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The 360 Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization [Hardcover]

By John Maxwell (Author)
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Item description for The 360 Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization by John Maxwell ...

Debunking myths and shedding light on the challenges, Maxwell offers specific principles for leading down, leading up, and leading across--360-degree leadership. By applying Maxwell's principles, readers will expand their influence and ultimately be a more valuable team member.

Publishers Description

Don't wait for that promotion

Start leading NOW... right where you are

What's the number one question leadership expert John C. Maxwell is asked while conducting his leadership conferences? "How can I implement what you teach when I'm not the top leader?"

Is it possible to lead well when you're not the top dog? How about if the person you work for is a bad leader? The answer is a resounding yes

Welcome to The 360 Leader. People who desire to lead from the middle of organizations face unique challenges. And they are often held back by myths that prevent them from developing their influence. Dr. Maxwell, one of the globe's most trusted leadership mentors, debunks the myths, shows you how to overcome the challenges, and teaches you the skills you need to become a 360 leader.

If you have found yourself trying to lead from the middle of the organization, as the vast majority of professionals do, then you need Maxwell's insights. You have a unique opportunity to exercise influence in all directions-up (to the boss), across (among your peers), and down (to those you lead).

The good news is that your influence is greater than you know. Practice the disciplines of 360 leadership and the opportunities will be endless... for your organization, for your career, and for your life.

From Publishers Weekly
In this latest treatise, leadership mega-guru Maxwell (The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership) taps a rich vein of corporate angst: the plight of the middle manager, saddled with responsibilities but lacking real power, torn by conflicting tasks and time-management dilemmas, seething with thwarted ambition. As Macbeth shows, it's a predicament fraught with tragic potential, but the staid, platitudinous treatment given it by Maxwell and ghostwriter Charlie Wetzel drains away the drama. They generally counsel acceptance of limitations. Maxwell tells middle managers to work diligently in subordinate positions, support the CEO's vision, find the good in incompetent or malevolent leaders, infiltrate their bosses' emotional lives ("Listen to your leader's heartbeat.... What makes them laugh?... Cry?.... Sing?") and "stand up for your leader whenever you can." They can thus exert an unsung but crucial "influence" over higherups, while themselves practicing a higher, sublimated form of leadership by selflessly nurturing the potential of their own colleagues and underlings. Unfortunately, Maxwell's practical advice boils down to vague truisms ("when you find a problem, provide a solution") or clich s ("If your boss is a golfer, you may want to take up the game"). His bland injunctions to resignation, patience and self-effacement are unobjectionable, but also uninspiring. (Jan. 10) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Citations And Professional Reviews
The 360 Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization by John Maxwell has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -

  • Christian Retailing - 01/02/2006 page 21
  • Publishers Weekly - 12/19/2005 page 58

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Thomas Nelson
Pages   313
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.1" Width: 6.1" Height: 1.2"
Weight:   1.2 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jan 10, 2006
Publisher   Thomas Nelson
ISBN  0785260927  
ISBN13  9780785260929  
UPC  020049055465  

Availability  16 units.
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More About John Maxwell

John C. Maxwell John C. Maxwell is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, coach, and speaker who has sold more than 24 million books in fifty languages. Often called America's #1 leadership authority, Maxwell was Identified as the most popular leadership expert in the world by Inc. magazine in 2014. And he has been voted the top leadership professional six years in a row on He is the founder of The John Maxwell Company, The John Maxwell Team, and EQUIP, a non-profit organization that has trained more than 5 million leaders in 180 countries. Each year Maxwell speaks to Fortune 500 companies, presidents of nations, and many of the world's top business leaders. He can be followed at For more information about him visit

John C. Maxwell currently resides in Atlanta, in the state of Georgia. John C. Maxwell was born in 1947.

John C. Maxwell has published or released items in the following series...
  1. 101 (Thomas Nelson)
  2. EQUIP Leadership
  3. Giants of the Bible
  4. Jumpstart
  5. Successful People

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Reviews - What do customers think about 360 Degree Leader-Hardcover?

Great Leadership Tool !  Feb 6, 2007
John Maxwell does a great job explaining being a 360 degree leader.
All his instructions are attainable through hard work. This book has
many examples on improving your Leadership abilities. I especially
like how he breaks each step down in an easy to follow outline. Very
easy to go directly to the subject you need to work on.
One of the most practical leadership books I've ever read...  Feb 2, 2007
In a number of the self-improvement blogs I follow, one book title kept appearing over and over... The 360 Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization by John C. Maxwell. Curiosity got the best of me, and I decided to see what the talk was all about. Bottom line is that I found it to be one of the most practical books on leadership I've ever had the pleasure to read. And you don't have to be a CEO to apply the truths...

