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5.0 out of 5 stars I think Jules Verne knew a thing or two about Leadership, 31 Jan. 2014
This review is from: 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership (Paperback)
In: joaopaleta.com

I was in my parents country house, south of sunny Portugal. It was early in the morning, around 7 a.m. and the kids were still a sleep. I just had started the fireplace and was looking for a book to read. No goal, no commitment to self mastery, pure fun. Randomly i chose “Around the World in 80 days by Jules Verne”. I am so glad that happened.

I read the book some 25 years ago and to be honest i have no clue, no memory what so ever of having read it then. I know the story, everybody does and i saw the cartoon series from the Spanish Animation Studio BRB (check video) when I was just a kid. I started going through the pages, reading a paragraph here, a paragraph there, and for some reason i decided to start again from scratch. By the time the coffee was over i was totally hooked.

Let me explain what happened.

You know i am interested in leadership, right? My interests were different 25 years ago and the book is exactly the same so I was the one that changed in between, but this time I saw the content with a very different set of eyes. This time I saw:

a) Phileas Fogg is an amazing character. His integrity struck me the most. His Why, his How and his What were flawlessly in line with each other. This is probably the best example of what I read in “Start with Why” and a great inspiration to my personal journey of becoming better at it. Integrity.

b) Phileas Fogg was a leader. Period. Just for fun let me look at Phileas Fogg from the perspective of Leadership using John Maxwels “21 Laws of Leadership”.

1 – The law of the Lid – He had a big lid. Definitively yes. He new that he needed to have people on his side. He had a vision. Check.

2 – The law of Influence – no information here.

3 – The law of Process – no information here either.

4 – The law of Navigation - Boy, did he plan the trip! He knew, then, exactly, the routes and schedules of the boats and trains and had the trip calculated to the smallest detail and time frame so it could fit in precisely 80 days.

5 – The law of Addition - Yes he added value to the people who were following him around the world, Passpartout and Princess Aouda. Integrity and Purpose.

6 – The law of Solid Ground - did people trust him? Hell yes, even Mr. Fix the policeman could trust him to be where he said he was going to be to chase after him.

7 – The law of Respect - Of course, everybody was following Fogg. Almost blindly. His Leadership level had to be higher.

8 – The law of Intuition - Yes, every decision he took on the trip had a leadership bias, that filter was always on. Easy on making decisions with litle information but absolutely sure on what to do, on the right direction.

9 – The law of Magnetism - not enough information there.

10 – The law of Connection - not enough information there.

11 – The law of the Inner Circle - Sure, Passpartout, although he was a bit of wild horse he was there and was the best fit person for the job. Then the Princess joined, forever. Became his wife, so I guess that counts as a great fit as well.

12 – The law of Empowerment - Yes he empowered Passpartout. “Here is the money, go get supplies and be here at exactly 5 p.m.”, he often said, or “you find transportation while I get my passport stamped”.

13 – The law of the Picture - as clear as water.

14 – The law of Buy In - Check, they bought him first and then his vision. But the followers bought the two.

15 – The law of Victory - Rock solid confidence he was going to win. No matter what. And he did what it took to achieve the result he wanted. Even buying the boat on the last trip and burn it as need be to keep on going after the coal was gone! You got to admire the courage.

16 – The law of Big Mo - He built momentum, yes. The gentlemen at the club were following every step of the way and so were the society members through the newspapers. When he showed up at the club just a few moments before the deadline it got proven that he had built momentum.

17 – The law of Priorities - Not even a doubt about what was important. Not even when Passpartout lost the boat connection due to the malefic strategy Fix used at the opium house. What a focused man.

18 – The law of Sacrifice - He did sacrifice his entire fortune to endure the trip. He new he had to sacrifice to achieve great results. In the end payed off but first he sacrificed.

19 – The law of Timing - Yes he was there throughout the trip on the right moments making sure that the boat captains would help and in so many other occasions, he was not afraid to be there when the right time came I mean he saved the princess (with a bit of help from Passpartout) from certain death.

20 – The law of Explosive Growth - not applicable.

21 – The law of Legacy - not applicable.

Philias Fogg has, in this scale, 14 Leadership qualities out of 21. That is pretty impressive! So if Jules Verne was anything like Philias Fogg i have to say that he must have been a great leader or at least knew a thing or two about Leadership. I which I could have met him.

Finally the Idea of making a journey around the world (in more than 80 days) without flying, just walking, train(ing), bus(ing) and boat(ing) is an inspiring thought that I just added to my Bucket List. Being a far far away descendant of the Magelan that circum navegated the world for the first time in the sixteenth century, I believe this to fit in the My Must Do category, not the Should or Wish ones. Want to come?

João Paleta
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