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on August 21, 2014
There is not much more to say about John Maxwell, he is THE ultimate source for leadership. This book equips you with just about everything you need for your leadership journey. The 21 laws must be studied then applied to your leadership practice. This book will forever be a valuable classic.

1 The Law of the Lid - Leadership ability determines a Person’s level of effectiveness
2 The Law of Influence - The true measure of Leadership is influence
3 The Law of Process - Leadership develops daily, not in a day
4 The Law of Navigation - Anyone can steer a ship, but it takes a Leader to chart the course
5 The Law of Addition - Leaders add value by serving others
6 The Law of the Solid Ground - Trust is the foundation of Leadership
7 The Law of Respect - People naturally follow Leaders stronger than themselves
8 The of Intuition - Leaders evaluate everything with a Leadership bias
9 The Law of Magnetism - Who you are is who you attract
10 The Law of Connection - Leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand
11 The Law of the Inner Circle - A Leader’s potential is determined by those closest to him
12 The Law of Empowerment - Only secure leaders give power to others
13 The Law of the Picture - People do what people see
14 The Law of Buy-In - People buy into the Leader, then the vision
15 The Law of Victory - Leaders find a way for the team to win
16 The Law of the Big Mo - Momentum is a Leader’s best friend
17 The Law of Priorities - Leaders understand that activity is not necessarily accomplishment
18 The Law of Sacrifice - Leaders must give up to go up
19 The Law of Timing - When to lead is important as what to do and where to go
20 The Law of Explosive Growth - To add growth, lead followers – To multiply, lead Leaders
21 The Law of Legacy - A Leader’s lasting value is measured by succession
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on June 18, 2011
What an excellent book! Whether you seek to enhance or even simply define your leadership this book will challenge you and give you practical wisdom and tools to soar above mediocrity and take those who follow you, (and they will) to achieve your vision and purpose. The true stories will open your eyes to famous successes and failures and why they happened as they did. Strong leadership is neccessary within families, business, volunteer work, ministry and in our society in general, which lately seems to record much of weak leadership, often taking us down destructive pathes.
Read this book and be inspired to be all you were born to be!
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on April 19, 2004
I had never read a book on leadership prior to reading "the 21 irrefutable laws of leadership". I wasn't sure what to expect when I began reading but I was pleasantly surprised. Although I am not usually interested in books on topics such as this, I was thoroughly entertained and interested in the stories and references about Princess Diana, Henry Ford and the McDonalds Franchise. The book flows very easily, with each of the laws relating and overlapping the other laws in some way. This makes the book easy to read and easy to follow. He often used his own experiences to illustrate a few of his "laws" which worked well in connecting the reader to the author.
If you are looking to become a leader or looking to improve your current leadership skills, this book is the perfect stepping-stone toward your goal. Each of Maxwell's laws are very descriptive and explained through a series of examples. Not once was I lost of confused by his use of language or theory. Anyone could read this book, grasp the concepts and be able to fine-tune their leadership skills. One of the pluses to this book is that it can be used for a variety of different types of leaders. Some of his examples include royalty, church figures, business executives, and sports coaches, making it easy for many different people to relate to his ideas.
If you are interested in strengthening your leadership skills, this is a good book to begin with. The laws he describes are actually something you could put into action in your everyday life. Nothing is too far-fetched or too difficult for the average person to understand or implement. I enjoyed reading the advice Maxwell had to offer and I'm sure that most anyone interested in the subject matter would as well.
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on December 28, 2003
Socrates advised, "Employ your time in improving yourself by other men's writings so that you shall come easily by what others have labored hard for."
Whether you like him or not, there's no denying that John Maxwell has a handle on leadership principles. This book boils down more than 30 years of Maxwell's life of learned and applied leadership to 21 laws. If you could condense 30 years of a man's life into one book of basic principles that you could learn and apply to your own life, what would it be worth to you?
