ate it up. And I thought, "Where has this guy been?"

John Maxwell:  Yeah.

Tim Elmore:      But how fun it was to take that journey together. We laughed, we cried.

John Maxwell:  Yeah, we did.

Tim Elmore:      But we learned together and had a fun time reaching people in San Diego. But then, you thought, "We've got to reach the world here."

John Maxwell:  Sure.

Tim Elmore:      And I was on board. So it's just been fun to take the journey with you. I always, when I describe our relationship, I always say, "John and I are like the elephant and the mouse that crossed that bridge, got to the other side." I'm the mouse and I said, "We really shook that bridge, didn't we?" John, you've told that story. But that's how I feel. It's fun.

John Maxwell:  That's... Yeah, that is.

Mark Cole:       Well Tim, for those of you that do not know, not only was Tim mentored as John's first person he empowered in his church to focus on young people. But Tim, since then, is an author, he's a speaker. He's written over 35 books and spoken to over 500,000 leaders in hundreds of companies and universities around the United States. You're the founder and CEO of Growing Leaders. We'll talk a little bit about that, perhaps, in just a moment. That's a nonprofit dedicated to raising and developing emerging leaders.

But also, Tim, I can't help myself. Tim is the first non-John Maxwell-written book that is being published by John Maxwell's imprint. It's right there on the back of the book. And we're going to dig into this book in just a little bit, Tim.

Tim Elmore:      Good. Good. Good.

Mark Cole:       But truly, welcome to the John Maxwell Leadership Podcast. Welcome to a moment where John can highlight a partnership and a chance to do more for the next generation and beyond. We're so glad to have you and so glad you're on the team.

Tim Elmore:      Well Mark, I've said it to John. You and I have been friends for quite a while. I love you dearly, you and Stephanie. And I'm always honored whenever I get to lock arms and do something together. And I think we're going to be better together.

Mark Cole:       [crosstalk 00:05:02].

Tim Elmore:      And we're going to reach both the established and the emerging generation while we're at it.

Mark Cole:       I do.

Now. So you could probably tell us something about the younger John Maxwell that we'd all want to hear. Because there's not a person listening to this podcast, John?

John Maxwell:  Be careful, now. [inaudible 00:05:15].

Mark Cole:       There's not a person-

John Maxwell:  Whoa!

Mark Cole:       There's not a person listening to this podcast that would not love their first job to be being mentored by you.

Tim Elmore:      Yeah. Yeah.

Mark Cole:       Let's be really clear.

Tim Elmore:      That is true.

Mark Cole:       Every person covets you, Tim.

Tim Elmore:      That's true.

Mark Cole:       But also, there's not a person out there that would like to know what it was like working for you right out of college either.

Tim Elmore:      Oh, my gosh.

Mark Cole:       So we could really go a lot of ways with this podcast.

John Maxwell:  This'll be fun.

Mark Cole:       But here's what I really would like to do, Tim. Tell us a little bit about your journey. Tell us-

Tim Elmore:      Yeah.

Mark Cole:       Not only maybe the early formative years, but go back and tell us how Growing Leaders came to pass.

Tim Elmore:      Yeah.

Mark Cole:       Talk to us a little bit about that.

Tim Elmore:      Okay.

So when you interviewed me, I think we first met at my parents' house.

John Maxwell:  Yes, we did.

Tim Elmore:      Because Mom and Dad were part of the church. And my dad and mom said, "Hey! We have our new pastor over, John and Margaret Maxwell." And I was in college. But I was back on spring break, I think.

John Maxwell:  Sure.

Tim Elmore:      And John, I think I answered the door when you were there with the Groucho Marx nose, mustache, and glasses. It was so idiot.

John Maxwell:  You did.

Tim Elmore:      I was an idiot.

John Maxwell:  You did.

Tim Elmore:      But you laughed. And I thought, "Oh, my. This is great. If he's laughing at this, this is awesome."

John Maxwell:  Takes one to know one.

Tim Elmore:      That's right!

John Maxwell:  And so, I go, "Oh! Soul mate!"

Tim Elmore:      That's right. But I-

John Maxwell:  "Where's the ducky? Where's the ducky?"

Tim Elmore:      Yeah.

Mark Cole:       That's right. That's as deep as it gets.

Tim Elmore:      Yes, exactly. But I just could tell, right now, this guy could be a hero.

