My Favorite John Maxwell Leadership Quotes

Last Updated on March 20, 2023 by Dave Schoenbeck

John C. Maxwell is the New York Times bestselling author, speaker, and coach who has sold over 24 million books translated into 50 languages. In addition, INC. magazine has dubbed him the most popular leadership expert in the world.  

It may go without saying he’s influenced many millions of people and, subsequently, their businesses and careers. He is also my favorite leadership thought leader.  

Read on for a few of the best John Maxwell quotes and see how that may change your life and how you lead your team.

One bright white lightbulb rises above of a large collection of multicolored lightbulbs.

John Maxwell Quotes on Growth

John Maxwell’s quotes are endless, but here are two we’ll delve into. 

Rather than look for an impetus to do something, like the Nike sentiment of “Just do it,” take action. First, Maxwell says, “The whole idea of motivation is a trap. Forget motivation. Just do it.” Do it if you’re not motivated or having a bad day. Just do it because it’s an obligation you owe yourself. Next, Maxwell says, “If you’re not failing, you’re probably not moving forward.”

Part of learning is failing. You can learn by failure more quickly than by doing everything correctly. 

When you encourage children to walk, they need to fall and discover what their legs are capable of, what is unstable around them, what to look out for, and so on. Likewise, when you begin your entrepreneur journey, you’re in the “infant” stage and need to see the surrounding conditions related to your capabilities. So fail fast, fail often, and you’ll move forward.

John Maxwell Quotes on Success

Cinderella would say that a dream is a wish your heart makes, but this John Maxwell quote is a little more straightforward. “If you know who you are, make the changes you must to learn and grow, and then give everything you’ve got to your dreams, you can achieve anything your heart desires.” Taking the heart out of your dream and adding in practical work, growth, and teachings, you’re more likely to reach your goals and meet your potential success.

They say the Universe provides a lesson until we learn it, and this John Maxwell quote would agree, “If you don’t learn the easy lessons, they get harder. (Pain is one way the universe gets your attention.)”. For example, when something isn’t going your way, or you’re struggling to find ideas to improve a bad situation, you may feel financial, emotional, or physical pain. Pain is a powerful motivator for change, so learn the easy lessons, and you’ll be prepared for the harder-learned ones later.

John Maxwell’s Inspirational Quotes

Whether it’s a John Maxwell quote on purpose or an inspirational quote, you can’t help but feel empowered. However, part of the process sometimes includes doing things that don’t excite or inspire you. For example, Maxwell says, “The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.”

No one wants to do sales, marketing, networking, bookkeeping, travel over holidays, or work on weekends. But sometimes, these actions are necessary to achieve the ultimate goal — whatever that might be.

Closing Thoughts

There is no “one size fits all” approach to clothing, academic institutions, and living accommodations. 

The final John Maxwell quote I will leave you with is this, “No matter what you’ve experienced, remember this: There are people who’ve had it better than you and done worse. And some people had it worse than you and done better.” If you want to become a better leader, sign up for my free weekly business blogs.

Coach Dave

Dave Schoenbeck
Follow Dave