Book Summary: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

The 4th book that I read on my way to reading 100 business and personal growth books was The 21 Irrefutable laws of leadership.


Internationally recognized leadership expert, speaker, and author John C. Maxwell has taken this million-seller and made it even better: 

  • Every Law of Leadership has been sharpened and updated
  • Seventeen new leadership stories are included
  • Two new Laws of Leadership are introduced
  • New evaluation tool will reveal your leadership strengths—and weaknesses
  • New application exercises in every chapter will help you grow

Why would Dr. Maxwell make changes to his best-selling book? 

“A book is a conversation between the author and reader,” says Maxwell. “It’s been ten years since I wrote The 21 Laws of Leadership. I’ve grown a lot since then. I’ve taught these laws in dozens of countries around the world. This new edition gives me the opportunity to share what I’ve learned.”

What Did I Like?

To me, this book was pretty boring. Some of the concepts were good though. I really like the 5th law. “The law of addition” which is:

“Effective leaders understand that to increase profits, they should add value. They also recognize that it takes many people to build a successful organization; they share and give credit rather than claim credit for themselves.  To know if you are adding value to others, ask this question: are you making things better for your followers?”

This has always been something that I keep in the front of my mind when doing anything because I think that adding value is one of the most important things that we can do.

The law of empowerment is also a really good one. It says:

Only secure leaders give power to others
To lead well means to help people reach their potential – build them up, give them resources, authority, responsibility, and autonomy to achieve. The main ingredient of empowerment is belief in people.

Leaders usually fail to empower others due to 3 key barriers:
• Desire for job security, i.e. fear of becoming dispensable.
• Resistance to change, which is inevitable for progress
• Lack of self-worth, and they can’t give power to others because they feel they have no power themselves

It essentially boils down to how can you build up others around you. This is a core part of being a leader and the key difference of a boss vs. a leader.

What did I dislike?

The book was a boring read. Maybe it was the way that it was narrated, or the points were just bland. I’m not really sure which one it is, but I think that it would be better as a study guide with a real book instead of an audiobook. The total length of this book was about 8.5 hours.

Favorite Part

Usually, I have a really big part that stood out. However, in this book, nothing was super dramatic. The best part would probably be the overall summary of all of the steps. There is a really good summary over here:

Total Spent on Books


Whats next?

Next is Outwitting the Devil

Check out my book experience here

Douglas Laird

Douglas is a 23-year-old BMX rider who got his first true BMX bike for his 13th birthday and has been riding nonstop for over 10 years. “Bmx has taken me too well over a hundred skateparks across multiple states and countries.” was born to help people understand the sport that has changed my life for the better. My goal is to help you with everything BMX related. With over 200 BMX posts and counting, is quickly growing to be one of the best bmx related websites.

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