The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader: Becoming the Person Others Will Want to Follow


Unlike many books whose lengthy chapters encourage once-through reading, The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader is designed for reflection and as a guidebook to creating the leader from within. The author John C. Maxwell is truly a leadership coach in this small volume by setting a framework for personal growth and leadership. “Read a chapter,” Maxwell encourages, “and then give it some time. Use it to reflect, review, and renew.” Stay away from this book if you just want to know about leadership; this book is for doers.

One quality decks the title of each chapter followed by a short subtitle describing that quality. This construction aids in quick review, since all you have to do is look over the table of contents to see how you are doing and where you are going. Maxwell does a fine job in this book of matching stories to these qualities to make them concrete and memorable. As I said before, this is a book about doing.

The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader has become one of my favorite books. I find myself year after year reading its pages and always being inspired. I guess you could call this habit a yearly examination or evaluation of how I am doing as a leader. It is a standard against which I judge my leadership and companion for further growth.