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A Helpful Summary of Dr. Maxwell's Leadership Concepts
on 25 June 2004
I was torn in deciding how to grade this book. Clearly, anyone who has already enjoyed most of Dr. Maxwell's outstanding leadership books would find this book to be a valuable, inexpensive and highly portable reminder of those many lessons. For that person, the book is clearly a five star value! Carry it around and draw sustenance from it!! My rating above reflects this perspective, since there are lots of people who do know his work well. When you face a leadership challenge, pull this book out to refocus you and your energies in the right direction!
What about the person who's new to leadership? I would have to grade the book much lower, probably a 2 or 3. Somewhere in the middle of the book (probably between chapters 5-7), most people new to leadership would lose the thread. It's just a little too condensed. In addition, I just didn't think that several of the examples worked for the point they attempted to make.
Here are the book's structure and key examples for its 108 jam-packed pages:
Part I: The Development of a Leader
1. Why Should I Grow as a Leader?
2. How Can I Grow as a Leader?
Part II: The Traits of a Leader
3. How Can I Become Disciplined?
4. How Should I Prioritize My Life?
5. How Do I Develop Trust?
6. How Can I Effectively Cast Vision?
Part III: The Impact of Leader
7. Why Is Influence Important?
8. How Does Influence Work?
9. How Can I Extend My Influence?
10. How Can I Make My Leadership Last?
Finally, what's the best part of the book? For me, it was the repetition of the Law of the Lid: "Your ability to accomplish things is circumscribed until you can energize others in the same purpose." There's a nice set of graphic displays to make this point.
As a technical note, some of the information in the examples seemed dated. It's almost as though these examples were all written a number of years ago, and not revisited.
Draw inspiration from your vision of serving others . . . and get busy!