Developing the Leader Within You Book Summary By John C. Maxwell

*This post contains affiliate links, and we may earn an affiliate commission without it ever affecting the price you pay.

Developing the Leader Within You is a fantastic book for anyone interested in developing leadership skills.

Authored by John C.

Maxwell, it's an indispensable guide to becoming a leader in any setting you choose.

In this book, Maxwell outlines the various levels of leadership, and provides readers with insight into the qualities that are essential to success as a leader, as well as concrete steps they can take to move up the leadership ladder.

It's an invaluable resource that can be used by both new and experienced leaders alike.

Developing the Leader Within You Book

Book Name: Developing the Leader Within You (Discover the Biblical Foundations for Leadership)

Author(s): John C. Maxwell

Rating: 4.4/5

Reading Time: 16 Minutes

Categories: Management & Leadership

Author Bio

John C.

Maxwell is well-known for his extensive experience and knowledge in the field of leadership development.

He's been issues teaching leadership for over 20 years and has spread his teachings across the USA.

Aside from being an expert in this field, he is also a pastor and has written several books that focus on leadership such as The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader.

His book Developing the Leader Within You provides readers with tips and techniques that they can use to become effective leaders themselves.

How To Become A Great Leader: Climbing The Leadership Ladder With Self-Discipline, Prioritization And Integrity


Growth comes down to the leader—and developing the leader within you is one of the most effective ways to grow an organization.

That’s because personal growth is key to leading an organization in the right direction.

Leadership comes in many forms and advancing up its hierarchy requires hard work and dedication.

This can include self-discipline, knowing how to prioritize tasks, building integrity, and infusing actions with vision.

By investing in yourself, you’ll be able to become a better leader who will have a positive impact on your organization’s mission.

For instance, Henry Ford nearly failed until he adapted his approach and changed his mindset.

Actions are also incredibly important when trying to lead—words will only take you so far without strong action behind them that can demonstrate genuine commitment.

Ultimately, it’s possible to grow your organisation by growing yourself first – start learning from past successes or failures and make sure that no matter what decision has been made in the past, it’s carried out with dedication and respect for everyone involved.

With this approach, it won’t be long before you reach the top rungs of leadership ladder And you’ll soon find that your mission is being accomplished more effectively!

What Is Leadership And How To Climb The Ladder Of Success

When it comes to leadership, there is no one-size-fits-all approach.

It all boils down to influencing others in different ways, and this can take the form of five distinct levels ranging from position to personhood.

At the lowest level of leadership – position – a leader’s influence is based purely on their title.

Meanwhile at the second level of permission, leaders bring people together by listening and valuing their thoughts and opinions; if they don’t, they become an ineffective leader who people won’t bother following.

Production is a higher level of leadership where respect is earned through successful results with a group or team effort.

In contrast, the fourth level – people development – is all about nurturing skills in others; those you mentor will be incredibly loyal once they appreciate your guidance.

Finally, personhood represents something even more powerful: leaders here are people who have spent their life influencing others and command respect which motivates followership.

No matter which stage of leadership you find yourself at currently, you can work your way up the ladder using practical methods that will help you lead with excellence and success!

The Role Of Priorities In Good Leadership: Invest In The People, Tasks And Projects That Drive Success

Leadership is all about having the skills necessary to set priorities at every level.

Good leaders must be able to quickly and effectively decide which tasks, projects, people and resources are most important so they can direct their efforts in a way that will have the greatest positive impact on their organization.

For instance, when it comes to tasks and projects, some are important and others are urgent – but you should prioritize those that have both.

You also need to pay attention to those that aren’t important or urgent (like filing documents), and make sure that they’re done too – but efficiently, as these tend to take up more time than necessary.

At the same time, you should adhere to the 20/80 principle for money and energy: ensuring that 80 percent of your resources are devoted towards completing the top 20 percent of your organization’s highest priority goals.

The remaining tasks should be delegated or outsourced so you can concentrate on what matters most.

Additionally, heed this wisdom for personnel: dedicating 80 percent of your time towards the top 20 percent of your employees who account for 80 percent of success – and training new personnel with them too.