Section 1 - The Myths of Leading from the Middle of an Organization: #1 - The Position Myth - "I can't lead if I am not at the top."; #2 - The Destination Myth - "When I get to the top, then I'll learn to lead."; #3 - The Influence Myth - "If I were on top, then people would follow me."; #4 - The Inexperience Myth - "When I get to the top, I'll be in control."; #5 - The Freedom Myth - "When I get to the top, I'll no longer be limited."; #6 - The Potential Myth - "I can't reach my potential if I'm not the top leader."; #7 - The All-or-Nothing Myth - "If I can't get to the top, then I won't try to lead."
Section 2 - The Challenges 360-Degree Leaders Face: #1 - The Tension Challenge - The Pressure of Being Caught in the Middle; #2 - The Frustration Challenge - Following an Ineffective Leader; #3 - The Multi-Hat Challenge - One Head... Many Hats; #4 - The Ego Challenge - You're Often Hidden in the Middle; #5 - The Fulfillment Challenge - Leaders Like the Front More Than the Middle; #6 - The Vision Challenge - Championing the Vision Is More Difficult When You Didn't Create It; #7 - The Influence Challenge - Leading Others Beyond Your Position Is Not Easy
Section 3 - The Principles 360-Degree Leaders Practice to Lead Up: #1 - Lead Yourself Exceptionally Well; #2 - Lighten Your Leader's Load; #3 - Be Willing to Do What Others Won't; #4 - Do More Than Manage - Lead!; #5 - Invest in Relational Chemistry; #6 - Be Prepared Every Time You Take Your Leader's Time; #7 - Know When to Push and When to Back Off; #8 - Become a Go-To Player; #9 - Be Better Tomorrow Than You Are Today
Section 4 - The Principles 360-Degree Leaders Practice to Lead Across: #1 - Understand, Practice, and Complete the Leadership Loop; #2 - Put Completing Fellow Leaders Ahead of Competing with Them; #3 - Be a Friend; #4 - Avoid Office Politics; #5 - Expand Your Circle of Acquaintances; #6 - Let the Best Idea Win; #7 - Don't Pretend You're Perfect
Section 5 - The Principles 360-Degree Leaders Practice to Lead Down: #1 - Walk Slowly Through the Halls; See Everyone As a "10"; #3 - Develop Each Team Member as a Person; #4 - Place People in Their Strength Zones; #5 - Model the Behavior You Desire; #6 - Transfer the Vision; #7 - Reward for Results
Section 6 - The Value of 360-Degree Leaders: #1 - A Leadership Team Is More Effective Than Just One Leader; #2 - Leaders Are Needed at Every Level of the Organization; #3 - Leading Successfully at One Level Is a Qualifier for Leading at the Next Level; #4 - Good Leaders in the Middle Make Better Leaders at the Top; #5 - 360-Degree Leaders Possess Qualities Every Organization Needs
Special - Create an Environment That Unleashes 360-Degree Leaders; Notes; About the Author

As you can see above, the book is packed with a lot of information, but it's all very practical and applicable. The premise of 360-Degree leadership is that you don't become a leader when you're promoted into a position with the title. You become a leader when people start to follow you. It doesn't matter where you are in the organization, as you'll always be leading in an upward direction (to your superiors), an outward direction (to your peers), and a downward direction (to those who report to you). By using this book to understand the true meaning of leadership, you can start to hone your skills in your current environment, thereby building the bridges and relationships you'll need going forward.

I really like how this book is laid out. Section 1 destroys the common mindsets that middle managers often have towards being an official "leader" (higher than they are now). Upper management have different challenges, and there's no magic decree that makes them expert leaders when they are promoted. Section 2 takes a deeper look into the special challenges of being "in the middle" of an organization. Many things are expected from both directions (and from your peers), and it feels like you don't have the authority to lead as you'd like. But rather than just leave you floundering there, Maxwell covers how 360-Degree leadership is manifested in all directions... how to lead your boss and upper management by learning to lead yourself, how to interact with your peers to build a stronger overall team, and how to lead those who officially look to you for direction. The last direction can be hard, as you may have the title but not the respect and trust of your subordinates. If you strive to become the leader that Maxwell describes, you'll find that people willingly align themselves with you and your leadership "selling" is far easier...

In my working career, I've found that 360-Degree leaders (or whatever you want to call them) are by far the most effective leaders a company can have. People love working for them, things get done, and they're the ones that seem to handle everything with a level of grace and ease not often seen these days. I strongly recommend this book to just about anyone in an organization, as we should all be "leaders" in our own areas, even if you don't have a title that reflects that.
Leadership Training for those in the Middle  Jan 23, 2007
So many of the leadership books and resources are about top down leadership (positional leaders)and this book equips YOU to lead and influence people from where ever you are in the organization. As a leader, influence should be viewed more like a ripple effect in water... it goes in every direction from the point of impact. This book shows you how to have influence and impact in every direction... yes, 360 Degrees of impact. If you want to be a 90 Degree leader and stay positional... don't read this book. But if you want your leadership to be felt in every direction, regardless of your current position, than read this book. Or better yet, get this book and the live workshop so all of your leaders can make a greater impact. This book is not for everyone... just those that want to make a difference. :-)

Sean Oliver
Good introduction to leadership  Dec 31, 2006
I noticed the different opinions listed in the reviews on this book. I actually agree with both sides of the argument. This is a good leadership book for those who would like some insight in the middle manager. Too often, books focus on those at the top and don't really talk about how it's the people in the middle of organizations that are most important.
Are there many quotes, and praise for Maxwell's colleagues? Yes. Is this a good, easy to read, insightfull book on an important topic? Yes. You be the judge.
Pointless and unispiring  Dec 3, 2006
Very disappointing overall. The book is simply a collection of quotes, references to Maxwell's other books, and an homage to his friends and colleagues. No original thoughts or revelations.

Take away all the quotes and fluff and the book boils down to 3 points: Leaders work hard, are good in social settings, and are competent. Most leaders shouldn't need a book to tell them that.

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