For just about everyone around the world, 2020 has been a year for the history books. Most, if not all of the world was stricken and heavily impacted by COVID-19, the coronavirus. During this time, for one reason or another, life as we knew it came to a screeching halt. Many became ill, many deaths were recorded, many businesses were impacted and many shuttered due to the inability to make ends meet or make the changes necessary to continue operations.
There is so much more that could be said about the coronavirus, but the bottom line is that it had a significant impact on individuals, families, communities and businesses.
One of the impacts that I will share about is the cancellation of the March 2020 Live International Maxwell Certification (IMC) Event. John Maxwell as his leadership team weighed all the factors, considered health and safety warnings and the fact that our team is made up of over 26,000 members from many nations around the world. The event itself typically has close to 3,500 people in attendance, so that was a lot of people to converge on one location, with so many travel restrictions already implemented. It was not an easy decision, but it was the right decision.
That same decision impacted most every live event that was due to take place during that time. The IMC was but one of three conferences that I was to attend that were cancelled or changed to a virtual event.
With that decision made, and many already paid and registered to attend a culminating certification event, the John Maxwell leadership team started the planning process for the second scheduled IMC event in August 2020.
I will not go into great detail about it, but suffice to say, they made some amazing pivotal decisions that allowed for an absolutely amazing event that was attended virtually, for the first time ever, by nearly 6,000 team members. This event was the largest certification event EVER held for the John Maxwell Team (JMT).
They partnered with outside vendors and platforms to create a virtual experience like no other. The goal was to give the team members exactly what they needed, and then some, for their certification event. For some, it was their first return “trip” to IMC, and for others, it was one of many IMCs attended, but for all, it was their first virtual event, and certainly the first for JMTers (as we are commonly called).
There is so much to share about the event, but I will have to break it down into a few different segments to make it easy to follow.
What is so unique and interesting about the John Maxwell Team? If you have ever heard the phrase “cultural melting pot” used to describe a group of people gathered together, this is the perfect setting to give true meaning to that phrase. The John Maxwell Team is made up of over 26,000 people from all over the world, from every walk of life, ethnicity, sex, faith, gender, etc. And, the fact that it was virtual allowed for an even more diverse group of people to come together, meet and interact with each other for the first time. That was absolutely amazing to experience...even if it was virtual.
With the virtual event, we were able to see and experience people from their homes, over many different time zones. Some were early in the morning, others late in the afternoon, while others were joining in the overnight hours when they would normally be sleeping.
I like to use a rule of threes to share things, so that is what I am going to follow to share my top three thoughts from the August 2020 John Maxwell Team Virtual International Maxwell Certification event. Our hashtag for this event is #virtualeventoftheyear.
From that fact comes the first “must-share” thought from the August 2020 IMC. I narrowed it down to three words, but there could have been more. The three words are commitment, intentionality and purpose.
Everyone was committed to make this event the best ever, took intentional actions to attend every session possible, and stepped into their purpose in new ways to get the most out of the event, so they could impact and make a difference in the lives of others, as well as their own.
I was amazed by the mindset (which incorporated those three words, and more) that so many people shared over the course of the event, whether it was during the Think Tank day that was held a week prior, or the the individual focus days (DISC, Mastermind and Leadership Game) that were held over the course of the week leading up to the opening ceremony for the 3-day IMC event.
While the attitude and mindset of the JMT family was amazing, there was something else that I was impressed with. I already mentioned it previously...the entire John Maxwell leadership team and faculty’s ability to pivot and make changes necessary to put on an amazing event. This is my second “must-share” thought from the August 2020 IMC.
The word “pivot” has been used so much this year to describe actions taken to remain in-the-game and relevant. You really don’t hear or read the word pivot without the word change. While used together and, at times, synonymously, there is a difference, in my opinion, between the two words.
The changes needed during this ongoing pandemic required something hard and concrete to happen to make the lasting impact that was/is needed. Changes can happen on the fly with flexibility and adaptability to keep moving forward; however, in my opinion, the pivot is taking on a hard stance, like a running back planting their foot in the ground and making a sudden change of direction. That is what I consider to be the “pivot” required in this situation.
In this instance, the John Maxwell Team took a hard stance, at which point they determined the level of flexibility and adaptability needed to change, then developed and executed a plan that allowed for a successful August 2020 virtual event.
From this massively successful event, John Maxwell Team members, new and old, were provided an amazing opportunity to learn from each other, the JMT leadership team and faculty, volunteer facilitators, as well as the amazing lineup of keynote speakers and guests, which included T.D. Jakes, Miles McPherson and Dr. Caroline Leaf.
This will serve as the third “must-share” thought for the August 2020 IMC. Those that attended the event were blessed to share in a unified purpose to grow leaders that will make a difference in the lives of others. We received great insight from leaders in their respective fields that spurred and inspired us to grow and be the best version of ourselves.
Our first speaker, T.D. Jakes, shared the importance of a strong core, and related it to our core values being the foundation of all that we do. If we do not develop our core, we will ultimately crumble under the weight of challenges, change and undertakings in life and business. He shared a story of going to the gym and being put on a stability ball to do chest presses. Being on an unstable surface required him to use more core muscles to maintain stability. His core had to be strong or he would drop the weight on himself.
