Author: John Maxwell
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Reviewer: Goke Ilesanmi
Everything, they say, rises and falls on leadership. That is why we are reviewing this book entitled “The 21 Most Powerful Minutes in a Leader’s Day” this week.
John Maxwell, author of this book is the founder of INJOY, a leadership development institute. Maxwell says it takes time to become a leader and stresses that while a few people appear to be born leaders, the ability to lead is actually a collection of skills, nearly all of which can be learnt and sharpened.
This text is divided into twenty-one chapters spread over twenty-one weeks. Each week is further segmented into five days. Chapter one is based on the subject matter of “the law of the lid”. Extracting from “the law of the lid” in “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”, Maxwell says success is within the reach of just about everyone and personal success without leadership ability brings only limited effectiveness.
Chapter two is based on the thematic focus of the law of influence. Here, this expert says leadership is influence. Maxwell adds that when you become a student of leaders, you begin to recognise people’s level of influence in everyday situations all around you. He says leaders do not possess influence in every area as our influence is either positive or negative. The author stresses that faithful leaders use their influence to add value and with influence comes responsibility.
In chapters three to six, this author analytically X-rays concepts such as the laws of process, navigation, E.F. Hutton and solid ground. Maxwell educates that becoming a leader is a lot like investing successfully in the stock market. That is, if your hope is to make a fortune in a day, you are not going to be successful. In his words, “Leaders who navigate do even more than control the direction in which they and their people travel. They see the whole trip in their minds before they leave the dock.”
In chapters seven to 12, Maxwell examines the concepts of the laws of respect, intuition, magnetism, connection, the inner circle and empowerment. He says people do not just follow others by accident, but follow individuals whose leadership they respect. “Only empowered people can reach their potential. When a leader can’t or won’t empower others, he creates barriers within the organisation that people cannot overcome,” stresses Maxwell.
In chapter thirteen of this text, he examines the law of reproduction. Here, Maxwell submits that it takes a leader to raise a leader. In his words, “It’s true that a few people step into leadership because their organisation experiences a crisis, and they are compelled to do something about it. Another small group is comprised of people with such great natural gifting and instincts that they are able to navigate their way into leadership on their own. But more than four out of five of all the leaders that you ever meet will have emerged as leaders because of the impact made on them by established leaders who mentored them.”
Maxwell stresses that it all starts at the top because only leaders are capable of developing leaders and followers cannot do it. “Neither can institutional programmes…If a company has poor leaders, what little leadership it has will only get worse. If a company has strong leaders – and they are reproducing themselves – then the leadership just keeps getting better and better…,” submits this leadership expert.
In chapters fourteen to eighteen, Maxwell beams his analytical searchlight on the laws of buy-in, victory, the Big Mo, priorities and sacrifice respectively.
In chapter nineteen, he examines the law of timing, stressing that when to lead is as important as what to do and where to go. According to him, “When leaders do the right things at the right time, success is almost inevitable.”
In chapters twenty and twenty-one, the laws of explosive growth and legacy are discussed. Maxwell educates that leaders who develop followers grow their organisations only one person at a time, while leaders that develop leaders multiply their growth because for every leader they develop, they also receive all of that leader’s followers. He stresses that a leader’s lasting value is measured by succession.
Conceptually, Maxwell’s efforts in this book deserve commendation. He establishes an analogical interface between the process of becoming a leader and investing successfully in the stock market. That is, if your hope is to make a fortune in a day, you are not going to be successful. By stressing that only empowered people can reach their potential and when a leader refuses to empower others, he creates barriers within the organisation that people cannot overcome, the author is able to inject real consciousness for right leadership in people.
The language of the text is simple and the presentation very fantastic. For instance, Maxwell generously employs biblical and literary/classical allusions as well as illuminating illustrations to achieve conceptual amplification and ensure concrete conviction on readers’ part. This author displays temporal stylistic creativity by segmenting the text into twenty-one chapters spread over twenty-one weeks. Each week is further sub-divided into five days, while every day focuses on one predominant leadership thought, lesson, etc, for easy and memorable study.
However, on page 206, an error is noticed. Here, Maxwell says “… what little leadership it has will only get worse…” instead of “… whatever little leadership it has will only get worse…”
Finally, this text is a compendium of insightful leadership tips. It is highly recommended to everybody, especially Nigerian politicians, civil servants, etc.
GOKE ILESANMI (FIIM, FIMC, CMC), CEO of Gokmar Communication Consulting, is an International Platinum Columnist, Professional Public Speaker, Career Mgt Coach and Certified Mgt Consultant. He is also a Book Reviewer, Biographer and Editorial Consultant.
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