The takeaway? As a leader it’s important to focus on setting priorities across multiple levels in order to achieve maximum success within an organization.

Having Integrity Is Essential To Establishing Trust And Building A Lasting Reputation


In his book Developing the Leader Within You, John Maxwell states that integrity is a key component of leadership.

He explains that when you possess integrity it means that your actions serve to reinforce your set of core values, and demonstrates consistent behavior in following through with what you say.

Maxwell uses the example of customer service as a means to illustrate how being consistent builds trust – customers will be more inclined to return knowing they’ll receive great service from a reliable individual.

He also points out how those who don’t have integrity often fall short of delivering on their promises and end up destroying the trust they initially established.

Ultimately, Maxwell emphasizes that a leader acts on her convictions and backs up her words with actions.

If she says one thing but does another, she will ultimately lose credibility among her followers; whereas if she sticks to her values people will recognize her as someone reliable who can be trusted and followed.

A Leader Must Be Able To Embrace Change And Understand Its Psychological Impact On Employees

It’s clear that to stay competitive in the world we live in, leaders must embrace change and support their followers.

Change is both constant and necessary, but it can often bring about challenges for employees who find themselves having to step out of their comfort zones.

Henry Ford was a prime example of a leader who faced the consequences of resistance to change; he refused to consider any changes to his Model T car despite its outdated design.

This left Ford lagging behind General Motors and other competitors who had already started introducing more modern alternatives.

However, Ford eventually realized the need for adaptation and changed the model, which allowed him to remain a strong presence in the automobile industry.

Likewise, just because you want change doesn’t mean your employees will be happy with it; they most likely will feel stressed out by a new development or context.

To make sure this transition goes as smoothly as possible, you should do whatever you can to keep them informed of why these changes are happening and what objectives they intend to see fulfilled – this way, your workers will have ownership over the change rather than feeling like passive bystanders in its wake.

Learning Self-Discipline Is The Key To Leadership Success

You cannot expect to lead others effectively if you have not first taught yourself how to be disciplined.

However, learning self-discipline doesn’t happen overnight; it needs to be worked on and developed over time.

You need to set a small but committed plan for yourself with a daily routine and positively reinforce important milestones.

Take the example of the basketball team of Indiana University who achieved success due to their focus on self-discipline.

They employed habits such as writing down and ranking five areas they wanted to improve, taking fifteen minutes every morning focusing on one particular improvement, and taking five minutes twice every day – once at noon and once in the evening – to reflect on progress.

The key takeaway is that gaining discipline has its own timeline, and if you want results it’s best not to rush the process.

Take your time in setting achievable goals, don’t be too hard on yourself if progress isn’t as fast as you would like, and celebrate each tiny victory along the way.

Having A Vision Is Essential For Leadership — But Experience Is What Sets It Apart

Essential For Leadership

Good leaders don’t just follow trends: they have a strong inner vision that drives them to excel and use their unique leadership skills to create new paths.

Take Beethoven and Homer, who were both deaf and blind respectively yet managed to created renowned works due to their singular vision of what they wanted to achieve.

Similarly, those looking to become successful leaders need ask questions within themselves and explore what it is that motivates them on a deeper level.

In the instance of creating a team, having a vision and being able to persuasively explain it will be crucial in forming cohesive bonds between members.

However, words alone are not enough – experience also plays an integral role in developing as a leader.

Experienced leaders come equipped with an intrinsic confidence that allows for greater trust between followers which settles the foundation for manifesting their shared vision altogether.

The key takeaway here is that good leaders have more than just bold ideas about where they’re headed; they have a strong vision that they find deep within themselves backed by the commitment, experience and expertise needed to lead others towards this end goal.

Wrap Up

When it comes to being a great leader, the key message of John C.

Maxwell’s Developing the Leader Within You is that true success comes from working on yourself first and foremost.

Successful leaders set strong examples, work hard to improve themselves, lead with their own values, and remain open to change whenever necessary.

These are valuable lessons that can be taken away from this book as an actionable summary: A good leader listens to his team.

The next time your team presents you with a problem or concern, take the time to genuinely listen and assess what has been said before reacting further, because doing so will enable you to gain greater insight than if you merely focus on what has been stated in literal words.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.