The 21 Indispensable
Qualities of a Leader:
Becoming the Person
Others Will Want to Follow
John C. Maxwell
“If you can become the leader you ought
to be on the inside, you will be able to
become the person you want on the
outside. People will want to follow you.
And when that happens, you’ll be able
to tackle anything in this world.”
1. Character: Be a Piece of the Rock
“Leadership is the capacity and will to rally
men and women to a common purpose
and the character which inspires
~ Bernard Montgomery, British Field Marshal
What must everyone know about
Actions are the Real Indicator of Character
Talent is a Gift, but Character is a Choice
Character Brings Lasting Success
Strong Character is the Foundation on
which to Build Success
2. Charisma : The First Impression
Can Seal the Deal
“How can you have charisma? Be more
concerned about making others feel good
about themselves than you are making
them feel good about you.”
Vice President of Leadership Development, INJOY
“When it comes to charisma, the bottom line
is othermindedness. Leaders who think
about others and their concerns before
thinking of themselves exhibit charisma.”
~John C. Maxwell
3. Commitment: It separates Doers
To the boxer, it’s getting off the mat one more
time than you’ve been knocked down.
To the marathoner, it’s running another ten
miles when your strength is gone.
To the solider, it’s going over the hill, not
knowing what’s waiting on the other side.
To the leader, it’s all that and more because
everyone you lead it depending on you.
Improve your Commitment
Look at how you spend your time, are you
really committed or do you just say you
Know what’s worth dying for.
Practice the Edison method. Make your
plans public, then you might be more
committed to follow through.
4. Communication: Without It You
Simplify your Message-It’s not what you
say, but also how you say it.
Really Care about your Audience
Show the Truth-Believe what you say,
Live what you say
Seek a Response-the goal of all
communication is action
“Developing excellent communication skillsis absolutely essential to effectiveleadership.
The leader must be able to share knowledgeand ideas to transmit a sense of urgencyand enthusiasm to others.
If a leader can’t get a message across clearlyto motivate others to act on it, then havinga message doesn’t even matter.”
5. Competence: If you build it,
they will come
“Competence goes beyond words. It’s
the leader’s ability to say it, plan it, and
do it in such a way that others know
that you know how-and know that they
want to follow you.”
~ John. C. Maxwell
Keys to Cultivate High Competence
Show up Every Day & Come Ready to
Keep Learning, Growing, and Improving
Follow Through with Excellence
Accomplish More than Expected
Inspire and Motivate Others
6. Courage: One Person with
Courage is a Majority
“Courage is fear that has said its prayers.”
~Karl Barth, Swiss Theologian
“Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do.
There can be no courage unless you’re
scared.” ~Eddie Rickenbacker
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence
by every experience in which you really
stop to look fear in the face.
You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived
through this horror.
I can take the next thing that comes along.’
You must do the thing you cannot do.”
7. Discernment: Put an End to
“Smart leaders believe only half of what they
hear. Discerning leaders know which have
~ John. C. Maxwell
Effective leaders need discernment, although
even good leaders don’t display it all the time.
Examples of Famous last words:
“I think there is a world market for about five
computers.” Thomas J. Watson, chairman of IBM
“I don’t need bodyguards.”
Jimmy Hoffa, one month before disappearance (1975)
8. Focus: The Sharper It Is;
The Sharper You Are
The Keys are Priorities and Concentration
A leader who knows what his priorities are but
lacks concentration knows what to do but never
gets it done.
If he has concentration but no priorities, he has
excellence without progress.
But when he harnesses both, he has potential to
achieve great things.
How should you focus
your time and energy?
Focus 70 Percent on Strengths
Develop them to their fullest potential
Focus 25 Percent on New Things
Growth = Change
Focus 5 Percent on Areas of Weakness
Minimize weaknesses as much as possible, delegate
9. Generosity: Your Candle Loses
Nothing When It Lights Another
“No person was ever honored for what he
received. Honor has been the reward for
what he gave.”
~ Calvin Coolidge, American President
“All that is not given is lost.”
~ Rabinranath Tagore, Indian Poet
Cultivate the Quality of Generosity
in Your Life
Be Grateful For What You Have
Put People First
Don’t Allow the Desire for Possessions to
Regard Money as a Resource
Develop the Habit of Giving
10. Initiative: You Won’t Leave
Home Without It
“Success seems to be connected with action.
Successful people keep moving.
They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.”
