Developing the Leader Within You
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70 of 84 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 1998
In four years I have read this book many times. My original copy is dog-eared and tatty from repeated readings. We bought hundreds of copies for our clients, all of whom are now becoming better leaders. I sent a copy to the General Manager of a resort hotel. He bought a copy for all his heads of departments. I have never met a person who has read 'Developing The Leader' who did not love it. Every aspiring politician should receive a copy and be tested on it before being allowed to hold office.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2003
"Developing the Leader within You" by John C. Maxwell was a delightful reading experience. Not only was it informative on how to become a successful leader, it was entertaining as well.
Maxwell expressed his views on leadership through illustration of comic strips, quotes from famous people and his own life experiences. For example: "Abraham Lincoln said, "I will get ready; then perhaps my chance will come." He used these examples to demonstrate how anyone one can become a great leader. He also used Charlie Brown from the Peanuts comic strip. Charlie said his life was mixed up because he had missed "all the rehearsals" That expressed his leadership abilities, added humor but also expressed the truth on leadership.
He used quotes that he utilized when giving a seminar. "Life is 10 percent of what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it". These words were so enlightening it was like a light bulb went off as I was reading them.
Another technique I found enjoyable was Maxwell's pulling his readers into the book by asking us to stop and evaluate his own leadership skills. This kept me on my toes and I was able to comprehend the skills he was explaining. This also was helpful after completing the book to realize what my strengths and weakness are in leadership.
Throughout the book he gave the true definition of leadership "Leadership is influence. That's it. Nothing more.nothing less...He who thinketh he leadeth and has no one following him is only taking a walk." A positive attitude was expressed throughout the book by using the delightful material.
All in all I found this book a joy to read and would recommend it not only for leadership purposes but also for life experiences.
Thank you,
I am a student from the University of Pittsburgh,
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40 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2004
You will not be wasting your time by reading Developing The Leader Within You. If you are new to the field of leadership, this is a nice introduction. If you are an experienced leader, the book will remind you of some basic principles that you might be neglecting. It does not delve deeply into any one area, and it does not really break new ground. The quotes are selectively footnoted and many of the anecdotes are apocryphal. Maxwell is given to cute turns of phrase that he hopes will be interpreted as words of wisdom (e.g., "People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care."). All in all, this is a fine basic introduction, but I was hoping for more. This should not be the only leadership book you read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 17, 2005
when I realized that I was in the most important leadership position of all--a husband and a father--this book came alive! I began to outline many of the quotes and examples which spoke to me. I have put many to practice. Years later, my 17 year old began to read the book. She, too, spontaneously began to outline quotes and examples. Now my 15 year old is reading it... It's been one of the best, practically motivational books on leadership we've read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 8, 2006
I have studied the subject of leadership for several years and continue to return to this book as the best short-read on the subject ever written. I read it at least once a year just to refresh myself. The stories are well chosen and the principals are sound. It is not an in-depth treatise but provides an excellent foundation for understanding the difference between leadership and management - which is greatly lacking today.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 1999
Developing the Leader Within You is a wonderful resource for anyone in any kind of leadership position. If you lead thousands or if you have influence in the life of just one person, this book addresses issues of great importance to you. If you want to revolutionize how you interact with others, if you want to stop simply "managing" and have an impact in your sphere, this is the book for you.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2000
I have read numerous books on leadership, and attitudes, and this is by far the best one I have ever read. It was hard to put down the book, because of the entertaining way it was written. Mr. Maxwell uses a ton of great quotations, and stories to get his point across.
If you are going to spend money on any book about leadership, make sure that you buy this one. You will truly love it.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2003
Maxwell has written several excellent books on leadership. This book works best for the aspiring leader and is a valuable addition to any library on leadership. Another first-rate book which provides the foundation to optimize personal leadership and bring out the best in others, is Optimal Thinking: How to Be Your Best Self. Our managers have copies of both books.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2007
I read John Maxwell's Developing the Leader Within You as part of an assignment for a small group communication class. The book I chose to read for this assignment had to be of some interest to my career, and I chose this particular read because I figured that any person - no matter what profession - can benefit from leadership training. However, what I appreciated most about the book was that its principles can be applied to almost any situation in which a person wants to improve his or her overall effectiveness. The lessons taught in the text are good advice not just for becoming a better leader, but for everyday life as well. Even if you are at a point in your career where you are primarily a follower, you can still benefit from Maxwell's teachings and observations.

An example of a topic Maxwell covers that applies to most of us is prioritizing responsibilities and tasks. We all have duties and obligations that will continue to pile up unless we know which projects to take on and how to approach them. According to Maxwell, 20% of our priorities will give us 80% of our production. Therefore, our time and energy are best used if we channel them to our top priorities. Maxwell says that we can learn to prioritize by asking ourselves what is required of us (what we can do that no one else can), what gives us the greatest return for our effort, and what we find most rewarding.

I did enjoy many of the quotes from well-known individuals that Maxwell included in the text. My favorite was, "The water does not flow unless the faucet is turned on" (Louis L'Amour). Many of these quotes can be applied to everyday life, and not just leadership situations. Sometimes, however, I did feel that Maxwell threw in quotes "just for kicks" when they were not totally necessary. If he had elaborated on his points in his own words instead of someone else's, those points would have been stronger and clearer. Another irritation I experienced while reading the book was its occasional use of sexist language, both in the quotes Maxwell chose to incorporate and in his own words. Moreover, most, if not all, of the individuals he highlighted as displaying successful leadership were men. The only times he mentioned women's contributions were in reference to his wife, his personal assistant, or a woman who worked for him. In future books, Maxwell needs to focus on the sound leadership abilities of women as well as men.

In short, I would recommend this book if you want to improve your self-discipline, organizational skills, or people skills, even if you are not currently in a leadership position. Whether Maxwell realizes it or not, this book can be helpful to more people than just those who lead by profession.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on September 5, 2003
I bought this book after reading his "The 21 irrefutable laws of leadership". Since I knew nothing about leadership, this book was helpful for me, but as for somebody who already knows leadership, probably will not benefit this book. You will find these topics in this book
1. The Definition of Leadership: INFLUENCE
2. The key to Leaderhip: PRIORITIES
3. The most important ingredient of Leadership: INTEGRITY
4. The ultimate test of Leadership: CREATING POSITIVE CHANGE
5. The extra plus in Leadership: ATTITUDE
6. Developing your most appreciable asset: PEOPLE
If this something you never heard of before, and new to leadership, buy it. for others, look for different books. This book is not only useful to just positioned leaders, but for all people who desire to take control of their life. I think this book would be better for a regular Joe then to a good leader.
leadership is about influence. So to learn influence, these books are very helpful: "How to win friends and influence people" by Dale C. and "The 7 habits of highly effective people" by Stephen R. Covey
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