The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You
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If you've never read The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, you've been missing out on one of the best-selling leadership books of all time. If you have read the original version, then you'll love this new expanded and updated one.
Internationally recognized leadership expert, speaker, and author John C. Maxwell has taken this million-seller and made it even better:
- Every Law of Leadership has been sharpened and updated
- Seventeen new leadership stories are included
- Two new Laws of Leadership are introduced
- New evaluation tool will reveal your leadership strengths-and weaknesses
- New application exercises in every chapter will help you grow
Why would Dr. Maxwell make changes to his best-selling book?
"A book is a conversation between the author and reader," says Maxwell. "It's been ten years since I wrote The 21 Laws of Leadership. I've grown a lot since then. I've taught these laws in dozens of countries around the world. This new edition gives me the opportunity to share what I've learned."
- Amazon Sales Rank: #1137 in Books
- Published on: 2007-09-18
- Original language: English
- Number of items: 1
- Dimensions: 1.14" h x 6.54" w x 9.17" l, 1.20 pounds
- Binding: Hardcover
- 336 pages
- ISBN13: 9780785288374
- Condition: New
- Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
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About the Author
John C. Maxwell is an internationally recognized leadership expert, speaker, and author who has sold over 13 million books. His organizations have trained more than 2 million leaders worldwide. Dr. Maxwell is the founder of EQUIP and INJOY Stewardship Services.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
I have the privilege of teaching leadership across the country and around the globe, and I often get the opportunity to talk with people who are attending one of my conferences for a second, third, or even fourth time. At a recent conference here in the United States, a man in his late fifties whom I had met several years before came up and spoke to me during a break. He grabbed my hand and shook it vigorously. "Learning leadership has changed my life," he said. "But I sure wish I had heard you twenty years ago."
"No, you don't," I answered with a chuckle.
"What do you mean?" he said. "I would have achieved so much more! If I had known these leadership principles twenty years ago, I'd be in a totally different place in life. Your leadership laws have fueled my vision. They've given me the desire to learn more about leadership and accomplish my goals. If I'd learned this twenty years ago, I could have done some things that I had never even dreamed possible."
"Maybe you would have," I answered. "But twenty years ago, I wouldn't have been able to teach them to you. It has taken me my entire lifetime to learn and apply the laws of leadership to my life."
As I write this, I am fifty-one years old. I've spent more than thirty years in professional leadership positions. I've founded four companies. And I focus my time and energy on doing what makes a positive impact in the lives of people. But I've also made a lot of mistakes along way--more than most people I know. Every success and every failure has been an invaluable lesson in what it means to lead.
As I travel and speak to organizations and individuals, people frequently ask me to define the essentials of leadership. "If you were to take everything you've learned about leadership over the years and boil it down into a short list," they ask, "what would it be?"
This book is my answer to that often-asked question. It has taken me a lifetime to learn these 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. My desire is to communicate them to you as simply and clearly as possible. And it sure won't hurt if we have some fun along the way.
One of the most important truths I've learned over the years is this: Leadership is leadership, no matter where you go or what you do. Times change. Technology marches forward. Cultures vary from place to place. But the true principles of leadership are constant--whether you're looking at the citizens of ancient Greece, the Hebrews in the Old Testament, the armies of the last two hundred years, the rulers of modern Europe, the pastors in local churches, or the businesspeople of today's global economy. Leadership principles stand the test of time. They are irrefutable.
As you read the following chapters, I'd like you to keep in mind four ideas:
- The laws can be learned. Some are easier to understand and apply than others, but every one of them can be acquired.
- The laws can stand alone. Each law complements all the others, but you don't need one in order to learn another.
- The laws carry consequences with them. Apply the laws, and people will follow you. Violate or ignore them, and you will not be able to lead others.
- These laws are the foundation of leadership. Once you learn the principles, you have to practice them and apply them to your life.
Whether you are a follower who is just beginning to discover the impact of leadership or a natural leader who already has followers, you can become a better leader. As you read about the laws, you'll recognize that you may already practice some of them effectively. Other laws will expose weaknesses you didn't know you had. But the greater the number of laws you learn, the better leader you will become. Each law is like a tool, ready to be picked up and used to help you achieve your dreams and add value to other people. Pick up even one, and you will become a better leader. Learn them all, and people will gladly follow you.
Now, let's open the toolbox together.
Most helpful customer reviews
82 of 88 people found the following review helpful.
A great leadership book made even better
By Walter H. Bock
At the beginning of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You by John Maxwell, the author reminds us that any book is fixed at a moment in time. Maxwell's first version of this book captured his best thinking as it was a decade ago.
But while the book has remained unchanged, its author has grown and matured. He has read more, worked with more people, and taught his principles over and over again. And so the book we get from this fifty-one-year-old author is a more mature and developed one than we got from John Maxwell when he was forty-one. That is a very good thing.
In the intervening decade Maxwell found that some laws needed to be combined. He also adds two new laws. The number of laws remains the same.
