Relationships matter

I began digesting John C. Maxwell material 20 years ago. Every time I read his writing, his wisdom hits home. Here are some of "Maxwell Morsels" from “Relationships 101.” 

Respect: Always show it; always expect to earn it.

Connect with people, irrespective of their status. 

During a time of high-stress or low energy, we tend to overlook (or overrun) relationships.

An antidote for self-centeredness: empathy for others. Try view the world from another's perspective.

Everybody wants to be somebody.

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway.

People favor underdogs but only follow top dogs. Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

Be a confidence-builder rather than a confidence-killer.

Rats were dropped into jars of water. If the jar was left in darkness, the rat would swim for a few minutes, give up and drown. If a ray of light was shining into the jar, the rat could keep swimming for up to 36 hours. The power of hope.

Focus on a person’s strength, not his/her shortcomings. 

Consistently see the good in others.


Seek to understand before being understood.

“You ain’t learnin’ nothin’ when you’re doin’ all the talkin’” - Lyndon B. Johnson

Listening shows respect.

During a conversation, be “impressed and intersted, not impressive and interesting.”

Listening builds relationships.

“Big people monopolize the listening . Small people monopolize the talking.” - David Schwarz

“A deaf ear is sign of a closed mind.”

Looking at the speaker - the starting point to giving a person your undivided attention.

“It’s just as rude to step on other people’s ideas as it is to step on their toes.” - Robert L. Montgomery

Most people are able to hear, fewer are capable of really listening.


Integrity - When your words and actions match, people know they can trust you.

Integrity is important to building relationships.

“God grant that men of principle be our principal men.” - Thomas Jefferson

Integrity commits itself to character over personal gain,
to people over things,
to service over power,
to principle over convenience,
to the long view over the immediate.

Credentials vs. character

Credentials are transient; character is permanent.

Credentials often evoke jealousy; character generates respect.

Credentials can only get you in the door; character keeps you there.


Strategically plan to increase meaningful communication.

Communication killers: T.V., internet, phones.

“The greatest thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” - Josh McDowell

Servant leadership

The best leaders desire to serve others, not themselves.

A servant leader puts others first, ahead of their own desires.

Great leaders see the need, seize the opportunity, and serve without expecting anything in return.

If you want to be successful on the highest level, be willing to serve on the lowest. That’s the best way to build relationships.