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The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader: Becoming the Person Others Will Want to Follow
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Product Description

Why do some people consistently inspire others to follow their lead? According to John C. Maxwell, author of 24 books and a regular speaker on the topic, it's the "character qualities" they possess. In The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader, Maxwell identifies these top traits as character, charisma, commitment, communication, competence, courage, discernment, focus, generosity, initiative, listening, passion, positive attitude, problem-solving, relationships, responsibility, security, self-discipline, servanthood, teachability, and vision--and then defines them in ways that readers can absorb and utilize. Each is covered in a separate chapter opening with a high-concept definition and continuing with relevant anecdotes, details on its meaning, suggestions for further reflection, and exercises for improvement. For example, in the section on vision ("You can seize only what you can see"), Maxwell describes how Walt Disney initially developed the theme-park concept after accompanying his daughters to a fun-filled but rather shabby amusement park. He then analyzes how Disney's resultant projects drew on his personal history while meeting other's needs, and explains how readers must "listen to several voices" to develop successful foresight in a similar way. Finally, Maxwell suggests methods to articulate these visions and measure their implementation. --Howard Rothman

In the tradition of his million-seller The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, author John C. Maxwell provides a concise, accessible leadership book that helps readers become more effective leaders from the inside out. Daily readings highlight twenty-one essential leadership qualities and include "Reflecting On It" and "Bringing It Home" sections that help readers integrate and apply each day's material.

Customer Reviews:

  • Like most things free ...
    Why do I deem this book not worth reading? I just randomly flipped it open to a chapter to see if I could find a good example of why I found this work so distasteful. It's statements like "A leadership position doesn't give a person courage, but courage can give him a leadership position." Or how about this one: "The measure of a leader is not the number of people who serve him, but the number of people he serves." A nice play on words does not a insightful thought make! Much less does it present lasting wisdom to the reader (Anyone remember the movie Mystery Men with the Sphinx???).

    Other gripes: this book is loaded - I mean, jam-packed-crazy-full of quotes and stories - maybe as much as 30% of this book is quotes and stories. Maxwell even quotes himself! Who does that in their own book?!?! Please ...

    I could go on, but I think I'll just close with this thought. Think about the books title: 21 indispensable qualities of a leader. That's a slew of qualities that you can't do without, isn't it? The title should tell you everything you need to know about this book. Maxwell has taken a nice number, 21, and found said number of nice qualities he'd ascribe to his notion of a leader. It's questionable if he even thought about what it would mean to assimilate the indispensable qualities of leadership. After all, what would indispensable qualities be? I posit that they would be the essence of the idea of leadership - the base concept without which an idea would be rendered meaningless. It's not a list of qualities - it's THE quality (or maybe two or three qualities, but certainly not 21!!). It's clear that Maxwell hasn't even attempted to do this here. Either that, or it's just a huge coincidence that Maxwell has written at least three books spouting 21 this or that.

    So if I could have guessed this book was going to be a bust just by the title, why did I read it? It was free - and like many freebies, this one wasn't worth much. You shouldn't waste your time (like I wasted mine) consuming this casserole of tired ideas....more info

  • leadership simplified
    Written to complement The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, this book will help you identify and develop the personal qualities you need to become a more effective leader.
    Maxwell does an excellent job of getting to the heart of each quality in a few short pages. He starts with two relevant quotations to start you thinking. He then gives you a short real-life example of that particular quality in action.

    He breaks each principle down into specific applications, gives you a brief period where you can assess your own effectiveness, offers you concrete ways to improve yourself, and wraps each chapter up with a profound thought that will stay with you long after you have closed the cover.

    What you get out of this book depends on how you read it. This is a very simple read, and you may be tempted to race through it and miss some key points. Maxwell rightly suggests that you walk through each quality methodically, giving it the attention that it warrants based on your current level of competence.

    While the material warrants five stars, some spelling mistakes and the author's use of his own quotes dropped it down a notch for me. Otherwise, an excellent handbook for improving your personal leadership qualities.

    Larry Hehn, Author of Get the Prize: Nine Keys for a Life of Victory...more info
  • Easy Reading
    If you are looking to define those special charateristics that are displayed by great leaders, this book covers 21 impactful leader qualities. The book is "easy reading" and makes a good gift for a new leader....more info
  • Highly Motivational!
    Leadership is a process that takes time. It does not occur overnight. Leaders are continually growing themselves. In the preface, Maxwell encourages us to use this book as a resource for character reinforcement. He reminds us, "How a leader deals with the circumstances of life tells you many things about his character."

    There are so many insights in this book, it is challenging to pick a few to illustrate its value, but consider this one on using both hemispheres of the brain. He writes, "Discernment can be described as the ability to find the root of the matter, and it relies on intuition as well as rational thought."

    He encourages us to read biographies and cultivate the gift of intuition through use. He quotes Peter Drucker who told us to build on the strengths we have rather than concentrate on the weaknesses. On energy and intensity, he writes, "...your passion will have more influence than your personality."

