The 360 Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the OrganizationThe 360 Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization by John C. Maxwell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s ironic that, according to some pundits, most leadership books are read by middle management. Finally we have a book that targets those in the middle, leading a little, being led, and sharing leadership with others.

In his usual polished style, Maxwell tells stories gleaned from business and leadership. He has gathered quotes from around the world and weaves them together to teach about leadership and success.

Maxwell begins by dismissing many myths about leadership. He argues that we need to lead wherever we are. We need to begin thinking about being leaders long before we are recognized as being part of leadership because there are tangible benefits both now and in the future.

Maxwell carries on by explaining where our influence lies, specifically in these 5 areas:

1. Position – Influence because of your role.
2. Permission – Influence because of your character.
3. Production – Influence because of your production.
4. People Development – Influence because of who you’ve mentored.
5. Personhood – Influence because of your personality.

John Maxwell also focuses on direction of leadership – up, across, and down.

When leading up well, we must help our leaders by anticipating what our leaders need and then shouldering some of their load. It is also important to anticipate and use the time we have well, getting to know them and how to work with them.

When leading across well, we need to complete rather than compete, being a friend rather than a competitor.

When leading down, place people where they will thrive, modeling the behaviours you with to see. In the end, you are most effective as a leader when your vision is clear and you reward the behaviours you want to see.

This book, John C. Maxwell’s, The 360 Degree Leader, helps in stick-handling through the leadership possibilities at all levels of an organization. He makes it clear that, whether in business, family, or in not-for-profit work, if you are interacting with people, the opportunities for leadership are endless.

This book is a great entry level read for those who are wondering when they will receive the mantle of leadership in their organization. Remember, wherever you are, you are already a leader.

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