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Leadership Gold: Lessons I've Learned from a Lifetime of Leading Hardcover – March 30, 2008

4.8 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Maxwell (the bestselling The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership) shares 26 nuggets of wisdom based on his nearly 40 years of leadership. A practical guide, complete with exercises and "mentoring moments," this collection offers a blend of advice, professional wisdom and personal recollection. Each chapter provides insight into a specific aspect of effective management. Some, such as "The Best Leaders Are Listeners" and "Keep Learning to Keep Leading," are hardly groundbreaking, but others such as "Don't Send Your Ducks to Eagle School" (a phrase borrowed from Jim Rohn) and "For Everything You Gain, You Give Up Something" provide perspective into less-explored facets of successful leadership. Maxwell also covers some of the more challenging aspects of his topic: defining personal success, guarding against unrealistic thinking and determining why people quit. Throughout, Maxwell includes call-out quotes from well-known leaders such as Jack Welch and Frances Hesselbein as well as from surprising voices like J.K. Rowling and Joyce Brothers. A solid addition to a crowded field, this book will be of value to seasoned leaders as well as those just starting out. (Apr.)
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From Booklist

Depending on individual calendars, there’s a leadership lesson to be learned every seven days—or biweekly. Based on the recommendations of Maxwell—consultant, trainer, speaker, author (The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, 1998, is his most recent best-seller)—each chapter contains enough information to ponder its implications solo or in concert with team members. The 26 chapter headings, as to be expected, are provocative and thought-inducing, supported by application exercises (usually, in question form) and “mentoring moments,” suggestions for using this in groups. Just ruminate on these statements: “Never work a day in your life.” “You get answers only to the questions you ask.” “Keep learning to keep leading.” “People quit people, not companies.” Almost every heading can be buttressed by recent research, news, even books; as one example, there’s no secret about employees’ major reason to change jobs: their immediate manager. Enjoy, and consider, this collection of lessons. --Barbara Jacobs
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; 1 edition (March 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785214119
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785214113
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,362 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I have read most of John Maxwell's previous books and reviewed several of them. In recent years, it seemed to me that he was recycling many of the same ideas, albeit finding new applications for them. In this volume, he offers his perspectives on "years of living in a leadership environment and learning through trial and error what it means to be a leader. The lessons I've learned are personal and often simple, yet they can have a profound impact. I have spent my entire life mining them. I think of each chapter as a gold nugget. In the hands of the right person, they can add tremendous value to their leadership." He hastens to point out that he is still learning, that many others have made significant contributions to this book, that what he learned can also be learned by nearly anyone else, that much of what he shares is the result of leadership mistakes he has made over a period of 40+ years, and that the value of the material will depend almost entirely on the extent to which she or he effectively applies the lessons learned.

In my opinion, this is Maxwell's most valuable book thus far because it combines the strengths of a vivid memory, a keen mind, a caring temperament, unadorned eloquence, and a sincere desire to help enrich the lives of others. He carefully organizes his material within 26 chapters. In each, he focuses on a "golden nugget" of insight. When concluding, he suggests that the danger of a book like this "is that it is easy to breeze through it, understanding the concepts that are contained in it but not actually [begin italics] doing [end italics] anything with them." In this context, I am reminded of Thomas Edison's suggestion that "vision without execution is hallucination.
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Format: Hardcover
As a Maxwell follower for years I can tell you that the content of this book keeps with his tradition of simplicity, practicality, and solid principles. From that end of it, it is Maxwell all the way. However, it is important for readers to know that this book really contains nothing "new". This is rather a compilation of his many books and lectures compressed into a manual he calls "GOLD". Its a great book to teach from, but if youre looking for something "NEW" from John, this is not a book to offer you that. This is just John marketed in yet another way.
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By Joshua Reich on August 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a big John Maxwell fan and have read most of his books. His most recent Leadership Gold is by far one of his best. It is a list of the 26 most important leadership lessons he has learned over a span of 30+ years of leading.

Some of my favorites were:

If it's lonely at the top, you're not doing something right. Many leaders think that it is impossible to be a good leader and know people or be close to your team/followers. One of greatest joys since starting Revolution is how close I am to the other leaders and team that I serve with and lead. It is a huge risk, it is hard work, but it is worth it instead of being distant from your team.

Never work a day in your life. This one really spoke to me because it is something that I am living right now. The idea of "find what you love do, do it well enough so that people will pay you to do it." That is what I'm doing right now.

The best leaders are listeners. I need to improve on this one. I am the type of person that when I am talking to someone I am thinking about what I am going to say to them instead of listening, really listening to them.

To see how the leaders is doing look at the people. The best way to see how an organization, team or leader is doing, look at the people who are following that person. Are they better off? Is the organization farther than they were before? Leaders make things better or worse, which one do you make your team/organization/church?

Don't manage your time - manage your life. According to Maxwell, "Nothing separates successful people from unsuccessful people more than how they use their time." We all have the same amount of time, we can't get more in a day. The task is not to learn how to manage time, but to manage and maximize your life.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is aptly named. There is something of value between the pages of this book but its worth is greater than gold. It’s wisdom! If you like one of Maxwell’s most popular books, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Success, you're going to love this book. Mr. Maxwell provides many nuggets of knowledge that are practical and easily implemented. I really appreciate the fact that each of these nuggets of wisdom comes with real life examples of how they work. I think one of the things that I appreciate most about the author is that he makes it easy to connect to his teachings by keeping it real. Many gurus would present themselves as the perfect example of their teachings. John shares not only his successes but also his failures as they relate to each of his teachings. If you want to continue to grow as a leader, this book will help you get there!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The BEST all-encompassing leadership guide. If you've been in or on teams, most everyone can identify with many of the chapters in this book. I've used this as a leadership devotional with teams I've lead over the last 8 years. The margins of my book are littered with notes from the 3 different times I've read this book. Unbeknownst to John, he's been mentoring me through his books and his Maximum Impact monthly lessons for the last 15+ years. Thanks John for keeping it simple. The DVD series is a great counterpart to this book.
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