Mark Cole:       Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Tim Elmore:      And you, not long after that, said, "If I had an opening, would you come on staff?" And I think I said, "Let me think about it. Okay."

John Maxwell:  Yeah. Sure.

Tim Elmore:      So right out of college, I started. And it was fun to be... And I think we were still, the staff was still small enough that I was among the early guys that, maybe there was a handful of us, Dan and I and [inaudible 00:06:50]. And it was so fun to get to actually be with you, take trips with you.

John Maxwell:  Oh, yeah.

Tim Elmore:      Hold your bags.

John Maxwell:  We did it together, didn't we?

Tim Elmore:      We did. It was so much fun. And you believed in me more than I believed in me. You let me speak. And I know that you do this typically. But I would get home to Pam, my wife, and say, "I can't believe he's letting me do this!" But that's how a mentee ought to feel.

John Maxwell:  Yeah. Sure. Sure. I agree.

Tim Elmore:      But thank God you kept me, even though I flunked and failed several times, you kept me on staff.

John Maxwell:  Oh, yeah.

Tim Elmore:      And my focus has always been the next gen.

John Maxwell:  Yeah.

Tim Elmore:      So John would teach. And then, I'd say, "How can we translate this? How can we translate this so a teenager gets it, so a college student gets it?" And now, we've gotten to partner with lots of, Ohio State and Alabama and Texas and Oklahoma. And a lot of the guys that love you, I'll say, "Well, I'm John's stuff for the next gen." "Okay. Sign me up."

John Maxwell:  Right.

Tim Elmore:      It's not a hard sell.

But it's so much fun to get to take this. And just to remind you, you got stock. You got stock.      

John Maxwell:  Oh, it's people... And you had major, you've had major presence with a lot of the large universities.

Tim Elmore:      Yeah.

John Maxwell:  In teaching your Habitudes.

Tim Elmore:      Yeah.

John Maxwell:  And just the way to think and the way to live a very successful life. I mean, I've watched you... And grow. And again, when EQUIP couldn't handle the student part?

Tim Elmore:      Yeah.

John Maxwell:  Because we were so committed to leadership internationally?

Tim Elmore:      Internationally, yeah.

John Maxwell:  You just stepped in and started growing leaders. And Mark, it just took off.

Tim Elmore:      Yeah.

John Maxwell:  And you've just done so well. And then, for you to come back now?

Tim Elmore:      Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

John Maxwell:  And be with us? And to fill in a gap that we really had is just, it's just going to be so much fun.

Tim Elmore:      Yeah.

John Maxwell:  And we're going to make such a difference.

Tim Elmore:      Yeah.

Mark Cole:       I would love to hear a little bit. When you say, "I've worked with Alabama, I've worked with Ohio State." What does that mean? I mean, tell us what you do to go in to create this culture with Habitudes.

Tim Elmore:      Yeah.

So we work with different departments. If we're with a college, it might be student affairs. So student life, res life.

Mark Cole:       Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Tim Elmore:      But oftentimes, it's the athletic department. Because those coaches know we've got to have life skills built in these 18 year olds. And they may be a star in high school. But now, they're up where everybody's a star.

Mark Cole:       A star?

Tim Elmore:      Yeah. That's exactly right. So we'll come in and we'll do a training for the coaches on how to connect with the next generation. Because they're different now.

John Maxwell:  Yeah.

Tim Elmore:      We call them screenagers.

John Maxwell:  Yeah.

Mark Cole:       Yeah.

Tim Elmore:      And then, we'll also provide the Habitudes, which are really these timeless principles.

John Maxwell:  Yes. True.

Tim Elmore:      For the next generation. So we teach with images.

John Maxwell:  Uh-huh (affirmative).

Tim Elmore:      Because this is their life. They're on Instagram and TikTok. And so, images are the language, the native tongue of the 21st century, we believe.

So we're teaching a timeless principle with an image because pictures are worth a thousand words.

John Maxwell:  Yeah.

Tim Elmore:      They start student engagement.

So, yeah. I've been thrilled to be alongside... Well, and then also, it's young athletes go pro. So the Houston Rockets and the San Francisco Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, we've been privileged to walk alongside them.

Mark Cole:       Wow.

Tim Elmore:      And these coaches are way more brilliant than I am. But I got one category down.

Mark Cole:       Yeah.

John Maxwell:  Sure.

Tim Elmore:      So I'll say, "Here's a tool that you can use with that young player." And it seems to be working well.

