Players vs. Pretenders (Part 1)

Let me ask you a question: are you a player, or are you a pretender? Sometimes it can be harder to see the difference in ourselves than it is to see it others. So, today we begin a series in which John Maxwell teaches the difference between players and pretenders and how the world needs more leaders who will lead authentically and add value to their people.

For the application portion of the episode, Mark Cole and Traci Morrow will be back to deep dive into John’s lesson and offer some application for you to apply this to your own life and leadership! They also have a special offer just for you, plus they read a comment from one of our listeners in the Philippines!

Our BONUS resource for this series is the “Players vs. Pretenders 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:       Hello, podcast listeners, podcast leaders. Welcome to The John Maxwell Leadership Podcast, the podcast that adds value to leaders who multiply value to others. I'm Mark Cole, the CEO of The John Maxwell Enterprise. And today, I'm excited about this episode. In fact, let me start by asking you this question. Are you a player or are you a pretender? I love this standout quote that I want to start with today. It's an anonymous quote, but it says this: "Characterize people by their actions and you will never be fooled by their words."

See, sometimes it can be harder to tell the difference of a player and a pretender in ourselves than it is to see it in others. So today, John Maxwell is going to teach us on the difference between players and pretenders. After John is done teaching, my co-host, Traci Morrow, and I will be back to deep dive into John's lesson and offer some application for you to apply this to your life and your leadership. As always, we have a fill in the blank worksheet from John's lesson. We call this our bonus resource and it is yours today. You can download it by visiting and click on the bonus resource button. I know you're going to enjoy this lesson, so get ready. You're going to be impacted. Here is John Maxwell.

John Maxwell:  The reason I'm doing this lesson on knowing the difference between players and pretenders is because in my life, as I have been a leader all of my life, whether it's an organization or whether it's a church community, whatever it is, here's what I have noticed, here's what I have found. I have found that leaders many times in selecting staff, in hiring people, they get a pretender instead of a player. And so I want to just help us to understand what's the difference between a pretender and a player? In every organization, there are those people who would rather act the part than do their part. I've classified these people as pretenders. Pretenders can slow an organization down, steal momentum, and damage relationships in an organization. They live for themselves. When an organization needs we people, the I people either change or exposed. In order for a pretender to become a player, major changes in personality and thought patterns must take place.

And it's important for us as leaders to know the difference between the two. So in my life, as I think I love to play ball, and in high school, I played ball and there was a guy on our team named Doug. He wasn't a player. He was a pretender. Doug was the kind of guy that in practice always did well. In fact, the coach would watch him during the week. He did so well, he'd put him on the first team. But by the first quarter of the first game, he'd be out again. Doug did good in practice, but he didn't do good when the game was on the line. What's the difference between players and pretenders. Are you ready? Let's write. You got your pens ready? Players have a servant's mindset and pretenders have a selfish mindset. Major difference between the two. Albert Einstein said only a life live for others is a life that is lived worthwhile.

Here's what I have found. I have found that players have a servant's heart. Pretenders, they have a selfish mindset. They are really looking out for themselves. Question. How can you tell if you have a servant attitude? Here's the answer. Are you ready? By the way you react when you're treated like one. You can tell if you have a servant's mindset by the way you react when somebody treats you like one. The second difference between a player and a pretender. Players are mission conscious, pretenders are position conscious. Now, there's a world of difference between those two. Players will give up a position to achieve a mission. Pretenders will give up a mission to achieve a position. A lot of difference between these type of people.

Leadership is influence. It's not title. It's not position. It's not rank. It's influence. The greatest leaders are those who influence the most people in any given time, in any given situation. The position doesn't make the leader, but the leader makes the position. And what I have found is that players are mission conscious. They have a purpose in their life where pretenders are more position conscious. They're more concerned about where their office is and what their title is and what their name is and where they are on the job description chart and the whole deal. Players have a tendency not to promote themselves where pretenders are very quick to tell you how good they are and what they've done. I believe success is three things. I believe success is knowing my purpose in life. And remember, that's what a player does. A player is mission conscious. I believe success is not only knowing my purpose in life, but number two, it's growing to my maximum potential. And finally, it is sowing seeds that benefit others.

