John C. Maxwell – The 360 Degrees Leader

Middle management, leading from the middle, leading without a position, 99% of the leaders will not be a single CEO out there, but still face the challenges of applying leadership principles on a daily basis. New-York Times best selling author John C. Maxwell already wrote tens of books on leadership. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, Developing the Leader Within You are some well-known titles. This time focus is put on leading from the middle. The 360 Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization, originally written in 2005 including a workbook is re-issued now in 2011. The 2011 version contains a condensed version of The 360 Degree Leader Workbook, but no updates in the main text. John Maxwell and his writer do a great job in summarizing modern business, management and leadership books into sound bytes and one-liners. The book’s table of contents express the key messages. Unfortunately at some points little more is added to common sense. Before jumping into leadership principles, a series of assumptions are demyth-ified. Leadership can’t be executed or learned at a top position exclusively. No, you’re not free or at your highest potential or followed by people automatically when you are at the top.

A leader faces several challenges: tension, frustration, multi-hat problems, ego, fulfillment, vision and influence. Maxwell presents a series of principles to lead up (serve, lighten your leader’s load, invest in relations, lead, not manage alone, etc.), lead across (be a friend, avoid office politics, don’t pretend you’re perfect, expand your network) and lead down (be there, be accessible, appraise, reward, be a role model, transfer the vision and place people in there strength zones). What’s the value of well-equipped and practicing 360 degree leaders? A Leadership team is more effective than just one leader. Leaders are needed at every level of the organization. Leading successfully at one level is a qualifier for leading at the next level. Good Leaders in the Middle Make Better Leaders at the top and 360-degree leaders possess qualities every organization needs. Sounds like a heavenly radiation which invades organizations. Purchasers of this book can go to and take a free assessment of their 360-Degree Leadership skills.

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