Monday, May 2, 2011

Book Review: The 360 Leader

Sometimes you just have "that book" that you don't finish for the longest time. You might start it and then start other books and get way more excited about the other books. I don't ever remember spreading the reading of another book out as long as this one, but, oh well. Late this past winter I finished the book by John Maxwell called "The 360 Leader: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization". I found it to be a good book and had great concepts that I really benefited from for studying. Here are some of my favorite excerpts:

The reality is that 99 percent of all leadership occurs not from the top but from the middle of an organization. 1

Leadership is a choice you make, not a place you sit. 7

…as you move up the ladder, you may even find that the amount of responsibility you take on increases faster than the amount of authority you receive…in some ways leaders have less freedom as they move up, not more. 15

The greater your desire to receive credit and recognition, the more frustrated you are likely to become working in the middle of an organization. 29

Leaders don't like change any more than followers do—unless, of course, it's their idea! 65

If people disagree with the vision, it's often because they have a problem with the person who cast it…people buy into the leader, then the vision. 66

Leading isn't about controlling, it's about releasing. Good leaders give their power away. They look for good people, and then invest in them to the point where they can be released and empowered to perform. 117

If you don't put in the work, you always eventually get found out. 130

The next time you are in a meeting with your boss, pay attention to the way you handle the presentation of your point of view. Do you state it clearly as a contribution to the discussion? Or do you hammer away at it to try to "win"? Trying to win your point at all costs with your boss can be like trying to do the same with your spouse. Even if you win, you lose. 141

Don't let a great idea get rained on because you picked the wrong day to introduce it. 142

By making yourself better, you make others better. 156

Few things increase the credibility of leaders more than adding value to the people around them. 165

If you want to influence your peers, become their cheerleaders. 166

It's been said that great people talk about ideas, average people talk about themselves, and small people talk about others. That's what gossip does. It makes people small. 183

A bulldog can beat a skunk in a fight anytime, but he knows it's just not worth it. That's also the attitude of 360-Degree Leaders. 184

One of the worst things leaders can do is expend energy on trying to make others think they're perfect…It's a crock…we need to quit pretending. People who are real, who are genunine concerning their weaknesses as well as their strengths, draw others to them. They engender trust. They are approachable…" 206

The people who work alongside you know your weaknesses, faults, and blind spots. If you doubt that—and you have great courage—just ask them!...When you make mistakes, admit them and quickly ask for forgiveness. Nothing is more disarming, and nothing does a better job of clearing the decks relationally. 207

Relationship building is always the foundation of effective leadership. Leaders who ignore the relational aspect of leadership tend to rely on their position instead. 213

Leaders who tend only to business often end up losing the people and the business. 218

The teacher who browbeats you and tells you how ignorant or undisciplined you are isn't the one who inspires you to learn and grow. It's the one who thinks you're wonderful and tells you so. 220

Experience alone isn't a good enough teacher—evaluated experience is. 235