When I am knowing my purpose in life and I'm growing to my maximum potential and I'm sowing seeds that help and benefit others, then I can look at my life and say, "My life is becoming a success, I believe with all of my heart." Players are mission conscious. Pretenders are position conscious. Number three, players are job happy. They love what they do and they do it well. Pretenders are job hunters. They can't do where they are now, but they think they could do it better where they are going. Pretenders have three things in their life. They have what I call destination disease. What I mean by destination disease is they think success is always somewhere else. Have you met somebody like that? They say, "You know what? When I move to the new city, I'm going to get happy. Or when I get my new job or I get new office, or I get my new car, I get my new promotion." They're always thinking that happiness is out there.

One of my favorite statements that I love so well, this is written for people who have destination disease, is no matter where you are, there you are. And some people, the only way they could ever get happy or good is if they could get away from themselves. You know what I mean? They have destination disease. And then there are people, the pretenders, they not only have destination disease, number two, they have what I call someone sickness. They think that success is with someone else. They think, "If I could just network with that individual, if I could just meet that person, if I could just marry her, I'd get happy, I'd get successful." And then pretenders not only have destination disease and someone sickness, they have what I call backslider blues. They think that success today is impossible because of what they did yesterday. Basically, they're pretenders. They think it's going to get better somewhere else, and they think that it's going to get better if they know someone else. And they have never been mission oriented, they've never been purpose oriented. They're job happy, the players are, instead of being job hunters.

Number four, the fourth difference between players and pretenders, players can deliver the goods, pretenders promise the goods. And there's a world of difference between those two, whether you deliver the goods or promise the goods. In your notes, we always hear about the haves and the have nots. Why don't we hear about the doers and the do nots? Players understand that they've got to be able to produce. Walt Whitman, great writer, I'm sure you've enjoyed much of his stuff, said, "There's a man in the world who is never turned down, whatever he chances to stray; he gets the glad hand in the populous town, or out where the farmers makes hay; he's greeted with pleasure on deserts of sand, and deep in the aisles of the woods; wherever he goes there's a welcoming hand. He's the man who delivers the goods." That's what players do. Number five, the fifth difference between players and pretenders, players love to see others succeed, and pretenders are only interested in their own success.

Rabbi Harold Kushner, who I've enjoyed much of his writings, said, "The purpose of life is not to win. The purpose of life is to grow and to share. When you come to look back on what you have done in life, you will get more satisfaction from the pleasure you have brought into other people's lives than you will from the times that you outdid and defeated them." Now, I began to think of that quote as I was working on this lesson of how players, unlike pretenders, are more other oriented. And I thought about myself doing work and ministry and helping people. I've evolved. I've evolved. And let me just walk through my cycle for a minute and see if this relates to where you live. When I began, when I graduated from college and I began in my first church, I'll tell you what I was, I was a competitor.

I was very competitive. In other words, I wanted to beat up the other people. Now, that doesn't sound right for clergymen, so I didn't go around saying, "I want to beat you up," but I did want to beat him. And I could still remember, I'd get the yearbook and I'd find out how the other churches were doing and I'd compare mine and I'd look at all the stats. I was competitive. But I went from competitor to personal achiever. Now, I'm showing how maturation, I think, takes place if we're developing. All of a sudden, I said, "Okay. My competition isn't the other guy. I want to be the best that I can be. I want to excel. I want to go for excellence." I went from personal achiever to team player.

One day, I realized that if I played on a team, I could get a lot more accomplished than if I did everything myself. And then I went and where I've been living them the last few years is from team player to team builder. In other words, instead of wanting to, as I started out in life, to beat others, now I want to build others. I want to pour in their life. You see, when I turned 40, I realized something. I realized that if I was ever going to achieve more than what I had achieved in my first 40 years, it was going to be because I brought people around me and developed them, and out of developing them, they added value to my life and I added value to their life. In fact, can I tell you something? If you can get accomplish everything you want to get accomplished by yourself, your dream is too small.

