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The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

Leadership and leadership roles are essential to business success in the current business operating environment. For this reason, many writers and people in the industry have come up with various writings about effective leadership styles and how to be a better leader for business success today. Upcoming leaders, businessmen, and women can learn something by interacting with these books and articles to form more significant and influential leadership personalities for future success in business operations. Several articles and books are written about leadership and leaders to learn from. However, for this review, the potential book is from John C. Maxwell, entitled “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.” This book was published in 1998 but has impacted the lives of many leaders. The author is an internationally recognized, highly influential, respected leader and speaker. His book has influenced several leaders, helped salvage many companies from toxic leadership styles and made them experience growth in their leadership styles and strategies.

Book Summary

There are several lessons on leadership in the book, and the author shares several laws for becoming a reputable leader. I have learned and taken several lessons from this book based on the rules he shares to make a leader impact the team. Though these laws are about 21 in number, the most impactful to me is the first law. The first law, “The law of the Lid, ” suggests that effective leadership establishes the threshold upon which team members operate. It means that for the team to perform effectively, the leaders must have an effect on it, which suggests that team success depends on the leader’s effectiveness and ability. My understanding of this rule is that the leaders must show some superiority in traits when it comes to making the team highly perform and highly productive. However, these superior traits may vary from high wisdom, strength, intelligence, and strong values and belief, which would navigate the team to transform and grow. The book is established in the understanding that being a charismatic leader makes the team better when led by such a leader.

The laws are many, but after reading the book, I find them more impactful in building practical leadership skills. Law number two is about influence, where the author explains the power of influence as a leader. Under this law, leaders should be influential in whatever they do. They should be able to motivate others to emulate them in whatever they do for better outcomes and results. Leaders should not only act as bosses but also take the lead and influence the team. Leaders should make the employees follow them even if they don’t have to, in which employees should see something pushing them to emulate the good traits of their leader. He asserts that real leaders develop followers by providing something to followers. In this law, he talks about the power and the ability to influence the lives of others by developing traits that keep on creating an impact on the team. Growing influence, in this case, can be built by volunteering for an organization that supports the same course.

The third law is about accepting that being a reputable leader needs time and self-development. Great leaders take time to develop and often spend much time trying various things to better themselves. It is not a one-day journey but a commitment centered on creating value. Many people often want to grow into great leaders in a day. However, Maxwell never really believes they are born leaders, but they often grow into great leaders through hard work. He believes that success can not be made in one, but there is a process of being successful. Thus, leaders should be successful by respecting the process of growth, where they learn several skills such as self-control, empathy, good morals, and values, which make up a good leader. In this law, he also directs how to develop extraordinary processes by following several guidelines.

The law of navigation also allows the leader to know which steps to take in challenging times. They do not depend on someone else to direct them but on themselves and their abilities to ensure they are in continuous motion. They often see before others, which makes them better leaders to navigate the team into success through their trait to find the way forward on their own. Many people would want to follow a confident leader who speaks things that relate to more fantastic future and possesses positivity and the ability to speak them out to the team.

Another law that captured much of my attention is the one which concerns taking solid ground. This involves confidence, competence, and connection, especially when speaking out about a strategy to be followed. Such confidence builds trust since many people would be willing to follow a leader who shows some solid ground and the ability to be trusted. Those leaders who are easily swayed by whatever others say are not suitable for leadership. They are not good leaders because they make it difficult for the team to trust them and take them for their word verse the words of their opponents. Trust is the foundation upon which all relationships are built, which makes it central to crafting good leadership techniques. A good relationship between the leader and the team depends on how much the two can trust each other where. To earn the TrustTrust of the group, a leader must show his ability to withstand all pressure and maintain their stand even when the other leaders may disagree with them. Thus, it is better to hold TrustTrust so dear since an organization with leadership that cannot be trusted will always face unrest, dissent, and high employee turnover. Thus, every leader should strive to win the TrustTrust of the people they are leading, without which leading becomes unsuccessful.

In short, the book is impactful and provides strategies and ways to become a good leader and ensure good leadership. It is through developing traits that befit an effective leader through developing characteristics described within the 21 laws of leadership. Many managers and leaders can borrow and benefit from this book by applying the state laws and impacting their leadership techniques. I have encountered leaders who can not maintain and keep good people in their teams because they lack the required knowledge to interact with teams. They should be inferior in their core personality and value system. Thus, I recommend that everyone wanting to harness their leadership skills should try to borrow from Maxwell’s book and exercise the 21 irrefutable laws of leadership to shift their leadership styles and results. The knowledge I have gained from the book will help me become a better leader by applying the information borrowed from Maxwell’s writing.

