John C. Maxwell: Grow today, grow intentionally

Chris Schnabel
John C. Maxwell: Grow today, grow intentionally

Rob Reyes

Find your passion. Find your strength. But most importantly, stay consistent.

MANILA, Philippines – “My name is John, and I’m your friend.”

That was the opening line and the rapport that leadership guru John C. Maxwell struck with his audience at a speaking engagement held at Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Pasay City on Monday, July 6.

A diverse group of leaders from business, education, religious, sports, and the government turned out to see the prolific author talk about leadership by example, action, and dedication.

Prior to the afternoon session organized by Seven Great Minds Unlimited (in partnership with National Bookstore), Maxwell addressed a “historic coming-together” of the top brass of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine National Police (PNP), and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), said the event’s host, Anthony Pangilinan.

“Eight hundred soldiers, police and agents headed by AFP chief General Gregorio Catapang Jr, PNP chief General Leonardo Espina, and NBI Director Virgilio Mendez, this was a first for the Philippines to get all these defenders in one place,” he said.

Personal growth plan

Maxwell focused on the topic of personal growth because, as he put it, “The only guarantee that you’ll have a better tomorrow is if you’re growing today.”

It’s especially relevant for leaders so that “they can be sure that what they’re doing will set those under them for positive things tomorrow,” he said.

Essential to achieving this growth, Maxwell said, was to adopt a personal plan for growth.

Maxwell shared some tips from his book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, to illustrate this to the audience.

EMPHASIZING. Maxwell cannot emphasize the importance of living intentionally enough.


“Growth is not automatic. If you’re going to grow, the only way to do so is if you’re intentional about it.”

Maxwell said that while he has written 82 books, his most important book is coming yet in October, because it focuses solely on this. “If you think about it, the only thing in life after we’re born that is truly automatic is dying. You don’t have to take a course to learn how to die,” he added.

Thus it’s paramount to craft a strategy focused on what you want to do with your life.

“You’ll never reach your potential if you’re not intentional, and you’ll never see a successful person not be able to tell you why they were successful,” Maxwell said.

CONCENTRATING. Retired basketball star Jimmy Alapag focusing on John C. Maxwell's talk.


“You must know yourself to grow yourself.”

In short, find your passion.

“Passion is the great energizer, you’ll always grow because you’re doing something you love if you find your passion for,” he said.

And then maximize your strengths.

“The problem most people have in this area is that most people work on their weaknesses, and you don’t want to work on your weaknesses,” Maxwell warned.

“It’s ingrained from school, if you fail in a subject, teachers will tell you to focus harder on that subject,” he explained.

Maxwell believes that you can only increase in an area of ability by about 2 points – assuming a scale of 10 points.

“So if you start from poor score in an area, for example a 4, even if you increase your ability by 2 that only makes 6, you end up with average and nobody pays for average,” he said.

GETTING TIPS. Food security chief Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan watches Maxwell.


“Motivation gets you going but consistency gets you there.”

Of the 15 laws, Maxwell shared that this one is the most important to him personally because it is the one that helped him the most.

He attributes his success to identifying what he was good at and repeating it over and over again.

“When people ask me how I’m so at ease speaking in front of large crowds, my answer is simple; I’ve done it 12,000 times for the past 40 years,” Maxwell said.

He advised the audience to adopt the “rule of 5,” that is to pick 5 practical things to do every day until you get good at it.

“People who are an overnight success have worked their whole life to be that overnight success,” he noted.

ULTIMATE FANDOM. Fans get to sign their copies of John C. Maxwell's books following his talk.


“Growth thrives in conducive surroundings.”

You should also stay in place where you can learn, Maxwell advised.

“A growth environment is a place where others are ahead of you. If you’re ahead of the class you have to get out of the class,” he said.

If you’re ahead, then you will start telling others how to be number 1, so be around people who are bigger, better and faster, he urged.

If you’re number 1, he explained, you’re always reaching down to help others but not stretching up.

Maxwell shared that this was one of the best ways to learn, and that he has constantly been reaching out to people he could learn things from. –

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