Developing the Leader Within You
By: John C. Maxwell
Momentum Review by: James E. Rippeon II, Esq.
John C. Maxwell is an author, speaker, and pastor who has written many books focusing on the principles of leadership. As Maxwell’s first book first written in 1993, Developing the Leader Within You operates as a roadmap for teaching an ambitious leader how to develop the personal capacity engage in leadership practices, and then transfer those skills to the success, efficiency, and growth of an organization by positively influencing and motivating others.
Maxwell realized the key to achieving any level of success in business:
“[t]he effectiveness of your work will never rise above your ability to lead and influence others. . . . [Y]our leadership skills determine the level of your success—and the success of those who work around you.”
Simply put, a business’ success is not determined principally by the quality of the service, product, or marketing—it is the reflection of the one leader upon the employees of the organization. Look at any successful business and take note of the leader and how they manage a collective effort, vision, and execution. Who comes to mind and what do you see?
A Leader’s Development of its People Determines Its Chances of Success
Andrew Carnegie once said, “no man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or to get all the credit for doing it.” A major element of Maxwell’s book discusses the importance of a leader’s ability to develop people and the role that plays in creating a great organization. Maxwell’s approach can be summarized by promoting the following values:
- Value of people – This is an issue of a leader’s attitude.
- Commitment to people – This is an issue of a leader’s time.
- Integrity with people – This is an issue of a leader’s character.
- Standard for people – This is an issue for the leader’s vision.
- Influence over people – This is the culmination of a leader’s ability to lead.
At its core, Maxwell’s book helps uncover the basic principle behind human emotion and interaction, which is the desire to feel worthwhile and important. Once a leader acquires the skill to make people fee useful, they will find satisfaction, significance, and purpose in their work and then repay that self-worth back to the organization as an improved asset. After all, people tend to become what the most important people in their lives think they will become.
The Momentum Approach
Entrepreneurs must take the time to ensure that they are cultivating the right types of personalities within their organization. Not only has it been our experience that valued employees create more value for the business, but they also tend to become less problematic employees due to their feelings of inclusiveness. After all, happy employees are much less likely to leave a good work environment or even file a lawsuit over trivial employment disputes. From a legal perspective, protecting your business from the multitude of legal claims which might exist out there starts first with ensuring that your employees have every incentive to have their interests aligned with that of the business.