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Reading is probably one of my favorite pastimes. Always has been. I was blessed with a mom who thankfully instilled a love for reading and always made time for a trip to the local library.

Unfortunately, this means I have developed the bad habit of reading several books at one time. One look at my desk and you would surely believe me. This summer I vowed I would finish the books sitting longest on my desk.

imagesAnd so, I picked back up John C. Maxwell’s, The 5 Levels of Leadership to resume where I had left off. As I began reading, I wondered why had I ever stopped?

This is a great book in which the author discusses and outlines not only the levels of leadership but proven steps to maximize your potential. The five levels are:

  1. Position. People follow because they have to.
  2. Permission. People follow because they want to.
  3. Production. People follow because of what you have done for the organization.
  4. People Development. People follow because of what you have done for them personally.
  5. Pinnacle. People follow because of who you are and what you represent.

While the entire book is filled with practical and wise information, this week I discovered the answer to my question – I had stopped reading because I needed to read these words at this time:

“The goal in life is not to live forever. The goal in life is to create something that does.” (page 24)

We are all leaders of one sort or another. As a spouse, a parent, an employee, a volunteer, and as a friend. We all influence others. Each of us has something of value to pass on to others, especially to the next generation.


Funny to be reading this while in the midst of watching The Summer Olympics. We are all familiar with the races. Each runner has a leg of the race to run; then, she hands off a baton to the runner who follows her. Paul wrote to Timothy to give him a picture of how he had passed on the baton through the years:

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7)

Paul had run his race throughout his life at maximum speed and was handing off the baton to younger Timothy.

I had just discovered the reason it had taken me so long to finish this book. John Maxwell offers such wise steps to leaving a positive legacy:

  • “Recognize that what you do daily, over time, becomes your legacy.” Look at the very things you do repeatedly. Do them well for they will leave an impact and our desire is to leave a positive impact.
  • “Decide now what you want your legacy to be.” Ask yourself today, “How do you want to be remembered?” The answer to that question will guide you each day in the way you interact with others.
  • “Understand that a legacy is the sum of your whole life.” Your legacy is not the one mistake or failure you may have experienced. Often, those failures is what put us on the right track.

Such needed words on legacy for every one of us. The book is a wonderful resource – encouraging, wise, and uplifting. It truly will give readers a clear picture of leadership, how it works, and steps to further grow as a leader.


Today I am joining … Moments of Hope and #SmallWonder and #LifeGiving and Literacy Musing Mondays .