3/21 John C. Maxwell’s “The 21 indispensable Qualities of a Leader” — a ’20 something’ review.  Disclaimer: This review is not intended as a substitute for the real thing…go out and buy your own copy of this book (if you haven’t already).



John C. Maxwell’s “The 21 indispensable Qualities of a Leader” — a ’20 something’ review.  Disclaimer: This review is not intended as a substitute for the real thing…go out and buy your own copy of this book (if you haven’t already).

Chapter 2: Charisma: The First Impression Can Seal the Deal…”If you appreciate others, encourage them, and help them reach their potential, they will love you for it.” (p 11).  The other day I was sitting on the back deck (overlooking Granny’s Cove) of my neighbor’s house, who was away on a weekend holiday.  I was there taking care of Moo Moo (my neighbor’s cat).  Cats, if you don’t know or haven’t been around them much, are social creatures–they need interaction with other cats but, mostly, with their human owners.  So, as it was a simply gorgeous day, I was letting Moo Moo get a little fresh air on the deck while we both gazed out at the water and the playful antics of the ducks and other wildlife.

As we were sitting there, my neighbor’s neighbor came out on her deck and struck up a small-talk conversation with me (to which I was…at first... not very receptive).  I must say that I certainly was not thinking charisma, rather; I was thinking that she was bothering me…getting in my space and I didn’t really feel like talking to her.  Fortunately, I was able to put my ego aside and engaged in conversation (with her).  When she told me she was going in for hip surgery in March I was hooked.  For me, learning about other people’s life journey is really interesting–I take it to heart.  What I heard as I listened is that she was really apprehensive about the operation.  Her attitude was…about as negative as can be towards the whole thing…operation, recovery, and the disruption of her daily life (which included having to hire someone to walk her dog every day).

Maxwell’s Fleshing it Out (p 10,11,12) puts into context what I thought at the time (my neighbor was casting such a negative light on her pending surgery) that I wanted her to think of it as the most positive thing that could be happening to her.  I talked to her about how God made doctors and they can do miraculous things…about how, in just a few short weeks, she would be up and walking pain-free–isn’t that something to celebrate!  In the end I made her promise that she would only talk positively about her upcoming surgery…and eliminate any negativity!  I also encouraged her to come and talk to me if she felt down and, I promised her that I would be checking up on her (attitude) in the days leading up to the surgery.

Point #3 (p 11).  Give People Hope: French General Napoleon Bonaparte characterized leaders as “dealers in hope.” Like all great leaders, he knew that hope is the greatest of all possessions.  If you can be the person who bestows that gift on others, they will be attracted to you, and they will be forever grateful.  As I mentioned, at the outset…I wasn’t thinking about charisma (or others) only about myself but, I was jarred to my senses when confronted with a ‘neighbor-in-need’.  What did she need?  She needed someone to help her plant the seed of positive, hope-filled, thinking into her, as Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot would say; “little grey cells.”  Maxwell brings it home: “When it comes to charisma, the bottom line is othermindedness.  Leaders who think about others and their concerns before thinking of themselves exhibit charisma.” (p 12).

Yikes, I need to read this chapter a couple more times!




John C. Maxwell’s “The 21 indispensable Qualities of a Leader” — a ’20 something’ review.  Disclaimer: This review is not intended as a substitute for the real thing…go out and buy your own copy of this book (if you haven’t already).

Chapter One: Character: Be a Piece of The Rock

During a work break the other night I had stopped at my favorite store for some deli take-out and a bottle of wine for an upcoming ‘date night’ with my wife.  At the checkout I asked the cashier if she wouldn’t mind bagging the wine separately, which she did, all the while carrying on in a cheerful manner.  When she was finished she turned to me and said $5.61 please–which I paid.  As she closed out the transaction I was thinking that she also thought that I wanted to pay for the wine separately too–so I waited momentarily for her to ‘ring it up’.  When she didn’t, I quickly realized that she simply overlooked it…my choice; take the wine and leave and not say anything or tell her about it.  What to do?