    This is an excellent book by an outstanding Christian motivational leader. It builds on his other valuable contributions. John Maxwell is indeed, making his part of the world, a little bit better by his life....more info

  • Abstract puff piece
    Maxwell might have written the book on Leadership, but this isn't it.

    This is a little book -- 156 undersized pages -- containing little information.

    It's full of platitudes. "Refocus your attention." "Live your message." "Commitment starts in the heart."

    Duh! How is anyone supposed to put these abstract ideas into practice?

    The only way to understand leadership is to hear stories about effective leaders. About how, for example, they continued communicating during times of crisis when others would have not communicated. About how they worked overtime to fix their companies and inspired others in their organization. About how during wartime they welcomed input from any source and found a unique person with a unique perspective that allowed them to redraw their war plans and win.

    But the only anecdotes in this book come at the start of each of the 21 brief chapters on a quality (like communication or dedication) that a leader needs. The other 80% of each chapter is a bunch of abstract rules like Communicate! Show Dedication! Passion Increases Your Willpower! This is all motherhood and apple pie. Only more abstract. And it's impossible to absorb or remember what Maxwell is talking about because he's just listing things you should do to be a leader.

    Tell me one good story about a great leader like Winston Churchill, FDR, or JFK, and it would be worth another hundred pages of Maxwell's abstract thought.

    The only reason I give this any stars is that I sense Maxwell has more to say and knows his stuff. But he's certainly not strutting it in this book. Try something else by Maxwell. Not this book, for this reader.

    This is the kind of book I would purchase for a gift grab bag at the office. It won't offend anyone, but it won't change anyone either....more info
  • A Book for Leaders
    This book helps to refresh and install new ideas which will help you become a better leader. ...more info
  • Impressive writing
    I liked the author's approach. The book was insightful and it gave me a good perspective on leadership. Leadership is not easily defined, and I thought this book did an excellent job on the topic....more info
  • Foundational Leadership Information
    Dr. John Maxwell offers clearly defined and timely advice for leaders. This resource is based on ethical leadership and other foundational truths. You may refer to this motivational and inspiring resource numerous times in your career.

    Kenneth McGhee - Author
    Eleven Leadership Tips For Supervisors...more info

  • A Classic On Leadership
    I highly recommend this book as I read it in full at least twice each year. John's book is well suited to reinforce the basic characteristics possessed by great leaders. As all great athletes need to frequently get back to fundamentals, so do great leaders...In my book Leadership Matters...The CEO Survival Manual: WHAT IT TAKES TO REACH THE C-SUITE AND STAY THERE I expand on many of the leadership traits John mentions in his book by not only taking a deeper dive on what makes leaders successful, but I also offer actionable advice that can be practically applied on a daily basis. ...more info
  • 21 Indispensable Qualities of A Leader
    The book is fantastic. The content is simple and understandable. The concept of internalizing the information is great. Experiential learning is a most effective way to live the concept and observe the application on a daily basis. Awareness and knowledge, what a great combination. I would like to use the information and concepts in workshops that my consulting company will provide in 2000....more info
  • The best leadership book ever!
    I devoured this book in 2 days! It is very well written and easy to read. John Maxwell is an incredible speaker and writer. I highly recommend this book!...more info
  • Short and Sweet: an unbeatable combination
    As a professor in Business and Management, this book is an often chosen title in my management and leadership courses. Perhaps initially because it is small, but all students inevitably end up commenting that they really appreciated the contents and learned a lot from it.

    Leadership qualities are interesting phenomena, which can be replenished to an infinite degree. However, John Maxwell managed to highlight those qualities that are truly crucial toward leadership that will appeal to all categories of followers.

    Encouraged by this book and many others, I published "The Awakened Leader: One Simple Leadership Style That Works Every Time, Everywhere." Readers who liked John Maxwell's works, and who want to remain informed of appropriate leadership in a time where globalization has become a part of our everyday life and has ignited increasing interdependency, multiplicity of mindsets and approaches, and multi-faceted workplaces, should take a look at this book.

    "The Awakened Leader" presents a meta-leadership approach, which will guide you toward implementing the appropriate leadership style once you've assessed the situation, the followers, and the environment at hand. It is based on flexibility through open-mindedness, or wakefulness. And it completes the perspectives that Maxwell and other great leadership authors have presented us in the past decade: successful leadership of the self and others, based on proven trends of the past, the now, and the future....more info
  • leadership simplified
    Written to complement The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, this book will help you identify and develop the personal qualities you need to become a more effective leader.

    Maxwell does an excellent job of getting to the heart of each quality in a few short pages. He starts with two relevant quotations to start you thinking. He then gives you a short real-life example of that particular quality in action.

    He breaks each principle down into specific applications, gives you a brief period where you can assess your own effectiveness, offers you concrete ways to improve yourself, and wraps each chapter up with a profound thought that will stay with you long after you have closed the cover.