Mark Cole:       Well, you know what's interesting, John? Because in your nonprofit, the John Maxwell Leadership Foundation, 1.6 million young people every single day is going in the school day and learning the iLEAD curriculum. And Tim, paralleling that back, I think... John, you know what I'm going to say. I think the single-most asked question John gets in Q&A is, "What do I do with my millennials?"

Tim Elmore:      Yeah.

Mark Cole:       "How do I help them?"

John Maxwell:  Yeah. That's right.

Mark Cole:       It's back to the foreign language.

John Maxwell:  Yeah. That's right.

Mark Cole:       You get it all the time. And Tim, I love what you're doing in schools. I love what you're doing internationally. But we need this in corporate America, too.

Tim Elmore:      Yeah. Yeah, we do.

Mark Cole:       What can we do to really take Habitudes, what you're learning, and really began to infiltrate that into the corporate leader who's trying to ask the same question?

Tim Elmore:      Yeah.

Mark Cole:       Or answer the same question.

Tim Elmore:      Well, I do believe these images can be useful conversation starters at a lunch-and-learn or a training time. But the advice I give in this book, when I talk about the next gen and how leaders can lead them, is reverse mentoring. That's something Jack Welch talked about way back in the '90s.

John Maxwell:  Uh-huh (affirmative).

Mark Cole:       Yes, he did.

Tim Elmore:      And remember, computers were new. And he has a 58-year-old executive, wasn't really savvy with a computer. But his 22 year old he just hired out of MIT was good. So he put that 58 year old with a 22 year old and said, "I want you to mentor each other." Isn't that cool?

Mark Cole:       Yeah.

Tim Elmore:      And so, there was mutual dignity. So the 50 year old would say, "Hey! Here's some stuff about this company you ought to know to win." But the 22 year old would say, "Here's how to turn your laptop on," sort of thing.

Mark Cole:       Yeah. Yeah.

Tim Elmore:      But I'm being facetious.

Mark Cole:       Yeah.

Tim Elmore:      But it was just a win-win. And now, there was dignity and honor. And you had a connection. So I think we've got to swap stories with that young person and listen. One assignment I've given to myself with my young team members is, "Speak as if you believe you're right. Listen as if you believe you're wrong."

John Maxwell:  Wow.

Tim Elmore:      And that's what keeps me in the game. Because it's so easy to say, "You don't know what you're talking about," you know?

So that's my personal assignment this year.

Mark Cole:       Yep. And I want to get into the book with John. I've heard you say, the thing you're most frustrated with, with your generation, is when they look at the next generation like there's something wrong with them.

John Maxwell:  Yeah. Sure.

Mark Cole:       Yeah.

John Maxwell:  Well, I think that's true with every generation, don't you?

Mark Cole:       Yeah. It is.

John Maxwell:  I mean, I think there's a tendency to think, right before you die, the world's going to go to hell.

Mark Cole:       Yeah. Yeah.

John Maxwell:  "As soon as I die, three days later, it's all over."

And like we were the last great generation.

Mark Cole:       Yeah.

John Maxwell:  And I don't believe that at all. I, in fact, what I think the younger generation needs is people like me encouraging them and believing in them.

Mark Cole:       Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.

John Maxwell:  And championing them. And that's one of the reasons I think we want to make a statement in the John Maxwell Enterprise, that we champion and value youth.

Mark Cole:       Yeah. Yes.

John Maxwell:  And that we really believe that they have an incredible contribution to make. And we're going to go and do everything we can to empower them, equip them, come alongside of them, coach them, mentor them, and do all that stuff. And I think that's what makes it really, really working.

So I think, Tim, you are extending our message.

Tim Elmore:      Mm-hmm (affirmative).

John Maxwell:  Not only to more people, but you're extending our message, to a great extent, to people that we haven't really connected with and touched. Not because we didn't want to. But we needed somebody like you to be catalytic to make that happen.

And so, having you here fills, I think, a real void for us.

Tim Elmore:      Sure.

John Maxwell:  That's going to allow us to look at companies and say, "Look."

Tim Elmore:      Yeah.

John Maxwell:  "We can help you with your millennials."

Tim Elmore:      Yeah. Yeah.

John Maxwell:  To literally go to the education world and say, "Look. We can help you with your teenagers."

Tim Elmore:      Yeah. Yeah.

John Maxwell:  "We can help you with your college-aged kids." And I'm just excited to have you.

