#KEYIDEAS from „The Leader’s Greatest Return – Attracting, Developing, and Multiplying Leaders“ by John C. Maxwell

The key lessons learned and a summary of the book „Leader’s Greatest Return“ by John C. Maxwell. Don’t look for great leaders, develop them internally.

  • Main success for organizations: having great leaders
    • If this is the case it is 13 times more likely to win against the competition in different areas as profit, customer satisfaction and product quality
    • Great leaders are in high demand, but in short supply -> As an organization you need to develop your leaders internally
    • Benefits of developing leaders: new perspectives, network of leaders actually manages the organization (not one executive), increases the reputation of the organization (attracts other high achievers), set up a momentum for the organization to grow
  • Finding leaders
    1) Assess the strength and weaknesses of the current team
    (including the vision or goals for the organization)
    2) Find a talent that fill in the gap (skills needed and leadership qualities, leadership potential e.g. taking charge or making decisions and enjoying it, track record e.g. in projects, motivator, perseverance in the face of defeat, passionate)
  • Develop potentials to great leaders
    Motivators:
    • Sense of purpose
    • Need for autonomy
    • Promise of forming relationships
    • Personal growth
    • Master a skill
    • Recognition
    • Promise of financial award
      -> Motivation is important in the beginning, but to keep it up in the long run habits, encouragement and mentorship are key
  • Allow networking of leaders
    Let leaders learn from other (more experienced) leaders
    Let them share success and set backs with each other (lessons learned)
    Include young leaders in strategy discussions and let them connect to other leaders (enhances development and access to further development/roles)
  • Provide the right environment for leaders for optimal development
    • Practice experience (70% of learning happens in hands-on experience)
    • Direction and road map (challenging and measurable goals within reach)
    • Freedom and resources (also authority)
  • Leadership development takes time
    • Make sure you are on a certain leadership level yourself (credibility and responsibility)
    • Share your responsibility and some of the spotlight to new talents
    • Get rid of frustrating bureaucratic barriers, encourage cross-departmental collaboration and give people ownership of tasks
    • Reward success
  • Encourage your leaders to work with other leaders (leadership team)
    • Highlight the strengths of your leaders & allocate roles based on those strength
    • Have an alignment of all leaders (core values of the organization)
  • Your current excuse: „I don’t have time to develop leaders“
    • When your trained leaders start to develop other leaders the impact is much higher than your current „task“
    • Mentorship should be part of your company’s culture
    • The performance of the overall organization will be much higher (people start to see and appreciate the growth of themselves, others and the organization)

Sum up: If you want to have a successful organization in the long run you need to develop your leaders internally. This includes mentorship, network possibilities of leaders and the right environment. At the pinnacle your leaders will start to develop their own leaders.
My thoughts: In my current organization we have a MBA program with different leaders from various departments. I got the chance to be part of this program. The first 6 months of the program have been the main impact on my personal and professional development as a team leader (mainly due to shared experiences and networking with other leaders).


Link to the whole book on Amazon

Another great book on Leadership by John C. Maxwell:

For #KEYIDEAS from other books visit my blog overview.

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