Maxwell’s Third Law of Leadership

In the first two Laws of Leadership, we learned that our ability to lead influenced our overall effectiveness (Law of the Lid) and that without influence, leading the way isn’t going to happen (Law of Influence). In Maxwell’s third Law of Leadership, we learn that becoming a leader is a process, hence the Law of Process.

Using Theodore Roosevelt as an example, Maxwell discusses how TR developed into a great president and how he continued to develop after he left office. In another example, Jimmy Carter’s ability to lead while president was in question, but years after he left office, he developed himself into one of the foremost humanitarian leaders, through his work with Habitat for Humanity and diplomatic roles in global peace. Neither of these two gentlemen became a leader overnight. In fact, it took many years of development for them to reach their leadership ability, requiring patience and persistence.

The concept of process is often something that many people often forget about. It is easy to see the end result of dream, but is hard to experience the process of fulfilling the dream. We all must take small baby steps day after day, week after week to reach our ultimate goal. This is where the patience and persistence comes into play. This blog started as a dream for me and has slowly developed into something that people actually read!! So, the Law of Process is a very important part of becoming a leader.

Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership is a great resource for anyone interested in becoming a leader or refining their leadership skills. While this post reviews the book, it is important that everyone head’s over to Amazon or to their local bookstore and grab a copy.


Maxwell’s Second Law of Leadership

In my first post, Maxwell’s First Law of Leadership, I discussed Maxwell’s Law of the Lid in which ones effectiveness is only as high as their ability to lead.  Next in the ongoing series of Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, I would like to take a moment to discuss his second law, the Law of Influence.  Before I do, I would like encourage everyone to head over to Amazon and pick up a copy of this wonderful book.

The Second Law:

2. The Law of Influence
This law is quite simple, if you can’t influence your followers’ actions, there is no way you can lead them effectively.  Maxwell makes a clear distinction between influence and a title; true leaders can influence their followers despite their title or position. As an example, he discusses the influence that Princess Diana had over the world.  A woman who was afraid of her position and responsibilities early in her marriage, became one of the most powerful women on the planet, even after her divorce and the removal of royal title.   Her influence, many argue, was greater than the Queen’s.  Diana was a true leader.

So, when you think of your ability to lead, think back and recall the last time you influenced anyone.  Then ask if you influenced them through your title or your heart? I think this law has a lot to do respect and trust than anything else.  You must show that you have them in your interest and that your decision making skills are in line with theirs.  This is how you earn respect and trust.  For me, this is the case, as I have always gained the trust and have been respected by many people who call me for advice.  It is something that I take a lot of pride in.

Next, Maxwell’s Third Law of Leadership…

Maxwell’s First Law of Leadership

Success in the 21st century can be defined as many things. For much of the American society, success is reflected through a level of wealth and an occupation, or so I thought. As I leave my twenties behind and look toward the thirties, I often reflect on how I define success and how I can be more successful. I took at people around me that are successful; my boss, the executives at work, and friends. I quickly realized that they all specialists in their fields, are highly approachable, and are leaders.

This last point is what led me to John C. Maxwell. I was perusing my bookshelf and found one of his books. Mr. Maxwell has more than thirty years of experience in numerous leadership roles and has founded four companies, including INJOY, a company dedicated to helping people maximize their personal and leadership potential. He is an author of 25 books, including the book I will begin discussing today, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You.

As part of the productivity side of arealityofmyown, I would like to spend a little time discussing the 21 laws he outlines in his book. Each post will focus on one law and I will discuss how that relates to my reality. Since this is just a review, please head on over to Amazon to grab your copy, especially if you don’t want to wait for me to reveal all 21 laws.

Now for the first law:

1. The Law of the Lid
The Law of the Lid states that one’s effectiveness is only as great as their ability to lead. Maxwell uses a few examples to support this law. He spends quite some time discussing the origins of McDonald’s and how Dick and Maurice McDonald used their restaurateur experience to revolutionize “fast food”, but it was their lack of ability to lead that prevented them from successfully expanding through franchises. This is where Ray Kroc comes in. His ability to assemble and form McDonald’s Systems, Inc in 1955 exploded into what is now known as McDonald’s.

He then discusses ways to increase your effectiveness. He uses the Law of Diminishing Returns (law 1.5?, I guess) to dismiss the theory of increasing your effectiveness through increasing you dedication to success and excellence. You might work five times harder, only to be 25% more effective. However, by developing yourself into a leader, you can be 500% more effective. In fact, leadership ability has a multiplying effect, increasing your effectiveness as you hone your leadership ability.

Maxwell continues his argument by discussing trends in the corporate and sports sectors. It seems that whenever a team is on a losing streak or a company is losing money, replacing the guy at the top with a more effective leader is more often the first step toward new found success. The team or company is only as good as its leader.

Maxwell’s first law is simply that without developing the leader in you, your success is limited. For me, this makes a lot of sense and is part of the evolution of becoming successful. All of the people that I see as successful, the boss, executives, and friends, all would rank high on Maxwell’s Leadership and Success charts. Now I can begin to focus on what it means to be a leader and start down the road to being more successful… that must be what the next 20 laws of leadership are about.