Book Review: The Leadership Handbook by John Maxwell

The Leadership HandbookJohn Maxwell, the great leadership expert is at it again with his new book entitled “The Leadership Handbook: 26 Critical Lessons Every Leader Needs” narrows the most important lessons that leaders need to 26 and places them in his book. As I began reading this book, I certainly felt like I had read the book prior. Had I, of course not. The book is brand new. What I was noticing was the different principles that are found in the book that I had previously read in Maxwell’s other famous works. I have read several books by Maxwell, and although they tend to repeat themselves, the content is so valuable that it is impossible to not appreciate the work regardless of the repetition. Maxwell, age sixty at the time of writing this work does a fantastic job in keeping this new work relevant and new even though much of the principles you find are mentioned in previous writings.

Now for the review…

  • The Leadership Handbook is relevant to all leaders- It does not matter if you are a CEO of a secular company, a pastor, a business man, or a small group leader, the book is relevant. The book is full of principles that you can apply to your every day situations. Maxwell has lived  it. He not only writes about leadership, he has lived it. His life speaks to the effectiveness of the principles found in the book. The book is relevant and is relevant to all leaders regardless of your position.
  • The Leadership Handbook is practical for all leaders- I finished the book in two days, that is how good the book is. I was on vacation which gave me more time to devote to reading. Yes that was some of the reason for the quick finish, but the main reason was that the book was gold. The book is so practical that I was marking thoughts, phrases, stories, and quotes that I could apply to my leadership. Regardless of your position, you will receive tons of principles to apply to your leadership today.
  • The Leadership  Handbook is a compilation of all of Maxwell’s learnings and writings- As I mentioned earlier, Maxwell compiles much of his previous writings and combines them into this book. Yes, there is repetition, but every repeated phrase or principles must be a reminder so it is not redundant at all. I have read two or three of Maxwell’s previous writings, and I never felt in this work that I was reading the exact same book again. Maxwell does a fantastic job of compiling his learnings and penning them down. In fact, you will feel while reading this book that Maxwell is the grandfather of leadership teaching and mentoring young leaders on what he has learned on a lifetime of leadership.
  • The Leadership Handbook is a book that all leaders must read- This could be the best book on leadership that I have ever read. Yes, I mean that statement. Maxwell has written some good ones, but this one summarizes much of what you find in his other writings in this new handbook. It is phenomenal. Every statement in the book is a “tweetable” statement. It is that good! I wish that every young leader could read these principles, because Maxwell nails it in his latest work.

Some brief highlights of the book:

* “I don’t have employees, I have teammates.”

* “The toughest person to lead is yourself.”

* “Never work a day in your life. Find your passion to find your potential.”

* “Those who start the journey with you seldom finish with you.”

There are many more, but these are a few of the main points that stuck out to me. I highly recommend this book to any leader.

Note:  I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive/negative review.

Published by Josh Evans

Josh is the connections pastor of the Oakleaf campus of Trinity Baptist Church in Jacksonville, FL. Before that, Josh had been a mentor and pastor to students for 10 years. Josh is passionate about empowering church leaders to make a difference. Josh and his wife Abby have two children. You can connect further with Josh on this blog or send him a direct email at

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