Something that really stood out to me thought watching John Maxwells The 360° Leader videos was the myths he talked about. One is specific is “The Potential Myth” (Maxwell,2013), because in the past I have believed it to be true. In fact, I think I have even argued it was true in many scenarios. In the past I can say that I bought into the Myth quite heavily, I struggled with understanding that I could still further my leadership skills without being at the top. “The Potential Myth” (Maxwell,2013) sounds like a reasonable thing to buy into until you hear Maxwell’s definition of their thinking. “I can’t lead if I’m not at the top” (Maxwell,2013). The quote confused me quite a lot when I first heard it, maybe just because Maxwell lead with only that sentence. Later, he goes on to describe what he meant, “leadership is a choice you make not a place you sit.” (Maxwell,2013) I don’t think anyone could have said it better. Though there are literal jobs you can be hired to do as a leader it doesn’t just make you a leader. Having a title doesn’t make you good at the job. There are different attributes you need to obtain in unorder to be a leader no matter what pedestal you are put on, so whether you’re at the “bottom” or the “top” of anything it doesn’t make you a leader until you are a Leader.
“The Freedom Myth” (Maxwell,2013) is another myth that stood out to me. The myth pretty much states that once you are at the “top” in your business that you no longer have restrictions. In the note package, there is a diagram explaining why this is not true. As you go climb higher on this scale, you gain more responsibility and fewer rights in the operation. If you are a customer, you are pretty much the opposite, with more rights and almost no responsibility in the operation. Though the “top” may sound like the easiest job, with it is responsibilities you’ll want to consider if that’s really what you want. You may not be fit to be that kind of leader as well. Being given more responsibility is more time-consuming and, in this position, you have less flexibility in your decisions. People often are mistaken that you can not lead from the middle either, that is not necessarily true. Many assistances do more leading than a CEO, delivering carrying messages, arranging schedules, and passing on messages. The CEO is often caught up in responsibilities and more written work where the assistance is often more person-to-person. I think that this plays into the “The Freedom Myth” (Maxwell,2013) because the assistant is not at the top but still has leadership and has more freedoms than the CEO. The assistance also has less pressure more often than the CEO of the company because everything does not fall tho their shoulders.
Be a friend. This policy I could not agree more with. It is not saying suck up to the leader, never should you do that. It means to be a friend to your leader. “A be a true friend hear and understand when you share your deepest feelings. He supports you when you are struggling; he corrects you, gently and with love, when err; and he forgives you when you fail. A true friend prods you to personal growth, stretches you to your full potential. And most amazing of all, he celebrates your success as if they were his own.”(Maxwell,2013). This definition of friendship to your leader is perfect. I don’t agree with the pronouns used, but I agree with the concept. the last line, “And most amazing of all, he celebrates your success as if they were his own.”(Maxwell,2013) relates most to being a friend to your leader. If your leader is doing their job even remotely right, inspiring and motivating their coworkers, then their success is yours. Being in a group setting in the first place, everything is shared. your ups and downs in the operation are shared and affect all, so you might as well do it as a friend. Everything works best with a friend of others and that is exactly what a leader needs. As a leader, you are looking to grow, and having that person be there to support and critique, gently and supportively, is what a growing leader needs. Next time you are in a group with a leader, be a friend.