Tim Elmore:      Yeah. Thanks.

John Maxwell:  It just is the right feel. It's the right fit.

Mark Cole:       Yeah. And you know, John, we've said this, on this podcast, you've said, multiple times, "I'm leadership-savvy."

John Maxwell:  Yes.

Mark Cole:       And then, I've heard you, because no leader lives in that message. They inspire. They give hope.

Tim Elmore:      Yeah.

Mark Cole:       And I've heard you then say, "But the hope of this leadership deficit that we have is to instill values into the next generation."

Tim Elmore:      Yeah. Yeah.

John Maxwell:  Next generation.

Mark Cole:       And so, Tim, I want to get into this book. Now, first, I've got to tell you, before I hold up the book and we talk a little bit about the book. Why did you choose John to partner with on this book right here? What drove that decision?

Tim Elmore:      Well, I had shopped this book with my agent to different publishers. And there were three publishers that were interested and made an offer and had a nice, up-front royalty. So I was thinking, "Oh, my gosh! What do I do here?" And I thought, "I'm going to call John!"

John Maxwell:  Yes.

Tim Elmore:      So I texted you first. And you said, "Call me." So I think you were walking. You were taking a walk, trying to stay healthy. And I remember being on the phone with John. This is so Maxwellian. You will love this.

John Maxwell:  Watch it. Now, watch it here.

Tim Elmore:      Yeah.

John Maxwell:  Can you not see that there [crosstalk 00:14:32]? And do not feel like there's a two-to-one little gang-up deal here? Okay.

Tim Elmore:      But we're younger and stronger. So we'll beat you, John.

John Maxwell:  That's right. Yes, you are.

Tim Elmore:      So I get you on the phone. And I said, "Here's deal number one, deal number two, deal number three." And I just was humbly saying, "What would you do? Which one would you go with?" And it was quiet for a minute. And then, John said, "I wouldn't go with any of them." I said, "Well, what would you do?" He said, "I'd go with me."

And of course, I thought, I think I smiled.

Mark Cole:       Oh, my gosh!

Tim Elmore:      And then, you said, "We're starting this new imprint with Harper Collins Leadership."

John Maxwell:  Yep. That's right.

Tim Elmore:      "I'd love for you to be the first one." And I think I just shared that much. But thank you for the belief in me.

John Maxwell:  Oh, yeah.

Tim Elmore:      John, I don't deserve it. But thank you.

But this is a, it's a cool idea.

John Maxwell:  Yep. Yep.

Tim Elmore:      That, I'll tell you how it started with me. It actually started in a green room about two-and-a-half years ago. So late 2018. I'm in a green room with 15 other leaders, all C-Suite level leaders. And I thought, "I'm going to take advantage of this and ask them some questions." So I asked them. I said, "Would you say, is leading today harder than it was when you first became a leader or not?" And every one of them, to the person, said, "Oh, absolutely. 110%, it's harder now." Now, I thought that was rather interesting. Because I thought, "Well, wouldn't it be harder when you didn't know anything, back when you're 23 or 25?"

Mark Cole:       Isn't that funny?

John Maxwell:  That's, yes.

Tim Elmore:      And that would make sense. But you know why they said it's harder now? Look at the state we're in right now. Post-pandemic, where we had protests, pandemics, pay cuts, all kinds of stuff going on, that basically led this last year to become a great CEO exodus. In fact, Fortune Magazine carried an article, The Great CEO Exodus of 2020. Dozens and dozens and dozens of Fortune 500 just said, "I can't do this anymore." And I'm just saying, "We need you to step up, not step back." But, seriously? Disney, MGM, Hulu.

John Maxwell:  Yes. Oh, you're right.

Tim Elmore:      Oh, crazy.

So I started digging. And I started thinking, "What is it that's making people step back instead of step up?" And I believe part, not the whole answer, but part of the answer is, we need both timeless principles, what you taught me, and timely paradoxes, which has given, you've got to read the situation and say, "What they need is confidence and humility. What they need is visibility and invisibility."

So there's some contradictory concepts that, if we can read who we're leading and practice these, I think it's just going to make us better.

John Maxwell:  Now, I want to say this, Tim. Yeah. Okay. The book's entitled Eight Paradoxes of Great Leadership. And I've read this book. And so, when we put you in a little bit of a younger generation niche, I want to make real clear on this book. This book is not a younger generation book. It's going to fit them. But this fits people my age. I can tell you, in the last year, this is the best leadership book I've read.

