Jun 10, 2010

Leadership Lessons from Business Author John Maxwell

In his book "Developing the Leaders Around You," John Maxwell highlights different leadership styles, but specializes on how leaders can uncover the best in their employees. These is a very deep concept but one that many times takes the backseat when discussing leadership.  An integral contribution to one’s development as a leader is the feedback and impact provided by other leaders in one’s company.

Maxwell makes a point to describe what he calls as a “leader’s highest return” as the ability to instruct their followers and leaders-to-be on how to effectively work in teams. These in essence, provides invaluable leadership skills as communication, delegation, cooperation, goals and a shared vision are concepts that are necessary for the success of a team as well as nouns present in effective leadership styles. Listening, clear communication, contribution, prioritizing and shared vision are just a few skills that I currently try to practice in my leadership role.

Maxwell describes the “leader’s finest hour” as that point where the leader who impacted another leader realizes that these relationship was a two-way road – one where both parties involved gain a benefit. He stated that, “People development is life-changing for everyone involved” (p. 181). “The finest hour” is that point in time where the helping leader realizes his/her contribution didn’t stop in developing leadership skills in another person, but the realization that he/she has enriched another’s person’s life forever. My mentor and former boss, for example, always has mentioned the gratification she feels when she’s involved in mentoring another individual. She has described this feeling as one that helps her fulfill her career purpose of not only working for her own success or a company’s but of contributing to the development of other people. She believes that not sharing knowledge or expertise is practicing an egocentric approach to one’s career.

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