John Maxwell: 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader

The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader
By John C. Maxwell

1. CHARACTER: Be a Piece of the Rock
What must every person know about character?
• Character is more than talk
• Talent is a gift, but character is a choice
• Character brings lasting success with people
• Leaders cannot rise above the limitations of their character

2. CHARISMA: The impression Can Seal the Deal
To make yourself the kind of person who attracts others, you need to personify
these pointers:
• Love Life
• Put a “10” on Every Person’s Head
• Give People Hope
• Share Yourself

3. COMMITMENT: It Separates Doers from Dreamers
What is the true nature of Commitment? Take a look at three observations.
• Commitment Starts in the Heart
• Commitment is Tested by Action
• Commitment Opens the door to Achievement

4. COMMUNICATION: Without it you Travel alone
You can be a more effective communicator if you follow four basic truths.
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The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader
• Simplify your Message
• See the Person
• Show the Truth
• Seek a Response

5. COMPETENCE: If you Build It, They will Come
If you want to cultivate this quality, here’s what you need to do.
• Show up Every Day
• Keep Improving
• Follow Through with Excellence
• Accomplish More than Expected

6. COURAGE: One Person with Courage Is a Majority
As you approach the tough decisions that challenge you, recognize these truths about courage:
* Courage begins with an Inward Battle
* Courage is Making things Right, Not Just Smoothing Them Over
* Courage in a Leader Inspires Commitment from Followers Your Life Expands in Proportion to Your Courage

7. DISCERNMENT: Put an End to Unsolved Mysteries
Discernment is an indispensable quality for any leader who desires to maximize effectiveness. It helps to do several important things.
• Discover the Root Issues
• Enhance Your Problem Solving
• Evaluate Your Options for Maximum Impact • Multiple Your Opportunities

8. FOCUS: The Sharper It Is, the Sharper You Are
The important question is, How should you focus your time and energy? Use these guidelines to help you:
• Focus 70% on Strengths
• Focus 25% on New Things
• Focus 5% on Areas of Weakness

9. GENEROSITY: Your Candle Loses Nothing When It Lights Another Cultivate the quality of generosity in your life. Here’s how:
• Be Grateful for Whatever you
• Put People First
• Don’t Allow the Desire for Possessions to Control You
• Regard Money as a Resource
• Develop the Habit of Giving

10. INITIATIVE: You Won’t Leave Home Without It
What qualities do leaders possess that enable them to make things happen? There are at least four.
• They Know What They Want
• They Push Themselves to Act
• They Take More Risks
• They Make More Mistakes

11. LISTENING: To Connect with Their Hearts, Use Your Ears
As you think about how to spend your listening time, keep in mind that you have two purposes for listening: to connect with people and to learn. For that reason, you should keep your ear open to these people.
• Your Followers
• Your Customers
• Your Competitors
• Your Mentors

12. PASSION: Take This Life and Love It
Take a look at four truths about passion and what it can do for you as a leader.
• Passion is the First Step to Achievement • Passion Increases your Willpower
• Passion Changes You
• Passion Makes the Impossible Possible

13. POSITIVE ATTITUDE: If You Believe You Can, You Can
To learn more about what it means to be positive, think on these things:
• Your Attitude Is a Choice
• Your Attitude Determines Your Actions
• Your People are a Mirror of Your Attitude
• Maintaining a Good Attitude is Easier Than Regaining

14. PROBLEM SOLVING: You Can’t Let Your Problems Be a Problem Leaders with good problem-solving demonstrate five qualities:
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• They Anticipate Problems
• They Anticipate the Truth
• They See the Big Picture
• They Handle One Thing at a Time
• They Don’t Give Up a Major Goal When They’re Down

15. RELATIONSHIPS: If You Get Along, They’ll Go Along
What can a person do to manage and cultivate good relationships as a leader? It requires three things:
• Have a Leader’s Head—Understand People
• Have a Leader’s Heart—Love People
• Extend a Leader’s Hand—Help People

16. RESPONSIBILITY: If You Won’t Carry the Ball, You Can’t Lead the Team These are the characteristics of people who embrace Responsibility:
* They Get the Job Done
* They Are Willing to Go the Extra Mile They Are Driven by Excellence
* They Produce Regardless of the Situation

Insecure leaders have several common traits:
• They Don’t Provide Security for Others
• They Take More from People than They Give
• They Continually Limit Their Best People
• They Continually Limit the Organization

18. SELF-DISCIPLINE: The First Person You Lead Is You
If you want to become a leader for whom self-discipline is an asset, follow these action points:
• Develop and Follow Your Priorities
• Make a Disciplined Lifestyle Your Goal
• Challenge Your Excuses
• Remove Rewards Until the Job Is Done

Insecure leaders are dangerous—to themselves, their followers, and the organization they lead—because a leadership position amplifies personal flaws. Whatever negative baggage you have in life only gets more difficult to bear when you’re trying to lead others.
• Stay Focused on Results

19. SERVANTHOOD: To Get Ahead, Put Others First
What does it mean to embody the quality of servanthood? A true servant leader:
• Puts Others Ahead of His Own Agenda
• Possesses the Confidence to Serve
• Initiates Service to Others
• Is Not Position-Conscious
• Serves Out of Love

20. TEACHABILITY: To Keep Leading, Keep Learning
If you want to grow your organization, you have to remain teachable. Here are five guidelines to help you cultivate and maintain a teachable attitude:
• Cure Your Destination Disease
• Overcome Your Success
• Swear Off Shortcuts
• Trade in Your Pride
• Never Pay Twice for the Same Mistakes

21. VISION: You Can Seize Only What You Can See
Show me a leader without vision, and I’ll show you someone who isn’t going anywhere. To get a handle on vision and how it comes to be a part of a good leader’s life, understand these things:
• Vision Starts Within
• Vision Draws on Your History
• Vision Meets Other’s Needs
• Vision Helps you Gather Resources

There’s no way that I could ever improve on his words & teachings.

As always, thank you so much for listening!

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