If you've spent any time around me over the past two years, you have probably heard me speak rather highly of John Maxwell. He's a national best-selling author, a world-renowned motivational speaker, and one of the leading experts of leadership and personal development. His books have sold more than 25 millions copies and have been translated into 50 different languages, and tickets to his events sell out in minutes.
I was first introduced to The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by a friend in the winter of 2015, but I did not realize at the time how valuable the book would prove to be. I purchased a copy for myself soon after, but neglected to read it until just recently. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership has been described as the Bible of leadership books, due to the vast amount of information and lessons it provides across the spectrum of leadership. If you are someone who has aspirations of leadership, I strongly recommend picking up a copy of this book for your personal collection.
It is difficult to select only a handful of laws to discuss in detail, simply because each law builds with the others. The 21 Laws are not singular acts that a leader must make, but a series of life-changing habits that merge together. That being said, there are a few of Maxwell's lessons that were profoundly influential for me that I wanted to share. Each provides a powerful look into how truly great leaders improve themselves and those around them. They are:
- The Law of the Lid:
Leadership Ability Determines A Person's Level Of Effectiveness
With the Law of the Lid, Maxwell shares how you are confined to your own limitations in terms of leadership. If you are a poor leader and you do nothing to improve your abilities, you will only be able to make a small impact on your coworkers, your community, or those around you. You may have an idea or a vision, but if you cannot properly lead and develop the skills to create that vision with others, you will not achieve that high levels of effectiveness it takes to reach the highest levels of success.
Vice versa, if you take the time to learn how to become a better leader, you will see amazing growth within your organization. If you learn how to approach others in order to unlock their potential, they will follow you as you work towards your vision. Leadership ability creates effectiveness.
The Law of Navigation:
Anyone Can Steer The Ship, But It Takes A Leader To Chart The Course
There is a drastic difference between someone who manages an office and someone who leads an office. Think about your own situation. Are you somebody who simply enforces policies, keeps other people within the normal procedures of your workplace, or follows the commands of others? If you are simply "steering the ship", you are not a leader. A true leader is somebody who makes decisions in the best interest of the organization, and then creates a plan of action to see that course through. They act...they don't react.
The Law of Magnetism:
Who You Are Is Who You Attract
This law is fairly straightforward, and it is also one of the easiest to implement. If you want to surround yourself with quality people that are filled with integrity, a drive for success, and morality, then you must decide to be that kind of person. The person you choose to be will attract that kinds of people that influence you and your career. As you begin to improve yourself, you should see an improvement in the types of people around you.
This doesn't mean leave behind old friends or family members who have supported you, but if there is someone in your life who is dragging you down with negativity, consider moving on and improving your inner circle of influence. Perform "self-audits" on a regular basis to determine if your close friends are improving you through their actions and their influence. If they are, great! If they're not, change your circle of influence.
Maxwell's Irrefutable Laws is a powerful book for anyone who considers themselves a leader or has hopes of one day becoming a person of influence. I could go on about the different laws described within the book, but I'd be robbing you of the true greatness that Maxwell provides. Each law stands alone as a pillar of wisdom, but together, the 21 laws create a building block that you can use to propel yourself to the highest levels of influence and leadership.