First published online at my Multiply – May 25, 2006

-Excerpt from: “Be a People Person-Effective Leadership through Effective Relationships” by John Maxwell

Consider the comments of William Arthur Ward of Texas Wesleyan College in Forth Worth, Texas:

If you are wise, you will forget yourself into greatness.

Forget your rights, but remember your responsibilities.

Forget your inconveniences, but remember your blessings.

Forget your own accomplishments, but remember your debts to others.

Forget your privileges, but remember your obligations.

Follow the examples of Florence Nightingale, of Albert Schweitzer, of Abraham Lincoln, of Tom Dooley, and forget yourself into greatness.

If you are wise, you will empty yourself into adventure.

Remember the words of General Douglas McArthur: There is no security on this earth. There is only opportunity.”

Empty your days of search for security; fill them with a passion for service.

Empty your hours of the ambition for recognition; fill them with aspiration for achievement.

Empty your moments of the need for entertainment; fill them with quest for creativity.

If you are wise, you will lose yourself into immortality. Lose your cynicism. Lose your doubts. Lose your fears. Lose your anxiety. Lose your unbelief.

Remember these truths: A person must soon forget himself to be long remembered. He must empty himself in order to discover a fuller self. He must lose himself to find himself. Forget yourself into greatness. Empty yourself into adventure. Lose yourself into immortality.

It sounds like Jesus, doesn’t it? Great leaders are great givers.


My take on above excerpt: Everyone is gifted with different levels of influence. We use that influence everyday–whether in a positive or a negative way. We all have a responsibility to increase that influence if we want to be effective “salt and light” to the world.

Rising up to the call of a leadership entails a great deal of challenge. A leader makes a lot of sacrifices. It takes a lot of guts to be a leader. The moment you step up to the plate, you open yourself up to various responses–to both criticism and compliments, rejection and pains that a common person won’t experience.

It’s a good reminder that we can’t please everyone, that above all, we are accountable to God about every decision we make. It’s my love for God and for people that keeps me doing what I do–not only for myself but for those whose lives I affect.

Sometimes, I fall in the trap of comparing myself with other people, making me bitter or vain. I’m reminded every now and then that we have different set of gifts and temperaments because we have our own race to run.

John Maxwell has helped me growing my leadership potentials. Reading his books gave me a lot of guidance, comfort and hope that I can always keep growing all my life. He reminds me that I must always keep my feet on the ground yet keep reaching for the stars. We all have the same earth yet have different horizons after all.


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