Tim Elmore:      Oh. Wow.

John Maxwell:  And I just want you to know. I mean, those paradoxes you have, every one of them, you wrestle with.

Tim Elmore:      Mm-hmm (affirmative).

John Maxwell:  Every one of them, I read and I say, "Okay. Now, how does that work in my life?"

Tim Elmore:      Yeah.

John Maxwell:  And, "Where does that put me in that whole place?" And I am so... This is a very, very good book. And if you don't have The Eight Paradoxes of Great Leadership, I'm here to tell you... Well, how do they get it, Mark?

Mark Cole:       Well, they can go to timelmore.com/book.

John Maxwell:  There you go.

Mark Cole:       timelmore.com/book.

As you guys were talking about that? And I do want to encourage you. In fact, I'm going to give you some other ways to connect with Tim and some things we're doing together in just a moment. But those of you that are audio podcast listeners, I'm holding this book. And I'm holding it in paperback form because the book really does not come out, I think, until like November the 2nd?

Tim Elmore:      Yeah.

Mark Cole:       I believe that's right. But you can still pre-order the book. We're just teasing you a little bit.

John, you wrote a book on Leadershift.

John Maxwell:  Yes. Yeah.

Mark Cole:       And it really was the, the idea that started that book was The Leader's Greatest Return rewrite. And then, you went, "I'm not rewriting it. This is a whole new book." But this whole idea of leadershifting, it comes... A lot of you, in the podcast world, you've read that. This is the next book to read on this, The Paradoxes of Leaders, and how that we, what it took Tim to be effective years ago is not what it takes. In fact, I'd say what it took a year and a half ago.

Tim Elmore:      Yeah.

Mark Cole:       Is not what it takes now. Would you agree with that?

Tim Elmore:      Absolutely. No doubt about it. In fact, John, I was thinking about a story that you and I talked about. Oh, gosh. 30 years ago. But it came back to me as I was writing this book. It was a story about the instructor at a police academy that was going to give a final examination to all the police recruits. And he paints a scenario, a horrible crime, that's just been committed downtown. And he says, "I want you to imagine First National Bank's just been robbed. And then, you look to your left, a woman's being mugged. And then, a fire hydrant is bashed into by a car, sprays water everywhere." It's this ridiculous scenario. And he says, "What would you do in this scenario?"

John Maxwell:  I remember this!

Tim Elmore:      Yeah. It's a great story.

John Maxwell:  I remember this!

Tim Elmore:      And the police recruit that had the best answer, the most honest answer, was the guy that stood up and said, "Remove uniform. Mingle with crowd."

And we've all had a day like that, haven't we? "I just want to take my badge off. I'm not leading this thing."

John Maxwell:  Absolutely.

Tim Elmore:      So I feel like that has been, it's written to the leader that's thought, "Do I just stop now and just play golf?"

John Maxwell:  Yeah.

Tim Elmore:      "Or just sit on the beach and drink a drink?"

John Maxwell:  Yeah.

Tim Elmore:      And I'm thinking, "This is the time. We've got to have leaders that are stepping into their team and saying, 'let's do this together.'"

John Maxwell:  Yeah.

Well, I think what makes the book really relevant to Tim is the fact that you basically tell all of us, as leaders, "It's okay to have the paradox."

Tim Elmore:      Yeah, that's right.

John Maxwell:  It isn't either or. You have to embrace both.

Tim Elmore:      Yes. That's right.

John Maxwell:  Because both bring value to the table. And to exclude one for your own comfort?

Tim Elmore:      Yeah.

John Maxwell:  Is going to not let you be the leader that you really need to be. And so, that's what I thought the value of it really was is, it's okay to someday say, "Wow!"

Tim Elmore:      Yeah.

John Maxwell:  "Which way do I go on this one?"

Tim Elmore:      That's right.

John Maxwell:  And so, I think you just give great permission with your story. Your stories are great in here. But your leadership paradoxes are really well thought out. Because I do books on the different laws, the laws of teamwork, the laws of leadership.

Tim Elmore:      Yeah, yeah.

John Maxwell:  And you've got to really have a very strong, solid structure. And all you have to do, really, is go read the table of contents and you'll read the book.

Tim Elmore:      Yeah. Yeah.

John Maxwell:  Because I will promise you, a half a dozen of those things that you say in the table of contents, you say, "I've got to read that chapter. Because that's exactly what I've thought."

