A couple of months ago, I started a series of themes of the week based on a book I had been reading at the time by John Maxwell and Rob Hoskins called, Change Your World. I cannot say this too many times, “YOU MUST GET THIS BOOK!” You will be so glad you did.
This week we talk about Chapter 8 – “Let’s Keep Talking.” This was one of my favorite chapters in the book, as it was filled with great quotes and ideas that were quite impactful to me.
Maxwell & Hoskins start off by saying, “We are today where our conversations brought us. We will be tomorrow where our conversations take us.” They feel quite strongly that so much of who we are and what we become is based on the conversations we have with others.
It’s so true. Think of all the places you have gone in life, the direction your life has taken, and the trajectory you are on right now.
Chances are, a huge part of what got you to where you are was the conversations you had with people who you either knew were having an influence on you or who eventually had an influence on who you are, what you do, and how you got to where you are today.
This will also be true as you move into your future. The conversations you have with people will determine so much of where you go and where the people you talk with go, too.
Maxwell then talks about a man named Larry Stockstill. He was a leader in an organization Maxwell worked with. Maxwell started to ask him to do something, and in the middle of his request, Stockstill cut him off by saying, “John, the answer is yes. Count me in. Whatever this means, I am a yes.”
Later, when Maxwell asked him what made him jump in so boldly, Stockstill responded with one of the most powerful ideas I have heard in a long time—”I live on the other side of yes. That’s where I find abundance and opportunity. It’s where I become a better and bigger self. The opportunity of a lifetime must be seized within the lifetime of the opportunity. So, I try to say yes whenever I can.”
“I live on the other side of yes.”
I love it!!
There is so much in that short statement.
Think of the possibilities that living by that statement will open up for you.
Think of the possibilities if your team members were living by that statement, too.
I have not lived by the statement, “I live on the other side of yes,” nearly enough in my lifetime.
In fact, my default response in so many instances has always been, “No.”
Part of that was instilled in me by my parents. Please understand that I’m not complaining about them instilling that in me. I liked it. When I started with no, my hopes were not raised too high. Starting with no also taught me the value of understanding that I’m not always going to get what I want.
Later, I used that concept when dealing with my students, athletes, and my own kids by having “No” be my default response in many instances.
I always felt it was good for them that sometimes, the answer was just going to be, “No.”
Not, “Maybe,” or “No, not now” (but if you whine enough, I will break down and give in to you).
“No” means no.
I still think that’s a good message for kids (and people, in general) to learn, for it teaches them that they will not get everything they want.
However, “No” might also mean “No, but if you behave in a certain way, the ‘No’ might become a ‘Yes’.”
And I don’t mean that in an “If you keep whining and complaining you will get your way,” way.
I mean it in an “If you have the discipline, focus, and drive to work hard and do all the things you need to do, and you push yourself to new heights, what you can’t have or can’t achieve now might eventually be made possible for you and become a ‘Yes’.”
So, I always liked that way of dealing with the Yes/No concept.
Living on the Other Side of Yes
But when Larry Stockstill said he “lives on the other side of yes,” it transformed a lot of my ideas on the Yes/No concept.
Maxwell & Hoskins then have three short sections on this idea:
Living on the Other Side of Yes Means Believing in Possibilities—”When you live on the other side of yes, you believe there is always an answer. In fact, you feel certain there is not just one answer; you believe there are many good answers. That makes you willing to do the work to find them, and it also fires you up to be part of them.”
Living on the Other Side of Yes Means Having Hope—”People who live on the other side of yes find hope in every situation. They believe every person is not only worth helping but actually can be helped. And they bring that hope to the people who need it; those who have lost hope, become discouraged, and don’t see a positive way forward. Living on the other side of yes is life-giving.”
Living on the Other Side of Yes Means Speaking Positively—”When you live on the other side of yes, you think and speak positively. You stop asking, “Can we?” and you start asking, “How can we?” Making a difference isn’t a matter of if; it’s a matter of how and when. You use positive words to inspire positive action in others. You empower others with the power of your hope. You use your communication as a catalyst to transform communities.”
Maxwell and Hoskins then talk about what they call Transformation Conversations. Maxwell quotes his book, 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork: “Interaction fuels action. Without communication, positive change just doesn’t happen.”
They then have six sections on these Transformation Conversations. Originally, I listed them here with some key takeaways from each section. However, there were so many great ideas in each of the sections, too many to include here, that I decided to just give you the list and once again tell you that you need to pick up the book, so you can get into the details.
- Transformation Conversations Start with Reality
- Transformation Conversations Generate Better Ideas and Solutions
- Transformation Conversations Offer Hope
- Transformation Conversations Celebrate Successes Through Storytelling
- Transformation Conversations Provide a Supportive Community
- Transformation Conversations Activate People’s Potential.
In section 4 above, Transformation Conversations Celebrate Successes Through Storytelling, Maxwell talks about what he tells people in one of his trainings for launching transformational initiatives to large groups of people. (I have bolded what I feel are the two most powerful sentences.)
Other teams like this one have preceded you. They all have experienced what you are about to discover. Your sacrifice will turn into significance. No matter how much you give, you will receive back much more. No matter how much you teach, you will learn more. No matter how much you love, you will receive more. You came to make a positive difference in the lives of others. You will leave knowing that others made a positive difference in you. Once you have experienced significance, success will never satisfy you again.
Once again, OMG!
The final line—“Once you have experienced significance, success will never satisfy you again.”—is one of those signs that spoke right to my heart
I heard Maxwell talk a little bit about significance in the video on Casey Crawford’s Movement Foundation website. (You may remember I talked about the Movement Foundation in Chapter 3.) That video was another catalyst for me on my steps toward achieving the mission that I have begun working on.
Significance is about so much more than success. I love what Crawford says about success and significance in that video: “Success finishes with you. Significance starts with others.”
Significance! That’s what it should be all about for those of us in teaching, coaching, and leadership positions—focusing on others and helping them get what they want and need.
Maxwell & Hoskins wrap up the chapter by saying, “Transformational conversations move us to make better decisions that better ourselves and others. Transformational conversations inspire what’s next. They make us intentional.”
They then ask, “Are you willing to engage in transformational conversations both as the inspirer and the inspired, as the mentor and the mentored, as the storyteller and the listener, as the team builder and the team member? Are you willing to keep talking so that everyone will keep doing?”
They encourage us to begin connecting with others and having transformational conversations TODAY. “Help others reach their potential. It will make their lives richer and help both you and them to be part of the transformational movements that change the world.”
You can see why this was one of my favorite chapters. And I only gave you a smattering of what was in it. Again, GET THIS BOOK, and start changing your world!
Next week, we finish the book with the final chapter and Maxwell & Hoskins’ call to action for all of us – It’s Your Turn to Change Your World.