One is too small of a number to produce greatness. And so if you're ever going to be what you ever want to be, you're going to have to be it with someone else. Teamwork. That's why I wrote the book. Develop being the leaders around you. I wanted to help a person to do more than develop their own leadership skills and abilities and gifts. I wanted to help them to tap in and develop others, because those others will add such incredible value to your life. But players love to see others succeed. They live for others. And your value to society is awesome when you have that mindset, where pretenders, they want to have their own success.

Mark Cole:       Wow. I love this lesson. I'm sitting here, Traci, and I'm going, "Okay. I think I need to go in the back room and I need to figure out if I'm a player or a pretender and not sit here and try to unpack this lesson like we do." But truly, podcast listeners, podcast viewers, our big standout statement for you today is you are enough. You really do have what it takes. And my challenge to all of us as leaders is there's no reason to pretend. There really isn't. This posing, this faking everybody else, this faking till you make it, that style of leadership is gone. No one wants to follow that kind of leadership.

And so as we sort through this today to find out if we are a player or a pretender, trust me, I've picked up on me that I have some characteristics of a pretender. But all of you listening, all of you viewing, you're a player. You've got what it takes and we believe in you. John does, Traci does, I do. And I'm excited to identify some pretender characteristics, Traci, so we can work them out and be the best version of ourselves. Glad you're on today, Traci.

Traci:    That's right. I am too. And when I first listened to this, and maybe our listeners felt the same way, it is a little intimidating, because you hear this player versus pretender and you almost feel like, "Oh man." Maybe they don't think this way, but your first thought is, "I hope I don't land with more marks on the pretender side than the player side." But truly, I feel like as John taught this lesson, it clicked in for me, and maybe it did for you guys too, I wish I maybe would've heard this list as a young leader, but maybe I wouldn't have been prepared for it. Because what I think I hear John saying, which is incredibly freeing, and you just said it yourself, there is a player inside every person with the tendency to lean down and play small and be a pretender.

But it isn't like, "You know what? I'm going to listen to this podcast today and I'm going to find out if I have what it takes to be a player or if I'm just a pretender." And I don't think that's what John's saying. I think he's saying there is a player to be called out inside of each of us, but there are weeds of pretender growing up that we need to address and yank out. And that's what I feel like this really does is the addresses the player and the little bit of pretender inside of each of us. Did you feel that, Mark? You feel like, "Oh, I'm identifying that."

Mark Cole:       No, I am. I do identify with that, Traci. I was thinking just even as you were sharing right then, I didn't think this as I was listening in studio to John teach today, but right when you were just talking about that, I went, "When was the first time I heard John use this comment, player and pretender, and really teach on it?" And it was during COVID. It was during the pandemic. And we had all of these leaders that had been leading now being revealed on whether they were leading or pretending. And I went the first time. I remember it distinctly. I was in studio with him in Florida in Jupiter, Florida, and we were recording and I was like, "Oh my gosh, what did he just say? What is this?" My mind went back to my 22, 23, 26, 28 year old self and how I led.

My first Maxwell book was Developing the Leader Within You. Wasn't 2.0 then. And I tell the story that I had read that book. It really impacted it. It uncovered some things within me that really had the potential to lead and then I forgot to quit leading myself and started going and leading everybody else. And in essence, here's what I did. I quit focusing on the player within and I started focusing on pretending for those without. And I think that's the biggest takeaway that I took when I heard John first teach on this back in 2020. And I think that to your point, Traci, as a young leader, and we have many, many, I meet you on the road all the time, you go, "Oh, mark. That's what you look like. Oh, your voice is better than your looks." Or some of you go, "Oh, mark your Southern. Good grief." And I'm just kidding.

But my point is, I meet you on the road all the time. And what I love Traci, what I love, what I love, what I love is the number of young leaders that listen to our podcast. I love you guys. Because I feel like I have a redo, a chance to go back to the younger version of me and give you instructions when I meet you on the road. And one of the things that I would say is what Traci just said, learn how to stay focused on the player within you. And yes, every one of you have player ability in you, and don't get caught up in this pretending and performing for others and lose focusing on the player within you.

