Leadership from the 21 Laws and Comparison to Real World

Leadership from the 21 Laws of Leadership

Every Law from John Maxwell’s book revolves around different leadership characteristics and ideas about leadership. The following is a breakdown of five Laws of Leadership that were noticeable during the RWL Program.

1) Law of Addition – The Law of Addition revolves around the idea of leaders adding value to their followers. There were four guidelines that are outlined in the 21 Laws of Leadership concerning adding value to others by:

  • Truly valuing others
  • Making ourselves more valuable to others
  • Knowing and relate to what others value
  • Doing things that God values

2) Law of Empowerment – The Law of Empowerment is about leaders giving part of their power to someone else, so they can successfully accomplish the task. Instead of Maxwell explaining the ways to empower, he instead discusses three barriers that prevent leaders from empowering others and then how to overcome them, which are:

  •  Desire for job security
  •  Resistance to change
  •  Lack of self-worth

3) Law of Navigation – The Law of Navigation boldly declares that the leader must take care to PLAN AHEAD when leading:
Predetermine a course of action.

  • Lay out your goals.
  • Adjust your priorities.
  • Notify key personnel.
  • Allow time for acceptance.
  • Head into action.
  • Expect problems.
  • Always point to the successes.
  • Daily review your plan.

4) Law of Respect – The Law of Respect revolves around leaders giving and earning respect. The Law of Respect goes into deeper depth classifying six different ways how leaders can gain respect:

  • Natural leadership ability
  • Respect for others
  • Courage
  • Success
  • Loyalty
  • Value added to others

5) Law of the Inner Circle – The Law of the Inner Circle focuses upon those closest to each leader. The concept is simple, the people that leaders have in their inner circle matter. Maxwell goes into more detail of the Law of the Inner Circle answering these five questions:

  • Do they have high influence with others?
  • Do they bring a complementary gift to the table?
  • Do they hold a strategic position within the organization?
  • Do they add value to me and the organization?
  • Do they positively impact other inner circle members?

Comparison to the Real World

Law of Addition
John Maxwell makes clear in the Law of Addition that it is imperative for leaders to add value to their followers. While working at one of the worksites the question was raised, “How or what should your company do to make your job better or more appealing?” The response was for the company to do the “little things” like giving out Christmas cards, putting together an activity for the workers to socialize outside of the office and opportunities for individual growth and promotion.
The company that stood out as enhancing their employee’s opportunities for growth and their work experience was the Gowan Company. Whether it was offering lunch hour work out sessions, Christmas cards, promoting from within or making the employees feel part of their family; Gowan understood the Law of Addition.
Some of the examples of Gowan practicing the Law of Addition are:

  1. When Gowan hires an employee they take the employee around to meet other people all around the building.
  2. Celebrating birthdays once a month (complete with cake).
  3. Sending out a weekly email that updates everyone in Gowan to the week’s
  4. production and any new birthdays of employees, anniversaries, births of children (grandchildren) and pictures of any Gowan events (Example, Gowan has a dress- up contest on Halloween).
  5. Happy Half Hour every Friday for employees to unwind, discuss sales numbers for the week and honor the top salesmen of the week.
  6. Transparency of finances.
  7. Sending out a list of “unwritten” etiquette rules for the workspace.
  8. The Gowan Achievement Program.
  9. The Annual Marketing Meeting that gave out awards (Examples, Longevity and Conquistador).

The Law of Addition is mainly concerned with adding value to those around you and Gowan completely understands the importance of giving back to their employees and community and leads by example.


Real World Calendar

January 2021
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About the Program

The Real World Leaders - Real World Students Program is a leadership program created in partnership with the University of Kentucky that enables students to work at different work sites across America and observe a wide variety of leadership skills, traits and characteristics.

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