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.

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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…