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 6-10Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 6 Summary: “The Law of Solid Ground”

The Law of Solid Ground dictates that leaders cannot have people lose trust in them. Maxwell uses a personal anecdote and an analogy to illustrate this point. When he was working as a senior pastor at Skyline Church in San Diego, he made the mistake of being too hasty in his decision-making. He changed a Christmas show, discontinued Sunday evening service, and fired a staff member without abiding by the normal process of discussing these things with other leaders and members. What resulted was a loss of trust in him and his decision-making, even though these changes were ultimately necessary. After recognizing this, he apologized publicly to the people and regained some of their trust.

Maxwell likens this to having pocket change. Leaders who make sound decisions gain change while those who make mistakes pay up. When they are broke, they can be certain that people no longer have faith in their leadership.

Maxwell warns that leaders do make honest mistakes, and people generally allow for some mishaps based on ability, but slips in character can be fatal. In other words, the Law of Solid Ground dictates that character builds trust, and trust is a sign of good leadership.