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The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You
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The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  45,209 ratings  ·  1,288 reviews
What would happen if a top expert with more than thirty years of leadership experience were willing to distill everything he had learned about leadership into a handful of life-changing principles just for you? It would change your life.

John C. Maxwell has done exactly that in The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. He has combined insights learned from his thirty-plus year
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published September 16th 1998 by Thomas Nelson (first published September 1st 1998)
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Bernard Fruga
Nov 01, 2012 rated it liked it
Here they are, all the 21 from Maxwell’s book:
1. The Law of the Lid: Leadership Ability Determines a Person’s Level of Effectiveness.
2. The Law of Influence: The True Measure of Leadership Is Influence—Nothing More, Nothing Less.
3. The Law of Process: Leadership Develops Daily, Not in a Day.
4. The Law of Navigation: Anyone Can Steer the Ship, but It Takes a Leader the Chart the Course.
5. The Law of Addition: Leaders Add Value by Serving Others.
6. The Law of Solid Ground: Trust Is the Foundation
Jan 20, 2009 rated it it was ok
It was ok. Again I read this book because it is a business book and was recommended by this work thing I was doing. The category it notes next to the barcode is business/religion- not exactly what you want to see on a business book. There were lots of references to church and organized church that kind of threw me off from the interesting stories that really took up most of the book. The stories in the book are related to mostly historical references of other businesses- short stories and for th ...more
Ugh. I think there were important lessons in this book, but they were obfuscated by Maxwell's "horn tooting" and "back slapping". Wow, this man LOVES himself, and he thinks he has the most impressive history of EVER.

I DID love his descriptions of Harriet Tubman as a female leader, and even Mother Teresa. Shortly after these examples though, he lost me. I had to quit reading when he talked (AT LENGTH) about how his wife leads in the home. She EXCELS at making sure his clothes match, and at decora
Alex Duncan
Jun 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
As a leader, or if you aspire to be one this book is a must read. Here's what's inside:

I. The Law Of the Lid:

II. The Law of Influence:

III. The Law of Process:

IV. The Law of Navigation:

V. The Law of Addition:

VI. The Law of Solid Ground:

VII. The Law of Respect:

VIII. The Law of Intuition:

IX. The Law of Magnetism:

X. The Law of Connection: Leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand.

XI. The Law of the Inner Circle: A leader’s potential is determined by those closest to him

XII. The Law o
Nov 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: leadership, work, keeper
This is a book all leaders, born or made, should read. Maxwell’s leadership laws are succinct and highly useful. He supports the laws with real business stories and leadership anecdotes, then he shows you how to apply these laws (each chapter ends with practical strategies and activities to help you reflect and grow your leadership abilities). Honestly, I couldn’t stop reading. It’s one of the few digestible and practical leadership books available. Another great book, Leadership 2.0, does this ...more
Wendy Welch
Oct 06, 2009 rated it did not like it
Hey, it's good work if you can get it, writing self-help books for the Christian market. This one explains carefully things like how important it is to listen. And it chooses the cutest little examples - like how the McDonald's founders were nice guys and good salespeople but they really didn't have a leadership perspective so the restaurant never got going until this Ray guy came along....

He left out the part about the invention that freeze dried potatoes. In fact, any time anything might have
Aug 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Lillian Anderson
I attended a DEC meeting at Toastmasters recently. A friend of mine discussed this book during the meeting. I liked what she said. At this point all I can say is that I enjoyed how I felt about what she said as I do not recall exactly the point she made. That is a theory I have been testing lately; we rarely can describe the content of what was said but merely react to the how what was said made us feel. This is very much the case in this regard.

Anyhow, I checked this out of our public library.
May 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
If you ask 10 people to recommend five books on leadership, one of John Maxwell’s books will be on every list. Of those books, most people cite “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” as his best work. It’s certainly his most well known.

Concise, Maxwell dictates the 21 laws a leader must follow to get others to follow the leader. Using numerous examples drawn from a variety of people from Mother Teresa to the founders of McDonalds, Maxwell show how people have either used the laws successfully
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Great leadership book, but a little dated with some of the examples.
Douglas Wilson
Apr 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Despite everything, this book was quite good. Maxwell is capable of leaning into the cliches, and he points to some leaders who were painfully incompetent, but who are lauded generally for other reasons, but setting all that aside, the principles outlined in this book were very, very good.
Paula W
Sep 21, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
My boss, who made out leadership team read this, is absolutely gonna hate my review. But this was seriously the most bullshit leadership training book I have ever read.
Feb 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: business, leadership
Meh. Retread. Most of these "laws" are common sense business. Most of his examples are cited elsewhere--sometimes multiple times--throughout the literature. ...more
Tony Rogers  Jr.
Leadership is a vast topic of study. There are thousands of books written on the subject and I’ve read many of them.

In my opinion, with this book, John has put together the most complete, practical and informative book on leadership.

***Note: Not the most inspiring or exciting to read but easily the most complete and practical if you’re looking to learn the functions of a great leader.

