Prolific leadership author John C. Maxwell first published Developing the Leader Within You in 1993. This workbook is a companion to that classic’s second edition – Developing the Leader Within You 2.0. The workbook covers 10 leadership lessons augmented with exercises to help you build your skills and expertise. Maxwell explains leadership attributes and provides engaging questions for self-examination that bring his advice to life and make his guidance particularly relevant and personal.
- You can cultivate 10 essential leadership qualities.
- 1. Influence – Becoming a leader and gaining authority is hard work.
- 2. Judgment – To make time for your personal life and your work, you must be able to set priorities.
- 3. Character – Leadership requires having good character; if this is a weak spot, you can build it up.
- 4. Agility – Managing positive change is an issue that leaders must master.
- 5. Problem-solving ability – Strong leaders see problems as opportunities.
- 6. Attitude – In leadership and in life, attitude is everything.
- 7. Servant leadership – The main goal of leadership is to serve others.
- 8. Vision – Leaders with a sense of purpose and mission energize their teams.
- 9. Self-control – To lead others, you must have the self-discipline to lead yourself.
- 10. Personal growth – Seniority alone doesn’t make you a leader; you need to develop experience and expertise.
- Strive to become the best leader you can be.
You can cultivate 10 essential leadership qualities.
Leaders must master 10 core skills, a quest that demands both diligent professional effort and personal growth. To improve your capacity in these areas, ask yourself some hard questions – and then answer them.
1. Influence – Becoming a leader and gaining authority is hard work.
People tend to make a few false assumptions on the way to becoming leaders. The first is, “I’m not a born leader.” Actually, almost no one is. Leadership is a learned skill, and anyone who embraces self-development can become a leader regardless of background or circumstances.
“Why has leadership become so important? Because people are recognizing that becoming a better leader changes lives.”
Some people think they’ll become leaders without making an effort. They believe just hanging around in the company and accumulating seniority is an automatic ticket to leadership. But seniority doesn’t align with influence or authority, unless you build up your ability to lead. So who advances to leadership positions? Almost always, it’s the people who’ve worked hard to prepare for leadership and to become better at it. How important is making yourself ready to lead? As the late John Wooden, UCLA’s famous basketball coach, put it, “When opportunity comes, it’s too late to prepare.” If you are ready to exercise influential leadership or aspire to become a stronger leader, ask yourself these questions:
- How would things change if you had greater influence over the people in your life and the events that take place around you?
- Are you helping or harming other people? If you’re doing harm, how must you change your behavior?
- Are your negative assumptions holding you back? If so, how can you adopt a more positive approach?
2. Judgment – To make time for your personal life and your work, you must be able to set priorities.
Time may be today’s most precious commodity. No one ever gets enough. Thus, leaders must focus on what’s most important by working from priority lists they create to stay on top of their primary activities. This focus is essential for leaders who must attend to their own responsibilities while managing the needs of the team or unit they lead.
“For anyone who leads, the question is not, ‘Will my calendar be full?’ but ‘Who and what will fill my calendar?”
To work smarter, not harder, rethink how you handle your work and other activities, then institute time-saving changes. To operate more efficiently and get the most from the time you dedicate to leadership, ask:
- How would things change for you if you were more efficient?
- What are the five most important things in your life? Which one is most important? Do you focus sufficient attention on these priorities?
- What criteria do you use to determine what you care about most and govern your time accordingly?
3. Character – Leadership requires having good character; if this is a weak spot, you can build it up.
Sooner or later, leaders who lack character will make mistakes, often egregious ones. Leadership demands strong ethics and moral character.
“What is the most difficult task any leader ever faces? Without a doubt, it is leading ourselves.”
If you are not happy with flaws in your character, improve them. You – and your mind – are flexible and pliable. You can become different than you are today. Some questions regarding character to ask and answer include:
- Are you selfish? Do you help others or offer sufficient praise? If you are acting selfishly, why?How can you become less self-centered?
- Do the people you lead see you as fair and authentic? If not, what can you do to become more genuine and change their perceptions?
- Do you govern your life and your leadership according to ethical and moral values? If not, why not? Where would you like to improve?
4. Agility – Managing positive change is an issue that leaders must master.
The “plan ahead” acrostic lays out the change process, step by step:
- Predetermine the changes you need to make.
- Lay out the steps you need to take.