Tim Elmore:      Yeah. Yeah.

Mark Cole:       Yeah. Yeah. One of the things, John, that I love in how you've mentored Tim, you've mentored all of us, is it's more than just the written word. Tim? I mean, you speak all over the country. You truly speak, not just to next generation leaders, but you speak to us leaders in how to go back and lead teams.

Tim Elmore:      Yeah.

Mark Cole:       That are next generation. And we've got an opportunity that you and John's going to speak. I'll share with that in just a minute. But talk to us a little bit about this passion to speak, this passion to get this message and other messages that you've done in front of teams and how that makes a difference in those teams.

Tim Elmore:      Yeah. Yeah. I think I love speaking probably a lot for the same reasons you do, John. You get to see the faces, get an epiphany. And a light bulb goes on when they maybe came in weary. I really believe that, this last year, leaders just suffered from decision fatigue. They made a year's worth of decisions in a month. And they were just tired. They're not bad. They're not wicked. They're just tired. And I believe, when you get to speak and maybe impart something that could maybe turn them around, or maybe their team around, the morale? Maybe it's morale. It's just worth it every time.

So I may go on the stage a little tired. You've gone on stage tired before. And you just light up when you realize, "Oh, my gosh!"

John Maxwell:  Sure.

Tim Elmore:      "We just did some good today."

John Maxwell:  Yeah. I tell people all the time. They're writing and speaking. And in writing sometimes, you never know.

Tim Elmore:      Yeah. Right.

John Maxwell:  You're helping people. But you weren't in that living room when they read that book.

Tim Elmore:      Yeah. Yeah.

John Maxwell:  And they didn't look at it and say, "Oh, my goodness! This was just huge!" So you seldom know when you write but you always know when you speak.

Tim Elmore:      Yeah. That's true. Yeah.

John Maxwell:  You get immediate feedback. And that's the energizing part.

Mark Cole:       Well, and one of the things, John has challenged me to build a legacy that extends beyond John, that goes from a persona to a philosophy. You on the podcast have heard me say that. And I'm going off script right here. And I'm looking at my studio producers and stuff. Because I'm sitting here talking about Tim being great at speaking at next generation and how, Tim, you can go into companies. You do that in a lot of schools. But you go into a lot of companies as well. And I'm sitting here, doing that. And I'm going, "I've got to give everybody a way to connect with Tim."

And so, I'm going to say info@johnmaxwell.com. info@johnmaxwell.com. Off-script. "Hey, podcast listeners, respond quickly." Because we'll get a little bit more professional with that, Tim. But this is something that you're passionate about. And John, you've mentored him. And I want to see this message get out.

In fact, October the 8th, in Atlanta, Georgia. John Maxwell, Tim Elmore, are sharing the stage together at an event called Live2Lead. So you can go to info@johnmaxwell.com and find out more information about Tim coming to speak for your team and your company. But we want you in Atlanta on October the 8th at the Live2Lead event. In fact, if you would like to get a ticket, you've already heard. "Man, I want to be there with John. I want to be there with who John is bringing to the table," which is Tim and many other communicators, you can go to L2LATL.com. That's L, the number 2, L, ATL.com. And you can get more information about this event.

Now, our time is up. And I'm the bad guy that has to moderate great conversations like this. But John, I would love for both of you to just take a moment, address our podcast listeners about the importance of messages like The Eight Paradoxes of Great Leadership. John, I'll go first with you.

John Maxwell:  Yeah. I appreciate that. And I want to say to you that, when you come to L2L on October the 8th, Tim will be with me. We'll have some terrific speakers and communicators. I think you're going to. Aren't you going to, at L2L, talk about a few of these paradoxes?

Tim Elmore:      Yeah. Yeah, I will.

John Maxwell:  That's what I thought.

Tim Elmore:      I will.

John Maxwell:  Okay. I thought that. So this really helps me.

Tim Elmore:      Mm-hmm (affirmative).

John Maxwell:  And this is going to help you. You need to bring your team with you. Don't come alone. I made the mistake, in my early years, of going to conferences by myself.

Tim Elmore:      Yeah. Yeah.

John Maxwell:  And then trying to come back.

Tim Elmore:      And translate it. Yeah.

John Maxwell:  And you can't transfer it. You can't translate it.

Tim Elmore:      Yeah. Yeah.

John Maxwell:  In fact, I'd get frustrated because, when I was finished, they weren't feeling what I was feeling.

