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Showing 1-10 of 12 reviews(3 star). See all 177 reviews
on October 18, 2000
Maxwell states in his introduction that this book is his answer to the question he so often gets at seminars, "If you were to take all that you've learned about leadership and boil it down to a short list, what would it be?" This is his laundry list of all that one must know in order to be a good leader.
For each of the 21 laws, Maxwell gives an example of the law at work by citing a contemporary or historical figure in industry, the military, politics, religion, or public service. He supports this with additional real-life examples, including an example from his own career as a senior pastor at three different churches or as an entrepreneur.
While Maxwell often gives insight into the learning curve for each law, that and the examples are all there is to the instructional meat of the book. He does not give any real instruction on how to go about putting the laws into effect in your own personal and professional life. Therefor, Maxwell's book is great as a resource to remind current and future leaders of the many facets of leadership, but does not tell one exactly how to get there.
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on February 24, 2000
OK if you are an experienced manager you probably know this already - but it is always nice to be reminded. Easy to follow with an anecdote or two for each of the 'laws' - some from Maxwell's own experience, some from history and some from contempories.
What distinguishes this from the trite are his views on the relationship between sacrifice and leadership, his PLAN AHEAD acronym and the law of explosive growth.
A good reminder of what we need to aspire to and why.
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on September 3, 2001
This book is a descent book on leadership, but if you are actually looking to take your first steps forward to being a great leader, this book isn't a guide to help you get there, but to tell you that you are, or aren't.
This book is more helpful in identifying and aiding people in the understanding of leadership qualities or characteristics. I wouldn't really call them 'laws', but they are characteristics that a leader must have in order to be successful to lead their organization, whatever that is.
I found the book to tell too many stories, especially where many of them were identical in their themes, but with different scenarios. I felt they concentrated too much on sports and his experiences with the church. Countless number of times he would say, 'When I was a pastor at Skyline, my church in San Diego...', and then generally lead on to some story that I felt lacked depth - although the stories did demonstrate the law in the chapter.
I think there should have been more focus on business, with only very few examples of Apple, McDonalds, etc. With over 15 examples related to sports and his church, I didn't relate very well being an entrapreneur in the high-tech field.
Needless to say, all these 'laws', (or rather leadership qualities) are indeed true and this book is a good resource for assessing yourself to see if you are the leader you thought you were. Obviously the stories are just assertion material, so the laws will uphold for anyone who wishes to start learning leadership.
As for developing skills? It's really up to you. this book will help you identify where you are weak so that you can improve, but as to what path to take for improvement, you are left alone in the dark. I would say this book is 3 1/2 stars.
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on June 18, 2004
Zig Ziglar has some good ideas, but the overall advice in this book doesn't offer clear tips to improve leadership skills in the short term. With elections drawing near, it reminds me of a dry, rambling political platform. Check out Rat Race Relaxer: Your Potential & The Maze of Life, it has practical every day advice on how to be the leader of your own life.
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on March 28, 2000
Maxwell's book describes the Laws of leadership by way of describing traits that leaders possess. It offers insight into the characteristics of a leader but does little to show you how to develop these traits yourself.
The audiobook was a good commute companion and the tape is filled with good anecdotes and examples (reminded me of Paul Harvey) which made it more interesting. Don't expect to walk away with any working knowledge of developing your leadership abilities though.
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on March 4, 2001
Maxwell has some good things to say, properly defining leadership as influence. Many of his "laws" of leadership are helpful and he writes well with good illustrations. There is a simplicity and concrete-ness to this book.
I do have a serious problem with the fact that Maxwell advocates removing dependable, faithful, qualified people from their ministries if better individuals can be found. It is important in church leadership to reward qualities like dependability, faithfulness, hard work, and virtue. Christian leadership is not secular leadership with prayer attached. Success in God's eyes is not the same as numerical or financial growth.
In a society that needs but is repelled by stability and prefers constant thrills, change, and enthusiasm, it is important for Christian leaders to model the qualities that keep people married, consistently growing, stable, and pillar-like. If we model a "greener pastures" approach toward those under us, can we condemn those who follow the same principle in other areas, like marriage for instance?
There are deeper books on this subject, such as, "The Ascent of A Leader" that are more thoughtfully and distinctly Christian. Is this book worth reading? Yes, you will gain some insights. But think and evaluate as you read: do not assume that a famous Christian leader is necessarily in perfect tune with God's perspective.
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on August 16, 1999
The essence of the message in this book could have been caught in a book half the size. The examples given are mostly from sports. It does not go in depth enough to be much more than interesting reading. It gives a few AHAAs, but is not really a handbook. The most interesting part is the application to leadership in organisations where the followers might as well quit, as with a church. I have never before considered leadership qualities in this context and it is an interesting comparison to business leadership where, after all, most of the people are dependent on the salary they get. Despite the too strong focus on vague examples from sports, the overall concept is trustworthy and there is really nothing in the book to directly disagree with. Don't expect too much but by all means, read it.
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on June 14, 1999
Maxwell gives some excellent irrefutable laws, but then fails to back up his maxims with expounding. Additionally, many of his laws are rife with examples of him patting himself on the back with how his leadership was able to accomplish something never before done. While I respect and admire his experience, and will undoubtedly use some of his ideas, I don't need to be reminded why he is the expert on the subject every twenty pages. Overall, a decent book, but certainly not one for those who are looking to jumpstart their leadership career. For more in-depth analysis, see Covey or Bennis and Nanus.
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on November 29, 1998
I too have heard John speak, purchased his 100 lessons on leadership (excellent), and teach some of his material to others. I was really looking forward to this book however, as one has already pointed out I found it light. I understand it must be so since there is much to cover. I think that if you have NOT had much of John's teaching this will be excellent (I purchased 30 copies for my staff team) however if you are an avid learner and leader it will not provide much in the way of meat to apply right now! at least not new meat!
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on December 13, 2001
Dr. Maxwell offers up 21 easliy digestable servings on effective leadership. The book's greatest contribution is in helping the reader identify leadership attributes in himself or in others. This book, however, is not a how-to book or a guide in developing leadership qualities within you or in those around you. It does offer sound advice from Maxwell's own experiences as well as plentiful anecdotal evidence from other well known leaders. Maxwell's counsel is sound and trustworthy, and the book's format allows for quick intake.
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