Skip to main content

Book: The Leadership Handbook

Book blitz continues today…just a few more days and it’s all over with.

John Maxwell has been writing on leadership since I was in junior high. He’s been at it awhile now, because I’m getting old. His current work is called The Leadership Handbook. The question for a new Maxwell book on leadership is not whether or not the content is quality. That much is assured.

The real question is: if I already have Maxwell’s other books, do I need this one?

Because if you haven’t read up on leadership, you absolutely need to. This one, by boiling down the principles in most of Maxwell’s writings, is a good introduction. I like it better than his 21 Laws book, though that is a matter of preference.

Why is this a good starting point?

Each chapter presents a summary statement of leadership, then gives three ideas to expand it. After that, the chapter presents application exercises and concludes with a one-paragraph “mentoring moment” that encapsulates the ideas from that chapter.

The 26 ideas presented are excellent. There is the unfortunate inclusion of Perry Noble as a positive example of leadership, but Maxwell is examining leadership. Even the aggravating can demonstrate leadership. Leaving aside whether all of Maxwell’s other examples have used their leadership well—I think Noble, for example, has misapplied the idea of rising above criticism—the principles are still useful.

Now, I think this is definitely useful for new readers of leadership principles. Is it of any use to those who have read Maxwell’s prior books?

Yes, I find it useful. First, there are places within this book that Maxwell provides limiting parameters for his leadership principles. While one could read some of his earlier works and justify a self-absorbed leadership, Maxwell is clear in this work that this is not acceptable.

Second, The Leadership Handbook breaks down into nice group study segments. A six-month internship would couple well with reading through a chapter per week.

With the reservation that not every leader that was doing well when Maxwell did his research is still doing well, I can recommend this book to the student of leadership, whether new to the study or long-traveled.

I did receive a copy of this book in exchange for the review.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Abraham Lincoln Quoted by Jesus! Mark 3

Mark records a curious event in his third chapter (link). If you look at Mark 3:25, you'll see that Jesus quotes the sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. After all, one of the highlights of the Lincoln years is his famous speech regarding slavery in the United States where he used the phrase that "a house divided against itself cannot stand." This speech was given in 1858 when he accepted the nomination to run against Stephen A. Douglas for Senate, but is still remembered as the defining speech regarding slaveholding in the United States. I recall being taught in school how brilliant and groundbreaking the speech was, how Lincoln had used such wise words to convey his thought. Yet the idea was not original to Lincoln. Rather, it was embedded in Lincoln from his time reading the Bible. Now, I have read varying reports about Lincoln's personal religious beliefs: some place him as a nearly completely committed Christian while others have him somewh…

Independence Day 2017

I don’t know if Thomas Paine will be aggrieved that I paste his thoughts from Common Sense here, from the electronic edition. It’s a Public Domain work at this point, so hopefully none will be bothered that I am not paying for it...I think there is value in seeing the underlying reasons of Independence. I find a couple of things noteworthy in his introduction:First, he speaks of those who disagree and, while calling those out, holds the strength of his affirmative argument will be enough to straighten them out. We could do well to think more like that.Second, his final sentence should be a required view: the influence of reason and principle. Not self-interest masquerading as principle. Not party propaganda disguised as reason.That being said, not everything Paine said is right. If he and I lived at the same time, we’d argue religion over a great deal. However, the idea of “natural rights of man” follows from the idea of humanity as a special creation—that all are created equal and en…