Traci Morrow:  I agree. You even said, I heard you go, "Wow, that's good," so I want to highlight it because I was thinking the exact same thing, when John said, "How can you tell if you have a servant mindset?" I am talking to those young leaders in our audience, but I'm also talking to those of us a little bit more seasoned. And the question that he asked is, how can you tell if you have a servant mindset? By the way you react when you're treated like one. So when I was younger, when I was treated like a servant, did I have this attitude of like, "Hey, I'm trying to rise in the ranks. Why are you treating me like I'm beginning?" And then maybe as an older leader, more seasoned leader, I'll use that term, I might have the attitude of, "Hey, I've been at this a while. Don't you know who I am?"

That might be the temptation, the weed of the player to come up and say, "Hey, don't you see what I've done?" Posturing a little bit. And so I really love that he used that as a check, which this whole lesson is a check in your spirit, inside the inner man, the inner woman of, am I leaning more towards selfish or servant? How did that strike you? Because that's how it hit me. And I know it hits every person differently, but to me, it's a checkpoint of, how do I respond? And so I'm sure a bunch of different moments fled your brain of when you were treated as a servant, how did you rise? Or how did you not do so well?

Mark Cole:       You mentioned here in studio, when I heard that statement, you have a servant mindset by the way you react when you're treated like one. And you heard me in studio and I went, "Whoa." Now, I heard John do this lesson live. Maybe John said that dozens of times in his life. I don't know. I never heard it like I did today. Maybe I listened to it before, but I never heard it like I did today. And maybe it's because of some situations that flooded my mind right when he said that. But Traci, that statement is what made me come out of the lesson from John and tell all of you viewers and all you listeners and go, "I think I want to cause a break and just say, hey, you're on your own today, Traci. We're not doing a deep dive. I'm going in the back room of the studio and I'm going to go figure this out because."

And let me attempt to unfiltered, Traci, tell you how I took that. Number one, I think just face value, you have a servant mindset if people treat you like a servant and you do not take offense to that. Okay. That's really good. But I know I can tell you a time when I first started with John 20 years ago, 22 years ago now, I started with this team and I was an entry level. I was a 30 year old entry level. The four leaders ahead of me, above me, between me and John Maxwell, the owner, were all younger than I. I had led bigger budgets than most of them, yet felt like I deserved to be treated like a servant at that stage in my life.

Many of you know my story. I was rejected at that point. I was relationally bankrupt. I was financially bankrupt. I was emotionally bankrupt. I felt like I should be a servant. I was kind of like the prodigal son. Just let me come be a servant and I'll be thankful to eat your servants meal. I saw myself as a servant and so I didn't mind people treating me as a servant. But that's not what's going on here. Now I'm the big cheese, whatever that means. When the test of being a player comes in is not when you see yourself as servant, therefore you let others see you as servant. It's when you see yourself as the leader and the responsible one, and you still let people treat you as a servant.

Traci, that struck me because I never want to lose that 30 year old mindset that I came into John's organization and that is team, anybody, direct report, not direct report, direct supervisor or somebody that I'm supervising, I will do whatever it takes to serve you and empower you to be successful. As a leader, I never want accelerated position or accelerated accomplishment to cause me to lose my desire to be a servant. And the best way to know that is when someone doesn't respect me, my decision or my position, what do I do? I'm convicted.

Traci Morrow:  Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. And it even spurs on, how can I serve even next level my servanthood? Not just, how do I act when people treat me as a servant, but can I view myself? Do I still view myself as a servant? As the big cheese or the top dog of your business, or if your organization, and I'm talking to you leaders out there who have a few or many people who serve under you in your team, do you show up and expect your coffee to be at your desk or whatever? Or do you show up and do you bring your team coffee? Do you show up and expect things to be there? Or do you serve them and bring things in the traditional area where they would think they would be serving you in that area?

I love the way John leads the way and I love the way you lead the way in that, Mark, where you do show up and you serve people. And that just shows us that's okay. And I love that John says this, when he says, and don't lose this, friends. He said, "I learned in my forties." And so that just tells us sometimes, John is looking back on a lifetime of leadership and helping us chart our way through. But he's telling us something that he learned at 40. So I think some times we think John knew this in his twenties because John is John, but he's a human too. And there was a player... I love when he makes himself so human and says, "There's a player inside me too. And I realized in my forties, I needed to do this, that, and the other thing."

