Why John Maxwell's Definition of Leadership is Not Enough

leadership development Sep 08, 2023

Welcome to Friday 411, issue #043. In 4 minutes, with 1 insight and 1 action, you’ll discover why the definition of a leader is so important for your company.


Hit Play in the image above to watch the video and gain an understanding of how this definition could benefit your company.

1 Insight

Your company’s definition of leadership influences how you identify and develop the leaders around you.  



John Maxwell is considered by many to be the godfather of modern leadership training. His book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership is one of the first leadership books that I (Garland) ever read. I loved it and have a huge amount of respect for Maxwell.  


Maxwell famously said, “Leadership is influence.” I believe his definition is inadequate for companies who want to develop more leaders.  


In this video with Rob Jeppsen, I'll share why I think that definition is not helpful for an organization that wants to grow its leaders. And I'll share the definition of leadership we use with clients at AdVance Leadership.  A leader is someone who sees a clear, preferred, and desired future, gathers others around that future, and mobilizes others to create that future.  


For more articles on the importance of defining leadership in your company, check out:


For more clips from my interview with Rob Jeppsen:


If You Want to See More of Rob Jeppsen


1 Action

Read The Surprising Challenge of Building a Leadership Pipeline. Define what your company’s definition of a leader is.





Want to live and lead more intentionally? Here are three ways we can help:   

1. Follow Garland on LinkedIn for daily posts on leadership, culture, and intentional living.   

2. Get your copy of Gettin' (un)Busy, named by Forbes as "one of the books everyone on your team should read."   
3. Contact us if your company wants help developing leaders. We offer speaking, workshops, coaching, and ongoing leadership development.    


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