Book review – The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

I have just finished reading a remarkable book – The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership – by John Maxwell.

This is really quite an amazing book. It is written in 21 chapters, each of which discusses a different aspect of leadership. The laws that he describes are simple, understandable and easy to apply.

In Toastmasters, we often say that “facts tell while stories sell.” This book is a perfect example of that expression. It is filled with stories taken from all over the world which illustrate the laws of leadership. Amongst others, he draws on his own life, American history, sport, Churchill, Napoleon and even our own Nelson Mandela!

Just three of the laws are:

  • The law of process – leadership develops daily, not in a day
  • The law of connection – leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand
  • The law of empowerment – only secure leaders give power to others

The book is very easy reading, yet filled with powerful lessons. If you have not read it, I highly recommend that you find a copy and read it. It will help in your business, friendships and relationships.

Do you leave effective voicemail messages?

This week I received two voicemails which I were unable to answer. One was because there was too much background noise for me to make out the message, and the other was because I had no idea who had left the message, it sounded like:

“Hi Craig, this is Carwfhsa, and my number is 08dkasldkasd, bye”

This got me to thinking about how voicemail can often be a barrier to effective communication, and not an aid. This is because of the poor quality of messages that we leave.

There are two types of really annoying messages. The first is the long and convoluted message, and the second is the short and garbled message.

So, here is the BCD to leave an effective voicemail, and to get away from those annoying messages.

  1. Be brief. A simple headline as to the purpose of the call is enough. When the call is returned, you can discuss the details. With a long message, I have probably forgotten most of the message by the time you get to the end anyway!
  2. Be clear. Speak slowly and clearly. Telephone quality is not that great, so make it easy. Please don?t leave a message when you are in a noisy place ? understanding the message is just that much more difficult.
  3. Leave your details. Unless you are leaving a message for a personal friend or family member that you are certain has your number, please leave your number. Repeat it if necessary.

For example, this is fine (some people prefer to leave the date & time as well ? also not a bad idea):

?Hi this is Craig, I would like to discuss the proposal you sent me, please call me on 082 xxx xxxx?

Finally, please don’t wait until the beep to start leaving a message until you hang up – blank messages are really annoying.

So remember, be brief, clear & leave your details.