Maxwell gives the answer (to anyone aspiring for leadership).  Character is more than talk.  “Anyone can say that he has integrity, but action is the real indicator of character.  Your character determines who you are.  Who you are determines what you see.  What you see determines what you do.  That’s why you can never separate a leader’s character from his actions.” (p.4).

I wasn’t thinking about this when confronted with the scenario above but, it was easy for me to say “I believe it would better if you charged me for the wine, too.”  To which she exasperated an immediate sigh of relief mixed with gratitude.  Then she complimented my honesty and I went on my way.  Now, I am not one to say that this is a ‘stunning’ revelation…regarding the depth of my character…but just an example of how easily our character can be tested throughout the day.

Maxwell suggests that we examine our character closely by Search(ing) for the cracks.  Spend some time looking at the major areas of your life, and identify anywhere you might have cut corners, compromised, or let people down.  He then goes on…Look for patterns…Face the music, and then…rebuild.  Become bigger on the inside than on the outside. (p 6,7).

Believe me this is an exercise that I am taking to heart…my rock certainly has a crack or two that can use immediate repair.



Day 0 of 21

Today we begin our review of “The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader” by John C. Maxwell.  I would like to offer the following disclaimer before we begin:  This review is no substitute for the real thing…–if you don’t already have a copy of JCM’s book…go out and buy one–you will be glad you did! 

Now to the review….

The sub-heading on the jacket cover ‘Becoming the Person Others Will Want to Follow’ gives meaning to the purpose of this review.  This goes beyond setting an example for others to follow; it is more about empowering people through…what I am terming ‘performance leadership’.  It is one thing to read about and study these 21 qualities (on what it takes to be a leader that someone will follow), and quite another to actually put them into action…through performance or simply, performing like the leader who has internalized these qualities and lives them outwardly.  I hope this makes sense, now let’s turn to Maxwell. (note: In the introduction Maxwell urges readers to approach the book “…strategically and methodically…live with this book for a while…reflect, review, and renew…leadership truly develops from the inside out.  If you can become the leader you ought to be on the inside, you will be able to become the leader you want to be on the outside. People will want to follow you.  And when that happens, you’ll be able to tackle anything in this world.”)

Disclaimer #2.  I am sure someone smarter than me came up with the term ‘performance leadership’, if so, I give them the credit.  I am just trying to verbalize what I’ve learned from Maxwell’s book…just giving it my perspective, so to speak.

Please please please…get yourself a copy of this book!  We begin chapter one tomorrow.



Gave it all

Here is a verse from a new song I am writing…titled “Gave it All”—It’s about a love that never really blossomed..kinda sad but, in the end, uplifting–It will be on my first album (the release date has not been finalized yet…look for it later this year).

Don’t ever come back…no…don’t even look back…no

I won’t be here…your eyes will just stare

Nothing but a cupboard bare…

Except for the misery and despair

That I left bottled up for you there…oh, oh, oh…



p.s. OBTW…this song writing, producing an album thing…falls under the heading: I don’t really know what I’m doing but I just do it anyway!

Just Keep Play’n

When you were young did you just keep play’n…even after your mom called you in for dinner?  Were you play’n outside or inside?  Play’n ball or play’n video games?  When you were older did your interests change or did you just keep on play’n the same old thing?  Did you ever find something that you wanted to just keep play’n but couldn’t find the time?  Did you turn around one day and realize that a whole bunch of time had gone by since you were able to just keep play’n your favorite thing?  Well, me too!  It is never too late to pick up where we left off and start again…often when we’ve gone away and come back again we feel refreshed.  We may have gained a new perspective or we may have decided that it just wasn’t fun anymore…either way, picking up and starting again has its rewards.  It’s the journey, after all, that makes for an interesting and rewarding life.



Just Do It anyway!

