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John Maxwell: Week Four – Respect and Intuition

In the most recent class of our John Maxwell training, we went over laws seven and eight, The Law of Respect and The Law of Intuition. Our homework from the previous week was to make a list of our five people closest to us and five professional relationships and list three ways we show them caring everyday. I was not prepared for the difficulty of that challenge. It did prepare us for this weeks lesson as well.

The first thing we learned about this week was respect. The list of the people closest to me were easy to come up with and I found myself listing the people I respect the most in our professional life. Turns out that we all have a tendency to follow the people that we determine to be stronger than ourselves, allowing us to learn from them. An example from our reading of a highly respected person was Harriet Tubman. From her outward appearance, she was an unlikely candidate of someone who would have been respected in the late 1800s but her actions are what people admired and followed. We are naturally drawn to those people that lead by way of example, like Harriet.

We search for qualities such as how these leaders respect others, their courage, success and loyalty. Loyalty. That is definitely something that stood out to me. The flood of thoughts that comes from hearing how important loyalty is in how much we respect someone. We experience it from a young age through our relationship with family and continue to learn it through our school and in the workplace. We are taught that loyalty can separate us from a group because when asked to create that “list” we are going to think of those we find loyal first. It’s easy to easy to spot in a person and become an admirable quality.

The Law of Intuition started with a statement that, again, caught me off guard: “Not everyone is intuitive in the area of leadership, but everyone possesses intuition.” Between both the natural ability and learned skills, we all have some sort of intuition. I think as a female, we learn about it a little sooner than our male counterparts but never have thought about applying it to leadership. We learned what to look for in regards to having intuition assist in our leadership ability by looking at how we read situations, trends, people and ourselves. In that reflection, we discussed how some people have what we have always called “natural leadership ability,” and what traits they possess that make us think that.

Between the lessons and our discussions, my takeaways from this session were really starting to pay attention to those around me. What did I do for them to make them better people and how were they returning the favor? In discussion, something stood out to me: “If you are on fire [passionate] about something, people will come from miles to watch you burn.” Leadership would be pointless if nobody follows, so what am I doing to make people want to follow me? As I said previously, this class has a tendency to stick with you for a while! Next week, we are discussing laws nine and ten, The Law of Magnetism and  The Law of Connection.