- Adjust what matters most to you.
- Notify the most important people.
- Allow the time you need to accept your changes.
- Head directly into action.
- Expect difficulties.
- Always focus on your successes.
- Daily review your progress.
Planning ahead alerts you to the complexity of personal and organizational changes and challenges. Transforming organizations, particularly large ones, can call on all of a leader’s skills. If you are guiding or instituting change in your company – or if you perceive changes you should make in your life – ask yourself:
- Do you understand fostering positive change is the “true test of leadership?” How do you measure up?
- What specific steps must you take to make changes?
- What is your attitude toward emotions of the people you lead through the process of change? If you are generally dismissive, instead of accepting, how can you become more inclusive?
5. Problem-solving ability – Strong leaders see problems as opportunities.
Life is never easy, so leaders must see the opportunities within each dilemma and become effective problem-solvers.Leaders who can’t solve problems do not lead for long.Problem-solving leaders share valuable insights and find new directions as they tackle thorny issues. To do a better job of tackling tough problems and seeing the opportunities within a challenge, ask yourself:
- Do you accept that life is tough? Once you accept that basic challenge, it may seem less daunting to move ahead, put issues into perspective and solve them.
- Do you understand that as a leader, your life is not always your own? It also belongs to the people you lead, and their problems are your problems.
- Are you adequately connected to the people you lead? If not, how can you make your interactions more meaningful?
6. Attitude – In leadership and in life, attitude is everything.
The traits you admire in other people – positivity, tenacity, enthusiasm – often derive from their attitude.If you would like to have a more constructive, positive attitude, consider:
- Whom do you most admire? What attributes distinguish this person from everyone else? How can you acquire some of these attributes?
- Do you operate with a positive attitude? If not, can you improve your attitude?
- How can you make determination, optimism or other positive feelings part of your mind-set?
7. Servant leadership – The main goal of leadership is to serve others.
Do you serve others? That is leadership’s raison d’etre. This is why the concept of “leadership” is often referred to as “servant leadership.”
“The servant-leader is servant first…[This] begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead.” (author Robert Greenleaf)
The best way to tell if you’re truly serving those you lead is to see whether, under your direction, they’re growing as well-rounded individuals, becoming “healthier, wiser, freer” and “more autonomous.” Ask yourself:
- Are you serving the people you lead? If not, what can you do?
- Do you add value to those around you? How can you begin?
8. Vision – Leaders with a sense of purpose and mission energize their teams.
Vision is essential to leadership. Without a guiding mission or purpose, teams can’t be productive. Their energy dissipates and members lose focus. However, when vision drives a team’s work, it can thrive; members are happy because their work has meaning and purpose. Consider these questions:
- Do you have a vision? Do you pursue it?
- Do those you lead share your vision?
- Are you open to new ideas? If not, what can you do about this limitation?
9. Self-control – To lead others, you must have the self-discipline to lead yourself.
Former US President Harry S. Truman once wrote, “In reading the lives of great men, I have found that the first victory they won was over themselves.” Self-discipline is the term for such private victories, and it is an essential leadership trait. Self-discipline is a form of personal engagement that is vital for leading others productively. It enables self-control.Ask yourself:
- Do you have a problem with self-discipline? If so, what gives you the most trouble? How can you improve in this area?
- Can you accept “short-term difficulties” in order to succeed over the long run?
- What tempts you most in life that brings negative consequences?
10. Personal growth – Seniority alone doesn’t make you a leader; you need to develop experience and expertise.
No one wants to follow leaders with minimal experience and limited vistas, but the only way immature leaders can become seasoned is through experience and personal growth.
“Your capacity to grow will determine your capacity to lead.”
When it comes to leadership, seniority and age mean nothing on their own. Leaders who are older but no wiser or more knowledgeable than the people they lead will have a hard time earning their staff members’ respect. Growth, experience and mature vision count much more than age. Ask yourself these questions about your personal growth as a leader.
- What is the biggest obstacle in the way of becoming the most effective leader you can be?
- Are you ready to commit to an ambitious program of personal growth?
- Am I prepared to change how I live in order to grow?
- How exactly do I want or need to change?
Strive to become the best leader you can be.
Working to develop your leadership potential is a lifelong quest. As you answer these self-directed questions, consider where you are on that journey. Are you taking productive steps in the right direction?
