45 pages 1 hour read

John C. Maxwell

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You

Nonfiction | Book | Adult | Published in 1998

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Chapters 11-15Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 11 Summary: “The Law of the Inner Circle”

No leaders succeed alone. The Law of the Inner Circle dictates that a leader’s potential is defined by the people closest to them. Maxwell uses Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong as an example: The athlete admits he would have never won a single title without the people supporting him. These people include his coach, Chris Carmichael; his director, Johan Bruyneel; his sponsors, such as Trek, Nike, and Shimano, who worked together to provide his equipment; and his team of cyclists who sacrifice their own wins to help Armstrong. His opportunity for success would have been severely reduced without their help.

Team leadership has recently become more valued in business because people have realized that no one can become an expert in every field. This is true even of the 21 Laws of Leadership: Nobody is good at all 21 Laws. Thus, it becomes important for leaders to intentionally surround themselves with the appropriate people. These people must possess the following characteristics:

  1. They must exert high influence on others to help the leader.
  2. They must bring a complementary skill to the table to make up for the leader’s flaws.
  3. They must hold a strategic position to be effective.
  4. They must add value to the leader and the organization to be useful.