    What you get out of this book depends on how you read it. This is a very simple read, and you may be tempted to race through it and miss some key points. Maxwell rightly suggests that you walk through each quality methodically, giving it the attention that it warrants based on your current level of competence.

    While the material warrants five stars, some spelling mistakes and the author's use of his own quotes dropped it down a notch for me. Otherwise, an excellent handbook for improving your personal leadership qualities.

    Larry Hehn, Author of Get the Prize: Nine Keys for a Life of Victory...more info

  • Practical Biblical Wisdom
    "Great leaders see the need, seize the opportunity, and serve without expecting anything in return," Dr. Maxwell writes. In essence that captures the theme of this well-written work. At the heart of leadership is the desire to serve other people. Practical matters such as focusing on results and living a disciplined life are included under this umbrella.

    Self image is vital to giving out to others, as he reminds us, "No one can live on a level inconsistent with the way he sees himself." Therefore, it's necessary to take care of one's own needs before one can help other people.

    Cultivating relationships is essential to leaders. In fact, logically speaking a leader who delegates cannot accomplish anything apart from others. So while being results oriented, Maxwell does not neglect the relational aspect of success.

    Being a dreamer, I love what he expresses about turning the dream into reality in spite of the opinions of others. His advice is, "Never allow others to put obstacles in the pathway to your dreams."

    This is such an inspiring book! I strongly recommend it. I've read several of this works. I've never been disappointed. He always has a valid, practical, Christian lesson to impart. The consequences of the ideas expressed in this book are the kind that make things better....more info
  • Good Service
    Had to cancel my order the same day I order. The company was helpful and quick on the respones....more info
  • Leaders make-it-easy to find!
    Looking at a different perspective - either watchin' the news, movies, at book acknowledgements, politicians, great biographies, on a daily walk-of-life - it says it all - it wasn't highlighted, not written on bold letter nor arrogance but easily one can find their secret ... leadership - thanks to John C. Maxwell!

    Now it's time for me to seek ...

    ...more info
  • Good quick read
    John has written a few other books with more depth than this one but if you are looking for a quick read on leadership, this would meet your need. It reminds you of the basics and is simple and easy enough to understand that I read it with my young kids.

    If you want a leadership book that goes into more details, check out 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership or a Steven Covey favorite, Principal-Centered Leadership....more info
  • Good Book
    Have enjoyed reading this book. Easy to read as it is designed very well and put together very nicely. Will utilize some of the suggestions that the book describes in each of the 21 qualities. ...more info
  • Good 'beginner's leadership book' --- didnt excite me;-(
    This is the first leadership book I read. I like the way the author validates each of the 21 qualities of a leader by providing real-life stories of leaders.

    Pros: short, easy-to-read, concise
    Cons: not much substance, some of the exercises for the reader are far-fetched

    Overall, a good read for a beginner to novice 'leadership' book reader.

    ...more info
  • Good Learning Method
    I believe this book to be a useful aid to understanding specific qualities that enable successful leaders. I have been reading one chapter each week to develop an awareness of each specific quality. I think it will take me a long time to become a great leader and this is one book that will help my journey....more info
  • Spot on!
    This is one of the best books on leadership I have read. It gives specific examples and motivational thoughts as to what it takes to live the life of a leader.

    The book is an easy read and can be used as part of a 21 day/week/month program to apply the morsals and maxims of leadership Maxwell provides.

    Now that my copy is all marked up, I can't wait to share it with my employees!...more info

  • Thought provoking
    I'm a big fan of John C. Maxwell. His books are well thought out and make interesting reads. ...more info
  • A must read
    This book is one of the best management books I've ever read. Simple and direct to the point. The short stories of great leaders provides great enlightenment and deep reflection to the reader. If you want to know how you fair well at this stage of your life as a leader, read this and get to know yourself better....more info
  • Too little substance
    While the author seems well-intentioned, the book is very superficial. It seems to be recycled bromides and platitudes, connected by anecdotes and quotes, and punctuated by occasional exaggeration (like "everything rises and falls on leadership" - everything?). There are hundreds of leadership books with more meat....more info
  • Best leadership book out there
    I have read many leadership books out there, and this is my favorite. I recently sent it to my aunt and uncle for a Christmas gift. I had never read anything of Maxwell's but after reading this book, I bought several more of his. Although many of his touches on similar subjects, I think its because many leadership or teamwork strategies overlap. Dont miss out on this book, I know I got a lot out of it....more info
  • Outstanding!
    I find this is one of the easiest and most impactful books on leadership that I have read.

    I have been leading people for almost 30 years and I must say that I had many "OUCH" opportunities reading Maxwell's views on leadership qualities.

    I read something from this book every working day....more info

  • Twenty One Qualities
    This is an excellent book on the 21 Leadership Qualities. Very complete in an easily readable format....more info