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The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You Paperback – International Edition, September 8, 2007
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About the Author
John C. Maxwell is an internationally respected leadership expert, speaker, and author who has sold more than 19 million books. He is the founder of EQUIP, a non-profit organization that has trained more than 5 million leaders in 126 countries. Read his blog at JohnMaxwellOnLeadership.com.
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As humans, it feels good to be exercising this model of leadership but there is a tremendous cost to the organization and to those that we turn into followers. It's not the taking control that is the problem, it's the resultant "turning others into followers." Thinking about, and treating people as "followers" limits their enthusiasm, energy, and commitment. The result is the need to empower them. Better is the organization that refuses to dis-empower them in the first place!
The "take control, attract followers" model is being challenged by a new model "give control, create leaders." For books that describe that model see, for example, Liz Wiseman's Multipliers, Dan Pink's Drive, or The Spider and the Starfish.
or this book: Turn the Ship Around!: How to Create Leadership at Every Level
Each "Law" takes a story of himself, and some other famous individual(s), and uses them to demonstrate how they followed a law and how it succeeded for them or how they failed for not following a law and how, once they followed the law, everything turned out fine. Simple and clear organization.
The good is that it is a very easy read and the stories are entertaining pictures of famous people. The chapters are well organized and focused. I would also say that Maxwell's book can be a useful guide if you really are lost as to what you next step might be as a leader. It is a reference book rather than a true book on learning how to be a leader.
The bad is that the book, to me, comes across as a "feel good" book without substance. The book, to me, felt like an attempt to make people feel empowered to be leaders by providing simple rules that anyone can follow.
There are many books on leadership, but a better introduction to leadership would be a book on developing shared vision. If you want to lead people get to know yourself, find a vision that includes others, and learn to communicate that vision... then a book like Maxwell's can help in keeping your group successful.
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