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The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: How to Become a Better Leader



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Leadership is one of the most important skills that you can possess in your personal and professional life. Whether you are leading a team at work or trying to motivate your children to get their homework done, being a good leader makes life easier.

In his book “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership,” John Maxwell outlines 21 rules that will help you become a better leader. In this blog post, we will discuss each of these laws and explain how they can help you improve your leadership skills.

Book overview: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

The 21 irrefutable laws of leadership is a book written by John C. Maxwell. The book was first published in 1998 and since then has sold over two million copies. In the book, Maxwell outlines 21 laws that he believes are necessary for effective leadership.

Some of these laws include the law of addition (the importance of adding value to others), the law of influence (the ability to influence others), and the law of growth (the importance of continuing to grow and develop as a leader). These leadership principles stand the test of time and have been used by successful leaders throughout history.

Maxwell outlines in detail how to apply these laws in different situations, how to handle conflict and adversity when leading a team, and how to lead with integrity and humility. He also provides examples from his own experiences as a leader to illustrate the importance of each law.

While some may find the book to be a bit formulaic, I believe that it is an essential read for anyone interested in learning more about leadership.

The book is well-written and easy to read, and it provides valuable insights into what it takes to be a successful leader. If you are looking for a book that will teach you how to be a better leader, I highly recommend The 21 irrefutable laws of leadership.

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

Favorite quote:

“If you develop yourself, you can experience personal success.
If you develop a team, your organization can experience growth.
If you develop leaders, your organization can achieve explosive growth.”

AllNewBusiness Rating: 4.8/5
Amazon Rating: 4.7/5

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership book cover
Solving the Procrastination Puzzle
The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership book cover

AllNewBusiness Rating: 4.8/5

Amazon Rating: 4.7/5



Maxwell goes on to say that “the Law of the Lid” is the most basic of all laws governing leadership. It is also the one law that determines a person’s true leadership potential. This lid limits a person’s effectiveness and, ultimately, his or her impact. In other words, your leadership ability is the number-one determining factor in how successful you can be as a leader. If you want to be a more effective leader and have greater influence, you need to raise your leadership lid. Here are three ways to do that:

1. Develop a Growth Mindset: The first step to raising your leadership lid is developing a growth mindset. A growth mindset is a belief that your abilities and intelligence can be developed through effort, good teaching, and practice.

On the other hand, people with a fixed mindset believe their talents and abilities are set in stone—you either have them or you don’t. Developing leaders especially require a growth mindset to be able to grow and develop themselves, as well as the people that they lead.

2. Get Help from Others: The second step to raising your leadership lid is getting help from others. Remember, no one achieves greatness alone—even the most effective leaders need help from others at times.

Asking for help doesn’t make you weak—it makes you smart. When you admit that you don’t have all the answers and reach out for help, you create opportunities for growth and learning. By seeking out help and advice from others, you show humility and respect—two traits that are essential for effective leaders.

3. Invest in Your Development: The third step to raising your leadership lid is investing in your development. In other words, Leadership development requires time, effort, and intentionality. It doesn’t happen overnight—it takes months and even years of dedicated effort to see significant results.

However, if you want to become a better leader and have greater influence, it’s worth investing in your development. There are many ways to invest in your development as a leader—you can read books on leadership, take courses or attend workshops, or find a mentor who can guide and support you. Whatever route you choose, make sure it’s something that fits with your learning style so you can get the most out of it.


The ability to influence others is the true measure of a leader. There are several factors that contribute to a person’s ability to lead, including their character, relationships, knowledge, intuition, and experience.

A leader’s character is who they are as a person. Are they honest? Trustworthy? Reliable? A leader’s relationships are who they know. Do they have a wide network of contacts? Are they able to build rapport easily? A leader’s knowledge is what they know. Have they studied leadership extensively?

Do they have a deep understanding of the subject? A leader’s intuition is what they feel. Do they have a strong gut feeling about certain situations? Are they able to read people well? Finally, a leader’s experience is where they’ve been. Have they held leadership positions in the past? Have they been successful in those roles?

These are all factors that contribute to a person’s ability to lead.


The law of process is the journey of a leader.

