The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader – John C. Maxwell

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I just finished reading the 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader by John C. Maxwell and thought I’d take some time to reflect on the book.  For full disclosure purposes, I haven’t read his other works, and this book was meant to be a follow on to the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, so perhaps I’m reading it out of context.

One of the best things to be able to do is to just sit back and reflect on the work that you’re doing in life.  This book gave me some time to be able to do that, especially in the context of my professional work and my community work.  What I thought was useful was that in this book it gave some “Daily Takeaways” at the end of the chapter.  It helps to be able to think through and get examples on what the qualities mean in the day to day life.  There were definitely some qualities that I hadn’t thought of, and will keep in mind while going forward.  I’m looking forward to re-reading this book in the next month to see where I am with everything.

So what makes a good leader different from a great leader?  For me, I think it boils down to commitment.  It’s imperative to be committed to what you believe in, committed to those who you are leading, and committed to yourself.  Having commitment n those three things will enable a person to succeed in whatever they want to accomplish.  Let’s look at some of the things that people think about when they think of leadership: vision, selflessness, drive, charisma, etc.  If I’m committed towards something, I’d think that I’d have a vision of where I’d like to take it.  Likewise, if I’m committed towards something, I’d be willing to give 110% of my time to the cause, and be driven to succeed.

The questions that I make sure to ask myself are:

  • Am I doing what I care about the most?
  • What am I working on that matters most to me?
  • Why does it matter?
  • Am I giving 110% to the work that I care about?

Next on the list: Peter Ducker’s Managing the Nonprofit Organization, courtesy of my good friend Gene Kim.

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