Book Review: Developing the Leader Within You
Review Written by Writer and Author, William Ballard
“Leadership is influence. That’s it. Nothing more; nothing less.” - John Maxwell
I read John Maxwell's "Developing the Leader Within You" as part of my leadership food for thought books.
One of the reasons I chose to read this book is because I am always interested in developing and growing myself into a strong leader. If you have been following my book reviews blog for a while now, you can see that I have read many books on the subject of leadership (many of which are authored by John Maxwell).
I honestly believe that growing and developing yourself as a leader is just as important for writers and authors as it is for CEOs, managers, department heads, Pastors, coaches, etc.
Moreover, what I appreciated most about the book was that its principles can be applied to almost any situation in which a person wants to improve his or her overall effectiveness. The lessons taught in this book are good advice not just for becoming a better leader, but for everyday life. Even if you are at a point in your career or life where you see yourself as still primarily a "follower", even so, you can still benefit from Maxwell's teachings and observations.
Aside from defining what leadership is and what it is all about, Maxwell also shares the Key to Successful Leadership, which is the ability to effectively prioritize responsibilities and tasks. We all have duties and obligations that will continue to come up unless we know which projects to take on and how to approach them. According to Maxwell, "20% of our priorities will give us 80% of our production". Therefore, our time and energy is most valuable when they are channeled towards our top priorities. Maxwell says that we can learn to prioritize by asking ourselves what is required of us (what we can do that no one else can), what gives us the greatest return for our effort, and what gives us the greatest feeling of fulfillment.
I did enjoy many of the quotes from well-known individuals that Maxwell included in this book. One of my favorites were, "The water does not flow unless the faucet is turned on" (Louis L'Amour). Many of these quotes can be applied to everyday life, and not just leadership situations.
I commend Maxwell in effectively communicating the idea that Integrity is the most important ingredient of leadership. Moreover, how he explained the ultimate test of leadership (creating positive change) is a nugget worth picking up, even if you don't get anything else out of this book.
Other chapter concepts consist of the following:
In short, I would recommend this book if you want to improve your self-discipline, organizational skills, and people skills, even if you are not currently in a leadership position. Whether you may realizes it or not, this book can be helpful to more people than just those who lead by profession.
About the Author
William Ballard is the author of, “My List of 21 Things You Need to Know About Self-Publishing” and "3 Steps to Blogging Success: Discovering Your Passion, Finding Your Audience, and Developing an Income Stream (Article Series)".
He has been writing professionally for over 10+ years and as much experience within the industry, both in publishing and in freelance writing. He has successfully self-published over 10 books and eBooks. Visit his Amazon Author Page to see list of his most recent projects.