“Your priorities are clearer, and you act on them more decisively. You’ve won character battles. You’ve been able to initiate change and solve problems with greater ability.”
Your role today can become your ground-floor for further developing yourself as a leader and working through the 10 core areas leaders must master. Make “never-stop-trying” your first rule of leadership development. That is, never stop trying to become the best leader you can be. You can turn to these “five levels of leadership” to develop your leadership growth “road map.”
- Position – This is the lowest level of leadership influence. As a new leader, you have not yet developed influence over your team. You have an authoritative title, but not much else.
- Permission – This leadership level rests on good relationships. Your success depends on friendly connections with the people you lead, not on rules and regulations. Respect your team members; they are giving you tacit “permission to lead.”
- Production – This level is the arena where you can prove your leadership abilities and guide your team to produce positive results. By now you’ve internalized some crucial leadership lessons. You and your team are known for getting things done.
- Personnel – Great leaders empower their teams and help their team members grow. At this level, you can help your team members develop into leaders themselves. Their progress builds and sustains a culture of loyalty that brings other future leaders into your orbit.
- Pinnacle – Leaders at this level have earned a stellar reputation. Everyone knows they are great leaders, including people outside their company. They have the 10 traits of great leaders.
As a leader, you can never gather too much knowledge or too many useful insights. On the other hand, if you are a seasoned, senior leader, don’t fall into the trap of believing you’re too old to improve or learn new strategies. In his day, Pablo Casals was the world’s most accomplished cellist. He practiced for hours every day. When Casals was 81, someone asked him why he continued to practice so diligently. He answered, “Because I think I’m making progress.” That’s the right attitude to bring to the long-range project of developing yourself as a leader.
About the Author
John C. Maxwell is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, coach, speaker and pastor who has sold more than 26 million books in 50 languages. He founded the John Maxwell Company, the John Maxwell Team, EQUIP and the John Maxwell Leadership Foundation. His other books include Ethics 101: What Every Leader Needs To Know; Thinking for a Change: 11 Ways Highly Successful People Approach Life and Work; and Developing the Leaders Around You: How to Help Others Reach Their Full Potential.
Developing the Leader Within You 2.0 Workbook by John C. Maxwell is a revised and expanded edition of his classic book on leadership. The workbook provides practical exercises and questions to help readers apply the principles and practices of effective leadership. The workbook covers topics such as influence, priorities, character, change, problem solving, attitude, serving, vision, self-discipline, and personal growth. The workbook is based on Maxwell’s forty years of leadership experience and his insights from the Five Levels of Leadership model. The workbook is suitable for both individual and group study, and it aims to help readers increase their influence, effectiveness, and impact as leaders.
Here is my review of the book Developing the Leader Within You 2.0 Workbook by John C. Maxwell:
Developing the Leader Within You 2.0 Workbook is a practical guide for anyone who wants to improve their leadership skills and influence others. The workbook is based on the book of the same title, which was first published in 1993 and revised in 2018 to include the latest insights and practices from Maxwell’s four decades of leadership experience.
The workbook consists of ten lessons, each covering a different aspect of leadership, such as influence, priorities, character, change, problem solving, attitude, serving, vision, self-discipline, and personal growth. Each lesson has a reading section that summarizes the main points from the book, followed by exercises and questions that help the reader apply the concepts to their own situation. The workbook also provides discussion questions at the end of each lesson for those who want to use it in a group setting.
The workbook is designed to help the reader take a significant step in their leadership journey, regardless of their current level or position. By completing all the readings and exercises and answering all the questions, the reader will be able to develop the vision, value, influence, and motivation required of successful leaders. The workbook also encourages the reader to continue learning and growing as a leader beyond the completion of the book.
The workbook is suitable for anyone who wants to become a better leader, whether in their family, business, or nonprofit organization. It is also a valuable resource for those who want to mentor or coach others in leadership development. The workbook is easy to read and follow, with clear examples and illustrations. The workbook is not a quick fix or a magic formula, but rather a tool that requires commitment and effort from the reader.
The workbook is a companion to the book Developing the Leader Within You 2.0, which is sold separately. The book provides more details and stories that illustrate the principles of leadership. The workbook can be used independently or together with the book for a more comprehensive learning experience.
