This book supplied for review through BookSneeze®.
308 pages plus workbook.
John Maxwell has achieved guru status in the field of leadership—and rightly so. He’s authored a steady stream of leadership resources over the years and is represented best in his New York Times best-seller The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.
This book is different because it focuses—not on leaders at the top—but on leaders in the middle of the organisation. In this book, Maxwell applies his leadership principles to the person who is not the leader and therein helps the average person in the organisation become the sort of person who can lead others whether they are below them, beside them, or above them in the hierarchy.
First, as always, Maxwell is clear and precise in his writing. He is easy to read and his logic is easy to follow.
Second, this book addresses a major gap in the literature. Anyone can read the books designed for the top leaders and try to apply their principles to their own place in the organisation, but in this work Maxwell specifically addresses the problem of how to lead from the middle.
Third, Maxwell understands leadership and breathes it in everything he writes. You cannot spend time with Maxwell without being pushed to grow as a leader. This work briefly reviews some of the material he’s covered in other books, but gives great insights on the challenges of leading in all directions.
First, as many would know, Maxwell used to be pastor of a large Evangelical church. If you read Maxwell as a pastor, you will no doubt be disappointed. He does not approach issues from a theological point of view (though he does approach them from a basically Christian point of view). His theology, from what one might deduce, is rather shallow. But as a specialist in the area of leadership, he is brilliant.
Second, this book is probably longer than it needs to be. I felt like the section on leading down was mostly rehashed from other books and could have been significantly abbreviated. That said, this is 300+ pages that fly by fairly quickly.
Third, there is a definite thread of ethnocentricity in many of Maxwell’s earlier books—the assumed audience is American. In this book, there are several places where it is clear that it has been edited for an international audience, but then there are other places where the earlier approach is still taken. Maxwell is a world-class author and I feel it would be appropriate to address it to an international audience.
This is the sort of book you can use to help develop the people who report to you in an organisation. If you want a church/business/organisation that is full of leaders, then you need 360° leaders and this book is worth reading. If you work under someone and find it difficult at times, then you will probably find this a helpful read as well.
Grace to you.