Leading Edge: To Build A Bridge, You Need A Guide and A Plan

Leading Edge: To Build A Bridge, You Need A Guide and A Plan

Life is an incredible journey!

Today I encourage you to take a moment and think about your journey. What roads have you traversed and what bridges have you crossed to get to where you are?

If, by chance, you have crossed a bridge somewhere along the way, there is someone that you need to thank. Bridges don’t just appear; they are built by someone who had the vision and the skills to bridge a gap from one side to the other.

John Maxwell has figuratively designed and engineered bridges that countless people have walked across to develop their craft as leadership experts, coaches and speakers.

How My Dream Started

In 1996, a dream was birthed in me at a “Get Motivated” seminar. Zig Ziglar spoke that day, and during his talk, he invited me to walk across a bridge into my future. I can still remember his words, “You can have everything in life you want if you will help enough other people get what they want.”

Those words cast a vision for my future. I wanted to help people, and I was going to do it speaking from a stage!

Pursuing That Dream

Before I launched out to pursue my dream, I needed to develop my craft. I was determined and had the courage to go for it. Over the years, I took hold of that dream and was able to impact peoples lives positively. However, in a two-year period from 2007 – 2009, life introduced me to a barrage of punches that I wasn’t prepared to fight against.

During that trying time, a mentor told me to “take my success business and put it on the shelf.” He wanted me to take some time to focus on my faith and my family. I took his advice and walked away from my dream.

Saying no to your dreams and yes to a new journey isn’t always an easy thing to do. It’s like standing on one side of a river and asking, “How do I get to the other side?”

A year and a half later, my pastor and I went to a pastors conference. The energy in the auditorium felt like I was back at that “Get Motivated” seminar, but, in fact, it was a “God Motivated” seminar.

I started to get the feeling that something was going to shift in my life that evening.

John Maxwell Coming Into My Life

The emcee for the event invited everyone to, “Rise to their feet and welcome tonight’s featured speaker, Dr. John C. Maxwell!”

John got up on stage and did what John does best: he started telling stories and making excellent points. He was teaching from his new book, Everyone Communicates, Few Connect, and he talked about his two greatest passions, teaching leadership and sharing his faith.

Once he got going, I thought to myself, this guy is good. It seemed like he was having a casual conversation with each person there.

By the time he was done speaking, I had realized why I was at the conference.

John spoke about how he “crossed over” from being a pastor to speaking to the business community. When he made the transition he began to understand that he could, “take a biblical principle— not put a verse on it, but teach the principle in it— and God could speak to hearts.”

Being A Leader

As a leader, John modeled the Law of Addition by adding value to others and serving them where they were at. In doing so, he exchanged an invitation to walk them across a bridge to show them new ideas from a different perspective.

At the pastors’ conference in April 2010, I received my marching orders for the rest of my life. John’s lesson showed me how I could combine my passion for motivating others with my purpose of being a Christian leader, speaker, and coach. I was able to marry my purpose and my “why,” with a new vision and a “how” to get it done.

In the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, we are introduced to “The Law of Navigation,” which states that “Anyone can steer the ship, but it takes a leader to chart the course.” I believe that through his mentoring, John Maxwell walked me over to a bridge and said, “If you cross over this bridge, you will become a more effective leader and influencer.”

A year later the John Maxwell Team was birthed.

When you continue on your journey, the main thing to come to grips with is that you will not always know how to get to the other side.

Let me reassure you; it’s OK not to know all the answers.

There are leaders and bridge builders who “know the way, have gone the way and will show you the way.”


Tom is an Executive Director and Founding Partner of the global leadership John Maxwell Team and serves as a Committee Chair on their President’s Advisory Council. He is an executive high performance coach and keynote speaker. Tom is also a Master Trainer in the DISC Model of Human Behavior.

As a successful business owner and founder of Telesco Leadership Group, Tom’s leadership philosophy has always been predicated on “The Law of Addition” which states that, “Leaders add value by serving others!”

Tom and his wife Tonya have successfully worked with individuals, corporations, non-profit organizations, and churches to accomplish their unique goals.

Tom’s passion is to encourage and inspire everyone to live to their fullest potential. He adds value to others by standing with them to envision their future.