He likened our efforts to change to shifting gears in a car/truck. He encouraged us to #doubleclutch and go back to neutral (the core) before we go to another gear (level, task, priority, etc). When we go to neutral, we have the opportunity to assess things before taking the next step. It is at that moment that we determine the proper direction we should go. Do we go up a gear (next level of something), go back to the same gear (gain skills/speed) in order to get stronger before going forward. Going back to neutral is our opportunity to assess our strength for what comes next.
Our second speaker was none other than Miles McPherson. Miles McPherson brought an amazing message that was so fitting for our current social climate. He shared from his book, The Third Option, which personally resonated with me, given the Stage Time talk on my life transformation from racism, where I took action on a revealed awareness of a blind spot to create a mindset reset from nonacceptance to acceptance.
Miles challenged us to consider a third option, where we look for similarities in others, versus the differences that exist. There is no denying that we are different, but, as he pointed out, humans are 99.5% genetically the same. The question then becomes, why are we so focused on the .5% that is different. He encouraged us to turn every race conversation into a race consultation, where we seek to learn from the other person, versus cast our assumptions and biases, based on social narratives, onto others, without allowing them to reveal to us who they are and what they are about. When we do that we are embracing the third option to #seeksimilarities with others.
The final guest speaker to share with us was Dr. Caroline Leaf. She shared from her research of the brain and the mind, and how we can and should practice Mind Management. While many think the brain and mind are the same, the two are actually separate aspects to consider. Dr. Leaf shared how the mind is responsible for our thinking, feeling and choosing.
Within the mind, there is the conscious and nonconscious mind. The conscious mind (which gives us our awareness, based on senses) is only used during our awake hours. So, when we are sleeping, so is the conscious mind, which really makes it the smallest and least active part of our mind. The nonconscious mind, however, is always awake and always working. It does not rest, therefore, it is the most active and biggest part of the mind. The nonconscious mind feeds into the brain, which is what drives or carries out the actions (creative nonconscious mind). With this explanation she reiterates that our mind and brain are separate, and that the mind works through the brain. The mind has power over the brain and body.
Dr. Leaf explains that the power we have over our mind means we have power over our thinking, feeling and choosing. We can choose to have healthy or toxic thoughts. We choose what we build in our brain, and whatever we build becomes the roots of our words and actions. As we think we feel, and as we feel we choose. From what we think, feel and choose, we learn. If we think, feel and choose toxic, then we learn toxic and that leads to fear, anxiety and panic. In her work, she shares scientific facts that our mind is 99% who we are and the brain is only 1% who we are. Therefore, we/you have the ability and the power to #manageyourmind to be healthy and full of love, versus toxic and full of fear, anxiety and panic. Use energy for good.
With this unity of purpose, we were given tools that allowed us to strengthen our core, seek similarities with others and manage our mind. With these three lessons shared by our amazing guest speakers, we were edified and prepared to go out into the world and make a difference...be a change agent for ourselves and in our communities.
One last bonus thought that I would like to share with you is the love and compassion that John C. Maxwell shares with his family. It is for that reason that he is affectionately referred to as “Papa John” by staff, faculty and JMT members. From the opening ceremony, to his worship service message on Sunday, to the closing event on Monday, he poured into us all that he has, and will continue to do so. He shared with us from his new book, Change Your World, which will be released to the public in late-January 2021. As part of his teaching on the book, he shared that he will be training transformational leaders to go out into their communities to start a global transformation, one community at a time.
John Maxwell is a man who started out as the pastor of a small church in Hillham, Indiana, led one of the largest churches in the country in San Diego, California, and built on his dream to influence people around the world to be great leaders. John has been writing for more years that many JMTers have been alive. He published his first book, Think of These Things, in 1979, and published his most recent book, Leader’s Greatest Return, in 2020, but don’t forget, his upcoming book, Change Your World, is in the final stages for release in late-January 2021.
As JMTers, we are blessed to have John C. Maxwell continuously pour into our lives and make us better people, friends, husbands, wives, sons, daughters and leaders in this world.
If you are not a member of the John Maxwell Team and family, I encourage you to consider it. You will grow personally and professionally from the moment you join the team and jump into the online platform. You will have the opportunity to determine which track you want to pursue, coaching or speaking, in which you will be able to capitalize on your strengths as a trainer. Your certification with the John Maxwell Team carries with it the world renowned level of credibility from being trained by John C. Maxwell and his world class team.
I encourage you to reach out to a certified JMTer to get help with your membership questions. All JMTers are able to work with you for a referral to the team, with a personal phone call and connection with each of our respective original program advisors. If you do not have a JMTer in your circle of friends, I would be more than honored to help you explore and start your journey.
I hope that you have gained some great insights into what you can gain from attendance at your very own IMC, whether live or virtual.
As an Alumni and member of the Mentorship program, I personally took advantage of personal coaching from Roddy Galbraith for my Stage Time video submission, led three Mastermind training sessions to help many experience and get their first glimpse at mastermind facilitation, which all members are able to do from day one!
Additionally, I took copious notes from this event, pre-ordered a copy of John Maxwell’s upcoming book, Change Your World, and purchased Miles McPherson’s book, The Third Option. I know I am missing something, but suffice to say that there is so much to learn at the events and through the course of weekly calls.
I am eagerly anticipating the next event in March 2021, hopefully it will be Live in Orlando, Florida, and also anxiously awaiting word on the next Leadership Team trip...projected for Papua New Guinea (“Mentorship has its privileges!” is a true statement).
Blessings to all and I look forward to helping you join the family as you start your journey with the John Maxwell Team. I am here to serve and support you. Click HERE for contact information.