Although they all combine to form the foundation for leadership, each of the 21 laws stands alone. As you read through each law, take a personal inventory to determine which areas are working for you and which need to be improved.
This book is not particularly good at showing how to apply each law to your own situation, but it does give excellent real-life examples of what happens when these laws are (and aren't) applied. Maxwell likes blowing his own horn to illustrate the laws in some cases, but he also uses many other "big name" examples from the world of business, politics, the military, sports and the church.
Each chapter will enable you to understand a key facet of your leadership ability, assess it for yourself, and begin the next step of filling in the gaps that have held you back from being the leader you could be.
Larry Hehn, author of Get the Prize: Nine Keys for a Life of Victory
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on November 28, 2003
What can I say: this book is destined to become a leadership classic! I've read it more times than I can count and learn something new each and every time. The truth is I am a fan of John's work and I consider him to be a real pioneer in this area.
When one considers some of the terrible examples we have standing up in the pulpit and in front of the podium nowadays, it is refreshing to have a book you can read that really spells out what leadership actually is. I have no doubt that if you want to become a leader or increase your leadership capabilities then reading this book and putting the 21 Irrefutable Laws into practice every day will get you there!
I highly recommend this book!
Reviewed by: James L. Clark, MBA, MSc., PhD Candidate (Leadership) is a serial entrepreneur, lecturer, and consultant in the areas of success, achievement, personal development, influence and leadership. He is the author of the book Wading Through the Crap: How to Start Living the Successful Life You Have Always Wanted (ISBN 0972697551), which as received rave reviews.
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on November 20, 2003
The sheer number of reviews for this book tell you it is reading that makes an impact. Many people love Maxwell's work. Almost as many people despise it. Those who love it run the risk of becoming lopsided in ministry. Those who despise it run the risk of ignoring his practical advice to their own peril. Taken for what it is, this book is probably one of the best pragmatic books on organizational management available.
This book is NOT . . .
spiritual. Granted, good Christian leadership is more than mechanical.
new. Maxwell doesn't create new principles. He rediscovers the tried and true.
balanced. Maxwell focuses his spotlight on pragmatic issues.
the whole tool box. Don't ignore it because it leaves a lot unsaid.
This book IS . . .
effective. Read it carefully and slowly. It can help you become a better leader.
easy to read. Maxwell might not be the world's deepest theologian, but he is an excellent communicator.
packaged well. You can add workbooks and multimedia to create a great leadership training course.
a wonderful tool. I suggest it be coupled with someone who writes from another perspective . . . like Eugene Peterson.
Now for some great quotes from the book.
"Leadership ability determines a person's level of effectiveness."
"The true measure of leadership is influence--nothing more, nothing less."
"Leadership develops daily, not in a day."
"Anyone can steer the ship, but it takes a leader to chart the course."
"When the real leader speaks, people listen."
"Trust is the foundation of leadership."
"People naturally follow leaders stronger than themselves."
"Leaders evaluate everything with a leadership bias."
"Who you are is who you attract."
"Leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand."
"A leader's potential is determined by those closest to him."
"Only secure leaders give power to others."
"It takes a leader to raise up a leader."
"People buy into the leader, then the vision."
"Leaders find a way for the team to win."
"Momentum is a leader's best friend."
"Leaders understand that activity is not necessarily accomplishment."
"A leader must give up to go up."
"When to lead is as important as what to do and where to go."
"To add growth, lead followers--to multiply, lead leaders."
"A leader's lasting value is measured by succession."
Find any of these interesting? Buy the book!
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on November 13, 2003
Maxwell's "rules of leadership" are a conglomeration of rules/principles that can be found in nearly every leadership text produced since the mid-70's. There really isn't anything new or groundbreaking that is uncovered within these pages. Thus, reading it seems as if you're doomed to repeatedly watching re-runs. But, what makes this book truly unbearable is the fact that Mr. Maxwell is truly an egotistical person. He constantly refers to situations in which he was the main player and reports how successful he was. These situations and stories are oftentimes too good to be true. Perhaps the situation turned out well, but no way do they all end with the happy ending he refers to so often. Moreover, Maxwell seems intent on believing that only he and a handful of other people in the world are/were truly good leaders. I find the fact that he was a man of the cloth hard to believe since he has a lack of humility.
