“I knew I wanted to get my hands on Mark Maxwell’s book, Networking Kills, when one of his Belmont students quoted it in a conversation we were having over a cup of coffee. What a simple concept: “Networking” narrows our focus and our life experience. “Serving” connects us in a meaningful way and throws the gates of opportunity wide open. Let the adventure begin!”~ AMY GRANT – singer/songwriter
“I have had the privilege of knowing and working with Mark Maxwell for some time now. In an industry and culture that encourages us to be more and more self-focused for our own personal gain, Mark’s book is a fresh and necessary perspective that is desperately needed. It is natural for us to think that our gifts and talents are for us. Mark does a great job of leading us through his book and turning this paradigm upside down. No matter where we are on the journey we need to constantly be reminded that we are called to serve not be served.” ~ TOBYMAC - Grammy award-winning recording artist
“Culture teaches us to measure everything through the question: “how does this benefit my life?” This book does the exact opposite by changing the question to, “how does my life benefit others?” Mark Maxwell’s book, Networking Kills, is more than just a novel idea - this significant message can help steer a generation towards true success. But more than just this generation, I believe it will help anyone, in any stage, re-evaluate their motivations and navigate their life back to what truly matters. I know it’s doing that for me.” ~ NATALIE GRANT- singer/songwriter“
In his book, Networking Kills, Mark Maxwell shares a compelling message that disrupts our current culture of selfish ambition and self promotion. His message of serving others is profound, not only because it’s true, but because as my friend and counselor I’ve seen Mark live it out in his everyday life. His story and wisdom are instructional and inspirational!” ~ GREGG DEDRICK - Former CEO of Kentucky Fried Chicken & Founder of Iron Bell Music
“Mark Maxwell was an early believer and important counselor for MercyMe twenty years ago. I am thrilled that through his book, Networking Kills, he continues to authentically mentor and counsel the next generation concerning true success – success that is only found through serving others.” ~ BART MILLARD, MERCYME
"With Networking Kills, Mark Maxwell is seemingly flying in the face of what the assumed "best approach" is for building a successful career in the music industry ... network, network, network! When in reality, every person doing business - including us creatives - are all truly in the service industry. Mark's call to think about our roles in the context of service is refreshing and spot on. Kudos, Mr. Maxwell!" ~ busbee - Grammy-nominated songwriter/record producer (Lady Antebellum, P!nk, Keith Urban, Maren Morris, Jon Bellion, Carly Pearce)
“I am grateful Mark Maxwell is bringing this timely message to students everywhere. In Networking Kills, he dismantles the networking myth concerning success while illuminating the truth about finding true purpose in life. Serving is the key!” ~ JUDGE ALBERTO R. GONZALES, former White House counsel & U.S. Attorney General; Dean of Belmont University College Of Law
“The message in this book is a great reminder that when we focus on serving, we're really focusing on other people. And, as Mark writes: Networking has become a distraction and an inhibitor in the creative development process that will keep us from creating lasting works with deep impact on our culture.” ~ ZACH WILLIAMS - award-winning singer/songwriter; Grammy for Best CCM Album & Dove for Best New Artist
“Mark Maxwell and his wife, Carol, have been longtime wonderful friends and encouragers of Newsong and Winter Jam! I was so encouraged and challenged by Mark’s book, Networking Kills. I love Mark’s heart for serving and allowing God to do the networking :) Telling His story is the ultimate act of serving.” ~ EDDIE CARSWELL, WINTER JAM TOUR owner/founder
“I love Mark! His book, Networking Kills, is a timely reminder on the truth behind real connectivity and thriving relationship.” ~ PETER FURLER - singer/songwriter/producer
“‘Networking for success’ is a topic covered everywhere, but it really takes a special person to understand how to capture the human element of it. Mark is one of the only people that could bring that element out with his book because he just IS that person in my own life. Much like the way the author lives his every day life, Mark’s book, Networking Kills, proves that the best way to navigate professionally is with a certain genuine kindness and authenticity. Calling on yourself to think about intentions and how service equals success and how you contribute to other’s successes above all else is truly a mentally game-changing concept for the creative mind.” ~ MORGAN SWANK - television writer/producer
Success Through Serving
Change the world by:
making yourself available instead of visible,
giving instead of taking and
losing yourself instead of finding yourself.
“Show a little faith, there’s magic in the night...” - Bruce Springsteen1
When Sophia and Harrison each turned sixteen, I took them out individually on a special night to see Bruce Springsteen and the “E” Street Band perform live. Neither one knows his albums like I do, but they both recognize his reputation for giving an audience way more than their money’s worth and much more than any other live performer. They were each very excited to be there with me.
