Developing the leader within you by John C. Maxwell
Thoms Nelson: Nashville, 1993
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John Maxwell is a leading author in management and leadership development and Developing the Leader Within You is a classic and popular text.
In this text, Maxwell defines leadership as the ability to influence and the book spells out the different qualities that all effective leaders have (the ability to prioritise, integrity, the ability to change self, others and organisations, the ability to problem solve, a positive attitude, exceptional people skills, vision, self-discipline and the ability to coach and develop others).
There are no surprises in this book regarding the definition and qualities of leadership (it is a pretty uncontroversial and orthodox view of leadership); what lifts Maxwell’s book from ordinary to extraordinary is the way he writes about leadership. He draws heavily from comic strips, jokes and anecdotes which makes it great fun to read (some of the stories and jokes are hilarious) and helps the reader to memorise the essential messages. He also uses casually introduced exercises that help you to connect with the material and personalise it. Although this text was published twenty years ago, the message and style has not dated. This is a master class in how to take a much written about subject and to present it in a fresh, interesting and memorable way.