Florin Lungu - The supreme leadership ability

If you have heard of Mark Cole, you probably know that he is John Maxwell’s successor and right-hand man.

They have been working together for more than 20 years now – wherever John goes, Mark goes. And within the last few years, John has begun passing the baton to Mark in different areas of John’s legacy.

When the time came for Mark to take over the John Maxwell Team, one of John’s main areas of focus, Mark says that he had to exhibit the “supreme leadership ability.”

The JMT’s numbers were in decline. Trends were not looking good. John said to Mark,

“This is your ability test as a leader – to turn the momentum of the company around.”

John challenged Mark to overcome one of the leader’s most daunting obstacles: lack of momentum.

I wrote to you about this idea a few weeks ago: the Law of Big Mo. It is one of John Maxwell’s 21 irrefutable laws of leadership: momentum is the great exaggerator, and it is more difficult to start than it is to steer.

Momentum is the driving force behind many wins; even a team who normally falls short can win with momentum. The winning mindset they are all in makes them greater than the sum of their parts.

But if a good team goes through a momentum slump, even the most go-getting team can have trouble securing a win.

That is why changing its direction is such a crucial thing… why manoeuvring it is, as Mark says, the “supreme leadership ability.”

But in order to turn it around, first you have to know where it stands to begin with. If you’re struggling to adjust your team’s momentum, ask yourself some of the key questions here and consider their answers carefully.

The State of Your Momentum

  • How would you rate the current momentum of your organization?

How are your numbers doing, and how are your people doing? Have you been “winning” more often than not? Morale is a determining factor in momentum and when your people are nourished at work, they will engage and participate.

  • Over the last 3 months, has your momentum been increasing or decreasing? Why?

What is the forecast based on your recent trajectory? Is it a sunny day, or do you see cloudy skies? Or is there nothing much to report on either way? Take trends into account and look for causes rather than lingering on effects.

The Cause of Your Momentum

  • What are your momentum makers?

Momentum makers shift the atmosphere in your team for the better. What drives your team, and what reminds them why they come to work? What small wins can you give them that they can build upon?

  • What are your momentum takers?

Demotivating factors sap the life out of your team. If you hear complaints about the same small things more than once or twice, remove those things – you’ll show your team you are listening and remind them you’re behind them, as well as get rid of a drain on your momentum.

  • Who is helping you build momentum?

Who on your team is helping you motivate others? Who is driving results? Who is moving the needle in the right direction? Empower them to help you motivate the rest of your team.

  • Who is hurting your momentum?

Who is slowing things down? Whose perspective is limiting the growth of those around them? They may be looking for stability. Seek them out and ask them for their feedback, then try to offer them some momentum-driving perspective.

As you assess your team, pause to brainstorm how you can best use your “u-turn” ability in the coming week. You know your team – what motivates them, what wins would get the ball rolling again (or keep it rolling!).

And if you need a thinking partner in that process, remember – I’m only an email away.

That’s all for now.

Until next time,


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