How Successful People Lead By John C Maxwell

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It is a motivational and directional book written by John C. Maxwell and published in 2013. Maxwell tried to explain how true leaders work by stating that true leadership is not generated by the title but by the ability to invest and inspire other people. Besides, it involves ability of leaders to develop future leaders and teams that can build results since people and not positions are the most valuable asset for any leader to achieve the set objective of the company. Besides, he urges leaders to give opportunities to those who can perform other tasks better so as to accomplish them. Maxwell thus summarized his arguments in five main stages of leadership. They include the position where people follow because they have to do so. The second stage is production where employees follow a leader's guidelines and skills because of what he or she has done to the organization or institution. The third is permission where people follows because they have to do so, fourth is peoples development where people follows because of what a leader have done to them in person. The last stage is pinnacle where individuals follow because of who a leader is and what he/she is representing. These levels were explained and proper guidance is availed on how a leader can move from one stage to another without any difficulty or confusion.

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The main purpose for Maxwell to write this book is to teach, challenge, influence, and empower leaders and those who are aspiring to be future leaders not to be egocentric and believe in Mc Gregor's Theory X were leaders believe that workers hate work naturally and need to be supervised and coarse to accomplish their tasks. It aimed at training them to be influential leaders to be result oriented and be helpful to other people to help them develop. The author has achieved his goal since many who have read the book give it a high rating and positive comments which shows that the book is instrumental in shaping leadership. It is one of the bestselling books currently and the most influential leadership piece. Most customers and leaders categorize it as the best and a great book for those who are leading others since it provides good and sensible advice and make leaders to treat their followers with humility and intellectual empathy.

Even though the book has received a lot of praise, it has been faced with some flaws. The book does not show a high level of originality which makes it applicable to those who are only looking for one approach to leadership. Besides, he ignores that actions of leaders are influenced by different situations they face in daily business transactions. He also suggests that one need to climb the leadership ladder for them to be effective leaders, a step which is not applicable in various situations and aspects. A transformational and a servant leader lead from different dimensions, depending on the situation and factors influencing operations of an organization.

Personally, I am able to deduce that the book is vital because it helps a leader to empathize and feel the needs of employees because it covers every aspect of employees personal and working lives. Readers should take this book into consideration and combine it with other books and theories in leadership such as the servant leadership, transformational leadership theory and Mc Gregor's Theory X and Y. I can, therefore, rate the book to be 7 out of 10.


Maxwell, J. C., & Sorensen, C. (2013). How successful people lead: Taking your influence to the next level. New York, NY: Hachette Audio.

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