This book should be read and consistently re-read by every leader in any capacity. This book will help me becom
Clifton Miles
Jan 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
As a leader who has read this book several times, I take offense to some of the poor reviews listed. Reading the reviews, it's easy to see that those who didn't enjoy it lack the ability to comprehend the enormity of the information they were given. This book will change your life, it is considered by the greatest leaders in the world to be THE premier book on leadership. To some of the individuals who didn't like the book, I will offer this word of advice: It is hard to learn something new, whe ...more
Jan 16, 2012 rated it it was ok
This book was fine. It provides a lot of common sense ideas that warrant repeating. Although Maxwell provides many great examples to illustrate his 21 laws, he uses way too many sports examples. If you're not a sports fan (and I'm not), all of the sports illustrations are completely irrelevant. I couldn't care less. ...more
Steven Walle
Jan 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is an awesome on leadership. I recommend it to all who obtain a leadership position and to all of those whom desire one.
Enjoy and Be Blessed.
Omar Halabieh
Jan 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
As the title indicates, John presents in this book 21 fundamental laws of leadership. The laws are prefaced by four core concepts:

"1) The laws can be learned

2) The laws can stand alone

3) The laws carry consequences with them

4) These laws are the foundation of leadership"

The author then goes on to present the 21 laws, in greater detail filled with examples from both his personal experience and experiences of other great leaders. The laws are summarized below:

"1- The law of the lid: leadership abi
Ruqayah Abbas
May 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
During my high-performance leadership program (HPL) and I was working on my leadership skills . I was searching in the youtube to find some easy and quake audiobooks that can help me for this platform. I saw this book, and I promised myself that from March to 20 may I have to apply some of the rules written in the book to my life.
So, let start to tell you my experience and what I felt about it step by step.
Let start only with rules I have comments.

Rule number 1: The Law of the Lid: Leadership
Apr 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: leadership
In this book John Maxwell attempts to present what he deems to be twenty-one irrefutable laws of leadership. In many ways they are irrefutable since they are based on common sense and experience. What Maxwell has done is clearly articulate what leadership is all about. “The true measure of leadership,” writes Maxwell, “is influence—and nothing more, nothing less” (16).

Maxwell uniquely contributes to the genre of leadership literature by importing much of the Christian worldview. Although there
James F
Mar 07, 2018 rated it did not like it
I wasn't even going to review this book, but it might be interesting as a study in how to write a series of best-selling "self-help" books that have according to the book jacket sold over thirteen million copies. There is only one positive thing I can say about this book: it doesn't mention mice or cheese.

The 21 "laws" could more accurately be called 21 truisms, but they are each given an important sounding title like "The Law of Process", "The Law of Connection" and so forth; they amount to say
Neil R. Coulter
Who am I to refute any of the 21 Irrefutable Laws? They're all fine as far as I know.

The only parts of the book that make me feel uncomfortable are when Maxwell writes about leading a church as though it's the same as leading a business. I believe that "success" for any faith community ought to be understood as something other than "exponential growth" and multi-million-dollar building projects. It's very un-American of me, I know; but these silly ideals I have, I just can't get rid of them enti
Morgan M
Feb 18, 2021 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book- it is full on wonderful stories of great leaders! So now you’re thinking, well then why did you only give it 3 stars? Well, you see, as much as I liked it, I don’t claim it as a must read because he mainly just goes through his 21 laws, which you could simple read the list of rather than read the whole book.
Dec 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Awesome book. I was not planning on becoming a leader, and I picked this up as a self development book, which I recommend you do too, but as cheasy as it might sound, it made me search and find the leader in me. :))
Mar 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
John C. Maxwell has studied leadership like no one else. This book and guide will encourage and inspire you to grow. If you desire to be a leader in your home, in your workplace, in your church, ANYWHERE - read and implement what Maxwell teaches here. And then...teach it to others!
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
With an ambitious title such as this one, I was expecting great things. 'Irrefutable' is a strong word, and sets the tone for the style and tone of the writing, definitely.

The structure of the chapters is very reminiscent of 'How to win friends and influence people', focusing on the general message, the 'law', notes or steps, and an example anchored in reality. Similarly to that book, the examples are from a wide variety of industries, ranging from sports (Michael Jordan), politics and history
Andrew romany
May 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
John C. Maxwell's book is enlightening and fresh. He has given me an entirely new perspective on leadership. Although I am not currently in a position to lead, he has inspired me to do so. He uses encouraging and inspiring language that is easy to read and hard to put down. He is very blunt and presents the material in a very "common-sense" way.
Maxwell really focuses on what is important. Each chapter outlines one of the 21 laws. He discusses the importance of earning your employee's trust, havi
Janet G
Aug 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
For years this book sat on my shelf. 21 Laws? Too many to read in one book. Finally, I broke it down to reading one a day. Easy, short, informative and motivating chapters full of history's true leaders, their successes and sometimes their foibles. I got what I wanted out of this book…what I expected and more. Now, I need to go forth and implement it. One of my favorite quotes I read was from the final irrefutable law, The Law of Legacy, from Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A. He passed away ...more
Nov 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fan-flipping-tastic book. Definitely "meatier" than I was expecting compared to other Maxwell books I've read, but it really sets the groundwork for basically every other book he's written, so. :)

Highly recommended--just take your time and be willing to do the work! I love that he includes application questions at the end of each chapter; they really got me thinking about how to implement each law into my life not just "someday," but now.
Adam Hinckley
Mar 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book takes a different angle than most leadership books. Instead of telling you want you need to do to be successful, John C Maxwell tells stories of where known leaders such as Henry Ford screwed up. In theses specific stories the author tells about the law that was violated, and how much more successful they would have been if they knew these laws like the back of their hand.
مشاري الإبراهيم
Another disappointing overrated book by John Maxwell. It's all about 'what' to do without showing 'how' to do it.

I had to close the book half way through.

It is those kinds of books that really make me mistrust public wisdom.
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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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