Leaders start in Phase 1 where they know they need to learn more. In Phase 2, they are willing to learn and grow. Leaders enter Phase 3 when they know what they need to do and start to take action. They enter Phase 4 when they continue learning and growing, which causes them to be successful. The leader’s journey finishes in Phase 5 when they simply go because of what they know.

The law of process is important because it helps leaders understand that there is always more to learn and that growth is essential for success. As a leader, it’s important to be constantly learning and growing in order to reach your goals.


Few people realize how important navigation is to leadership. Sure, anyone can steer the ship, but it takes a leader to chart the course. That’s the Law of Navigation.

As a leader, you need to be able to effectively navigate for your followers. That means setting a clear destination and then plotting a course to get there. This can be challenging, especially when the waters are rough and the wind is blowing against you. But if you’re a good navigator, you’ll be able to keep your ship on course and reach your destination.

The Law of Navigation is an essential law for leaders because it’s one of the most basic and important things they do. If you can’t navigate, you can’t lead. So if you want to be a good leader, make sure you’re also a good navigator.

Related: What Is Charismatic Leadership?


The Law of Addition states that “leadership is not about being in charge. It is about taking charge and adding value.” In other words, when you add value to someone’s life, you are effectively leading them. You are helping them become who they were meant to be. And, oftentimes, their leader is the only person who can help them do that.

Think about it in your own life. When someone has added value to you, hasn’t it lifted you up? Hasn’t it helped you advance? Made you feel a part of something bigger than yourself? And assist you in becoming who you were meant to be? Of course, it has. And that’s the power of leadership through addition.

So, how can you add value to other people’s lives? Well, it starts with understanding what they need and want. What are their goals and aspirations? What motivates them? Once you understand those things, you can begin to add value by helping them achieve their goals, living out their aspirations, and fulfilling their motivations.



Law 6 from John Maxwell’s book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership is known as the Law of Solid Ground. This law states that trust is the foundation of leadership and that a leader must build trust by exhibiting competence, connection, and character. People are more likely to follow a leader who they perceive to be competent and who is able to connect with them on a personal level.

A leader’s character also plays a role in building trust. People are more likely to trust a leader who is honest and transparent. By exhibiting these three qualities, a leader can build trust and create a solid foundation for leadership.


Strong leaders gain the respect of their followers naturally. People are attracted to leadership qualities like courage, strength, and the ability to make things happen. When people see these qualities in a leader, they are drawn to them and want to follow their lead.

Additionally, respect is something that must be earned. Leaders who work hard to earn the respect of their team are more likely to gain loyalty and commitment from their followers. People follow leaders who show them respect and who treat them well. When people feel valued by their leader, they are more likely to be loyal and dedicated to the team.

Ultimately, the best way to gain the respect of others is to add value to their lives. Leaders who help their followers grow and succeed are respected for their dedication and commitment. When people see that their leader is invested in their success, they are more likely to follow them.


Leaders develop a unique perspective on the world around them. They learn to see things not as they are, but as they could be. This ability to see potential where others see only obstacles is at the heart of what it means to be a leader.

Great leaders are able to look beyond the status quo and imagine new possibilities. This vision allows them to see opportunities where others see only problems. It is this quality that separates leaders from followers. When faced with a challenge, leaders do not simply accept the status quo but instead look for ways to improve it.

They are constantly asking themselves how things could be done better. This questioning attitude is what allows leaders to find creative solutions to difficult problems. Great leaders are not content with the way things are, but always strive to make them better. This is the essence of Law 8: The Law of Intuition.


If you want to change who you’re attracting, you have to change who you are. It’s that simple–and that difficult. The Law of Magnetism is all about becoming the kind of person that other people want to follow. When you’re able to do that, you won’t have any trouble attracting the right kinds of people into your life and your business.

Some people are born leaders. Others have to work at it. But no matter which category you fall into, there are always ways that you can improve yourself and become more attractive to others. If you’re honest with yourself about your weaknesses and dedicate yourself to overcoming them, you’ll be surprised at how quickly your attractiveness will increase.


Maxwell’s Law of Connection is based on the idea that leaders must first connect with their followers on a personal level before they can expect them to take action. This doesn’t mean that leaders need to be friends with their followers, but they do need to establish a rapport and build trust. Only after establishing this connection will followers be motivated to listen to and act on the leader’s vision.

