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The 17 Indisputable Laws Of Teamwork Hardcover – Jul 31 2001

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Nelson Books (July 31 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785274340
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785274346
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 2.5 x 23.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 612 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #277,517 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Maxwell has found a formula that works. Author of the successful The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader, the Atlanta-based Christian business guru is back with 17 rules for teamwork. Are Maxwell's laws "indisputable"? Perhaps. But they're also obvious and banal: the weakest link will bring down a team, teammates have to be able to count on one another, etc. Maxwell urges readers to find a mentor, "see the big picture" and be willing to work hard. The cutesy alliteration and rhyme ("The Goal Is More Important than the Role") and the tired sports metaphors ("The Scoreboard Is Essential to Winning") are uninspired and uninspiring. Maxwell is enamored of his laws, but the sense that radiates from the pages of this book is that he is also enamored of himself; even the acknowledgements lack humility, as he thanks one assistant for "extend[ing] my influence around the world." He is perhaps to be commended for writing a book that will be accessible to the broadest possible audience. The occasional example features folks driving home from church but, despite the connection to Thomas Nelson, little of Maxwell's message is specifically Christian. Hindus, atheists and Shintos seeking leadership tips will be able to read this as comfortably as Baptists. Then again, perhaps providing flavorless counsel to a large, ecumenical audience is not an accomplishment worthy of applause. (July 31) Forecast: Nelson will promote this title heavily in Christian media sources, with feature stories planned for CBA Marketplace and Christian Retailing and advertising in business, Christian and in-flight magazines. Expect this business title to be business as usual for Nelson. But change is afoot: the cash cow that is Maxwell has gone in search of greener pastures. The author recently signed a deal with Warner's new Christian line.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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. Maxwell was identified as the most popular leadership expert in the world by Inc. magazine in 2014. He is the founder of the John Maxwell Company, the John Maxwell Team, and EQUIP. He can be followed at For more information visit

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jodi Zaremski on April 17 2004
Format: Paperback
In the 17 Indisputable Laws Of Teamwork, John Maxwell focuses on building a winning team using strategies based on interviews with some of the world's top CEO's. It is 265-page self-help type, in which he describes the 17 laws to be used as a guide by individuals in any setting, whether it is business or personal. Maxwell writes the book using simple language trying his best to connect with a large audience.
Maxwell breaks the book into 17 chapters in which each chapter represents a different law. In each, he includes the essentials for teamwork followed by suggestions and how to apply them. In each chapter Maxwell includes two main examples and then several smaller examples related to the topic.
Maxwell starts the book explaining the law of significance and writes that one is too small a number to achieve greatness. He works through every law although some of the 17 are quite obvious. Some are learned at an early age and some are just common sense not only for a "team player," but anyone, in any type of relationship. For example, law number 9 reads: The Law of Countablitly, teammates must be able to count on each other when it counts. This type of common sense information is spread evenly throughout Maxwell's book. Another example of Maxwell's not so unique language is written into law number 8: The Law of the Bad Apple. The subtitle then reads: Rotten attitudes ruin a team. This chapter's main point "Attitudes have the power to lift up or tear down a team," seem too obvious and make the chapter useless and boring.
Maxwell closes the book by explaining that good chemistry cannot occur until all 17 laws or strategies are applied. I feel this book was overall an easy to read guide with good examples and even better suggestions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steven Carney on Dec 18 2001
Format: Hardcover
I recently read "The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork." Although the book has some valid points, it fails to grasp workplace reality from a subordinate team member's perspective and experience. (I was a team-oriented manager for 12 years and then became a team member. I was shocked at how I and other team members were treated by egocentric, domineering, and abusive bosses who weren't team-oriented. Recently, I've seen national surveys that verify that unfortunate reality.)
This book maintains an old-style "us and them" view of teams by assuming that management is mostly competent and benign, and that team members are often the source of problematic behavior. The book does this through such outdated concepts as "the weakest link" and "the bad apple," directed mostly at team members. Ironically, the places I've worked were the opposite: The employees were mostly decent, hard-working people and the managers were mostly incompetent.
This book uses too many back-slapping Forltune 500-type stories as well as sports and war stories to score its points. For example, Enron is cited glowingly as "One of The Best Teams in the World." Anyone who follows business news knows how ridiculous that view is!
The book title and content indicates that these 17 laws are indisputable. Yet, after reading this book, I can say that the title is arrogant; the book is too long on simplistic ideas and bravado, and too short on relevant, real-world understanding that would make a difference for most struggling teams.
This book is like so many others written by those in a management position for years. It lacks the current experience of "in the trenches" subordinate workers to be a credible work.
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Format: Audio Cassette
Got the Audio Tapes of this book and I am somewhat pleased. However, the author has that vaguely self righteous tone when he reads. It feels almost as if he has spent hours of practice trying to relate to us unelightened, but still can't get it right.
He effectively breaks down teamwork into logical and understandable parts, but unfortunately the parts seem very obvious. "Bad apples. Having a vision..." these are all very basic things that we are taught from early on in our social development. What Maxwell does is state the same things our kindergarten teachers told us..."don't let a bad apple spoil the bunch" But then he doesn't take us into the real world to tell us how to solve that problem. He gives us a great story of how he and friend ruined their high school basketball team with their bad attitudes, but he doesn't take the next step and explain how his coach or fellow players should have dealt with that situation. He basically ends by saying, "my friend and I shouldn't have been bad apples." Well, yes John, but you WERE bad apples, just as there will always be Bad Apples, what do you suggest we DO about it!
I look at the book as more of a good primer for a strategic meeting or a brainstorming session than any type of a helpful resource. These are the kind of seminars that give the seminar and self-help industry a bad name. They state what the ideal is, and what the brokeness is, but don't even give you a hint of how to bridge the gap.
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Format: Hardcover
In a format that is similar to the "21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership" Maxwell walks us through the essential elements of teamwork. He uses examples from business, ministry, sports and families to bring us principles for building and developing teams. In a style that is true "John Maxwell" he draws interesting and relevant stories from history and from current events to explain the "laws" that he has developed. Maxwell makes great points about how this fits many settings, including a church staff. Here's some examples; - From the "Law of Significance" chapter, "individuals play the game, but teams win championships." If a Sr. Pastor is not leading, each pastor just runs his own area of ministry. Very little communication, interaction, etc. So, it is very much like a professional team that has a lot of players, even great players, yet can't "win the championship" because they are not coached into being a cohesive team. - Under the "Law of the Big Picture" he says, "Members of a team must have mutually beneficial shared goals." Church staff members generally want to serve the Lord, but their understanding and implementation of the church's "mission statement" may NOT coordinated with each other, nor led by the Sr. Pastor. Maxwell goes on to say that the "goal" has to be more important than the "role," meaning the "power of the position." - "All players have a place where they add the most value" is the subtitle of the "Law of the Niche." This seems to be something that many pastors may not understand, but which DOES fit church settings quite well. We can have a great team with lots of potential, but "players" in the wrong "positions.Read more ›
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