The Right to Lead by John Maxwell and Count Your Blessings by Robert Bly Book Critiques
Maxwell, John, C. (2001). The Right to Lead. Nashville, TN: Countryman.
The book The Right to Lead by John C. Maxwell is an inspirational book filled with stories, letters, quotes, and anecdotes that exemplify the qualities of a good leader. This book is truly a study in character and courage. Maxwell looks at the qualities of a leader, which include action, vision, sacrifice, risk, determination, service, and integrity.
A theme that runs throughout this book is the fact that leadership is not given, appointed, or gained. Rather leadership is something that is earned. For instance, Maxwell uses an excerpt from a letter of an unknown author to make the analogy. This author says an officer in the military must earn the right to be a leader of his men; he simply does not become a leader because he receives orders that state that he is to be a leader. Maxwell uses stories of inspirational leaders such as Norman Schwarzkopf, Harriet Tubman, Eric Liddell, George Washington, John Wooden, Nelson Mandela, and Chiune Sugihara to illustrate his points.
Maxwell also uses points made in other books about leadership to more accurately describe what it means to gain the right to lead. For example, Maxwell gives the reader criteria for taking risk, which he found in The Indispensable Qualities of a Leader. However, Maxwell also gives his own ideas on the topic. He tells the readers that to become the kind of leader that others will want to follow we must first let go of our ego, become a good follower first, build positive relationships, work with excellence, rely on discipline (not emotion), make adding value our goal, and finally give away our power.
This book is not the typical self-evaluation book, but rather it is a collection of inspirational biographies with analysis by Maxwell. Overall, the book is enjoyable to read. Bly, R.W. (2002). Count Your Blessings. Nashville, TN:...
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