Mark Cole:       So I'm glad you brought John up. This is going to be, again, traveling around the world and getting to meet podcast listeners, one of the things you guys love is the behind the scenes stuff, so I'm going to give you really behind the scenes. In fact, many of you are already, you don't even know what I'm getting ready to say, you're already going, "TMI, TMI, TMI, too much information, much information." So here we go. But one of the things I love about John, this is already formulating as very funny in my mind, many times, because we're rushing from plane to plane or this, that, and the other, half the time, we're anticipating getting to go to the restroom way before we get to go to the restroom. So what I'm saying is John and I are not like teenage girls, but oftentimes we have to go to the restroom about the same time, because we've been holding, holding, holding. We got to run. [inaudible 00:24:33]. And so what I love about John, again, TMI, is we're going to the restroom-

Traci Morrow:  I love this story already.

Mark Cole:       ... and we finish up our business and then we come out. And many times, he's done before or whatever, he's sitting there holding the paper towels that I'm going to need once I wash my hands so that I don't have to pull them out. Now, some of you're saying, "Yeah, he's doing that, Mark, to remind you you need to wash your hands." Some of you are going, "This is way too awkward. You're talking about bathroom time with John." Get above all of that, you crazy people, and just catch this. John Maxwell, Mr. busy, crazy, got a lot of stuff going on, he's already done his business, he's already washed his hands, he's already dried his hands, and he's sitting there holding my paper towels to give me so that I can dry my hands once I wash the hands. He doesn't need to do that. He doesn't have to do that. Why he does things like that and many other things is to never lose the sight that a player is a servant, not selfish.

And I'm glad you brought that up. I've never shared that story before. So those of you that love the behind the scenes, that one was for you. But for those of you that are really capturing this servant mindset, I want you to get the mental image to some extent of John Maxwell sitting there finished holding paper towels for another human being to dry their hands and move on. It's a great picture of a servant leader.

Traci Morrow:  I agree. It's the humanity. And I think so many times, people are not made to be famous. That's why John always says, "My name is John and I'm your friend," a human being who has continued to grow and get better and know his purpose in life according to his list on point number two. And can I just point something out? I used to listen to this podcast. Here's my confession. I used to listen to this podcast and John's teachings and take it in when I was driving my kids to the high school or middle school and elementary school because I have so many kids, I was driving to all the schools. So by the time I would get home, I would've nourished my soul and gotten some good teaching. And then I would get into my day in my work day.

But when I started going and printing out the bonus resources and following along, there's something visual about hearing it and filling in the blanks and taking notes on that paper. So friends, if you've never gone to that next level, there's something very visual about seeing the list that John is sharing his notes from sh from teaching these lessons. And you can see there, he is breaking down how to get rid of the pretender within you and breaking down how to access the player. So I'm looking down, for those of you who are on YouTube with us, I'm looking down and I'm looking at John's notes because I have my own notes written down. You see Mark's notes there on his desk. I'm looking and I'm seeing on point number two, he says, "Success is what it is to be on a player on a mission and have embraced the mission." And he has those three points.

And then if you turn it over, you go to the next page, he talks about the pretender checklist and seeing, how do I measure up with those? Make notes to yourself on that, talk to yourself. Don't just listen to yourself or listen to the podcast, but really break down if you want to detach or yank the weed of the pretender within, really look at what that list is and be honest with yourself to see where you want to detach from that pretender and really engage with the player. Because I feel like John just really lays this all out for us, Mark. I love whenever you have any input from John and you working together on living as players. That doesn't sound right, two guys living as players.

Mark Cole:       We finally quit pretending. No, you know what I love, going to that third point that you were just talking about? Well, the second point is where he talks about knowing, growing and sewing is what success looks like. Love that, could unpack that for days. But then I love how clear he gets under point number three, where he says, "Players are job happy. Pretenders are job hunters." And then he talks about pretenders have destination disease, someone sickness, and backslider blues. The one that really stood out to me, Traci, is the someone sickness. You've been around, I'm a relational person, you're a relational person, you guide us on the Maxwell way of relationships and several content creation things that we're doing, and we'll talk more about that in another podcast.

