John C. Maxwell and The Magic of Connecting
Happy Birthday to John C. Maxwell this week, who is celebrating 76 years. Ironically, his birthday falls on February 20, which is also National Leadership Day. He has written 87 leadership books and speaks to over a million people every week.
The first time I met John was at the John Maxwell Leadership International conference in 2016. With 3,000 people attending, the first night was a Q & A with John. I was thrilled when I was chosen to ask John a question. The next day was John’s book-signing day, where he signed one book for everyone participating. They have it down to a science for John to sign 3,000 books. Your book is opened, your Post-It Note has your name printed on it for John to see, and they keep the line going pretty fast, which means you don’t stop to chit-chat. As I thanked him and turned to leave, he said my name. “Desi?” I turned back in surprise to him and he said, “You asked me a very good question last night.” I stumbled with my words as I responded back to the number one leadership expert in the world and said, “You gave a really good answer.” He smiled really big and continued to sign the next person’s book. Even though I felt silly with the answer I gave him, I was so impressed that he remembered me. It was a connection I will never forget. And of course, I had just made that connection with someone who was a master at making connections with people.
In John’s book Everyone Communicates Few Connect, he says, “The ability to connect with people begins with understanding the value of people.” Isn’t that so true? We all want to feel valued. Think back over your life and think of the people who took the time to make a connection with you. Chances are that they not only valued you, but influenced you in some way or another.
This week, think of how you can show value to your customers, employees, co-workers, patients, clients, or even family and friends. When you take the time to value another person, that is the Magic of Connecting.