What if I told you the CEO of one of the largest Christian companies in the world was willing to share all of his leadership tips and tricks with you free of charge? You’d likely respond in one of two ways. “Wade that’s too good to be true.” Or, you’d say, “what’s the catch?” Well to answer your question, there is no catch. Thomas Nelson is the largest Christian Book Publisher and the 7th largest overall publisher in the world. The company’s former Chairman and CEO, Michael Hyatt, has shared his leadership secrets free of charge for the past 8 years on his blog, MichaelHyatt.com.
All my life, I’ve considered myself a leader. Growing up, I was the captain of sports teams. I majored in Management in undergrad and grad school. I led teams during my five years in Corporate America. I read 4- 5 books on leadership a year. Despite all of that, I’ve learned some of the best leadership lessons in my life, via Michael’s blog. He’s practical, relevant, engaging and responsive.
I could list more, but here are 8 leadership lessons you can learn from Michael Hyatt:
1. Make it a Point to Help Others
Hyatt’s entire business, blog and ministry centers around this principle. Whether it’s a blog about how to be more productive, a screen cast on how to install WordPress on a server in less than 20 minutes or his New York Times Best Selling Book, “Platform: Get Noticed in A Noisy World,” (Affiliate Link) Michael provides practical advice for how to get from point A to point B. He literally tells you what he’s done, how he’s done it and the lessons he has learned along the way.
2. Share Your Mistakes as well as your Victories
I’ve never seen such a high-profile person (he has over 160K followers on Twitter and 290K subscribers of his blog), share so many of his defeats. He’s written blogs about nearly going bankrupt and admitted that he felt in-over-his-head when he initially took over as CEO at Thomas Nelson. We all fail. Oftentimes, we secretly think the people we look up to don’t, and that is the key to their success. Hyatt debunks this myth, and therefore, helps you believe that you too can be successful. Despite this being a biblical principle, not enough leaders do it. Michael’s transparency is inspiring.
3. Mentor Others
Michael has blogged frequently about a mentor group that he hosts in his home town of Franklin, TN. This is a group of younger men, that he meets with once a month to encourage and equip to be better men, husbands, fathers and leaders. He reads a book on a relevant topic with them each month and even goes away on retreats with them twice a year to help further develop them. This is another biblical principle (think Jesus and the Disciples), that many of us just don’t make time for. If we don’t help develop the next generation of leaders, have we really led anyone?
4. Share Your Platform with Others
Many of my favorite blogs and websites, I’ve found out about thru Michael. Every week, he shares his enormous platform with guest bloggers and he also regularly shares articles on Twitter that he finds helpful. This helps his audience find out about new material as he now becomes an even greater source of information. I’m sure it’s also helped him build relationships with other bloggers, since we all love link backs.
5. Rely on Your Faith
While, Michael probably wouldn’t classify what he does as ministry, I would. He provides a very valuable service to others and consistently uses biblical principles to explain his methods. While his end game isn’t to evangelize, this is done indirectly thru his world view. He has the most popular leadership blog in the world, yet you can’t read much of it, without realizing pretty quickly that he is a Christian and he operates with Christian principles. If he was a rapper, he’d likely be in the rapper that’s Christian camp with Lecrae, Sho, Propaganda, Shad, Mr. J Medeiros and R-Swift.
6. Allow Others to Pour into Your Life
One can’t be a good leader unless one learns to follow. Every great leader has embraced that principal and Michael is no different. Via his blog and podcast, he’s often mentioned mentors and life coaches that have helped him in various aspects of his life. It’s very encouraging to see a leader you follow mention that he too follows other leaders and allows them to pour into his life.
7. Expand Your Horizons
When I began reading Michael’s blog, he basically blogged 5 days a week and spoke at various conferences and gatherings while producing eBooks on publishing and Life Planning. While that was pretty impressive, his reach was limited to those areas. Over the past few years, he’s expanded into the following:
- Written a New York Times best-selling book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World
- Produce one of the most popular business podcasts in iTunes called This is Your Life
- Began hosting and promoting his own conferences
- Offer several eCourses on publishing and platform building
- Began working on his own Premium WordPress Theme to sell.
Michael hasn’t let himself be limited or boxed in. In fact, he’s extended his reach, influence and ability to help others thru these additional products and services.
8. Plan Your Life and Help Others Plan Theirs
I’d never heard anyone discuss the subject of a life plan until I joined Michael’s mailing list. As part of joining, he sends you a free eBook called “Creating Your Personal Life Plan.” As I began reading, it totally made me change how I approach whats important in my life and how I plan it out. Simply put, this book was a game changer for me. If you’re trying to figure out how to prioritize and schedule the things in your life, family, ministry, quiet time with God, work, kids, school, etc. Get this book. It’s free and it will go a long way in helping you figure it out God’s Way.
These 8 lessons are just the tip of the iceberg. I’ve gleaned much more from Michael Hyatt. Though, I’ve never met him, he’s been a huge influence on how I lead the Wade-O Radio Team and how I approach what’s important in life. Make sure you follow Michael on Twitter, join his email list or subscribe to his blog. If you’re a leader and don’t read him, you are really missing out.