But this someone's sickness as a relational leader really speaks to me because I've met so many people that says, "Well, if my mate could just be X or be like this or be like that person, or if I got to be on John's team like you, Mark," it's always this someone sickness. It's someone else is the cause and effect of your playing or pretending. And what John is saying, most pretenders have this sickness that it's a someone else problem, or a someone else has something that I don't have kind of an issue that's holding the pretenders back. And again, Traci, as the relational guide of how Maxwell does relationships, we've got to really be careful that we don't get so caught up on the who that is around us that we excuse ourself from the responsibility of being a player and developing ourself to being more of a contributor to a team.

Traci Morrow:  I agree. And speaking of team, I'm going to jump down to his list on point number five. Because I think as leaders, we have a lot of competitors in our audience. And I think it's just a natural part of being a leader is that competitive peace and where John breaks down and really faces the competitor within him. Now, I'm going to tell you something. I grew up in a family with three brothers. I have a sister too, but she was the oldest and she moved out, so I grew up with three brothers and a dad where everything we did felt like we were in Olympic competition. And as the one girl surrounded by a bunch of guys, I just felt like, "Oh my gosh, everything was a competition and it just stressed me out." And so I really pulled away from competition.

I love my dad and brothers, don't get me wrong, but I felt like the weed of competition had a negative connotation because I don't want to be against anybody. And so when John really broke it down that competition is healthy when you are looking to be a team player, when he talks about the beauty, not to fight against people and be against people, to be the winner, to be better than everybody else, it's such a lonely, empty path. But when you are looking to be a team player and a team builder, it really makes competition so beautiful and shows us what to cultivate instead of making it all about us. I know you're competitive, so I know that had to have resonated with you.

Mark Cole:       It did. This is another convicting story. I don't think I've ever shared it on the podcast before. And as John was talking about this, I went, "Mark, do you really want to share this? This person that I'm talking about might be a podcast listener." Most of you know that in the first 10 years outside of college, I came back and was an executive pastor in my dad's ministry. One of my functions, one of my roles was the incredible privilege of leading our young people. I was a youth pastor, much like you, Traci. We have that in common. And I'll never forget ever, this is indelibly in placed in my mind forever, when one of the young people that I introduced him to faith, I cultivated him, he was without a dad, he had a broken home, just imagine a broken home. That's what you've got when you got this individual.

And I loved him in and he saw me as this big brother kind of thing and would do anything and did do almost everything for me as a youth pastor. And I never forget one time that we came off the basketball court, and God didn't gift me with a lot of talent. My brothers got a lot more athletic talent than I do. I was decent, but I had to work really hard. But what I did have was a mouth that would intimidate people to think I was better than what I really was. I was better at talking my game than playing my game. That applies for me-

Traci Morrow:  Oh, I can relate.

Mark Cole:       For all of my life, I was the baby of five. I was five years younger than my closest sibling. And so I just had to mouth my way to beating them. I just constantly had to do that. That was just a part of my life. Plus, I'm redheaded and got a lot of passion. But I'll never forget this moment coming off the basketball court. There's this youth pastor, he'd been in my youth program for about four years before I had introduced him to his faith. And he came off the table, I was a school teacher. Again, I just can't overplay the important role that I was in this guy. He was with me seven days a week, many hours every single day. And he came off the basketball court and he looked at me. And that particular day he had to play against me and my team and we killed him, and I felt good.

I came off the court and he made a statement to me. I wake up in the middle of the night sometimes thinking about the statement. He said, "Mark, I love you everywhere but on the basketball court." And I went, "Whoa." It was this moment where I went, "I'm too competitive. I cannot keep doing this." Now, I'm still very competitive. I still keep that comment in state. But here's my question. Does your team love you all the time except when they feel like they're competing with you? Many years ago, my daughter now is 15, but I can remember as a three, four year old daughter playing Hungry Hippo, playing other things, I realized that Macy had a better day when she beat her dad. And I realized I would rather see Macy have a better day than beating my three year old daughter and being able to tell everybody I beat my daughter in Hungry Hippo.