Developing the Leader Within You 2.0 Workbook is a highly recommended book for anyone who wants to grow as a leader and make a positive difference in their sphere of influence. It is a book that will challenge and inspire you to become the best leader you can be.
“Developing the Leader Within You 2.0 Workbook” by John C. Maxwell is a comprehensive guide that aims to cultivate the leadership qualities within its readers. The workbook is designed to be interactive, encouraging readers to actively engage with the material and apply the lessons to their own lives.
The book is divided into several sections, each focusing on a different aspect of leadership. Maxwell starts with the premise that leadership is not a position, but a process. He emphasizes the importance of self-awareness, self-discipline, and self-improvement in becoming a successful leader.
Maxwell’s writing style is clear and concise, making complex leadership concepts easy to understand. He uses real-life examples and anecdotes to illustrate his points, making the material relatable and practical. The workbook exercises are thought-provoking and challenging, pushing readers to reflect on their own leadership style and areas for improvement.
One of the standout features of the book is its focus on character development. Maxwell argues that a leader’s character is just as important, if not more so, than their skills or knowledge. He provides practical advice on how to develop qualities such as integrity, humility, and courage.
Overall, “Developing the Leader Within You 2.0 Workbook” is a valuable resource for anyone looking to improve their leadership skills. Whether you’re a seasoned leader or just starting out, this book provides insightful advice and practical exercises that can help you become a more effective leader.
Certainly! Here’s my review of the book “Developing the Leader Within You 2.0 Workbook” by John C. Maxwell:
“Developing the Leader Within You 2.0 Workbook” is a comprehensive guide to leadership development, written by renowned leadership expert John C. Maxwell. The book is designed as a workbook, with each chapter including exercises and self-assessment tools to help readers apply the concepts to their own lives. The book is divided into seven sections, covering topics such as leadership principles, personal growth, communication, and team development.
- Practical and actionable advice: The book is filled with practical tips and strategies that readers can apply to their daily lives to improve their leadership skills.
- Inspirational and motivational: The book is written in an engaging and motivational style, making it easy to stay motivated and inspired to improve one’s leadership skills.
- Customizable: The workbook format allows readers to tailor the book to their own needs and goals, making it a highly customizable resource for leadership development.
- Well-structured: The book is well-organized and easy to follow, with each chapter building on the previous one to create a cohesive and comprehensive guide to leadership development.
- Lacks depth in some areas: Some readers may find that certain topics, such as team development, are not covered in as much detail as they would like.
- Too focused on individual development: While the book is designed for individual leaders, some readers may find that it does not provide enough information on leading and managing teams.
- Too idealistic: Some of the book’s principles and strategies may be too idealistic or unrealistic for some readers, particularly those in more challenging leadership roles.
The book is primarily aimed at individuals who are looking to develop their leadership skills, particularly those in entry-level or mid-level leadership positions. The book is also suitable for anyone who wants to improve their communication, time management, and team development skills.
- Leadership is a skill that can be developed: The book emphasizes that leadership is not an innate quality, but rather a skill that can be developed and improved through practice and dedication.
- Self-awareness is key: The book stresses the importance of self-awareness in leadership development, encouraging readers to understand their own strengths and weaknesses to become more effective leaders.
- Communication is essential: The book highlights the importance of effective communication in leadership, including active listening, clear communication, and conflict resolution.
- Personal growth is critical: The book emphasizes the importance of personal growth for effective leadership, encouraging readers to continue learning and developing their skills throughout their careers.
Overall, “Developing the Leader Within You 2.0 Workbook” is a valuable resource for anyone looking to improve their leadership skills. The book’s practical and actionable advice, combined with its well-structured format and customizable nature, make it a highly effective tool for personal and professional growth. While some readers may find that certain topics are not covered in as much depth as they would like, the book’s strengths in leadership principles, personal growth, and communication make it a valuable addition to any leadership development library.
John C. Maxwell’s “Developing the Leader Within You 2.0 Workbook” is an indispensable companion that enriches the principles laid out in Maxwell’s renowned leadership book. Designed as a hands-on guide, this workbook provides readers with a structured approach to internalizing and applying leadership concepts in practical ways.
The workbook’s strength lies in its interactive format. Maxwell’s original book, “Developing the Leader Within You 2.0,” is enhanced by this companion, allowing readers to actively engage with the content through reflection exercises, action steps, and self-assessments. This approach ensures that the lessons become more than theoretical knowledge, transforming into actionable strategies for personal growth.
