John C. Maxwell is an internationally recognized leadership expert, speaker, coach & author who wrote many books. Developing the Leader within you is his first ever book on leadership. Apart from this, he authored The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, 101 Relationship, 101 Leadership and The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader.
John begins his book with this catchy statement, Leadership cannot be taught and the book shall supply certain principles of leadership, however the readers should apply their strong desire to learn.
The definition of leadership
Leadership is a character in someone who is able to get followers or influence someone to follow you. Unlike many project(s), leadership flows from heart and not brains. Leadership is about getting people together to accomplish a result by winning hearts & minds of the followers.
The Key to Leadership: Priorities
The result depends not on how hard you work but how smart you work. The leaders tend to initiate while followers react to a given situation. The sense of prioritization can actually reduce burden on our jobs and make it a lot easier.
Most Important ingredient of Leadership: Integrity
Integrity is the most important ingredient of leadership. It binds together people and also measures man’s real character. Integrity means leading by own self before leading others. The quotient of leadership helps people to be credible and not clever.
The Ultimate Test of Leadership: Creating Positive Change
The ultimate test of any leader is to change oneself before trying to change others. Change is devil, hence no one likes change. It creates fear of failure hence, people love the ways things are. However, a change is a process to develop and grow.
The wrong decision at the wrong time = disaster
The wrong decision at the right time = mistake
The right decision at the wrong time = unacceptable
The right decision at the right time = success
Change is possible if both the leader and followers trust each other. Trust is anecdote for any change. The faster we adopt to change, better the quality of time and work.
The Quickest Way to Gain Leadership: Problem Solving
The very reason why many people fail is because of their inability to understand work. When they actually understand the nature of their work, there is another thing which prevents them from doing it, the problem. No one likes to have problems nor face problems. This attitude of not being able to come out of the comfort zone stops them from taking action.
The Extra Plus in Leadership: Attitude
Attitude is everything that set forth the floor. If you don’t have the right attitude in the first place, rest that follow will be the work under compulsion or the beliefs that things are not in their favor. It reflects on how you feel about others. Your attitude is directly proportional to your follower’s attitude.
Develop Your Most Appreciable Asset: People
The basic ingredient a great leader must have is to influence others to lead their followers rather than to influence his followers to follow him. People behave in a manner that you picture them to behave. People are the leader’s greatest asset and resource. Leader should help people build their dreams rather than making them follow his dreams. Always work on people’s strength rather than exposing their weakness.
The Indispensable Quality of Leadership: Vision
It is the vision that makes one a great leader and not vice-versa. Vision is being able to see things differently and it is restricted when inability and impossibility set in. Leader with vision is able to see the bigger picture.
The Price Tag of Leadership: Self-discipline
To become a good leader, you ought to conquer over yourself. The single most difficult thing is to set aside everything and do what you have in mind rather than saving it for the future.
The Most Important Lesson of Leadership: Staff Development
A leader is not profound and great if his staff lack the basic courage and knowledge to perform their task. A leader should be able to influence and persuade his staff to reach their goal.
Dasho Karma Tshiteem mentioned in his talk on the leadership of self, that one of the three key elements of leadership is to Know Thyself. I feel this book is one of the simplest and easiest guide to know ourselves better. The book is well structured and written in a very simple language, easy to understand and comprehend. John quoted a lot of successful persons across the world from various background to relate his thoughts into behavior. There are some exercises to invoke our thoughts and to comprehend them better. As Alvin and other esteem speakers mentioned in preceding leadership classes, the book also define leadership as a character and capacity of a leader to influence his followers to perform better. And some of the most important ingredients that go into making a better leaders are Integrity, Positive attitude and Self-discipline. Any mastery of these elements can attribute to becoming a good leader.
For a beginner like me, it is really a gateway to understanding my own self to be a good leader. Moreover, the nature of my job revolves around the human values which begins with our own self. Thus, the book is definitely for me and I would recommend this book to all those who are responsible for human lives and skills. Apart from some typo errors, the book is error free and user friendly.