- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Center Street; 978-1455548071 edition (October 7, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781455548071
- ISBN-13: 978-1455548071
- ASIN: 1455548073
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 200 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Good Leaders Ask Great Questions: Your Foundation for Successful Leadership Hardcover – October 7, 2014
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"Thought-provoking and encouraging...with hundreds of questions designed to help readers in their quest for personal and professional growth. Clear and inspiring, this is a great approach to leadership."―Publishers Weekly
"An intriguing look at leadership with practical advice makes this book beneficial to. . .anyone who wants to develop and improve their skills."―Library Journal
"The first time I met John Maxwell, I could tell that he and I shared the same values. He cares about people and he wants to help them. One of the best ways to do that is to teach people how to overcome failure and adversity. That ability turned my life around. If you read Sometimes You Win--Sometimes You Learn, you will learn that valuable skill. I highly recommend this book."―Ben Carson, M.D., pediatric neurosurgeon and NYT bestselling author of America the Beautiful and Gifted Hands, on Sometimes You Win--Sometimes You Learn
"Millions of individuals--myself included--have been inspired by the words and works of John Maxwell. Now, in The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, John again shares his remarkable insights and wisdom into how each of us can reach our full potential and make a positive difference in the lives of others."―Elizabeth Dole, former U.S. Cabinet Secretary, Senator and President of the American Red Cross, on The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth
"As a coach and leader, I am always looking for ways to teach my players how to grow. Thanks to my good friend John Maxwell, you hold in your hands the instruction manual for taking next steps of growth. Embracing these laws will cause you to grow individually and in your contribution to those around you. This book is a must-read for anyone responsible for helping others to grow."―John Calipari, Head Basketball Coach at the University of Kentucky, on The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth
"John has been a mentor and teacher for me for many years and what I love most about him is that he has pushed and helped me personally go through The 5 Levels of Leadership!"―Kevin Turner, COO, Microsoft, on The 5 Levels of Leadership
"John Maxwell's books have been required reading for my leadership team for years. I can't think of anyone better at distilling decades of leadership experience into practical, approachable principles that anyone can apply at any level of leadership."―Dave Ramsey, host of The Dave Ramsey Show and best-selling author of The Total Money Makeover, on The 5 Levels of Leadership
About the Author
John C. Maxwell is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, coach, and speaker who has sold more than 24 million books in fifty languages. Often called America's #1 leadership authority, Maxwell was Identified as the most popular leadership expert in the world by Inc. magazine in 2014. And he has been voted the top leadership professional six years in a row on LeadershipGurus.net. He is the founder of The John Maxwell Company, The John Maxwell Team, and EQUIP, a non-profit organization that has trained more than 5 million leaders in 180 countries. Each year Maxwell speaks to Fortune 500 companies, presidents of nations, and many of the world's top business leaders. He can be followed at Twitter.com/JohnCMaxwell. For more information about him visit JohnMaxwell.com.
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John delivers great content by focusing on the questions that he asks himself and his team, and the questions other leaders ask him. I find the questions themselves provide great value. I can use them with my team, my inner circle, my peers, my mentors and myself.
Then, what's even better, is that John gets behind the questions. Like a great magician revealing the secrets of his craft, John reveals the leadership principles of how to see through the challenges that leaders often face.
I can't imagine a leader not getting value out of this book, and I am looking forward to masterminding this book further with my peers In the weeks, months and years ahead.
The book is broken down into two parts: 1) Questions I Ask and 2) Questions Leaders Ask Me. Under the two parts the following questions are answered:
Questions I Ask
1. Why Are Questions So Important
2. What Questions Do I Ask Myself as a Leader?
3. What Questions Do I Ask My Team Members?
Questions Leaders Ask Me
1. What Must I Do to Lead Myself Successfully?
2. How Does Leadership Work?
3. How Do I Get Started in Leadership?
4. How Do I Resolve Conflict and Lead Challenging People?
5. How Can I Succeed Working Under Poor Leadership?
6. How Can I Successfully Navigate Leadership Transitions?
7. How Can I Develop Leaders?
The three chapters that were most helpful to me were "What Must I Do to Lead Myself Successfully?", "How Do I Resolve Conflict and Lead Challenging People?", "How Can I Successfully Navigate Leadership Transitions?"
I underlined, starred, and marked up so much of this book, I don't know exactly what to include in this review. I do know that if you have any type of leadership role or have a desire to learn leadership, this is a tremendous book. As always with Maxwell's books, this volume is infused with applicable anecdotes and timely quotes.
Here are a few of my favorite parts of the book:
When I was a young leader, I didn't feel wise enough, strong enough, mature enough, competent enough, confident enough, or qualified enough. When I began to be honest with myself, allow my weaknesses to humble me, and go to God for help, I began to change. I became more open and authentic. I was willing to admit my mistakes and weaknesses. I developed appropriate humility, and I began to change and grow...Before I had been unwilling to be wrong, and as a result I had been unable to discover what was right. Isn't it strange how we must surrender being right in order to find what's right, how humility enables us to be authentic, vulnerable, trustworthy, and intimate with others? People are open to those who are open to them.
If you are a leader, your goal is to lift up your people, not have them lift you up.
If you are a leader, the true measure of your success is not getting people to work. It's not getting people to work hard. It is getting people to work hard together.
If you are a leader and you are not adding value to your team, you need to question whether or not you should even be the leader.
Success is a relationship game.
Successful leaders don't only take action. Good leaders listen, learn, and then lead.
When team members no longer believe that their leader listens to them, they start looking around for someone who will.
Asking the question "What do you think?" has often allowed me to lead my organization better than I would have if I had relied only on myself. More than once, members of my team have saved me from making a bad or stupid decision because they saw things I didn't see, relied on experience I didn't have, or shared wisdom they possessed that I lacked. Their thinking has elevated my ability, and for that I am very grateful.
