Are you “Developing the Leader Within You?”

Recently I was invited to the founding meeting of a women’s leadership organization. It was a fascinating foursome that got together at that first gathering in a local tea room. One woman is a leader in local Junior League, another is a former Chicago and Wall Street trader and another is an elementary school vice principal who speaks fluent French. I, the communications entrepreneur, rounded out the group. Together we decided on a name, “The Women’s Leadership Salon.” The group’s purpose is to gather monthly to discuss books about leadership. After dinner we adjourned to  the tea room’s front porch. If you can imagine a Tennessee summer breeze kissing your face coupled with a lively conversation about pet dogs, you can picture our meeting there  that first evening.

We decided our first reading assignment would be John C. Maxwell’s Developing the Leader Within You.  I recommend the book to anyone interested in leadership. There was one chapter that stood out to me: Vision. In it Maxwell tells of the difference between a winner’s mentality and a loser’s mentality. Quoting Bobb Biehl Maxwell writes, “Winners focus on winning big-not just how to win, but how to win big. Losers, however don’t focus on losing they just focus on getting by.”  What has your focus of attention? Maxwell poses one other question as a fill-in-the-blank from Moishe Rosen. If you had anything you wanted with unlimited resources what would you do? The sentence reads:

If I had __________________________________

I would ____________________________________

What’s your dream?  Are you thinking big or just getting by? I’d love to hear from you about your vision, especially if you are an entrepreneur. Let’s support one another in our efforts- and keep on dreaming!


  • Sue Painter says:

    You know I so love little exercises like this. SO cool. Group sounds awesome and interesting!

  • Great post and questions about developing yourself.
    I recently started working with a new billionaire mentor and she has got me thinking big in a big way – it is so extraordinary to be given permission to do so!

  • Linda Pucci says:

    I think that one of the most important things in any project is to Dream Big! We so often limit ourselves by not stretching ourselves to imagine what we are REALLY capable of doing/creating. Love the idea of your salon; I was in one about 10 years ago and it was an amazing experience and one that stretched me (our group talked about ideas–chaos theory, leadership, global issues, etc etc. I felt like I was back in college discovering new ideas!

  • Mary Ellen – Excellent post and what a fabulous group of businesswomen with complementary talents. Sounds like a great book that I’ll definitely be taking a look at.

    I recently focused on winning BIG: I auditioned to appear at Tory Johnson’s (of Good Morning America) Spark & Hustle conference in Atlanta. I made a two minute audition tape and sent it in. And I won!

    Winning BIG often means taking BIG risks, which can be uncomfortable but necessary to stretch and win.

  • Jeff Brunson says:

    Not too long ago, I was reading something where these questions were asked. I looked over at my wife, who was reading the paper. I asked, If I had all the money I needed, what would I do. The paper came down only long enough for her to say, “Just what you are doing.”

    Sometimes I forget just how blessed I am to do this work … my art. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Great questions, Mel. It is so easy to get caught up in the daily grind that it is hard to remember to think big. Sounds like a great leadership group. I hope you will share with us some of what you learn from those amazing women.

  • Jerry Bird says:

    What an interesting group to start… The mix of the group sound like fun!! Good luck with this group.. And the post was quite entertaining. The questions make you think about a lot of different things….

  • Great excercise and thought-provoking questions.

  • Liz Bushong says:

    I have read that book and it is awesome! A great read for everyone. WE need more dreamers…doers of the dream.. in this world. I have answered that question and fullfilled many dreams, still working on new ones. Makes life so exciting. Helping other people with thier dreams is a great way to develop your own dream(s). That is what we are supposed to do.

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