Tim Elmore:      Yeah. That's right.

John Maxwell:  And they weren't thinking... And I thought, "Why aren't they feeling themselves?"

Tim Elmore:      Yeah.

John Maxwell:  I realized, "You didn't take them to that experience."

Tim Elmore:      Yeah.

John Maxwell:  "You went by yourself."

Tim Elmore:      Mm-hmm (affirmative).

John Maxwell:  So I want you to come and bring your team with you to L2L on October 8th. And here's what I want you to do. One of the things you're going to do, I will promise you, that'll be very beneficial is, when you bring your team? And he talks about, not all, but a few of the paradoxes of leadership. When you're done and you get back and you have dinner that night or whatever, I want you to look at your team. And then, say, "Okay. I want you to pick which paradox of leadership spoke to you the most and why." And I will promise you, in that hour-and-20-minute conversation over dinner, you're going to learn more about where your leaders are and what your leadership team is thinking, anything else.

Tim Elmore:      Yeah.

John Maxwell:  And so, that's just a application for L2L. Bring your team. And then, discuss the paradoxes that Tim talks about. And you'll find your team. I promise you, it'll help you.

Tim Elmore:      Yeah.

Mark Cole:       Tim, I'd love for you to just close us out today.

Tim Elmore:      Sure. Well John, you probably have had this experience. Your best books are ones that you have been wrestling with yourself, in your leadership.

John Maxwell:  Of course.

Tim Elmore:      So over this last year, year and a half, I have wrestled with being visible and invisible. Having vision, but yet, not letting my blind spots get in the way. But use them.

John Maxwell:  Yeah.

Tim Elmore:      There's just all kinds of contradictory ideas.

Wasn't it F. Scott Fitzgerald that said, "The sign of a great mind is you can hold two contradictory concepts?"

John Maxwell:  Same time.

Tim Elmore:      "At the same time, and still stay sane?"

John Maxwell:  That's exactly right.

Tim Elmore:      Yeah.

John Maxwell:  He said it.

Tim Elmore:      So this is what it is. It's contradictory thoughts that we need to say, "Is it this or this?" The answer is yes, it's both.

John Maxwell:  Yeah.

Tim Elmore:      And as you enter your team and you interact with that hurt person or that confounded person, you know exactly how to lead them across the bridge to the other side. That's my hope is that this gives very practical tips on how to practice the paradoxes in your life.

Mark Cole:       So podcast listeners, family, while I'm the bad guy, let me now switch hats and be the good guy. I promise you, I'm going to give you more ways than you can imagine to see Tim Elmore, John Maxwell, together more. Not just with Live2Lead, not just with the Eight Paradoxes of Great Leadership, not just coming and speaking for you, but other things that we have been dreaming and inspiring each other with.

So let me remind you, if you want to pick up the book, you want to be an early adopter to the Eight Paradoxes, go to timelmore.com/book. If you want to see John and Tim together in Atlanta, we have a seat for you at this moment. Don't wait long. We have a seat for you. You can go to L2LATL.com. Again, that's L, the number 2, L, ATL.com.

And then, finally, if you can't wait until October, and you want to know more about Tim and his message and how it can be brought to you and your team, you can submit some questions at info@johnmaxwell.com and we'll get information more to you.

Hey, I hope you've enjoyed today. I hope you've enjoyed it so much that you'll pass along this link to others. In fact, if you've not subscribed, we want to challenge you to subscribe. Because we will bring you content like this. John, you do it week in and week out. You hit the ball out of the park. We will do that for you, coming to your inbox, when you subscribe to themaxwellpodcast.com.

Finally, if you would like to relisten to today's episode, if you'd like to download the show notes, you can go to maxwellpodcast.com/paradox, and you will be able to, again, take advantage of a downloadable tool that will help you.

Thank you. Thanks for being a part of this family. John, as always, thank you for adding value to us.

John Maxwell:  A joy.

Mark Cole:       And introducing us to people like Tim Elmore.

Have a great day. Until we meet again, lead and make a difference.

4 thoughts on “Eight Paradoxes of Great Leadership with Tim Elmore”

  1. Enjoyed the Podcast, and the notes.
    In the future podcasts, rather than have fill-in the blank notes have notes with ‘red underlines’ under the words that would be in the blank. In that way we can focus on the podcast and notes at the same time without worrying about retrieving the word(s) for the blank.

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