The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You

What would happen if a top expert with more than thirty years of leadership experience were willing to distill everything he had learned about leadership into a handful of life-changing principles just for you? It would change your life.

John C. Maxwell has done exactly that in The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. He has combined insights learned from his thirty-plus years of leadership successes and mistakes with observations from the worlds of business, politics, sports, religion, and military conflict. The result is a revealing study of leadership delivered as only a communicator like Maxwell can.


  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; 1st edition (September 16, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785274316
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785274315
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1,183 customer reviews)
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  1. This is a book all leaders, born or made, should read. Maxwell’s leadership laws are succinct and highly useful. He supports the laws with real business stories and leadership anecdotes, then he shows you how to apply these laws (each chapter ends with practical strategies and activities to help you reflect and grow your leadership abilities). Honestly, I couldn’t stop reading.

    But here are the main points from each chapter/law of “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”:

    I. The Law Of the Lid: Leadership ability determines a person’s level of effectiveness.

    II. The Law of Influence: The true measure of leadership is influence–nothing more, nothing less.

    III. The Law of Process: Leadership develops daily, not in a day.

    IV. The Law of Navigation: Anyone can steer the ship, but it takes a leader to chart the course.

    V. The Law of Addition: Leaders add value by serving others.

    VI. The Law of Solid Ground: Trust is the foundation of leadership

    VII. The Law of Respect: People naturally follow leaders stronger than themselves

    VIII. The Law of Intuition: Leaders evaluate everything with a leadership bias

    IX. The Law of Magnetism: Who you are is who you attract

    X. The Law of Connection: Leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand.

    XI. The Law of the Inner Circle: A leader’s potential is determined by those closest to him

    XII. The Law of Empowerment: Only secure leaders give power to others

    XIII. The Law of the Picture: People do what people see.

    XIV. The Law of Buy-in: People buy into the leader, then the vision.

    XV. The Law of Victory: Leaders find a way for the team to win.

    XVI.Read more ›

  2. “Don’t ever say ‘always,'” my mother told me. So when someone says “irrefutable” I’m quick to challenge such a too-complete assertion. But the more I’ve read of Maxwell’s “21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership,” the more I think he’s nailed it.
    John Maxwell has been learning and teaching leadership throughout his entire career as a Wesleyan pastor and seminar speaker. He lives and breathes leadership. And in this book he has distilled the art of leadership into 21 “simple” laws. Well, not so simple, maybe, but at least understandable.
    #1 “The Law of the Lid” asserts his basic premise that leadership ability determines the ultimate level of a person’s effectiveness. If you have gifts and abilities, you’ll make a greater impact the better leader you become. While some people may be blessed with a natural aptitude for leadership, Maxwell contends that leadership “skills” are learnable. You don’t have to be a “born leader.” You can apply yourself and become a much better leader than you are.
    #2 “The Law of Influence.” Here’s another bedrock proposition: Leadership = Influence, no more and no less. Many church and secular leaders grossly misunderstand this point. They think that Leadership = Power. Maxwell argues that your leadership scope is how many people you influence, not how much organizational power you can wield from your position or office. On the basis of these two concepts, Maxwell constructs a whole philosophy of leadership. He explains the laws of “Solid Ground,” “Respect,” “Intuition,” “the Inner Circle” and many others.
    Some are especially intriguing. “The Law of E.F.Read more ›

  3. At the beginning of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You by John Maxwell, the author reminds us that any book is fixed at a moment in time. Maxwell’s first version of this book captured his best thinking as it was a decade ago.

    But while the book has remained unchanged, its author has grown and matured. He has read more, worked with more people, and taught his principles over and over again. And so the book we get from this fifty-one-year-old author is a more mature and developed one than we got from John Maxwell when he was forty-one. That is a very good thing.

    In the intervening decade Maxwell found that some laws needed to be combined. He also adds two new laws. The number of laws remains the same.

    This book is better than the first version. You can count up the new stories and examples if you want, but the numbers aren’t the story. The story is that this man who wrote one of the best books on leadership has added the growth, maturity and insights of a decade and made it even better.

    As Maxwell outlines it on page 245, there has been a trajectory to his thinking. In the beginning he understood leadership development as primarily a process of personal development. That’s still part of his thinking, but he’s added understanding of the importance of a leadership team, and, especially, the importance of developing other leaders.

    There are two key questions to ask and answer about any book like this. First: “If I read this book and apply what I learn, will I be a better leader?”

    The answer to that is a resounding “yes.” The content here is good and it’s practical. Leadership is an apprentice trade.Read more ›

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