This book is better than the first version. You can count up the new stories and examples if you want, but the numbers aren't the story. The story is that this man who wrote one of the best books on leadership has added the growth, maturity and insights of a decade and made it even better.
As Maxwell outlines it on page 245, there has been a trajectory to his thinking. In the beginning he understood leadership development as primarily a process of personal development. That's still part of his thinking, but he's added understanding of the importance of a leadership team, and, especially, the importance of developing other leaders.
There are two key questions to ask and answer about any book like this. First: "If I read this book and apply what I learn, will I be a better leader?"
The answer to that is a resounding "yes." The content here is good and it's practical. Leadership is an apprentice trade. You learn most of it on the job, by trying things out, observing how you do, and adjusting how you do things in the future based on results and feedback.
The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership gives you a great starting point for learning. At the end of each chapter there's a section on applying this lesson to your life. There's also a law (number 3) called "The Law of Process" that reminds you that "Leadership develops daily, not in a day."
There's no promise of magic here. But you can count on improved results if you use the book to guide your actions.
The second question to ask and answer is: "Is the book written well enough that I can move through it easily and learn its lessons?"
The answer to that one is another "yes." There's excellent use of stories and examples, which will help you learn and understand. Key points are highlighted throughout the book. The writing is smooth and easy to read.
There are some things to quibble with. I think his description of how Robert E. Lee wound up with the generals he did is simply, historically wrong. But you can leave that example out of the book and the chapter where it appears and still get value from both.
There are also things that may trouble individual readers. Maxwell learned his leadership trade as a pastor and it's obvious from several of his personal stories. That makes some people uncomfortable. Others think that you need to learn leadership in business or the military, because a church is a "soft" environment.
Don't believe it. Maxwell learned is trade in one of the most demanding environments for a leader. Pastors and other nonprofit leaders don't have many of the tools of reward that their business colleagues have. The lack the disciplinary tools that the military gives its leaders.
The result is that people who learn their trade in the nonprofit world develop skills of communication and persuasion that can escape leaders in other sectors. The lessons Maxwell learned will work anywhere.
If you're just starting out as a leader, this book can provide you with a self-development roadmap to guide you as you work to master the leadership craft. If you've been practicing leadership for a while, this book will give you a refresher as well as new insights.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful.
Like Taking a Course from an Expert
By Happy Chappy
This book review will cover The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, 10th Anniversary Revised and Updated Edition, by John C. Maxwell. Maxwell has written numerous bestselling books on leadership. Maxwell's other works include, but are not limited to; Developing the Leader Within You, The 21 Indisputable Qualities of a Leader, Leadership 101, and The 360 Degree Leader. Maxwell has a gift for relating his points to personal and historical examples that emphasize his suggested rules of leadership. These 21 Irrefutable Laws include: The Law of the... Lid, Influence, Process, Navigation, Addition, etc.
With each Law, the author describes the theory behind the Law. For example, with the Law of Sacrifice, the theory is that a leader must be willing to sacrifice in order to achieve. He expounds upon his point by explaining that a leader gives up rights - in exchange for responsibilities - the higher the leader rises. The example that he gives in this chapter is the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. The author shows how the more sacrifice King made in terms of sacrificing his personal rights and freedoms, the more the Civil Rights movement gained. This is indicative of the way a leader must sacrifice for the good of the organization.
Maxwell suggests that all of the Irrefutable Laws are important for a leader, but admits that it is rare for everyone to do each perfectly. This is where the Law of Inner Circle comes in. The author opines that a leader's potential is determined by those closest to him/her. Thus, if you are weak in certain areas, you can strive to get better. But if you know that you have a weakness in a specific area, you should ensure that your inner circle comprises leaders that have the skills you lack. A real life example that Maxwell gives is Lance Armstrong. Although Armstrong was a wonderful bike rider, he always credited his team for helping him reach the great achievements he enjoyed in the Tour de France. The author quotes another great leader in Mother Teresa - whose life embodied many of the Laws; especially Sacrifice and Legacy - who stated, "You can do what I cannot do. I can do what you cannot do. Together we can do great things." This is one of the examples that Maxwell uses to drive points home.
Every chapter in this book covers a Law, and every Law is like a quick course on Leadership. Leadership can be learned, but the effort must be put forth to recognize your strengths and to work on your weaknesses. There are several self-quizzes and exercises in this book to help you achieve your potential in these 21 Laws. Maxwell writes, "To become an excellent leader, you need to work on it everyday." Leaders must strive for excellence and they must strive to prepare others to take over for them when they move on. This is an excellent book on leadership. Maxwell has a way of speaking directly to the reader.
Reading this book was a rewarding experience that had me wearing out the yellow highlighter as there were valuable insights on page after page.
I highly recommend this 5 star book
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful.
What is the purpose of this book?
By Stephen Kirby
The title sums up what you will get. Maxwell lays out what he believes are 21 "Laws of Leadership" with the subtext "Follow Them (The laws) and People Will Follow You"
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.