Book Review: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

Rating: 4/5 Stars

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell has been revised and updated for its 10th anniversary release to include new examples of leadership. While this is probably a great book for leaders in today’s workforce, I read it with a different tact in mind. As the book describes the 21 traits that a great leader should have (whether they are traits that a single leader should exhibit, or spread across a leadership team), I kept reading the book to search for traits that I should add to some of my heroes in my novel. (I go more in depth about whether a hero should also be a leader here). But whatever your motivation is for reading this book, it does bring forth some traits that I was not conscious of before.

For example, The Law of the Lid describes the extent of someone’s effectiveness, and especially rings true for a leader’s vision. The grander the vision, the further that leader can lead. The more you raise your leadership ability, the more your effectiveness increases.

The book goes on to describe 20 other irrefutable laws of leadership, but I must say that many of them overlapped with each other. They were not mutually exclusive, but they were definitely intriguing. I’ve read many many business and investing books before, so I had a somewhat cynical attitude while reading this because I could see the author’s ego inserted throughout the book. Also, many business books don’t dive very deep to provide analytic value, so sometimes you have to think, “What is this author not telling me?” But, what this book lacked in deep thought, I made up for by reading it as part of a book study group at work. Lots of intellectually stimulating conversation was brought forth as we discussed each chapter in a group setting.

So in the true spirit of asking, “What is this author not telling me?”, I’ll add a 22nd irrefutable law of leadership: Being humble. This is something that I am working on as I believe I have some ego-related issues. I need to learn to set that aside, as any leader should do, and people will follow you.