Casey Cunningham Interviews John Maxwell

By April 21, 2020Leadership

Last week, our Founder and CEO, Casey Cunningham, had the distinct honor of participating in Movement Mortgage’s “Leading Through Adversity” with Casey Crawford and John C. Maxwell alongside a handful other incredibly respected leaders across the country. It was such a privilege to hear John’s insight on the questions that many leaders are asking themselves today. We’ve transcribed Casey’s portion of the interview to share with you. You can also watch the interview below.

Casey Cunningham:
Let me just say, John, what a privilege it is to have a few minutes with you and to just listen to you live. And I need to say thank you to Casey [Crawford]. Thank you for leading in this time of adversity. My question addresses such a real-time issue. I had a leader call me today who said, “I’m keeping this amazing face in front of my team, that everything’s positive, but behind the scenes, I’m hurting and I’m distracted and I’m worried.” What do you say to that leader?

John Maxwell:
Well first of all, I think that he would be describing all of us. I mean – let me just say this – if we don’t have some concerns, questions, and fears, we don’t need to go do a leadership course, we need to see a therapist. We’ve got other issues that we’re dealing with, and one of the things that people want more than anything else right now is, they’re wanting friends. A friend walks slowly through the crowd. Now, I have a choice when I’m a leader, I can either have fans and impress them with how well I lead and have them applaud and say, “Oh, John, I can’t imagine how great you are. And I could never get where you are.” I don’t want fans. So I don’t want to impress people, I want to impact them.

We impress people when we talk about our success, we impact the people when we talk about our failures and our mistakes. So what I would say to that person that called you today, Casey, is very simple. I think it is totally right for you to share your concerns, your inner feelings. But let me just say this to leaders, there is a line, don’t cross the line. And the line is this, if I use people to be my therapy, if I use my people to moan and groan, you know what? You can’t moan and lead at the same time.

So what I tell people is, share with your team how tough it is, some of the questions you’re asking, but don’t leave them there. You’re not going to counseling, you’re leading. Don’t leave them kind of hanging and when you hang up they say, “Oh my gosh, we’re really in trouble now. Maxwell doesn’t know what he’s doing, he’s got a lot of fears and he’s probably going to check out, we’re going to lose our job.” No, no, no. What you do is share it with the inner circle. There’s no problem with that. But then you say, “But let me tell you how I’m working through them and let me tell you how I’m turning that around in my life, and I hope to be able to turn that around in your life.”

You’ve got to show them where the light is at the end of the tunnel. Don’t leave them in the tunnel, if you just moan and groan, you leave them in the tunnel and they’re dark. Just say, but I know light is this way. Because leaders know that there’s always an answer. The question is, how long will I search for it? And if I know there’s always an answer, I’ll stay in the game and I’ll help my people stay in the game too. Hopefully that helps you.

Thank you so much. Thanks so much for being with us.

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