- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Nelson Books; International ed. edition (March 30 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0785214119
- ISBN-13: 978-0785214113
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.9 x 23.5 cm
- Shipping Weight: 318 g
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #31,918 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Leadership Gold Hardcover – Mar 30 2008
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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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About the Author
John C. Maxwell, the #1 New York Times bestselling author, coach, and speaker who has sold 25 million books, is called America’s #1 leadership authority. In 2014, Maxwell received the Mother Teresa Prize for Global Peace and Leadership from the Luminary Leadership Network, and was named the worlds more influential leadership expert by Inc. and Business Insider. His organizations—The John Maxwell Company, The John Maxwell Team, and EQUIP—have trained more than 5 million leaders in 188 countries. For more information visit JohnMaxwell.com.
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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."
I especially appreciate Maxwell's skilful use of two sections that provide "Application Exercises" to complete a self-audit on the key points in each chapter and a "Mentoring Moment" that suggests how to share with others (e.g. direct reports) the lessons learned so that they can also benefit from them. Hopefully, this will help them, in turn, to help others to benefit from "the leadership gold." He also clusters sequences of key points highlighted with bold face. I also appreciate Maxwell's strategic use of dozens of relevant aphorisms from various sources, located in the margins of each chapter. For example:
"Criticism is something you can avoid easily - by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing." -Aristotle
"The signs of outstanding leadership appear primarily among the followers." - Max Depree
"The business schools reward difficult behavior more than simple behavior, but simple behavior is more effective." - Warren Buffett
"Nothing else distinguishes effective executives as much as their tender loving care of time." - Peter Drucker
"The only thing worse than training employees and losing them is not training them and keeping them." - Zig Ziglar
"It's wonderful when the people believe in their leader. It's more wonderful when the leader believes in the people." - John Maxwell
"I am more afraid of an army of one hundred sheep led by a lion than an army of one hundred lions led by a sheep." - Count Talleyrand
"It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." - J.K. Rowling
To a much greater extent than in any of his more than 40 other books, Maxwell trains his reader to master the Socratic method (i.e. rigorous, relentless interrogation) by using that method when presenting the "leadership gold" he has mined throughout his life and career thus far. Extending the metaphor, he helps his reader to recognize the "fool's gold" that so many so-called leaders cherish: announce rather than inquire, intimidate rather than encourage, threaten rather than nourish, ridicule weakness rather than recognize strength, etc. These people tend to be what Jean Lipman-Blumen characterizes as "toxic leaders, destructive bosses, and corrupt politicians."
I highly recommend this book to anyone preparing for or who is only recently embarked on a career that could lead to leadership responsibilities. Also, to those who now have such responsibilities and recognize the need to increase their effectiveness as well as the effectiveness of those entrusted to their care. (One of the "toxic" leader's least attractive qualities among many is her or his absolute certainty that there is nothing more to learn.) Those such as I who have already read several of Maxwell's other books will find much that is familiar in this volume. In fact, there are no head-snapping revelations, nor does Maxwell make any such claim. I do not damn with faint praise when suggesting that he presents the "lessons learned from a lifetime of leading" with simplicity. On the contrary that's a compliment. Oliver Wendell Holmes once asserted, "I would not give a fig for simplicity on this side of complexity but I would give anything for simplicity on the other side of complexity." So would John Maxwell as he continues to learn, to teach, and to lead.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Dr. Maxwell extracts lessons and explains them in such simple ways that everyone can understand, but few will implement, because they are too. . . simple.
A wonderful and must read book for everyone who wants to be leader. . . even if just leading yourself.
Investor | Author | Entrepreneur
If your working life is over this book will just make you feel bad after you read it. You will gain so much knowledge about topics you wish you had known before you retired. But, if you want to start volunteering for something then, get this book. John Maxwell has been there and done that.