What do you look for in members of your Inner Circle?

Lifters need here!

group of business people looking down





Over the past month I have been organizing myself for the task of president of my church’s council. A huge task which is humbling and too important to take lightly. As a person of faith I understand it is only with God’s help that I will be up to the task. Gratefully His help comes in the form of not only council members but also past council members ready to help. Normally it takes a smaller group agile enough to get things done. Besides the structured executive committee the real go to group becomes the less formal “Inner Circle”. How are they chosen? Well here is one of the criteria as found in John C. Maxwell’s teaching of the inner circle.


There are two kinds of people on the earth today,

Just two kinds of people, no more, I say.

Not the good and the bad, for ‘tis well understood

That the good are half-bad and the bad are half-good.

No! The two kinds of people on earth I mean

Are the people who lift and the people who lean.

There are two kinds of people, no more, I say.

Not the sinner and saint, for it’s well understood,

The good are half bad, and the bad are half good…

No; the two kinds of people on earth I mean,

Are the people who lift, and the people who lean.

Look only for lifters for your inner circle.

–          Ella Wheeler Wilcox



Do you have an inner circle?

What are the criteria used to chose this group?

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership Workbook
John C. Maxwell
Thomas Nelson

4 Surefire Ways to Get the Most from the Next Conference You Attend

Michael Hyatt - Your Virtual Mentor, Win at Work. Succeed at Life
September 5, 2014

Group Of Business People Listening To A Speech


Recently I have gone to several conferences to include my professional association’s. I have provided a repost of a popular post that I end up sharing prior to each year’s attendance. Today I stumbled on a brief but very helpful post by Michael Hyatt one of my favorite “virtual mentor”.

Here are four of Michael’s suggestions for your next conference.

  1. I play full out.

  2. I suspend disbelief.

  3. I take good notes.

  4. I’m choosy about my company.



Follow the link for more detail.

Leadership Is Action Not Position sign isolated on white background


“I have defined humility as the realization that a leader is inherently no better than the people he or she leads, and charisma as the realization that the leaders actions are more important than those of the people he or she leads. As leaders, we must strive to embrace humility and charisma.”

– Patrick Lencioni

Maximum Impact Club - Communication That Inspires, by John C. Maxwell (mileaderonline.com, 2014), Volume 18, Number 10

Influence Should Be Loaned But Never Given


There are books that have to be read and taken in their entirety and those that you can take a section, chapter, or even page and pick out a lesson to learn. Years ago I found Leadership Gold by John Maxwellto be one of the later. Each chapter, a nugget of gold, a lesson which stands on its own.

It is my habit to periodically pickup Leadership Gold and just browse through it seeing what may strike me. This time it was, “Influence should be loaned but not given.” A timely title for me, as I assist several new leaders grow in influence in their organization. In addition in the past week, my healthcare facility management association provides opportunity to us my network to connect several peers who I believed would benefit from each other’s acquaintance. John’s writings were a reminder that in each case they were still responsible for the outcome of any opportunity provided.

Although I recommend you pick up a copy of Leadership Gold yourself, here is a brief outline of that responsibility in the form of a contract John provides us with.

“My Loan Contract for Potential Leaders”

I can give you a position of leadership.

You must earn permission to lead.

I can give you an opportunity to lead.

You must make the best of that opportunity.

I can set you up as a leader with potential.

You must stay up by fulfilling your potential.

I can get people to follow you today.

You must get people to follow you tomorrow.

My influence to you is a loan, not a gift.

Express gratitude, and use it wisely.

Give me a return on my investment.

Give others a return on my investment.

Give yourself a return on my investment.


Leadership Gold, by John C. Maxwell


Leadership Gold


The Difference Between Trying and Doing

Michael Hyatt Your Virtual Mentor

This morning I was browsing through some of Michael Hyatt’s posts to find one to inspire a group working on renewing within my church. This work is so important that ‘try” cannot be in their vocabulary.

How about initiatives you are working on?



Question: Where have you been trying instead of doing?


What Plants Would Your Management Team Plant

A RE-POST of Be Careful What You Plant

Seed Planting


Since this post speaks to integrity, I have to state right up front, I did not write it. The part that I feel bad a bought is that somehow I have lost track of who to credit this great story to. Over the years I have shared it several times but never been able to properly thank or reference the author. If it is familiar to you and you know who wrote it, please pass the source on to me so I can share the author with others.

In the words of our unknown author:


A successful business man was growing old and knew it was time to choose a successor to take over the business.  Instead of choosing one of his directors or his children, he decided to do something different. He called all the young executives in his company together.

He said, “It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO. I have decided to choose one of you.” The young executives were shocked, but the boss continued. “I am going to give each one of you a SEED today – one very special SEED. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next CEO.”

One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly, told his wife the story.  She helped him get a pot, soil and compost and he planted the seed.  Every day, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown.  After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn’t have a plant and he felt like a failure.  Six months went by–still nothing in Jim’s pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Jim didn’t say anything to his colleagues, however. He just kept watering and fertilizing the soil – He so wanted the seed to grow.

A year finally went by and all the young executives of the company brought their plants to the CEO for inspection. Jim told his wife that he wasn’t going to take an empty pot. But she asked him to be honest about what happened. Jim felt sick at his stomach, it was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, but he knew his wife was Right. He took his empty pot to the board room. When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful–in all shapes and sizes. Jim put his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed, a few felt sorry for him! When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young executives. Jim just tried to hide in the back. “My, what great plants, trees, and flowers you have grown,” said the CEO. “Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!”

 All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered the financial director to bring him to the front. Jim was terrified. He thought, “The CEO knows I’m a failure! Maybe he will have me fired!”

When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed – Jim told him the story.  The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim, and then announced to the young executives, “Behold your next Chief Executive! His name is Jim!” Jim couldn’t believe it. Jim couldn’t even grow his seed.  How could he be the new CEO the others said?

Then the CEO said, “One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today.  But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead – It was not possible for them to grow. All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers.  When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive!”

If you plant honesty, you will reap trust

If you plant goodness, you will reap friends

If you plant humility, you will reap greatness

If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment

If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective

If you plant hard work, you will reap success

If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation

If you plant faith, you will reap a harvest

So, be careful what you plant now; it will determine what you will reap later.


Once again if you know the source of this great little story please share that information with the rest of us.


Lesson Questions

  1. How many varieties of plants would be found where you work?
  2. Would there be a “Jim” who would only have an empty pot?
  3. If tested, would you have an empty pot?


Smiling successful business team standing in office


“If you can’t be your authentic self, you are connecting with the wrong people. They’re wasting your time and holding you back. Meaningful connections require you to be your authentic self”

– Dr. Henry Cloud