What Makes High Level Leaders Ineffective

Here’s a random observation.

The higher level leader you are, the more resources you need in order to be effective.

So the big mistake we make in churches (and business for that matter), is depleting the budget to bring in a high level leader, but have nothing left over for admin help or an operational budget.

Without these things, top leaders could be frustrated or ineffective.

Book Notes: The Education of Millionaires by Michael Ellsberg

Recently, I finished a great book called The Education of Millionaires by Michael Ellsberg. Below are some of my notes.

Do you want to chase degrees or do you want to chase success?

Sir Ken Robison, author of The Element: How Finding Your Passion Chances Everything, says if an alien were to visit earth and comment on our education system, he would infer that the purpose of public education is to produce university professors.”

There is little evidence that grades bear any casual relationship at all to real world results, success, achievement or satisfaction in life.

There are boatloads of good freelancers who are broke because they don’t know how to market their services.  Learn the business side of your craft.

Education is not the same thing as school.  Despite 16 years or more of schooling, most of what you’ll need to learn to be successful you’ll have to learn on your own, outside of school, whether you go to college or not.

Skill #1: Make your work meaningful.

  • The world doesn’t care whether we want to make a difference or have an impact.  When we dream about the things we want to do, we don’t dream about things achieved with little to no risk.  The bigger impact you want to make, the more risk you will have to take.
  • It’s easier to figure out how to make a difference in the world and find meaning in your life when your bills are covered.
  • Trailblazing is a problem if nobody wants to go whoever the trail you are blazing leads.
  • The best things you can do in business are to keep your overhead low and make sure you’re getting recurring revenue as quickly as possible.

Skill #2:  Find great mentors and teachers. 

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. – Jim Rohn

The secret to finding mentors is giving.  Hope to get something in return but don’t expect anything.    Two great questions to ask:

  1. What’s most exciting for you right now in your life or business?
  2. What’s challenging for you in your life or business right now?

Skill #3: Marketing

  • “I am a 100% self educated direct marketing expert.  No college, no apprenticeship.  Just a study of everything I could get my hands on and diligent application.” – Dan Kennedy
  • You are in the marketing business.  You are not in the dry cleaning or restaurant or widget manufacturing or wedding planning business.
  • Good marketing starts with the problem you can solve for a customer who realizes he has a brpblem.
  • Marketing is one of your most important jobs, period. Nothing happens until something gets sold. Safe doesn’t sell. Good marketing isn’t pushing products…it’s about listening to your audience.
Skill #4:  Sales
It says “best selling author” not “best writing author.” Sales is the magic skill that opens doors.
Skill #5: Invest for Success
  • The Paul Mitchell logo was designed in black and white because it was cheaper to print the bottles that way.
  • Keep expenses low, generate income right away (even if it’s a little bit) and continually reinvest as much as effectively possible into expanding your future income.
  • Adult learning is problem-centered rather than content oriented.    Millionaires tend to have a passion for life-long learning.
  • “One characteristic of a lot of entrepreneurs its hat they’re relatively unemployable.” – Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress.
Skill #6: Build the Brand of You
Whatever your market, there is a community on Twitter. Your brand is what people think about when they hear your name.
Skill #7: Think Like an Owner, Not an Employee
  • Pay great attention to what YOU can contribute to any given person or situation.
  • Great leaders find out what people in their organization need, and give it to them.    You get through school by giving expected answers.  You don’t make it in business using that same formula.
  • People who don’t have an owner mindset will not move toward big decisions, because they will be afraid of making the wrong one.
  • If you have an owner mindset, you see yourself as RESPONSIBLE for the impact you have in your usiness or workplace, and for your own success and advancement in life.
  • Henry Ford: “An educated man is not one who is trained to carry a few dates in history – he is one who can accomplish things.”

When Everyone Feels This Way

I know you’ve gotten a monday morning email saying the music was too loud, or somebody stopped you in the parking lot to complain that the previously free coffee is now too expensive. Maybe one person said your sermon didn’t paint the whole picture or that your website wasn’t clear on one particular issue. But be careful: How one person feels isn’t how everyone feels.

It’s easy to take feedback from one person and project it on the entire group. All of a sudden, “people” are feeling this way, or “they” are saying, when, in reality, it’s just the opinion of one or two people.

And here’s another version.

How the top people feel is not how everyone feels. Those who know you best or who receive personal attention from you will often let you know. High level volunteers who know exactly what’s going on may cause you to think everybody know’s what’s happening, but that’s just not true. The people closest to you or the highest level leaders in your organization might not be a reflection of how everyone feels and what everyone knows. If you only listen to the top people, you’ll miss the masses.

And here’s another version.

If you’re a preacher or communicator, you’ll especially relate to the immediate feeling that comes after preaching a mediocre message. “That was the worst message I’ve ever preached…there’s no way anyone understood anything I was saying,” you think as you drive home. The next day, you get a call or email from someone who heard from God, and you’re reminded that it’s not just your words that matter. You might feel like the message was worthless, but God used it.

You might not like your website, the way a kid’s classroom is set up or the landscaping. But your personal preferences aren’t everyone’s personal preferences. Because how you feel might not be how everyone else feels.

So let’s review.

1. How one person feels isn’t how everyone feels.
2. How the top people feel isn’t how everyone feels.
3. How you feel isn’t how everyone feels.


How We’re Intentionally Saving for a Major Purchase

My wife and I are saving money for a major financial purchase. We’re trying to save a specific dollar amount as fast as we can – ideally, in the next year.

So I hung up this calendar in our closet and my goal is to write a number in every box – the amount of money transferred to our Ally savings account that day.

Yes, every day, I want to manually transfer something to this account. It might be a big amount, or it might be $1. But every day, our goal is to save something. I could either buy a cup of coffee at the coffee shop, or transfer $2. I could either keep that shirt I don’t wear, or sell it on eBay for $5 and make a transfer.  In the past 24 days, I’ve made 23 transfers and filled in 23 boxes.

The old school calendar and the ritual of writing a number in a box every day is really helping. I’ve never approached a financial goal with this much intentionality and intensity before, but three weeks in, I’m relatively pleased. There’s something about visually tracking the goal and writing it on the wall.

I’ll keep you posted.