The 360 Degree Leader by John Maxwell


“Start leading NOW… right where you are.”

In his nearly thirty years of teaching leadership, John Maxwell has encountered this question again and again: How do I apply leadership principles if I’m not the boss? In The 360 Degree Leader Workbook, Maxwell addresses that very question and takes the discussion even further. You don’t have to be the main leader, asserts Maxwell, to make significant impact in your organization. Good leaders are not only capable of leading their followers but are also adept at leading their superiors and their peers.

Debunking myths and shedding light on the challenges, John Maxwell offers specific principles for Leading Down, Leading Up, and Leading Across. 360-Degree Leaders can lead effectively, regardless of their position in an organization. By applying Maxwell’s principles, you will expand your influence and ultimately be a more valuable team member.

Personal Thoughts:

I read most of John Maxwell books when I’m still in college, a time when my TBR pile is mostly consist of self-help and inspirational titles. Now that I mostly read fictions beyond my required reads for work, it gives me a sense of longing and familiarity to go back reading self-help book, particularly one from John Maxwell.

The 360 Degree Leader is a typical John Maxwell book. And when I say typical it consist of what I’ve known to discover every time I read his works — they are inspiring, useful, insightful, implementable and collect-able. Just like his other works that I’ve read 360 Degree Leader is a motivational piece of work. The book tells you how to be a leader regardless of what position you handle in the organizations. It emphasize that being a leader doesn’t necessarily need that you are on top, that you can show your leadership skills no matter what positions you lead.

Just like his other works, John Maxwell successfully deliver his messages and knowledge in a straight forward and down to earth style. All his ideas and principles are presented in an easy to understand way. He doesn’t sound preachy which makes this book easy to read and much absorb-able.

There are lots of principles and ideas presented in this book and most of them are true and useful. I can’t discuss all of those principles in here because that would take more than a book review. But I can share to you some of his principles that really stick in mind.

“Leadership is a choice you make, not a place you sit.” 

Maxwell shows a full 360 degree of leadership by leading up, leading across and leading down. According to him leadership is not a place we sit, same us leadership is not a goal we need to achieve but something we need to exercise in our everyday work. While the book mostly focuses on the middle management where potential leaders where usually developed, it also explains how leading doesn’t require a specific place or position. It all starts from learning how to lead our ourselves first. From there we can expand in leading people around us. People above us, below us and across us.

Another thing he discuss is the value of being a team player. Part of being a leader is being part of a team. And in order to be a good leader, we need to be a team player first. You can’t lead if you don’t have a followers and you won’t get a followers if you don’t know how to follow at the first place. It’s not all about commanding. It’s all about being part of a team. You need to understand the value of working with others, accepting input and ideas from others or in short be a team player.

Also, Leadership doesn’t depend on your rank or position, it doesn’t depend on your salary, social status or title it is all about influence. Influence resulted from your talents and skills to lead. Those innate qualities which you have been carefully developed, nourished and shared.

“People don’t leave their company – they leave their leader.” 

Overall, this book is all about leadership. It tries to explain what makes a good leader and how to be one. It aims to inject some useful principles to create a good leader in any part of the organization. And it shows the value of true leadership, because just like in any organization leaders are one of the key factors of the organization. If an organization doesn’t have a good leader tendecy is, followers and everyone around isn’t performing their best too.

The 360 Degree Leader is a book that will challenge you to be a leader whatever position you held in the organization. It encourage you to bring change and leave an impact even you are not on top. Because wherever where you are, you can be a leader. You can lead at all levels of an organization.

* This review is based on a copy I received courtesy of the publisher, Thomas Nelson via in exchange of honest review.

Today Matters by John Maxwell

“Most of us look at our days in the wrong way: We exaggerate yesterday. We overestimate tomorrow. We underestimate today. The truth is that the most important day you will ever experience is today. Today is the key to your success”

I have read several John Maxwell‘s book in the past and he never fails me. This time I listen to his audio book entitled Today Matters: 12 Daily Practices To Guarantee Tomorrow’s Success. Like with Spencer Johnson‘s The Present this book discuss the importance of living in a present moment except that Today Matters offers more. Maxwell discuss 12 decisions and disciplines which he calls his daily dozen. These twelve disciplines or daily practices includes topics such as attitude, priorities, health, family, thinking, commitment, finances, faith, relationships, generosity, values, and growth. It will help you control your daily agenda, make time for people you love, find success in your career and nature your personal growth.

I really enjoy listening to this book, it’s like I’m in a cozy place sitting with my mentor in front of me talking about life. Most of the teachings from this book are we know already, it’s in our minds all the time but we just need someone to remind us and this book take that part in an exciting way.

Below are some of the book messages:

  • Prioritize your agenda – put the most importance first. Decide every day what’s important to you and then get it done.
  • Stretch your creativity and thinking — generate new ideas every day to become a more valuable employee or boss
  • Manage your money — manage your money every day, instead of letting it manage you
  • Improve and build relationships — connect with others every day and know how much the human experience revolves around our daily routine / habits.
  • Nurture your personal growth — find out how to make yourself more valuable every day, and enjoy the payoff tomorrow.

There’s a great time to begin a more successful life and it’s called today.