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Developing the Leader Within You

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  9,794 ratings  ·  163 reviews
"Developing the Leader Within You" is Dr. Maxwell's first and most enduring leadership book, having sold more than one million copies. In this Christian Leaders Series edition of this Maxwell classic, you will discover the biblical foundation for leadership that John Maxwell has used as a pastor and business leader for more than forty years. These same principles and pract...more
Paperback, 207 pages
Published October 1st 2005 by Nelson Business (first published January 1st 1993)
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Christina Saldivia
Position
a. The only influence you have comes with Title. People follow you because they have to.
i. The boss drives his workers; the leader coaches them
ii. The boss depends on authority; the leader on goodwill
iii. The boss says "I"; the leader "we"
iv. The boss fixes the blame for the breakdown; the leader fixes the breakdown
v. The boss knows how it is done: the leader shows how
vi. The boss says "Go"; the leader says "lets go"
2. Permission
a. This is the Relationship Level. Lead by interrel...more
Mary Bellus
I was asked to read this book for work, so I trudged through it, otherwise I would have tossed it by about the halfway point.

I feel like this book could be condensed into one chapter of simple tips and advice. The rest of it reads like a compilation of quotes, excerpts, and illustrations (especially from the Peanuts comic strip, which seems to be John Maxwell’s favorite). There’s very little of the author’s own experiences in leading people, and when he does relate a story from his experiences w...more
Naomi
Lots of great information on leadership. This book was recommended to me in a job interview in a school district. The interviewer said they were planning on implementing some of the information in this book to the school setting to bring about personal growth in their teachers and in the student body as a whole. There are some excellent guidelines for teachers to follow and on of those is to remember that our students are human, with basic needs and desires. Educators need to focus on the whole...more
Tamcamry
• This is actually the third time that I’ve read this particular book, and I’m sure that I will read it again in the future. This book is a must read for anyone who is in a position to influence people in any way. In my current job, my focus is to get people to see the value of the product my company sells and to effectively sell it for us. This book has reminded me of some of the most basic principles of influence that I may have forgotten. Because of the new context I bring to this reading of...more
Philip Meinel
"20 percent of your priorities will give you 80 percent of your production"

"Efficiency is the foundation for survival. Effectiveness is the foundation of success."

“Integrity binds our person together and fosters a spirit of contentment within us. It will not allow our lips to violate our hearts.”

“I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty.” –John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

“Image is what people think we are. Integrity is what we really...more
John
I feel great ambivalence towards this book. I was swept up by the first third of it. By the middle I was harboring some nagging doubts. By the end I was seriously irked.

Let me start out by saying that there is, in fact, a great deal of valuable content within these pages, and I don't want to throw out the baby with the bath water. But it's a small baby in a big bath. The problem is not that Maxwell doesn't offer useful, pragmatic insights into leadership; he does. It's not that he doesn't suppor...more
Kelly Murray
Though leadership isn't a quality I think I naturally possess, who says it can't be developed? Good stuff. People can't follow someone who doesn't know where they're going, and this book helps clarify what one needs to do in order to manage one's self first before taking on others.
Omar Halabieh
Below are key excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful:

1- "Leadership is developed, not discovered. The truly "born leader" will always emerge; but, to stay on top, natural leadership characteristics must be developed. In working with thousands of people desirous of becoming leaders, I have discovered they all fit in one of four categories or levels of leadership: The Leading Leader...The Learned Leader...The Latent Leader..The Limited Leader."

2- "Management is the process of...more
Deborah
I thought I would follow my first addition to goodreads (Poisonwood Bible) with a review of the book that is currently making me roll my eyes and scribble snarky comments in the margins. Might as well hit both ends of the spectrum, for there is little to recommend this book. Maxwell has a great command of Reader's Digest-type anecdotes. Unfortunately, and no matter how witty, they rarely support his argument. In fact, *he* rarely supports his argument and, as one person I know put it, seems inca...more
Tibyan
This book of Maxwell is worth reading, i like his style in combination of christian series or wisdom words come from the Bible and collected poems, also the experiences from great leaders.
Traits is raw material of leadership linked up with desire, nothing can stop u. The meaning of leadership is influence, nothing more.

"This world needs leaders...

who use their influence at the right times for the right reasons;
who take a little greater share of the blame and a little smaller share
of the cred...more
Jace
John Maxwell is a super-genius. One of the great things about this book is that through reading it, Maxwell lends you his experienced perspective, which is no small thing.

My biggest critique is that like many leadership books, there are places where it feels a bit "fluffy" at times. These are places where the pure actionable points are surrounded by personal stories, quotes, and poems that lend a (necessary) narrative flow to the chapters, but also boggs down your reading progress.