~Conrad Hilton, Hotel Executive
Qualities Leaders Posses To Make
They Know What They Want
They Push Themselves to Act
They Take More Risks
They Make More Mistakes
11. Listening: To Connect With
Their Hearts, Use Your Ears
You have to be silent to listen.
Both words are formed from the same
“The ear of the leader must ring with the
voices of the people.”
~ Woodrow Wilson, American President
“A good leader encourages followers to tell
him what he needs to know, not what he
wants to hear.”
~John C. Maxwell
12. Passion: Take This Life
and Love It
“Concentrate on what you do well, and do it
better than anybody else.”
~ John Schnatter, founder of Papa John’s Pizza
What makes it possible for people who
might seem ordinary to achieve great
Fact: More than 50% of all CEOs of Fortune 500
companies had C or C-averages in college
Fact: Nearly 75% of all U.S. Presidents were in the
bottom half of their school classes
Fact: More than 50% of all millionaires
entrepreneurs never finished college
They All Had Passion, It Makes A Difference!
13. Positive Attitude:
If You Believe You Can, You Can
Your Attitude Is a Choice
Your Attitude Determines Your Actions
Your People Are a Mirror of Your Attitude
Maintaining a Good Attitude Is Easier
Than Regaining One
Words of Wisdom ~Thomas Edison
“Genius is 99% perspiration and 1%
“If we did all the things we were capable of
doing, we would literally astound
“Many of life’s failures are people who did
not realize how close they were to success
when the gave up.”
14. Problem Solving: You Can’t Let
Your Problems Be A Problem
“You can measure a leader by the
problems he tackles. He always looks for
ones his own size.”
~John C. Maxwell
Leaders With Good Problems Solving
Abilities Demonstrate Five Qualities
They Anticipate Problems
They Accept the Truth
They See the Big Picture
They Handle One Thing At a Time
They Don’t Give Up On a Major Goal
When They’re Down
15. Relationships: If You Get
Along, They’ll Get Along
“The most important single ingredient in the
formula of success is knowing how to get along
~Theodore Roosevelt, American President
All people have some things in common
They like to feel special, so sincerely compliment
They want a better tomorrow, so show them
They desire direction, so navigate for them.
They are selfish, so speak to their needs first.
They get low emotionally, so encourage them.
They want success, so help them win.
16. Responsibility: If You Won’t
Carry the Ball, You Can’t Lead the Team
“ Success on any major scale requires you to
accept responsibility. . .
In the final analysis, the one quality that all
successful people have is the ability to take on
~Michael Korda, Editor-in-chief of Simon & Schuster
Are You On Target When It
Comes To Responsibility?
“When an archer misses the mark he turns
and looks for fault within himself. Failure
to hit the bull’s-eye is never the fault of the
target. To improve your aim, improve
~ Gilbert Arland
17. Security: Competence Never
Compensates For Insecurity
“No man will make a great leader who wants to do
it all himself or get all the credit for doing it.”
~ Andrew Carnegie, Industrialist
Margaret Thatcher, world leader
“You don’t follow the crowd, you make up your
own mind.” ~Words of encouragement from
She stood for conviction in leadership.
The “Iron Lady” was elected three consecutive
terms as prime minister.
The ONLY British leader of modern era to
achieve that great honor.
18. Self-Discipline: The First
Person You Lead Is You
“A man without a decision of character can
never be said to belong to himself. . .
He belongs to whatever can make captive of
~John Foster, author
“Don’t quit, because once you in that mode
of quitting, then you feel like it’s okay.”
~Jerry Rice, Best Ever Wide Receiver
19. Servanthood: To Get Ahead,
Put Others First
“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but
one thing I know: The ones among you
who will be really happy are those who
have sought and found how to serve.”
~ Albert Schweitzer, Philosopher & Humanitarian
“The true leader serves. Serves people.
Serves their best interests, and in so doing will
not always be popular, may not always
But because true leaders are motivated by
loving concern rather than a desire for
personal glory, they are willing to pay the
~Eugene B. Habecker, Author
20. Teachability: To Keep Leading,
“It’s what you learn after you know it all that
~John Wooden, Hall of Fame Basketball Coach
Why Should You Keep Growing?
Your growth determines who you are.
Who you are determines who you attract.
Who you attract determines the success of
If you want your organization to grow, you
have to remain teachable.
21. Vision: You Can Seize
Only What You Can See
“A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision
comes from passion, not position.”
~ John C. Maxwell
Vision is everything for a leader.
It leads the leader.
It paints the target.
It sparks and fuels the fire within, and
draws him forward.
It is also the fire lighter for others who
follow that leader.
“If you can dream it, you can do it.”