This law is particularly relevant in today’s world, where we are increasingly disconnected from those around us. To be successful, leaders must find ways to bridge the gap and connect with their followers on a human level. With the right approach, this Law can be used to create powerful relationships that can change the world.


In this chapter, John C. Maxwell discusses the importance of who a leader surrounds themselves with. He believes that a leader’s potential is determined by those closest to him, which is what he calls the Law of the Inner Circle. This law states that “a leader’s potential is determined by the people closest to him.”

In other words, the people a leader spends the most time with will have a profound impact on their development as a leader. As such, it is essential for leaders to surround themselves with positive, successful people who can challenge them and help them grow.


Maxwell argues that good leaders must be willing to give power to others. He calls this the Law of Empowerment. Maxwell observes that many leaders are insecure and hoard power for themselves. This causes them to micromanage and prevents their team members from taking initiative and developing their own skills.

Ultimately, this decreases productivity and stifles creativity. On the other hand, secure leaders trust their team members and empower them to make decisions and take action. This allows team members to grow in their roles and feel ownership over their work.

As a result, they are more engaged and productive. Thus, the Law of Empowerment is a key principle of effective leadership.



In a nutshell, this law states that people will follow the actions of their leaders. If you want your team to succeed, you need to lead by example. This means setting the right tone with your words and actions. It means being courageous and taking risks. It means being honest and transparent. When you live and breathe these values, your team will do the same. And when your team succeeds, so will you.


To be an effective leader, you must first gain the trust and respect of your followers. Only then will they be willing to buy into your vision for the future. This law is especially relevant in today’s business world, where employees are often bombarded with new initiatives and change programs.

To get people on board with your plans, you need to show them that you are a credible and trustworthy leader. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to build trust and credibility with your team.

First, it’s important to be transparent and open with information. Make sure your team knows what you’re working on and why it’s important.

Second, keep your promises and meet your deadlines. If you say you’re going to do something, make sure you follow through.

Lastly, show genuine interest in and concern for your team members. Get to know them as people, not just employees.


John Maxwell’s Law of Victory posits that strong leaders are the ones who find a way for their team to win, regardless of the odds. This is accomplished through three key components: unity of vision, diversity of skills, and a leader’s dedication to victory.

Unity of vision ensures that everyone on the team is working towards the same goal. This can be difficult to achieve, but it’s essential for a team’s success. Without unity of vision, team members will quickly become divided and start working against each other instead of together.

Diversity of skills ensures that each team member is bringing something unique to the table. It’s important to have a variety of skills represented on a team in order to be successful. One person might be good at coming up with ideas, while another might be better at implementing them. The key is to make sure that everyone’s strengths are being utilized.

Finally, a leader’s dedication to victory is what will keep the team motivated and moving forward. A leader who is passionate about winning will instill that same drive in their team members. They will never give up, even when the odds seem insurmountable. A leader dedicated to victory will always find a way for their team to succeed.


Overcoming the challenges of leadership can feel like an uphill battle. But, if you can harness the power of momentum, you can make significant progress. Maxwell explains the importance of Momentum in leadership.

As Maxwell says, “Momentum begins inside the leader and spreads from there.” In other words, it starts with you. As a leader, you need to be motivated in order to create momentum. Once you have the motivation, it’s important to encourage your team and celebrate accomplishments.

By doing so, you’ll help to create an environment that is conducive to creating momentum.



Leaders must always be aware of what is most important and put that first. This means being able to assess a situation and figure out what the most important thing to focus on is. It also means saying “no” to things that are not as important. Leaders must be willing to do whatever it takes to achieve their goals, even if it means making sacrifices. They must also be able to delegate tasks and trust others to handle them.

Lastly, leaders must be able to keep their priorities straight when things get tough. They cannot let themselves get sidetracked by less important issues. By following these principles, leaders can ensure that they are always focused on what is most important and make the best use of their time and resources.


This chapter discusses the idea that in order to be a successful leader, one must be willing to sacrifice. Maxwell explains that leaders are often motivated by different reasons – some lead to survive, others to make money, and still others because they want to change the world.

Whatever the reason, a leader must be willing to give up something in order to achieve success. This may mean giving up personal time, money, or even power. But those who are willing to make sacrifices will ultimately find themselves in a position of leadership.


