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The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You (10th Anniversary Edition) Hardcover – September 16, 2007
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John C. Maxwell offers lively stories about the foibles and successes of Lee Iacocca, Abraham Lincoln, Princess Diana, and Elizabeth Dole in The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. Readers can expect a well-crafted discussion that emphasizes the core attitudes and visions of leadership. Maxwell uses the same tell-it-like-it-is approach that he honed in the bestselling Developing the Leader Within You. For instance, when explaining "The Law of Influence," Maxwell states that "job titles don't have much value when it comes to leading. True leadership cannot be awarded, appointed or assigned. It comes only from influence and that can't be mandated." Even after Princess Diana was stripped of her title, Maxwell says she was still able to lead a global effort toward banning land mines because of her sophisticated ability to influence others.
If readers are looking for a step-by-step formula, Maxwell's list of "laws" will probably seem too chatty and anecdote driven. There are no specific tips on what readers can do during the next workday to help them become stronger leaders. On the other hand, Maxwell's background as a pastor gives him an inspirational voice and a spiritual context to leadership that many business and church leaders appreciate. --Gail Hudson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Our nation and its institutions are crying out for leaders. John Maxwell . . . shows us the true path to leadership through the application of timeless principles supported by the bedrock of personal character."
Edward C. Emma, President & COO, Jockey International, Inc.
"An irrefutable must-read on leadership that is a simple and powerful list of guidelines to help build leadership in many arenas."
--S. Truett Cathy, Founder and Chairman, Chick-Fil-A, Inc.
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But here are the main points from each chapter/law of "The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership":
I. The Law Of the Lid: Leadership ability determines a person's level of effectiveness.
II. The Law of Influence: The true measure of leadership is influence--nothing more, nothing less.
III. The Law of Process: Leadership develops daily, not in a day.
IV. The Law of Navigation: Anyone can steer the ship, but it takes a leader to chart the course.
V. The Law of Addition: Leaders add value by serving others.
VI. The Law of Solid Ground: Trust is the foundation of leadership
VII. The Law of Respect: People naturally follow leaders stronger than themselves
VIII. The Law of Intuition: Leaders evaluate everything with a leadership bias
IX. The Law of Magnetism: Who you are is who you attract
X. The Law of Connection: Leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand.
XI. The Law of the Inner Circle: A leader's potential is determined by those closest to him
XII. The Law of Empowerment: Only secure leaders give power to others
XIII. The Law of the Picture: People do what people see.
XIV. The Law of Buy-in: People buy into the leader, then the vision.
XV. The Law of Victory: Leaders find a way for the team to win.
XVI. The Law of the Big Mo: Momentum is a leader's best fried
XVII. The Law of Priorities: Leaders understand that activity is not necessarily accomplishment.
XVIII. The Law of Sacrifice: A leader must give up to go up.
XIX. The Law of Timing: When to lead is as important as what to do and where to go.
XX. The Law of Explosive Growth: To add growth, lead followers--to multiply, lead leaders.
XXI. The Law of Legacy: A leader's lasting value is measured by succession.
A great book and the most digestible, practical, and actionable leadership book I've come across other than Leadership 2.0
John Maxwell has been learning and teaching leadership throughout his entire career as a Wesleyan pastor and seminar speaker. He lives and breathes leadership. And in this book he has distilled the art of leadership into 21 "simple" laws. Well, not so simple, maybe, but at least understandable.
#1 "The Law of the Lid" asserts his basic premise that leadership ability determines the ultimate level of a person's effectiveness. If you have gifts and abilities, you'll make a greater impact the better leader you become. While some people may be blessed with a natural aptitude for leadership, Maxwell contends that leadership "skills" are learnable. You don't have to be a "born leader." You can apply yourself and become a much better leader than you are.
#2 "The Law of Influence." Here's another bedrock proposition: Leadership = Influence, no more and no less. Many church and secular leaders grossly misunderstand this point. They think that Leadership = Power. Maxwell argues that your leadership scope is how many people you influence, not how much organizational power you can wield from your position or office. On the basis of these two concepts, Maxwell constructs a whole philosophy of leadership. He explains the laws of "Solid Ground," "Respect," "Intuition," "the Inner Circle" and many others.
Some are especially intriguing. "The Law of E.F. Hutton," for example, is based on a TV ad campaign that ended with the motto: "When E.F. Hutton speaks, people listen." Maxwell's Law #5 says you can quickly tell who the real leader/influencer in a group is, because when this person speaks, everyone at the table listens, nods, and begins to express assent. Maxwell learned this at his first church where he discovered the real leader was Claude, even though Claude wasn't even the church moderator. Maxwell then learned to influence Claude and let Claude lead the others.
You can see how practical this kind of book could be. We bumble around for much of our lives, and stumble over these "laws," trying to learn to be leaders, often not understanding what went wrong. With some clear direction -- and that's what Maxwell provides -- you'll be able to grow more quickly as a leader.
Don't expect a "spiritual" book, however. While the "laws" are solidly founded on Scriptural principles, they are expressed in a non-religious manner. For years, Maxwell has been called on by mega-corporations to teach leadership to their executives, so this and some of his more recent books are designed to be read with profit by both Christian and business audiences.
I've read a lot in the field of leadership, and in my opinion, Maxwell is tops. He's not only humorous and easy-to-read, his analysis of the essentials of leadership is brilliant. If you're a church leader, you'll want to read this, and then buy a copy for your pastor at Christmas. If you're a pastor, this is a book to absorb and then circulate among your lay leaders to raise their level of leadership. This will also be an appreciated gift to a business executive.