Before the show three years ago, Sophia and I waited in line outside the concert arena to get into the coveted general admission floor area. We struck up a conversation with a doctor who flew in from Chicago. This was his 273rd Springsteen show. Another fan claimed 176 shows. The couple beside us had flown in from Pennsylvania. This would be the 89th time they had seen Bruce live. Crazy! Sophia suddenly realized there were bigger music geeks in the world than her fanatic father! There are no current musical artists who evoke this kind of loyalty and repeat business like Bruce. Plus, there are no artists that consistently give their fans a generous three-and-a-half hour plus show with no break. In 2016, Bruce broke his previous record for his longest show in the United States by playing four hours and three minutes in Philadelphia. At age 66. Super-human! He makes young men look and feel old. I know how tired I am after one of his shows. I can’t imagine how he and the band physically recover night after night. Harrison and I planned our night out seeing Bruce’s The River Tour in Louisville. We had our floor tickets in-hand and waited through the afternoon lottery process to see if we would be among the lucky few picked to be in the area closest to the stage. Bruce consciously plays to every single person in the arena or coliseum, including the cheap seat rafters and obstructed view seats, but everyone knows there is something magical in those first few rows where you can actually trade eye contact with the Boss and the members of the “E” Street Band. We made it into the pit! Right in front of the stage! Amazing!
Springsteen kicked off the night by shouting, "Are you ready to be transformed?"
Bruce and the band blew Harrison’s mind for 3 hours and 22 minutes while he and I were floating 2 inches off the ground 15 feet from the stage.
During one of his shows, Springsteen is constantly dancing, screaming, imploring, mugging, kicking, windmilling, crowd-surfing, climbing a drum riser, jumping on an amp, leaping off the piano. In return, the crowd participates in a display of communal adoration. Like pilgrims at a gigantic outdoor Mass—think John Paul II at Gdansk—they know their role: when to raise their hands, when to sway, when to sing, when to scream his name, when to bear his body, hand over hand, from the rear of the orchestra to the stage. “I want an extreme experience,” he says. He wants his audience to leave the arena, as he commands them, “With your hands hurting, your feet hurting, your back hurting, and your voice sore!” So, the display of exuberance is critical.2
When Springsteen is asked “How do you do it?” he describes those supernatural breakthrough moments between him and a giant concert audience as a magic trick. “Eighty thousand rock ‘n’ roll fans waiting for you to pull something out of your hat, out of thin air, out of this world, something that before the faithful were gathered here today, was just a song-fueled rumor.3 I am here to provide proof of life to that ever elusive, never completely believable 'us.' And then suddenly”—he snapped his fingers—“you catch it, and then, once you do, you may not want to stop. You have to create the show anew, and find it anew, on a nightly basis,” Springsteen said. “And sometimes,” he concluded, laughing, “it takes me longer than I thought it would.4 I tend to try and move to that place every night, to that moment where suddenly it’s just you and the audience; everything else has kind of fallen away ... time ... space.”5
“Thank you, Louisville! The “E” Street Band LOVES you! As if we needed to be reminded. We slowly strolled to the parking lot with huge smiles and ringing ears. We HAD been transformed.
Why is Springsteen driven to go through all that hard work night after night? “For an adult, the world is constantly trying to clamp down on itself,” he says. “Routine, responsibility, decay of institutions, corruption: this is all the world closing in. Music, when it’s really great, pries that @#$% back open and lets people back in, it lets light in, and air in, and energy in, and sends people home with that and sends me back to the hotel with it. People carry that with them sometimes for a very long period of time."6
Bruce's faithful fans experience…
Supernatural Hope, Community and Light.
Each one of these elusive elements: Hope, Community and Light, are spiritually birthed when others are sacrificially and generously served. Boy, we all desperately need those today.
In his recent autobiography, Springsteen refers to his boyhood Catholic church as “the world where I found the beginning of my song.”7 Now, five decades later, Bruce is modeling (perhaps, unknowingly, perhaps not) God’s great generosity to mankind, because God not only promises to provide, he promises to do so generously. Bruce is beautifully mirroring the power and story of God. By taking the power of the “E” Street Band’s musical excellence and creativity (God’s beautiful gift) and serving his fans with passion, abandon and extreme generosity, the atmosphere mysteriously changes. Paul says, "You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus. Our God and Father abounds in glory that just pours out into eternity. Yes!"8 Our God meets and explosively surpasses our human needs.
AND God asks us to sacrificially serve others with that same extraordinary generosity. Paul instructed Timothy; “Tell those rich in this world’s wealth to quit being so full of themselves and so obsessed with money, which is here today and gone tomorrow. Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage—to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extremely generous. If they do that, they’ll build a treasury that will last -- gaining life that is truly life.”9
How can we give more generously of our time, our talents and our resources?
Where can I start to give more extravagantly to my clients, family and friends? To my fellow students, my co-workers, my neighbors? To those in great need?
First, we must expect God to provide for us just like he promised.
As we do, let’s embrace the freedom and motivation to serve others generously like God serves us.
Then, through our God-like generosity, let’s believe we will see and experience hope, community and light “magically” born in the atmosphere of our world and in our relationships with those around us.
That we may all experience and give "life that is truly life."
SERVING PRODUCES HOPE
Generosity Creates Supernatural Results
“Thunder Road” Written by Bruce Springsteen, ©1975 Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, Downtown Music Publishing
David Remnick, “We Are Alive,” The New Yorker; July 30, 2013
Bruce Springsteen, Born To Run, Simon & Schuster, ©2016, Forward pp. xii
David Kamp, “The Book of Bruce Springsteen,” Vanity Fair, September 2016
Brian Hiatt, “True Bruce,” Rolling Stone, October 20, 2016, p. 36
Springsteen p. 17
Philippians 4:19-20 MSG
1 Timothy 6:17-19 MSG
Copyright © 2018 MARK H. MAXWELL