It is a good book, written by John C. Maxwell. I recommend it to you, especially if you are interested in growing as a leader.
The way the book is built up is, that at each quality there is a different illustrating story.
For example, when Dr. Maxwell teaches about character in chapter one, he shares the story of Bill Lear and how he made the right decision even when it hurt him financially.
When he writes about commitment he shares the story of Michelangelo. When talking about continuous learning he relates the story of Charlie Chaplin.
And so on.
When I first read this book I was wondering whether I could ever become all those people in one person. I would have prefered to be shown how one person could possibly have those qualities, or at least enough of those to be able to function and have influence as a leader.
Over time I have come to this conclusion: being a caring person makes us have those qualities.
Granted, our qualities also depend on our talents. For example, we tend to have discernment in the areas of our giftedness. Or some people have more affinity towards speaking (communication) some have more towards listening. Each leader is different and has his or her main strengths.
However as we grow in maturity and become more caring, this affects our leadership traits. So, for example:
- a caring person does not want to take advantage of others, so grows in character (number one in the book - #1).
- a caring person focuses more on others, and by doing so becomes more charismatic (#2).
- a caring person does not want to let people down so takes responsibility (#16).
- a caring person listens to others, listening being the first duty of love (#11).
- a caring person cares about him/herself and invests in him/herself, hence he/she learns and grows continuously (#20).
So for me, being a caring person is the root of leadership. How do you see this?
I don't know if I have a complete answer to that. Probably not.
All I can share is that other caring people could certainly help.
My experience with Community Building is this: it took a few caring people and a personal encounter with those caring people for me to be able to become more caring, more whole, more secure and more authentic with stronger character myself.
I am not saying that everyone who has ever come in contact with this methodology is a very caring person. I have met some who just want to show off or take advantage of others.
Note: I had to learn that just because someone says they do Community Building, and it is M. Scott Peck style, it does not necessarily mean they know what they are doing.
But this setup made it possible to find a handful that were really able to listen and understand. And there were many others who did not want or simply could not emotionally care for me. (They kept giving me unsolicited advice instead, or just turned a deaf ear – these are all OK by the way, I can understand them).
A Community Building event can (no one can guarantee that 100%) turn out to provide a truly caring atmosphere, where there is safety, trust, empathy, high authenticity and deep listening. This has turned out to be the only place where I could share things even my own parents (psychologists, network marketing upline or church people) did not want or could not listen to and understand.
The safe and meaningful interactions that can occur during a Community Building event helped me to become more secure, more authentic and more whole. These experiences allowed me to become intimate with my own emotions and to be able to handle those emotions. Hence, I can take better care of myself, and I can pay attention to others better.
Becoming secure (which is also an indispensable quality - #17), furthermore, made it possible for me to initiate, initiative being yet another indispensable quality (#10)
So I guess it started out by caring about myself enough to look out for help. (I badly needed help for sure). I have already shared about the things (business seminars, books, different churches, different psychologists) I did and do to grow myself. Of all, Community Building has turned out to be the single most significant for me. The care I received through it, made it later possible for me to do more for myself and others.
Here is a quote from Jim Rohn I have come to appreciate quite a lot, that I think fits here:
"The more you care, the stronger you become."
And here is an illustration I made with my limited design skills, that aims to express how these different qualities depend on each other:
p.s.: Would you like to become a more caring person? Would you like to grow as a leader?
Maybe you are all fine, but you can think of a person or two in your organization you would want them to be helped.
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