And I think we, as leaders, need to realize it's a lot better day when see our teammates win and beat us in leading better or accomplishing an objective or something like that, because competitive, unhealthy will cause people to love you everywhere but in the middle of the competition. And that's when we need them to love us most because when the game's on the line, I want my team fighting with me, not against me. And so I really was convicted with that, Traci. I'm glad you caught because I kind of made that note for myself for my own personal consumption and you just pulled it out right here. And I had to admit that I was a horrible youth pastor, because I was trying to mutilate everybody, even the people that liked me off the court.

Traci Morrow:  Well, we stay on this podcast long enough, they're going to know all of our embarrassing moments. And I think that honestly just makes me love you more because I know our podcast listeners have to feel the same. The moments that we have, we all have those embarrassing moments. We have those moments where somebody holds a mirror up to us and we see something in ourselves that we don't like. And we get the opportunity to either let that change us for the better or shrink us down and make us continue to live as that small person, as the pretender. And what I love is that you chose to pull that into being a player rather than still playing small. And that just shows us, we all have small moments, but it can make us bigger if we choose to.

So I'll let you close us out. But friends, I just know that we all have moments where we can choose to either let us step into becoming something bigger or still playing small. And I love how John continues to beckon us to operate as a player rather than a pretender, remembering that it's all about who we are, not who we want people to perceive us as and how we want to look, which is just such an appropriate message in this social media age, who we really are, not just how we look to the world. Great message.

Mark Cole:       Yeah. And the great news is, Traci, we'll be back next week with part two. We didn't feel like we could cram all of John's teaching into this one episode, so we'll be back next week with part two of players versus pretenders.

Traci Morrow:  That's right.

Mark Cole:       I come back to the standout statement that I really want you to have, that you are enough. There's no reason to pretend. You've got what it takes. There's two additional resources if you want to go deeper with this part one, and we'll put both of these in the show notes. One is there's a episode that we did some time ago called how to become a lifelong learner. And John talked about one of the ways you know a player from a pretender is they're a lifelong learner. They're constantly growing. And so that's a resource for you in the show notes.

And then for those of you watching us on YouTube, please come over to YouTube and watch us every once in a while. But Traci, right behind her right shoulder is the book, The Leader's Greatest Return. Thank you, Traci. The Leader's Greatest Return. And that's a book. We're going to give you a discount on that, 15% off. You go to the show notes, click on the link, use the coupon code "podcast" and you'll get 15% discount on that. So those two resources are a way to go, next step. I want to share like I've in doing recently because this is all about you, our podcast listeners, our podcast viewers.

We got a comment just recently that said, "Hello from the Philippines." And that one statement just fired me up. Hello from the Philippines. Because I love the Philippines. I don't feel like I go enough. And now, I found out that I go every week. I'm in Philippines every week, just not physically. I got to come hug some necks of my incredible friends in the Philippines. But, "Hello from the Philippines, I'm always excited to learn from this podcast. The one recently that highlighted the most to me was do something with your life so great that when you think you're done, somebody is so inspired that they'll continue it." And Sarah, I remember that statement and I remember the conviction about legacy and what that meant. And so Sarah from the Philippines, thank you for sharing that. The rest of you, share a comment, share a link, get somebody else to subscribe to the podcast and to help us continue to grow this community. You matter to us. Hey, until next week part two, listen, learn, love, then lead.

5 thoughts on “Players vs. Pretenders (Part 1)”

  1. Coming away from church I carried a lot of pretence.
    I’m glad today that I ha e been on this journey
    of being a Truth Player and seeking the Mission
    to fulfilling.

    Everyday with JC Maxwell encourages me forward.
    I loving the podcasts .

  2. Amazing message. God bless you Sir.
    As a leader, this message has opened my eyes to a whole new dimension; personally and in working with my team.
    This has helped me to create a wider but specific checklist for myself. This will help me a great deal.
    Thank you.

  3. The Servant Leader – its a journey that i love , you guys make it look easy at times , but i do know that there a lot of hard work you have done to be where you are . i appreciate that ,and am inspired by the journey .

    keep it up guys – question for today , being a player most of the time ,do you ever get that feeling of wanting to be a pretender. how do you stop yourself from going backwards?

  4. Thank you. Very powerful!
    Player vs pretender is very similar to sacred vs symbolic. Concepts if consciously distinguished and corrected early by sanctification will be a genuine advantage, benefit and blessing to the true believer-leader in Christ.

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