Next week, my book The Leader’s Greatest Return officially releases. I’ve shared some ideas and pieces of the book’s content on the blog over the past few months, but today I want to give you a sneak peek from Chapter 3.

If you’re a leader, you should be developing other leaders. It’s the single-greatest investment you can make because it produces the single greatest return. Nothing helps an organization like more leaders; in fact, I’ve never once had an organization tell me, “You know, John—we just have too many leaders.”

In order to develop leaders, however, you must understand them. Good leadership requires a perspective shift; you must go from seeing things through your leadership lens to seeing things through the eyes of those you lead.

So how can you, as a leader, acquire the perspectives you need to better understand your people?

  1. Learn Perspective Thinking

    When I first started out in leadership, I expected everyone else to adapt to my way of thinking. I wish I’d done the opposite—trying to think the ways others did would’ve helped me avoid a few mistakes! Learning to approach an idea or opportunity through someone else’s mindset is helpful because it allows you to appreciate their view of things, and then lead them from where they are instead of trying to lead them from where you are.

    Where they are as an emerging leader is often a place of looking forward. As I began thinking through things in this way, I quickly learned that many people struggled with insecurity, so I gave them confidence. Many people longed for a bright future, so I gave them hope. People wanted to be understood, so I gave them a listening ear. People wanted to be included, so I asked them for their thoughts.

    I knew what to give my people when I learned to think from their perspective.

  2. Practice Perspective Seeking

    It’s one thing to try and think like your people; it’s another thing to ask your people what they’re thinking. As I’ve grown in my leadership, I’ve developed the habit of asking the leaders on my team for their perspective and takeaways after significant meetings or events. By listening to them, I not only learn how they think, I get deeper insight into other areas, like the leadership dynamics of a room, or the effectiveness of our communication.

    When I’m developing a new leader, I’m especially keen to ask for their perspective first. It allows them to share without feeling the pressure to affirm my thinking. Then, once I’ve heard from them, I can share my takeaways, and perhaps teach them something that will help them go further in their leadership journey.

  3. Engage in Perspective Coordinating

    The final thing I do when I’m developing leaders is coordinate the different perspectives that my leaders give me. After allowing everyone to have their say (including me), I’ll then go back around the table and connect the dots—pointing out how one team member’s ideas relate to another’s. Then, I’ll tell them how those ideas connect to my own thinking, and to the vision of the organization.

    When I do that, I’m trying to expand everyone’s vision and perspective. I want to sharpen their leadership thinking and come up with a new shared leadership perspective. Once I’ve done that, I’ll ask how this new perspective can make us better collectively and how it can make us better as individuals. It prompts everyone to process the ideas and think broadly—not just through their own filters.

When you as a leader—and the leaders you’re developing—can see things through the eyes of others, you’ll know maturity as a leader is starting to develop. The power of perspective is an intentional discipline. It takes time and commitment, but it creates an understanding between you and the people you lead that allows you to move forward, faster—and with increasing success.


  1. Pastor OMAR A. MUHAMMAD,Th.M on January 23, 2020 at 1:43 pm

    Yes, Sir! Rev. Dr. John Maxwell, Please send me the third chapter of your new book. I am Pastor Omar A. Muhammad, I serve in Skid Row in Los Angeles our congregation is about 150. I have a few leaders on my team. I heard your video on YouTube on What is Transformative Leadership. It was amazing… I am currently applying for an Ed.D at Loyola Marymount University, in Transformative Leadership and Social Justice. In your video, you spoke about some tools and resources for pastors. I wonder if they are still available? If so can you direct me to those resources?

  2. Brenda Lee Henry on January 23, 2020 at 3:44 pm

    This is so good! Thank you for sharing your wisdom. It’s really important not to assume to know what someone is thinking. We know what the word ass-u-me is trying to convey! Don’t do it!

  3. Syamsul Amri A Razak on January 25, 2020 at 1:52 am

    I have series of John Maxwell books; inspiring and of high quality materials.

  4. […] Read full Article Source link […]

  5. Gary Hubbard on January 28, 2020 at 2:12 pm

    I have purchased the Leader’s Greatest Return and received via Amazon today.
    I’m looking for the video clip of each chapter upon purchase.
    Would you direct me to the link in order to access these valuable nuggets to further enhance my learning of attracting, developing and multiplying leaders? Thank you Gary

  6. METHO ANDRES on February 28, 2020 at 7:09 pm

    Great and useful stuff for God’s vineyard. Praying that God shall bless and use you more effectively through this way of Ministry you had it….

  7. Lynn O'Donnell on March 3, 2020 at 4:19 pm

    This by far has been one of the best Audio books and purchases I have made in my life. I have been listening to you on my travels to work, teaching and home. Recently i put one of your chapters on in the drive with my mom to put her Mediaport in for the start of her Chemo next week. She heard your voice and even though she only listened for a short ride said wow that man is very insightful and very wise its like hes describing you to a tee. I looked at her and said thanks mom for always being my rock while i grow as a leader.. she said no you have always been my rock is the day you were born.. We raised you to be the best you you could be.. you took the ball and ran with it in ways i could never imagine.. now even as you drive in the car back and forth to stuff your still trying to make you a better person you amaze me everyday.. best words have ever heard from her.. Thank you for your influence.. I have read a few of your leadership books in passing but hearing you speak daily in this books chapters has really made me a better person leader and influence in the world. Thank you!

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