Book Review – The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You, by John C. Maxwell gives an elegant presentation of leadership traits and processes that can help you develop the leadership capabilities you need at any level, with any organization.

The 21 Laws and my 1 Line interpretation

  • The Law of The Lid: Leading is always harder when you have less competence then those you lead
  • The Law of Influence: Leadership requires influence
  • The Law of Process: Learning and developing your leadership ability occurs over time, not in a moment
  • The Law of Navigation: Managers steer the ship the leader plans where it needs to go
  • The Law of Addition: Add value to relationships, and seek out relationships to add value to you and your team
  • The Law of Solid Ground: Build trust as the foundation for your relationships
  • The Law of Respect: People follow skill, capability, and strength.
  • The Law of Intuition: Leaders must see the world through the lens of leadership.  seeking for break downs in relationships
  • The Law of Magnetism: You will attract people similar to you, if you have a flawed character then you will attract others with character flaws.  Conversely your strengths will attract people with similar attributes.
  • The Law of Connection: Connection leads to commitment, commitment comes before high level exectution
  • The Law of The Inner Circle:  Anyone can build an inner circle filled with people who hold the same views and opinions.  Bringing dissenting points of view into your confidence will help you see the bigger picture
  • The Law of Empowerment:  A good leader enables others to act by giving them a portion of their power.
  • The Law of The Picture: People will do what they see you do more often then they will do what you say to do
  • The Law of Buy-In: People need to believe in you before they believe in your vision
  • The Law of Victory:  Leaders must learn to relentlessly pursue righteous victory for those they lead
  • The Law of The Big Mo: Progress is enabled by the power of momentum
  • The Law of Priorities: Follow the 80/20 rule and remember busy does not equal productive.  Look for the best bang for the buck
  • The Law of Sacrifice: Leaders step first into harms way, leaders eat last, leaders suffer so their charges thrive
  • The Law of Timing: The right move at the wrong time is still a mistake
  • The Law of Explosive Growth: Focus your attention on the the most powerful people you have and empower them further to meet your shared goals
  • The Law of Legacy: A leaders legacy is the creation of their replacement.

Overall a great read and an even better desktop reference for when things get tough as a leader.  This book isn’t just for formal leaders.  I think there is value here for any of us who find ourselves in a role where others look to us for the way ahead as fathers, mothers, spouses, team leaders, boss, manager or coach.  Tons of insightful perspective!

Check it out and let me know what you think.

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