Dr. John C. Maxwell states that leadership isn’t everything… it is the only thing.  And when it comes to organizational growth, he is the foremost expert I know.

I spent a few minutes listing my favorite leaders.  Some came from the business world.  Others came from the public service arena.  Many came from my personal life and how that person impacted me.

Read my list and share yours.

  • Ronald Reagan
  • Dan Amos
  • Frank Davies
  • Jack Amberson
  • Kerry Shook
  • My Fraternity Brother, Jim Schoeneck

Here is what I learned from each of them.

Ronald Reagan – 40th President of the US:  I learned to be humble, deliver a consistent message (endlessly repeated). I also learned that charisma combined with ideas and principles can change the direction of a team.

Dan Amos – CEO, Aflac:  I learned that being the leader is a choice.  Dan added benefits to one of Aflac’s policies 4 times without raising premiums, just because he wanted to deliver more value to the policyholders.  I learned that toughness and kindness can go hand in hand.  I also learned about pie. 🙂

Frank Davies – Retired State Sales Coordinator and Territory VP, Aflac:  I learned how to be passionate about what a sales career can mean to someone’s financial future; and what an insurance claim check can mean to a family dealing with tough medical issues.

Jack Amberson – Retired Sales Manager VP in the Musical Instrument Business:  I learned how a Godly man loves and leads his family.

Kerry Shook – Senior Pastor, Woodlands Church:  I learned how to trust God in adversity.  Kerry and Kris Shook started a church with 15 people on their first Sunday morning.  The next week, only 8 of those came back!  Today it is a church that reaches tens of thousands of people each week.

My Fraternity Brother, Jim Schoeneck:  I learned to just relax and have fun as I lead a team.

The biggest think I learned from each of these people is that I felt that each of them cared about me personally… even Ronald Reagan (whom I never met).

They made a true leadership connection with me in my mind and in my heart.

QUESTION:  How do you make the leadership connection with your people?