Leadership Concepts Involved

Maxwell’s book has several laws, some of them being leadership concepts. For example, the law of taking a solid stand is one entered on TrustTrust. He believes trust is one common denominator when building and maintaining a healthy and robust relationship. Trust is one of the values which govern good leadership and makes leaders trustable to impact the lives of the people being led. Honesty and integrity are other leadership concept that Maxwell believes in according to the laws stated. Integrity is incorporated in one of his laws, which involves the ability to take ground and ensure that the people being led trust whatever direction the leader takes.

The writing also talks about the law of addition, which illustrates recognizing the best in the team members and honoring them where necessary. It will build motivation to do what is right and make the leader earn more respect from the team. It also talks about empowering the team by teaching them new skills and letting them develop their talents, and equipping them with better learning for career development. It also touches on the concept of respect, where a leader must learn to respect the team members and earn their respect by treating them with honor. Many leaders lose respect and recognition because they never show the team a lack of respect. In the book, it is discussed as the law of respect, but it is the concept of respect under leadership concepts. Also, there is the sacrifice written as a law in the book but taken as a concept of leadership which allows the leader to be selfless towards making the team a better version of themselves. There are many other concepts in the laws, but I may not be able to tackle them all at once. I recommend people read the book and harvest the pictures on large scale.

Global And Domestic Implication

Both locally and internationally, the book acts as an excellent resource and tool for leaders to assess and improve their leadership aptitude and performance. This book helps create better leaders and leadership styles, which will be good for encouraging success and meeting the goals of each organization and corporation involved in the business. For example, the first law, which is the law of the lid, asserts that the rise of any organization is attached to its leadership success or the effectiveness of the leadership style. It means that where the leaders are naïve and lack proper leadership values, the organization and the entire team will remain adamant with nothing to follow.

The knowledge from this book helps keep leaders in the constant assessment of their leadership styles. It is through continuously sharpening skills and creating the next moves for the team. Thus, global leaders can learn to improve their leadership styles from this book. Since the world, businesses, and organizations are constantly changing and shifting, and it is suitable for leaders to self-improve and continuously build on new skills. As a result of the global changes in organizations and the world trade systems, a thriving leader open to transformation would suffice for successful business leadership. Thus, it makes leaders aware that each day brings new things to learn, suitable for creating an updated leadership style and an up-to-date team. The 21 laws of leadership are ideal for creating leaders who will significantly impact the teams following the adjustments they learn to develop with from the changing world.

Application to Ethical and Socially Responsible Standards

The laws within the book are ethical and abide by social responsibility standards. For example, the law concerning respect and honesty aligns with social responsibility standards toward team members (Duggan, 2017). Most laws are centered on supporting the team members and making them a better version of themselves. The whole leadership style in the book is focused on leaders who are becoming better versions of themselves to impact the lives of the team members positively. It directs the team members to greatness by showing them examples through impactful leadership skills. It involves treating them with respect and integrity since they are extraordinary business assets. Also, the law of timing follows the ethical and social responsibility standard, where the leader teaches the team through action to manage time and meet the goal and objectives of the company (Duggan, 2017). The book also supports ethical leadership through building TrustTrust and integrity in leadership through its various laws, such as the law of integrity. It teaches the leaders to uphold integrity, which builds strong relationships with team members. The laws also focus on building a good relationship between the leaders and the team members through following some structured value system of respect, honor, TrustTrust, and building influence.


In conclusion, Maxwell’s book effectively builds leadership skills that impact the current local and international business environment. The 21 laws discussed in the book form the basis for creating strong leadership for the team. When applied, these laws lead to team success as they help leaders become a better version of themselves and join together leadership concepts and ethical standards for successful leadership. The law of integrity stands for the concept of honesty and integrity in leadership, which unites with ethical and social responsibility standards of effective leadership. The writing benefits the local and international business environment more as it will help leaders fit well with the changing world, business, and leadership styles.


Duggan, T. (2017, November 21). Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethical Leadership. Your Business. Retrieved February 24, 2023, from

Maxwell, J. C. (2007). The 21 irrefutable laws of leadership: Workbook: Follow them and people will follow you. Thomas Nelson


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