• Fernando Zacarias

"The 21 'Irrefutable' Laws of Leadership"

Dear Multipodian:


The author of this very famous book (now in its tenth anniversary edition), John C. Maxwell, is considered one of the “top leadership gurus” in the world. Let’s be iconoclastic: With only the information provided (a brief description of each of the 21 laws), identify those with which you don’t agree. If you agree with all the laws, it is OK; but remember that dogmas are not eternal; e.g. the “irrefutable” truths that the World was flat, and the sun revolved around the Earth were soundly discredited a few centuries ago.


These are the 21 "irrefutable" laws:


1) Law of the Lid (Top): Leadership ability determines a person’s level of effectiveness;

2) Influence: The true measure of leadership is influence; nothing more, nothing less;

3) Process: Leadership develops daily, not in a day;

4) Navigation: Anyone can steer the ship but it takes a leader to chart the course;

5) Addition: Leaders add value by serving others;

6) Solid ground: Trust is the foundation of leadership;

7) Respect: People naturally follow leaders stronger than themselves;

8) Intuition: A leader evaluates everything with an intuitive bias;

9) Magnetism: Who you are is who you attract;

10) Connection: Leaders touch your heart before they ask for your hand;

11) Inner circle: A leader’s potential is determined by those closest to him;

12) Empowerment: Only secure leaders give power to others;

13) Picture (image): People do what people see;

14) Buy-in: People buy into the leader, then the vision;

15) Victory: Leaders find a way for the team to win;

16) Big Mo: Momentum is a leader’s best friend;

17) Priorities: Leaders understand that activity is not necessarily accomplishment;

18) Sacrifice: Give up to go up;

19) Timing: When to lead is as important as what to do and where to go;

20) Growth: A leader lets followers grow and become leaders themselves;

21) Legacy: A leader’s lasting value is measured by succession.


You may want to read the full book to have more clarity about the laws, but if you were able to question or refute three or more of them, you should write your own book (and I will buy it!). Please note, however, that Maxwell is only considering “best scenario” leadership in business, not all forms of leadership. Or do you think that all these “21 irrefutable laws” would apply to the leadership styles of Mahatma Gandhi, Idi Amin, Mother Teresa, Papa Doc, and Donald Trump?


The lesson: Be tough and never stop questioning, no matter who the guru is.



Thank you for reading this; comment, if you wish, DZ

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