“I don’t really know what I’m doing but I just do it anyway!”  Yes, this sounds like a play on Nike’s slogan: Just do it…so be it.  What it means to me is…if I waited until I knew how to do something (expertly or perfectly or to the point where I knew I wasn’t going to embarrass myself)  before I did it…I wouldn’t do anything or at least accomplish very much.  There is not enough time to become an expert on everything there is to do…thinking so would surely hold one back.  That is why I choose to just do it anyway with the caveat that I am not going to try anything stupid or beyond my physical capability or mental acuity.  Take blogging for instance…I’ve been saying I’m going to start blogging for a long long time, but I continually put it off because I didn’t really think I could do it.  Did I study up on how to write a successful blog?…a little.  Did I read or follow someone else’ blog?…not really.  I did learn though that if you are going to blog…you need to do it everyday.  So that’s what I’m doing…blogging everyday…even though I don’t really know how to blog successfully.  Hopefully, by doing, I will get better or at least to the point where it makes sense.

So if you have something that you really want to do but haven’t started because you don’t want to embarrass yourself or because you think you need to be an expert first, I suggest you just do it anyway!  It will make you a better person–I promise you.  Just do it anyway will be one of our ongoing blog topics…so watch for more.  Should you want to comment, please do so, we look forward to the interaction.

Today we were going to begin a 21 day series of exploration on “The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader” by John C. Maxwell; however, before we do, I feel it important to urge anyone who hasn’t to go out and purchase his book for themselves–it will enhance the exploration greatly.  With that in mind we will begin on Sunday, February 21, 2016.

Tomorrow’s topic: Just Keep Play’n



New blog site name

Iwas20somethingoncetoo.com is now the official name of this blog site–the content theme remains the same (see previous posts).  For the next 21 days postings we will be exploring leadership.  For insight we will quote from the Master…Mr. John C. Maxwell and his book: “The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader.”  (For brevity, we will be using the acronym ‘IQL’ when referring to “The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader.”)   The inside jacket cover lead-in posses three questions: 1) What do you dream of? 2) In your wildest imagination, what do you see yourself doing? 3) Now, what is standing between you and that dream?  The answer is leadership, “Everything rises and falls on leadership, but knowing how to lead is only half the battle. Understanding leadership and actually leading are two different activities” says Dr. John C. Maxwell.  So tomorrow look for IQL #1.

Oh, we promised you something on Xenesta…

First we recommend going to xenestagoodness.com and listen to Dr. Kyl.  From there go to xenesta4u.com for background info…if you want to try a free sample then head on over to: revenueinyourpocket.com





Gorge Days

History is amazing…think about it.  Yesterday(s) ago people were alive just like we are today…doing pretty much the same thing we do everyday; only a little bit different.  The interesting question for us is…what will people think about the history we are making now, when they look back from the future…their present, say 50 to 100 years from now.  As we go about our day here on earth, in this wonderful and glorious time period, I urge everyone to remember that what (is remembered) most is the relationships we build with others.  From our families and friends, to the people in the communities we live in and those that we see casually during the week or connect with in passing; relationships are made.

This post is dedicated to everyone who believes that he or she has been under-appreciated or has had a relationship gone bad…please know that you are appreciated here and that you can build a relationship here if you like.  So what does this have to do with ‘Gorge Days’?  Gorge days is about community…from time to time in the coming months we will explore and talk about life and living in the Columbia River Gorge…what it was like in the past, how it is now, and what it may be like in the tomorrows to come.

Oh, and we’ll get to Xenesta in the next post. Cheers!



I was 20 something once too!

This is a first for me…blogging.  I don’t know all the really cool ways to get the blog going so I’m just going to start doing.  Since this is my first blog I am going to keep it really short (I don’t want to bore you–if by some strange coincidence you happen to read it).  If you want to know why I chose the title “I was 20 something once too” then you will want to come back every once in a while and see ‘what’s up’.

Basically, this blog is about opportunity and the evolution of age…what we did then (as 20 somethings)…and what we are doing now (post 20s, 30s, 40s….etc.) Every generation has as opportunity to give back…some take to heart, some do and don’t know they are, but sadly, so much of life gets left behind because everyone always seems ‘so busy’.  But for those just entering their 20s and those that missed their 20s and yes, those that want to give something back to those that are coming up behind us…this blog is for you!

Oh yeah, then there is Xenesta…we’ll talk about that next time…right now I’ve got to start figuring out what to do next…I think all I have to do is hit the ‘publish’ button, wherever that is!?