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Literature of Leadership - September Book Review

Leadershift: The 11 Essential Changes Every Leader Must Embrace by John C. Maxwell (2019, Kindle Edition)

John Maxwell is reputedly one of the most influential leadership experts in the world, having sold more than 30 million books in 50 languages. Like all of Maxwell’s books, Leadershift is masterfully written and offers shrewd and actionable advice that is relatable for leaders at all levels.

In this book, Maxwell adds a new concept to the leadership lexicon—Leadershift—which he defines as “the ability and willingness to make a leadership change that will positively enhance organizational and personal growth”. Maxwell maintains that to do more than just survive in today’s disruptive world, every leader needs to become comfortable with uncertainty and make shifts continually. He states that “you cannot be the same, think the same, and act the same if you hope to be successful in a world that does not remain the same”.

In Chapter 1, Maxwell describes the importance of, and mind-set required to, leadershift; as well as a framework for leadershifting. In the remaining 11 chapters, he presents examples of what it means to be a leadershifter in practice based on stories drawn from his personal leadership journey. These include:

  • The Focus Shift—Soloist to Conductor

  • The Personal Development Shift—Goals to Growth

  • The Cost Shift—Perks to Price

  • The Relational Shift—Pleasing People to Challenging People

  • The Abundance Shift—Maintaining to Creating

  • The Reproduction Shift—Ladder Climbing to Ladder Building

  • The Communication Shift—Directing to Connecting

  • The Improvement Shift—Team Uniformity to Team Diversity

  • The Influence Shift—Positional Authority to Moral Authority

  • The Impact Shift—Trained Leaders to Transformational Leaders

  • The Passion Shift—Career to Calling

This book is full of leadership antidotes and quotables. Some personal favorites include: “Make your love for learning greater than your fear of failure”; “Everything worthwhile is uphill—no one ever coasted to success”; “When you don’t prepare for the worst, the worst wins”. While not intended to be a blueprint for success, the 11 leadershifts illuminate how to become a better leader. This is truly an inspiring and enjoyable read.

Image source: Amazon

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