My favorite law, the umbrella under which all of the other laws fall, is the Law of Process. Leadership can’t be developed in a day or a week. Instead, it grows and becomes refined through a lifetime of self-management, skills acquisition, and relationships:

If you continually invest in your leadership development, letting your ‘assets’ compound, the inevitable result is growth over time. What can you see when you look at a person’s daily agenda? Priorities, passion, abilities, relationships, attitude, personal disciplines, vision, and influence. See what a person is doing every day, day after day, and you’ll know who that person is and what he or she is becoming.

Often, when I speak to people about leadership development, someone in the group will ask why a new graduate or a employee in the first few years should be concerned with leadership development, since they’re at the bottom of the totem pole. My answer is three-fold.

First, it’s critical to lead oneself and develop a strong foundation in self-management. Second, usually even «bottom of the totem pole» employees soon have an opportunity to lead something, whether it’s a small project or a intern meeting. And third, as Maxwell writes, «champions don’t become champions in the ring – they are merely recognized there.» If a employee waits until a leadership position is on the horizon to begin developing good leadership skills, the position may never present itself, or if it does, the employee will lack the necessary skills to thrive in that position. (Incidentally, point 3 is well illustrated in Maxwell’s first law, the Law of the Lid.).

Good luck everyone to become a better leader AND Thank you Maxwell for giving us The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.

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