In any given situation, the leader must make a judgment call on when to take action. This can be difficult, as there are many factors to consider and the stakes are often high. However, making the right choice on when to lead can be critical to the success of the entire venture.

One of the most important factors to consider is timing. If a leader acts too soon, they may not have all the information they need and could make a mistake. On the other hand, if they wait too long, the opportunity may pass them by. For this reason, it is essential for leaders to have a good sense of timing and be able to make quick decisions when necessary.

Of course, timing is not the only factor to consider when deciding whether or not to lead. Leaders also need to weigh up the risks and rewards of taking action. Sometimes, taking a risk can pay off handsomely, but it can also lead to disaster. It is up to the leader to decide whether the potential rewards justify the risks involved.


In my opinion, the most important takeaway from John Maxwell’s “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” is the law of explosive growth. Simply put, this law states that to add growth, leaders must lead followers, and to multiply, they must lead leaders. In other words, it is not enough to simply have a large number of followers; rather, leaders must focus on developing other leaders who can in turn help grow the organization.

This may seem like a daunting task, but it is essential for long-term success. By investing in the development of other leaders, organizations can create a self-perpetuating cycle of growth and expansion.

When done effectively, the law of explosive growth can help organizations reach new heights and achieve levels of success that would not be possible otherwise.


Legacy. It’s a word we don’t hear often enough. And it’s a word that, as leaders, we should think about more. Why? Because our legacy is the lasting impression we leave on the world after we’re gone. It’s how people remember us. And it’s how our work and our values live on long after we’re gone.

So what kind of legacy do you want to leave? That’s a question you need to answer for yourself. But once you have, there are four things you need to do to make sure your legacy is a lasting one.

First, know the legacy you want to leave. What values do you want to be remembered for? What impact do you want to have on the world? Answering these questions will help you focus your efforts and ensure that your actions align with your desired legacy.

Second, live the legacy you want to leave. Your actions speak louder than your words, so make sure that your daily choices reflect the legacy you hope to leave behind. This can be a challenge, but it’s worth it. Teach leadership to others and share all your experience with people you’ve chosen for your legacy.

Third, choose who will carry on your legacy. When you’re no longer around, someone else will need to pick up the mantle and continue your work. Choose carefully and make sure they’re ready and willing to take on the responsibility.

Finally, make sure you pass the baton. Legacy isn’t something that happens automatically – it takes work. So once you’ve chosen someone to carry on your legacy, make sure you take the time to mentor them and prepare them for the task ahead. Only then can you be confident that your legacy will live on long after you’re gone.

About John Maxwell

John C. Maxwell is an internationally recognized leadership expert, speaker, and author who has written more than 60 books on the topic of leadership.

His foundation, the John Maxwell Leadership Foundation, provides resources and training to help individuals and organizations develop their leadership skills. His work dives into a lot of examples of business leaders that have witnessed leadership successes.

Maxwell is a New York Times bestselling author, and his books have been translated into over 30 languages. He has been named by Forbes as one of the top five most influential leadership experts in the world.

In addition to his work with the John Maxwell Leadership Foundation, he is also the founder of EQUIP, a global leadership development organization.

In addition to his work on the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, John C. Maxwell is also the author of The 5 Levels of Leadership. This book explores the different stages that leaders go through as they develop their skills, and offers advice on how to progress from one level to the next.

The book is based on Maxwell’s belief that there are five distinct levels of leadership: Position, Permission, Production, People Development, and Pinnacle. Each level presents its own challenges and opportunities, and leaders must learn how to effectively navigate them in order to reach their full potential.

With its insights into the inner workings of leadership, The 5 Levels of Leadership is essential reading for anyone looking to take their career to the next level.

The 5 Levels of Leadership

Favorite quote:

If you have integrity with people, you develop trust. The more trust you develop, the stronger the relationship becomes. In times of difficulty, relationships are a shelter. In times of opportunity, they are a launching pad.

AllNewBusiness Rating: 4.9/5
Amazon Rating: 4./5

The 5 Levels of Leadership book cover
Solving the Procrastination Puzzle
The 5 Levels of Leadership book cover

AllNewBusiness Rating: 4.5/5

Amazon Rating: 4.4/5


Related: The 4 Different Types of Managers and 7 Management Styles

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