On December 6, 2012, Boston Business Concepts employees Leah, Josh and Patrick attended the John Maxwell leadership conference that focused on the five levels of leadership. The three were chosen to attend by management based upon sales performance and execution of outstanding leadership within the office.
From left to right: Leah Martinson, Patrick Futrell and Joshua Matthews
After attending the conference, Leah, Josh and Patrick were each asked to tell us a little bit about what they learned and about their overall experience.
Tell us a little bit about your impressions and what you learned from attending the John Maxwell conference on leadership:
What was your favorite piece of advice?
Leah: “The best piece of advice given to us was that some leaders are born but others can be made. Leadership is all about relationships you create with your employees. Without relationships you will just be a manager and never a leader.”
Josh: “My favorite piece of advice that I learned was that people do not follow a leader based on their position in the company. Rather, they follow based on the things that the individual has done for them or for the company/organization itself.”
Patrick: “My favorite piece of advice was that leadership is based upon relative individual relationships, rather than treating everyone similarly.”
What was the most surprising thing that you learned, or most interesting exercise you did at the conference?
Leah: “The most interesting exercise was when the spokesman had us take 38 values and then eliminate them until we had a remaining top 5. It really made me think about what was important to me and what I wanted to achieve in life. I found this valuable to know the values of my fellow employees so I know what motivates them long term.”
Josh: “The most interesting thing for me was the paper airplane exercise. We were each instructed to make our own paper airplane and then see how far each of our own planes could fly. The top four people in the preliminary round were allowed to teach larger groups of people about how to construct a paper plane because theirs flew the farthest; Patrick and I were two of the top examples! Each group then flew their airplanes to see which could go the farthest as a collective whole. There was a clear cut winner in the groupings, but the lesson proved that there was a large amount of advancement to everyone by working together as a team.”
Patrick: “The exercises I found the most interesting were the brief reflection periods after the description of each level of leadership. These discussions allowed the members at each table to analyze the particular level of leadership in the context of their own work environment. Through each discussion, I discovered the universality of Maxwell’s system.”
What do the five levels of leadership mean to you?
Leah: “Each person you lead starts out on level 1. Even though you don’t want to stay at that level, it is imperative to create that foundation and build upon it for each level thereafter. Level 4 is the most important and one that you strive to reach with everyone. At this level, it becomes a mutually beneficial relationship where everyone has an effect on each other’s lives in both a professional and personal manner.”
Josh: “Each level means something different to each person. Although one person could be on a level 2 to you, you could be on a different level to them. That’s what the different levels of leadership means to me.”
Patrick: “The five levels are the leadership patterns that relationships between people follow. Level 1 is the simple relationship between superior and subordinate, while level 2 adds an element of closeness associated with a personal relationship that strengthens the connection between the two. Level three adds an element of respect based on a leader’s production and passion for what they do, and level four incorporates respect based on the leader’s personal contributions to his or her relationships. Level 5 is the rare leader who can replicate other leaders to lead others at level 4.”
After attending the conference, how do you plan to apply what you learned from John Maxwell to your professional life?
Leah: “The spokesman had us complete an exercise where we made paper airplanes in two minutes and the top four who went the farthest would then teach a group of people how to make their planes. This was interesting because it showed how much more efficient we could be if we all had the same vision and worked together, rather than to each do a separate task with the same vision. I realized that clear goals and working together is what will help my team and I to excel to the next level of efficiency and performance.”
Josh: “There is not a doubt in my mind that this conference positively affected my capabilities as a leader with BBC, Inc. I will apply everything that I learned from this conference on a daily basis in order to build better and stronger relationship with not only with the individuals on my own team, but to build better and long-lasting relationships with the people around me. Without stronger relationships with your peers, it is near impossible to affect others as you move up through the ranks in a company.”
Patrick: “The conference helped me to systematize specific steps that will allow me to move between each level with each of my relationships. Using Maxwell’s levels of leadership, I can easily identify at which level my relationships lie and how to move them forward to optimize my own leadership.”
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