Why did I read this book?
This is another referral from Matt the professor inmate. His recommendations have been spectacular.
These books are all based on classes he wants to offer here. I am reading my share of leadership books.
I love them…What is strange is I’m quite certain I read most of these books in or around college,
However I don’t remember them at all. So, it is good to be able to read them now. This book was
fantastic. It brought clarity to things I already spent time contemplating.
What did I learn from this book?
Leadership requires the ability to do more than one thing. Leadership is very complex. Maxwell has
come up with 21 laws to follow.
These laws all can be learned.
The laws can stand alone.
The laws carry consequences with them.
The laws are timeless.
The laws are the foundation of leadership.
The point he makes is that although leadership abilities can be part of your DNA…They also can be
taught. We all can become better leaders. You can have a high-profile career on TV, music, real estate,
or movies, or you can have thousands of followers on social media and thousands of likes on your posts,
but that doesn’t make you a leader. It makes you popular, and that’s very different. The best way to
test whether a person can lead rather than just manage is to ask him to create positive change.
Managers can maintain direction, but often they can’t change it. Systems and processes can only do so
much. To move people in a new direction, you need influence.
The one common characteristic all leaders possess is the ability to see more than others and before
others. Most human beings have some kind of inner circle – people close to them who make or break
them. We need to focus on being strategic in choosing these people. Pull people into your inner circle
that possess strengths that you don’t. These people can point out your blind spots, compensate for
weaknesses, push back with a perspective different from your own. They should add value to yourself
…it sounds selfish, but it is not.
To lead people well, we must help them to reach their potential. That means being on their side,
encouraging them, sharing the power you have with them, and helping them to succeed.
The 21 different laws all build on being a well-rounded leader. Most people have a natural desire to
gain power and hold on to it. Some do it to enrich themselves. Others desire to control other people to
get what they want from them. Some people tell themselves they want power so they can do good, but
the moment they manipulate others or justify bad behavior to hold on to power, they begin doing harm,
no matter how they justify it. “Power tends to corrupt, absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Pushing
people down takes you down with them. Lifting others up lifts you up (I have been saying this since I
was in college).
How will It affect me moving forward?
I have put together a list that I feel applies to me at Leavenworth and will apply going forward.
Leadership is responsible.
Losing is simply unacceptable.
Passion is what should drive us.
Creativity is essential.
Quitting is unthinkable.
Commitment should be unquestionable.
Victory is what we all strive for
This is my mindset at this current time. I’m embracing a very positive vision and approaching my
challenges with the resolve (and 21 laws) needed to get past my current predicament and succeed in
I have long believed that just because someone is busy does not mean they are being productive.
Massive activity is not necessarily accomplishment.
The books I am reading continue to give me motivation and perspective on how to be a better leader….
It is amazing to me how much I am learning. I may never have an opportunity like this again where my
sole goal (without interruption) is to focus on being the best version of myself. This situation is humbling
but I know I am making the best of it.