Each chapter of the workbook corresponds to a chapter in Maxwell’s original book, creating a seamless bridge between theory and application. The workbook doesn’t merely reiterate the content; instead, it prompts readers to delve deeper into the concepts and tailor them to their unique leadership journey.
The exercises in the workbook cover a range of aspects, from identifying personal strengths and weaknesses to crafting a personal leadership vision. The thought-provoking questions and practical activities encourage introspection and help readers develop a clear roadmap for their leadership development.
While the workbook effectively reinforces Maxwell’s teachings, some readers might find the extensive self-reflection exercises time-consuming. Additionally, those who haven’t read the original book may not grasp the full context of the workbook’s content, making it less effective as a standalone resource.
In conclusion, “Developing the Leader Within You 2.0 Workbook” is a valuable tool for individuals seeking to cultivate their leadership skills. John C. Maxwell’s workbook takes the principles from his book to a new level by providing readers with opportunities for self-assessment, active learning, and practical application. For those who are committed to personal leadership growth and are willing to invest the time, this workbook offers a structured and effective means of developing leadership excellence.
“Developing the Leader Within You 2.0 Workbook” is a powerful tool for individuals seeking to enhance their leadership skills and become more effective leaders. Written by renowned leadership expert John C. Maxwell, this workbook is designed to help readers internalize the principles and practices of leadership development, leading to personal and professional growth. In this review, we’ll delve into the book’s content, structure, and effectiveness in achieving its goals.
The workbook is divided into eight sections, each focusing on a different aspect of leadership development. These sections include:
- Understanding Leadership: This section provides an overview of the definition, importance, and benefits of leadership, as well as a leadership self-assessment to help readers identify their strengths and areas for improvement.
- Developing Your Leadership Potential: Readers will learn about the key principles of leadership, including influence, integrity, and vision, and how to apply them in their personal and professional lives.
- Communication: Effective communication is a crucial skill for leaders. This section covers various communication techniques, such as active listening, assertiveness, and conflict resolution.
- Building a Winning Team: This section emphasizes the importance of teamwork and provides strategies for building, motivating, and leading a high-performing team.
- Leading Through Change: Change is inevitable, and effective leaders must know how to navigate it. This section offers insights on how to lead during times of change, overcome obstacles, and minimize disruptions.
- Problem-Solving and Decision-Making: Leaders must be skilled problem-solvers and decision-makers. This section provides methodologies and tools for approaching problems and making informed decisions.
- Leading with Emotional Intelligence: Emotional intelligence is a critical aspect of leadership. This section helps readers understand and manage their emotions, as well as empathize with others and build strong relationships.
- Personal and Professional Growth: The final section focuses on personal and professional development, offering practical advice on how to continue growing as a leader and maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
The workbook is designed to be highly interactive, with a variety of exercises, quizzes, and reflection prompts throughout. Each section begins with an overview of the topics covered and includes practical examples and case studies to illustrate the concepts. The exercises are designed to help readers apply the principles they’ve learned, reflect on their progress, and identify areas for further development.
“Developing the Leader Within You 2.0 Workbook” is highly effective in achieving its goal of helping readers become better leaders. The workbook’s structure and exercises are carefully designed to ensure that readers engage with the material and apply it to their personal and professional lives. The book’s emphasis on self-reflection, communication, teamwork, and problem-solving provides a comprehensive framework for leadership development.
The workbook’s greatest strength is its ability to meet readers where they are in their leadership journey. Whether you’re an emerging leader or an experienced professional, the book offers practical advice and strategies that can be immediately applied to your life and work. John Maxwell’s expertise and years of experience in leadership development shine through in the workbook’s content, making it an invaluable resource for anyone looking to enhance their leadership skills.
“Developing the Leader Within You 2.0 Workbook” is a must-read for anyone looking to improve their leadership skills and reach their full potential. The workbook’s interactive format, practical exercises, and comprehensive coverage of leadership principles make it an excellent resource for personal and professional growth. Whether you’re looking to enhance your skills in a specific area or develop a more well-rounded leadership style, this workbook is an excellent choice. In conclusion, “Developing the Leader Within You 2.0 Workbook” is a valuable investment for anyone committed to becoming a better leader and achieving success in their personal and professional life.