Save your $16 and buy "Leadership Challenge" or "Execution".
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on October 6, 2003
The fundamental premise behind the 21 irrefutable laws in this book is that leadership skills can be learned. These laws and the premise are based on the 30+ years of leadership experience of the author and several great leaders that we all recognize and several others that ought to be recognized by all.
The book is divided into 21 chapters with each chapter focused on explaining one of the 21 irrefutable laws. The author takes the approach of using real life stories to prove each law. The author has a writing style that gets the reader engrossed in the book no matter where you open the book and start reading it.
These real life stories are woven together very smoothly and explain each law without leaving any doubts in the minds of the readers about why the law is irrefutable. In each chapter, there are several of the author's proverbs and interesting observations enclosed in little boxes. For example, one that we would all accept - "The only thing a title can buy is a little time - either to increase your level of influence with others or to erase it". Another that was an interesting fact - "By the end of his military service, Abraham Lincoln found his rightful place, having achieved the rank of private".
There are several great leadership books in the market and this is one of the best. Read it, absorb it, and apply it to see the results for yourself and judge the power of this book.
Good luck!
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on August 7, 2003
Nothing new here. Save your money. Look almost anywhere else. Maxwell's book is typical of "sound bite management" writings. Glib, self-serving, empty calories.
He also, like so many others who are truly out of touch, perpetuates the idiocy of sports analogies--as if sports had anything to do with real life. Three very important differences make sports analogies utterly useless: 1) athletes (whether youth, college, or pro) are there because they WANT to be while the majority of us are here (in life or at work) because we HAVE to be--that's why they call it a job or work; 2) athletics are static--the same givens, same conditions, same rules and then repeated with endless variety--while life and work are dynamic--the givens, conditions, rules situations, tools, processes all change while you're involved and you have no referee or rule book to intervene; 3) sports are, after all, only a game, while life and work have consequences. I'm an athlete and love sports but what I learned playing sports helped me be a better player and sportsman. It didn't teach me real-world leadership and teamwork. For that I needed real-world experience.
As a consultant and trainer myself, I've taught leadership, management, teamwork, and business skills all over the world to a number of Fortune 50 firms. One thing I've learned: nothing's irrefutable in life.
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on July 2, 2003
Most of the laws we live by are unwritten laws are passed down from generation to generation. For example, my parents made an unwritten law in our house that I was not to treat other people with a skin color different than mine any different than I did any other person. I watched by example how my parents reinforced that law in their dealings and friendship with those of another race and subsequently I grew up without any of the prejudices that others on my block or in my school or those of my friends had who couldn't understand my non-prejudice. This "Law of Inclusion" that I learned is being passed down to my children and hopefully they will take up that law and keep it going.
In reading this great book, my mentor John C. Maxwell, has taken the unwritten laws of leadership that make a person a better leader and wrote these down to pass on to the next generation of leaders and make the current crop better. As you read this book you will find certain laws more applicable to your situation than others. I don't feel that in order to be "The Leader" you must score a perfect 10 on each law. These laws are basic principles that leaders need to evaluate their level and see how to raise other levels. It is not a 1,2,3 Step book. Others reviewing this book either has problems with Dr. Maxwell or they are looking for a dumbed-down version of "How To Be A Great Leader In 3 Easy Steps Or Less". This book is not for those who don't want to do some introspection of their leadership. It will make you ask questions of yourself and those around you in leadership. Questions that must be answered in order to grow.
For my application I have used this book and video set in leadership training classes that I have taught. I can defiantly say it has been a great resource to equip leaders to a higher level and I would highly recommend this book and anything else you can get on the "21 Laws" to use for personal and professional growth as a leader.
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