Over my life, I have come across various statements that impacted me significantly. Either people told them to me directly, or I gained them from a book, a conference, a sermon, or training. You probably have some of those statements in your own life. Over the next few weeks, I will share some of those statements and why they impacted me so much. Maybe some of them will speak to you. 

You Can Learn Something From Everyone

I was sitting in Claude Hopper’s office in Madison, NC, one night. I was young, energetic, and pretty stupid. I had a lot of life lessons to learn. I was promoting gospel concerts and selling men’s clothing while losing a lot of money in the process. Claude said, “Steve, you can learn something from everyone you meet. You may learn how to do it. You may learn how not to do it. But you can always learn.” I started applying that. I have gotten better at this over the years, and I am still learning from people today. 

You Cannot Change What You Are Willing To Tolerate

I wrote about this statement in my first book. I was listening to a TV preacher who was not particularly fond of late one night. I was struggling through difficult times. He made this statement, and it resonated with me. Part of my struggles came from the fact that I was tolerating some things in my life that were causing me great pain. The way out of my mess included no longer accepting what was going on and what I was doing. I have learned not to blame others when I have the power to fix it.

People Don’t Care How Much You Know Until They Know How Much You Care

The first person I ever heard say this was Zig Ziglar. I have heard it in numerous places since, and I have used it regularly myself. People will listen to you if they believe you have their best interest at heart. But even the best advice is not heeded if they don’t think you have their best interest at heart. Care about the people, and they will care about your advice.

Everyone Is Not For You

I am not sure where I first picked this up. I learned it younger, and it helped me develop a thicker skin. Sometimes we are only concerned about the people who are against us. These people are usually easy to spot. It is the people we assume are on our team but are not our supporters. We make assumptions based on their silence or empty compliments, only to realize they are weights in our lives instead of helpers. Judas kissed Jesus while John rested on Jesus’ shoulder. Both showed affection, but both were not for Him.

Leadership Is Influence. Nothing More. Nothing Less.

This title is a John Maxwell statement. There are probably hundreds of statements I could give you from him, but this is number one. It drives everything he does. It set the tone for my leadership as well. I understood that I am a steward of my influence and cannot lead unless I have it. I quickly learned that I did not have to influence everyone, but I did have to influence the right ones. I will struggle to connect with some people, but if I can influence someone that will connect with them, I get the same leadership benefits. We are all leaders because we all have influence. The question then becomes how we will use it.

This list is a start. These are the first five. If one specifically encouraged or challenged you, share that with me. We can all grow together.

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