Insecure leaders want to have tight reins on everyone and everything...in the end insecure leaders limit their people and their organizations.
If you want to become a better leader, become highly relational.
It's wonderful when the people believe in the leader; it's more wonderful when the leader believes in the people.
Good leaders cultivate themselves through personal growth. They also cultivate relationships and grow teams. That too can be slow and difficult work. It usually takes longer than we expect and it's harder than we hope. But there is no such thing as solitary success. Nothing of significance was ever achieved without people working together.
The bottom line on leadership is that its influence. If you want to lead, you must persuade people to work with you. People who think they're leading but have no one following them are only taking a walk.
Rewards are motivating. Rules, consequences, and punishment don't do anything to get people going. They merely keep people from doing their worst. If you want people's best, give them incentives for performance.
Many poor leaders do not respond well to having their methods questioned.
Good leadership works. It's based on invitation, not intimidation.
Achievement comes to people who are able to do great things for themselves. Success comes when they lead followers to do great things for them. But a legacy is created only when leaders put their people into a position to do great things without them.
Your success is more dependent on your ability to find and attract good people than on anything else.
There's only one way to lead leaders. Become a better leader yourself. Good leaders do not follow poor ones. People naturally follow leaders stronger than themselves.
Socratic questioning is disciplined questioning that can be used to pursue thought in many directions and for many purposes, including: to explore complex ideas, to get to the truth of things, to open up issues and problems, to uncover assumptions, to analyze concepts, to distinguish what we know from what we don't know, to follow out logical implications of thought or to control the discussion.
Author John Maxwell in "Good Leaders" adapts this format to great, day-to-day leadership by emphasizing the effective use of questions for:
* Getting profound answers with profound questions that can facilitate confidence, wise decision-making, crystal-clear focus in life, prioritization.
* Unlocking and opening doors that otherwise remain closed, yielding possibilities that can lead to opportunities, experiences, and understanding people.
* Connecting with people. What is asked matters. So does how it is asked.
* Cultivating humility. Fear of being unable to say "I don't know" keeps leaders vulnerable and insecure.
* Engaging others in conversation. Great questions communicate to others that you value them and tyou want to add value to them.
* Building better ideas by providing different perspectives. The true spirit of dialogue is essential to creativity by building on another's observation, not overturning it.
* Minimizing faulty assumptions about other people. "Before you attempt to set things right, make sure you see things right."
* Challenging mind-sets and getting us out of ruts. The question "why" is a question of discovery.
Maxwell's book is segmented into two parts.Part One "Questions I Ask" focuses on "What questions do I ask myself as a leader?" and "What questions do I ask my team." These include (with an explanation of the importance of each): Are you investing in yourself? How do you see your future? How do others see you? Are you generally interested in others? Are you grounded? Are you adding value? Are you staying in your strength zone? Are you investing your time with the right people? How good a listener are you? Do I want to hear what I need to hear? Do I interrupt? What do you think? How can I serve you? What did you learn? What do I need to know? What am I missing?
Part Two "Questions Leaders Ask Me" was sourced from questions solicited via twitter, Facebook, Maxwell's blog, and 4000 certified coaches. These include questions like: What must I do to lead myself successfully? How does leadership work? How do I get started in leadership? How do I resolve conflict and lead challenging people? How can I succeed working under poor leadership? How can they successfully navigate leadership transitions? How can I develop leaders? Much in part two is derived from previous books by Maxwell. This is useful as it is a good reminder of fundamental leadership issues, issues which need constant reinforcement. One specific list of questions that will benefit all readers is his list of questions on how people can lead themselves successfully.
"Good Leaders" will be useful to those in leadership or aspire to leadership roles. Maxwell shows how a disciplined and thoughtful question-based approach provides an effective tool box for the leader and his/her team. Examples include questions that:
* Help others to clarify their thinking, e.g., `Why do you say that?', `Could you explain further?'
* Challenge others about assumptions, e.g., `Is this always the case?', `Why do you think that this assumption holds here?'
* Clarify evidence as a basis for dialogue and decisions, e.g., `Why do you say that?', `Is there reason to doubt this evidence?'
* Provide alternative viewpoints and perspectives and biases, e.g., `What is the counter-argument?', `Can/did anyone see this another way?'
* Highlight Implications and consequences, e.g., `But if...happened, what else would result?', `How does...affect...?'
* Question the question, e.g., `Why do you think that I asked that question?', `Why was that question important?', `Which of your questions turned out to be the most useful?'
Questioning is intimately connected with critical thinking because the art of questioning is important to excellence of thought. Critical thinking and Socratic questioning both seek meaning and truth. Critical thinking provides the rational tools to monitor, assess, and perhaps reconstitute or re-direct our thinking and action. Socratic questioning is an explicit focus on framing self-directed, disciplined questions to achieve that goal.
John Maxwell is recognized internationally as a leadership expert and has written many books focusing on leadership. Titles include "The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership" , "The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader: Becoming the Person Others Will Want to Follow," "Developing the Leader Within You." Each sold over a million copies. He has been named to Amazon.com's Hall of Fame. "Good Leaders Ask Great Questions" is as provocative as his earlier titles. it highlights the role great questions play in critical thinking, and it challenges the reader to assess his/her ability to ask great questions.
Maxwell continues to ask himself the same questions he discussed in Chapter 2 over and over again. They continue to guide his leadership and help him to harness and be accountable for the gifts and advantages he has been given. Maxwell believes that by asking questions, he can also harness the power of every member of his team. Asking questions begs to be developed and should become a regular discipline...as "Good leaders ask great questions."