That aside, t...more
Alton
Good book! Chapter six refers to attitude. You're attitude will have some affect upon what you actually gain from this book. Developing as a leader was a plus in my book. More importantly, John Maxwell explains developing as an individual. I highly recommend reading this book more than once.
Lisa
This is fabulous short book that coaches you on what makes a great leader great. I love Mr. Maxwell's focus on others, not yourself. Great quick read that I know I'll reach for again as a refresher!!
Steve Grotheer
great, easy read touching on all the key fundamentals of successful leadership. Includes lots of great anecdotes and stories to support the recommendations.
Jen
Although there's some useful information here, this book is so riddled with filler, in the form of quotes from others, that it could easily have been 100 pages instead of 200. What's worse is that the quotes often don't support the heading they're under. If you must read this book, I suggest starting in the middle, which is where the more useful info begins to appear. At least it's a fast read. (This book was recommended to me by several people as a good beginner book on leadership. It gives me...more
Jonathan Woodward
Great book on personal leadership. I don't think there is a thing about Maxwell's stuff that I do not like as of yet. The only thing about his stuff is that it's so information-packed that it's difficult to get something good out of it. Here's what I mean: if feels like you're reading provocative quote after quote, and you need at least 5 minutes per quote to ponder how it relates and what it means. He's a very detailed, deep thinker.

I liked the book, though. Just so much information in it, I on...more
Dave W Clark
Management is the process of assuring that the program and objectives of the organization are implemented.
LEADERSHIP, On the other hand, has to do with casting a vision and motivating people.
If you want to manage somebody, manage yourself. Do that well and you'll be ready to stop managing and start leading (John C. Maxwell - Developing the Leader Within You.

If only my Management team would understand the principles of Leadership and not relying on telling people what to do while they sit at th...more
Sarah
Good leadership book to have in your library for referencing.
Amanda
Maxwell seems to be Leading in the Leadership writers game...
Khaled Mallah
To me it is a good book but not a great one...
Abigail Sands
Great handbook for growing in leadership principles. John Maxwell is definitely a leader in the field of leadership.
Kim Karlo Atanante
Leadership and Discipline..
Sandra Soetanto
Long time known as Leadership enthusiast, John Maxwell put some base rules of leadership on to this book. He said that learning to lead is somehow essential to reach your success in life. Leaders are not born, they learned from series of events on their life (and role models) to build the attitude and the habit of a leader. Maxwell shared his five stages of leadership and principles through this book, and for those who want to learn how to lead or develop themselves to be a good leader, this boo...more
Ben Love
John always thread religion into his books, so I was ready for that, and he often tightly winds it with morality messages – a join I also I dislike – and this book is no exception. There are some strong, relevant and “everyone should know this” assertions in this book, but there’s also a handful too much of unnecessary religious references to make it a credible piece of work.
Sad really, because without the bible stories this may have been the definitive volume on the subject for me.
Walt Walkowski
I wish this allowed us to give half-stars, because I would've given it 3 1/2. It was a worthwhile read, but I found some of the chapters to be longer than necessary, and not all of the chapters very helpful in regard to giving concrete direction. That said, Maxwell is one of the leading leadership writers for a reason, and he delivers some good reminders to those of us seeking to be good leaders to the folks we've been blessed to have on our staffs and in our organizations.
Matt
It took me time to warm up to this, probably because I'd just finished one by the Gallup folks. In the "heart vs head" equation of leadership analysis, Maxwell is firmly planted on the "heart" side, compared to pseudo-scientific stuff like Buckingham and Collins. Take this for what it is, and you'll find some very useful observations, anecdotes, and a surprisingly high occurrence of references to the Peanuts comic strip...leadership lessons in unlikely places.
Janique
A great overview of the skills and attitudes needed to be a successful leader. John uses a lot of sporting examples to illustrate his point and quotes from other great leaders and even comic strips to keep things light yet poignant at the same time. I find his repeated statement of 'Everything rises and falls on leadership' to ring true for most circumstances as well as highlighting the importance of developing leadership within you for success in life.
Bea Bolinger
The problem with this book is that you have to read it all at once or otherwise you'll easily forget where you left off and have to try again. Some of the info was very valuable and some of it was pretty dated (published in '93). I guess I hadn't realized Maxwell was also a pastor but that explains the references to God in the book. A lot of info that is condensed into 200 pages, it was okay but I don't think it "developed" the leader within me.
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John C. Maxwell is an internationally recognized leadership expert, speaker, and author who has sold over 16 million books. His organizations have trained more than 2 million leaders worldwide. Dr. Maxwell is the founder of EQUIP and INJOY Stewardship Services. Every year he speaks to Fortune 500 companies, international government leaders, and audiences as diverse as the United States Military Ac...more
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“Poem by Howard A. Walter (Character)

I would be true, for there are those who trust me;
I would be pure, for there are those who care;
I would be strong, for there are those who suffer;
I would be brave, for there is much to dare.
I would be friend of all--- the foe, the friendless;
I would be giving, and forget the gift;
I would be humble, for I know my weakness;
I would look up, and laugh, and love, and lift.”
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“There was a very cautious man
Who never laughed or played
He never risked, he never tried,
He never sang or prayed.
And when he on day passed away,
His insurance was denied,
For since he never really lived,
They claimed he never really died.

(Anonymous poem)”
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