One of the finest books on leadership that I have ever read is from John C. Maxwell. Revised and updated in 2007 for the 10th anniversary of The 21 Irrefutable Laws, this book is rightly regarded as a foundational piece of the leadership movement.
As the title indicates, Maxwell presents 21 laws of leadership, all of which are freestanding but do interlocks to one another. You can learn a lot simply by reviewing the 21 laws with his explanation of each.
1. The Law of the Lid: Leadership Ability Determines a Person’s Level of Effectiveness
2. The Law of Influence: The True Measure of Leadership Is Influence – Nothing More, Nothing Less
3. The Law of Process: Leadership Develops Daily, Not in a Day
4. The Law of Navigation: Anyone Can Steer the Ship, but It Takes a Leader to Change the Course
5. The Law of Addition: Leaders Add Value by Serving Others
6. The Law of Solid Ground: Trust Is the Foundation of Leadership
7. The Law of Respect: People Naturally Follow Leaders Stronger Than Themselves
8. The Law of Intuition: Leaders Evaluate Everything with a Leadership Bias
9. The Law of Magnetism: Who You Are Is Who You Attract
10. The Law of Connection: Leaders Touch a Heart Before They Ask for a Hand
11. The Law of the Inner Circle: A Leader’s Potential Is Determined by Those Closest to Him
12. The Law of Empowerment: Only Secure Leaders Give Power to Others
13. The Law of the Picture: People Do What People See
14. The Law of Buy-In: People Buy into the Leader, Then the Vision
15. The Law of Victory: Leaders Find a Way for the Team to Win
16. The Law of the Big Mo: Momentum is a Leader’s Best Friend
17. The Law of Priorities: Leaders Understand That Activity Is Not Necessarily Accomplishment
18. The Law of Sacrifice: A Leader Must Give Up to Go Up
19. The Law of Timing: When to Lead Is as Important as What to Do and Where to Go
20. The Law of Explosive Growth: To Add Growth, Lead Followers – To Multiply, Lead Leaders
21. The Law of Legacy: A Leader’s Lasting Value is Measured by Succession
My favorite law, which in my opinion is the best explanation of what leadership is all about, is the Law of Influence. This law helps us to understand why some people can draw large followings without being people of integrity. At time they even use their leadership for evil. How great it is though when people of integrity use influence to go great things for God.
The best way to profit from this book is to read one chapter a week and let each principle sink into your life. After 21 short weeks you will be on a the right road to becoming a better leader.