Learning From a Different Place – Part 11
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

Today we will look into Law #11 from John Maxwell’s The 21 Irrefutable Law of Leadership: The Law of the Inner Circle. I don’t think my understanding of this law has changed much over the last 10 years, but my appreciation for it surely has. The subtitle for this chapter reads, “Those closest to you determine the level of your success.” I have been so blessed by the people who have come alongside me and helped me transition from leading a company to becoming a full-time trainer and coach. Any success that I have had has been a result of their support, insights, and encouragement.

To make the most of this law, you must be highly intentional. You need to assess your giftedness and then staff your weaknesses with the giftedness of others. This will allow you to spend time working in the areas of your strengths while they work in theirs. Our greatest opportunity for excellence is when we are working in our strengths.

The next step is to look beyond the giftedness and see if it’s a good fit. John Maxwell gives us six characteristics that we need to evaluate.

  1. Integrity – The first requirement is that they be a person of character. Character and integrity are the foundation of any meaningful relationship.
  2. Positive Attitude – This characteristic is often overlooked. You can’t afford to have negative people around you because they will pull you down.
  3. Value Excellence – Since people don‘t pay for average, striving for excellence is a must. You want an inner circle that won’t take shortcuts and will help drive you toward excellence in everything you do.
  4. Show flexibility – The ability to react quickly and change course when market opportunities shift is critical.
  5. Exhibit Loyalty – People who agree with you all the time are a liability, not an asset. Loyal people will always speak truth into your life.
  6. Value People – This is a must for my inner circle. Valuing people needs to be the standard by which all our decisions are made.

Lastly, your inner circle needs to lessen your load and make things easier. The whole reason we have an inner circle is to allow the team to accomplish more than we could alone. We should be adding value to each other so we can add more value to others.

The last six and a half years have been an amazing journey of growth for me. Marisa Norcross has been a good friend and also a key person in my inner circle. She lives out all six of the characteristics, is gifted in my areas of weakness and gives me honest feedback when I need it the most. Without her insights, support, and help, the last six and a half years would have been a challenge, to say the least.

Over the last year, we have added additional giftedness to our team. Marissa Beck and Kelly Hyland have helped us move training to a level never before seen at MACNY. This is the power of the inner circle in action.

Have you considered your inner circle lately? Next week, the Law of Empowerment.