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Book Review: The 360 Degree Leader

Book Review: The 360 Degree Leader
360 Degree Leader

    A John C. Maxwell book published by Nelson Business 2005, 313 pages, Nonfiction, Business, Leadership and Personal Development, Includes bibliographical references.

    I’m not certain if the motivation for the focus of this book is to unselfishly provide growth insights to those in middle management or a cunning device to target the very people who buy the most books about growth and leadership, but much of Maxwell’s book is devoted to leading from the middle.

    Either way the result is the same.

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    Who buys the most books about leadership and personal growth? Those who are in middle leadership positions that desire to their job better and possible go further in their chosen field.

    Who needs the greatest understanding of leadership models and personal development? Those who are in middle management positions that desire to do their job better and possibly to advance.

    Reality is probably a blend of the two and Maxwell does a good job of providing what both audiences want. A nice handbook on leadership from every direction (leading your subordinates, building you superior, enhancing your peers).

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    Maxwell examines two tenets of leadership which you may find you feel you have conflicting emotions (I know i did).

    Maxwell believes that those who are deficit in leadership skills tend to hoard their information. They protect their work from peers, supervisors and subordinates in order to make sure they receive their due credit for the work they have done.

    He also believes that true leaders share everything. They share their best ideas, their hardest work, their most invested projects with everyone from every level in order to provide for the good of all. He feels this type of leader will ultimately reap the benefits of their unselfish and dedicated efforts and, like cream, rise to the top.

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    Here is where I feel torn. I really, really want to embrace this as truth. i want to believe that selfless dedication and talent will ultimately be rewarded.

    On the other hand, I think of the countless instances in which the work of one of my peers (or myself, for that matter) has been claim jumped by someone else in an organization who rode it to the next level on the pay scale.

    So, even though I strongly desire to embrace his positive message, I have my reservations.

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    One of the most interesting facets of the book is actually concealed under the back dust cover. If you purchase the book you get access to an online profile of your leadership beliefs and styles. Inside the rear dust jacket is the authorization code to gain you access to a twenty minute survey about your leadership. The difference between this and all the other surveys out there is the option to have a questionnaire to have several other surveys about YOUR leadership skills sent to your supervisor, your peers and your subordinates. They then rate you on the same skills in which you rated yourself. The results are then compiled and submitted to you. This will provide you with the 360 degree snap shot of your leadership.

    The catch? It costs about a hundred bucks to have the second part of the leadership survey done. But, if you work in a progressive field you may be able to convince your organization that they should cover the expense as an investment in their leadership growth program. At least that’s what I told my boss.

    The 360 Degree Leadership

    Reg Adkins writes on behavior and the human experience at (elementaltruths.blogspot.com).

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    Last Updated on October 15, 2019

    How to Plan Your Life Goals and Actually Achieve Them in 7 Simple Steps

    How to Plan Your Life Goals and Actually Achieve Them in 7 Simple Steps

    Where do you want to be 5 years from now, 10 years from now, or even this time next year? These places are your goal destinations and although you might know that you don’t want to be standing still in the same place as you are now, it’s not always easy to identify what your real goals are.

    Many people think that setting a goal destination is having a dream that is there in the far distant future but will never be attained. This proves to be a self-fulfilling prophesy because of two things:

    Firstly, that the goal isn’t specifically defined enough in the first place; and secondly, it remains a remote dream waiting for action which is never taken.

    Defining your goal destination is something that you need to take some time to think carefully about. The following steps on how to plan your life goals should get you started on a journey to your destination:

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    1. Make a list of your goal destinations

    Goal destinations are the things that are important to you. Another word for them would be ambitions, but ambitions sound like something which outside of your grasp, whereas goal destinations are certainly achievable if you are willing to put in the effort working towards them.

    So what do you really want to do with your life? What are the main things that you would like to accomplish with your life? What is it that you would really regret not doing if you suddenly found you had a limited amount of time left on the earth?

    Each of these things is a goal. Define each goal destination in one sentence.

    If any of these goals is a stepping stone to another one of the goals, take it off this list as it isn’t a goal destination.

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    2. Think about the time frame to have the goal accomplished

    This is where the 5 year, 10 year, next year plan comes into it.

    Some goals will have a “shelf life” because of age, health, finance, etc, whereas others will be up to you as to when you would like to achieve them by.

    3. Write down your goals clearly

    Write each goal destination at the top of a new piece of paper.

    For each goal, write down what is it that you need and don’t have now that will allow you achieve that goal. This could be some kind of education, career change, finance, a new skill, etc. Any “stepping stone” goals you removed will fit into this exercise. If any of these smaller “goals” have sub-goals, go through the same process with these so that you have precise action points to work with.

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    4. Write down what you need to do for each goal

    Under each item listed, write down the things that you will need to do in order to complete each of the steps required to complete the goal. 

    These items will become a check-list. They are a tangible way of checking how you are progressing towards reaching your goal destinations. A record of your success!

    5. Write down your timeframe with specific and realistic dates

    Using the time frames you created, on each goal destination sheet write down the year in which you will complete the goal by.

    For any goal which has no fixed completion date, think about when you would like to have accomplished it by and use that as your destination date.

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    Work within the time frames for each goal destination, make a note of realistic dates by which you will complete each of the small steps.

    6. Schedule your to-dos

    Now take an overview of all your goal destinations and make a schedule of what you need to do this week, this month, this year – in order to progress along the road towards your goal destinations.

    Write these action points on a schedule so that you have definite dates on which to do things.

    7. Review your progress

    At the end of the year, review what you have done this year, mark things off the check-lists for each goal destination and write up the schedule with the action points you need for the next year.

    Although it may take you several years to, for example, get the promotion you desire because you first need to get the MBA which means getting a job with more money to allow you to finance a part-time degree course, you will ultimately be successful in achieving your goal destination because you have planned out not only what you want, but how to get it, and have been pro-active towards achieving it.

    Featured photo credit: Debby Hudson via unsplash.com

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