Thursday's Thoughts on Leadership: The 21 Indispensable Qualities of A Leader

I recently had the opportunity to re-read The 21 Indispensable Qualities of A Leader. The author, John C. Maxwell, is known as America’s expert on leadership.  He is the founder of INJOY Group, an organization dedicated to helping people maximize their personal and leadership potential.  He is also a speaker who has influenced the lives of more than one million people through seminars, books, and tapes.  He has authored many other books on leadership including The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, Becoming a Person of Influence, The Success Journey, Developing the Leader Within You, Developing the Leaders Around You, and Everyone Communications, Few Connect, as well as many others.  You can see the whole collection at johnmaxwell.com.

I strongly recommend this book, as well as any of Maxwell’s other reads, to anyone trying to get ahead.  It’s a pretty quick read at 156 pages.  One nice touch that Maxwell uses is to frame each chapter with a section called “Bringing It Home,” which provides exercises to help you get a handle on each of the different qualities of leaders.

To give you an idea of the content, here is the list of qualities that are covered throughout the book:

  1. Character : Be a Piece of the Rock
  2. Charisma: The First Impression Can Seal the Deal
  3. Commitment: It Separates Doers from Dreamers
  4. Communication: Without It You Travel Alone
  5. Competence: If Your Build It, They Will Come
  6. Courage: One Person with Courage Is a Majority
  7. Discernment: Put an End to Unsolved Mysteries
  8. Focus: The Sharper It Is, the Sharper You Are
  9. Generosity: Your Candle Loses Nothing When It Lights Another
  10. Initiative: You Won’t Leave Home Without It
  11. Listening: To Connect with Their Hearts, Use Your Ears
  12. Passion: Take This Life and Love It
  13. Positive Attitude: If You Believe You Can, You Can
  14. Problem Solving: You Can’t Let Your Problems Be a Problem
  15. Relationships: If You Get Along, They’ll Go Along
  16. Responsibility: If You Won’t Carry the Ball, You Can’t Lead the Team
  17. Security: Competence Never Compensates for Insecurity
  18. Self-Discipline: The First Person You Lead Is You
  19. Servanthood: To Get Ahead, Put Others First
  20. Teachability: To Keep Leading, Keep Learning
  21. Vision: You Can Seize Only What You Can See