Dr. John Maxwell offers powerful messages on leadership

Dr. John C. Maxwell at CIU
September 18, 2020

By Alexander D. Brickey

CIU Student Writer

“You must know your people to grow your people.”

That’s what Dr. John Maxwell advised a leadership forum at Columbia International University.

Maxwell, an international best-selling author who has spoken on leadership over 12,000 times, offered yet one more talk on the top before a masked Columbia area audience gathered in CIU’s Shortess Chapel who were socially distanced because of COVID-19 concerns. The event was originally scheduled for March, but moved to September because of the coronavirus outbreak in the spring.

Maxwell emphasized the importance of leaders bringing up new leaders asking two questions; what are you doing to develop yourself, and what are you doing to develop the leaders around you?  

He then explained the importance of self-discipline.

“Self-discipline is the price tag of leadership,” he said looking intently at the audience, “It’s easy to teach leadership, it’s hard to live it.”

As the audience absorbed the words, he added, “Good intentions are worthless, self-discipline is everything.”

Ultimately, he explained, the way in which to improve any organization is to grow leaders within it with what he called “The 10-80-10 Principle.” The first 10 represents 10% of the time invested in the guiding the future leaders, such as defining the mission, the values, and making sure they have the essential resources. The 80% is the leaders getting bigger and better ideas and becoming better by practicing. The final 10% is “the cherry on top,” coming in to assist and slightly tweak their goals and putting everyone’s name on the project.

That principle resonated with CIU freshman Business major Joshua Kirkpatrick, who called the event “great.”

“I definitely liked his ten-eighty-ten principle, where you start off with a process where you're in it for 10% of time and then you equip them for the remaining 80% and then the 10 more percent where you come back in you add the cherry at the top. That is something I really like about John Maxwell.” Kirkpatrick said.  

In a final piece of advice, Maxwell noted that who mentors you is as important as what they say. He says to find a mentor who will guide in wisdom and truth.  

Maxwell also spoke to pastors in a morning session offering wisdom in guiding a congregation during a time of crisis such as the pandemic, and during a luncheon he spoke to business leaders on the importance of giving.

CIU President Dr. Mark Smith presented Maxwell with the CIU Global Impact Award which recognizes a public figure who reflects the core values of CIU and has made outstanding achievements for God’s Kingdom.

With record enrollment in 2020, BestColleges.com ranks Columbia International University the 2020 Best Online College in South Carolina, and CIU is #2 in the state for Best College Campus. CIU also consistently ranks among the Top Regional Universities in the South and a Best Value Regional University in the South by U.S. News & World Report. Request information on enrollment at CIU and Columbia Biblical Seminary or call (800) 777-2227, ext. 5024.