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Maxwell, John C. 1947-

Maxwell, John C. 1947-

PERSONAL: Born February 20, 1947, in Garden City, MI; son of Melvin Maxwell; married Margaret Porter, June 14, 1969; children: Sarah Elizabeth Miller, Joel Porter Maxwell. Education: Circleville Bible College, B.A., 1969; Azusa Pacific University, Master of Divinity, 1989; Fuller Theological Seminary, D.D., 1993.

ADDRESSES: Home—Atlanta, GA. Office—12000 Findley Rd., Ste. 100, Duluth, GA 30097. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Nelson Direct, P.O. Box 140300, Nashville, TN 37214-0300.

CAREER: Author and ordained minister. INJOY (a leadership development company), founder and head, 1985–2004; Skyline Wesleyan Church, San Diego, CA, senior pastor, 1995; full-time writer, speaker, and consultant, 1995–; also led churches in Indiana, Ohio, and California. Leads annual satellite-delivered seminars for marketplace leaders and ministry leaders.

AWARDS, HONORS: Recipient of seven honorary doctorates.

WRITINGS:

Your Attitude: Key to Success, Here's Life Publishers (San Bernardino, CA), 1984.

Tough Questions—Honest Answers, Here's Life Publishers (San Bernardino, CA), 1985.

Be All You Can Be!, Victor Books (Wheaton, IL), 1987, revised edition, 2002.

The Communicator's Commentary: Deuteronomy, Word Books (Waco, TX), 1987.

Be a People Person, Victor Books (Wheaton, IL), 1989, revised edition, 1994.

The Winning Attitude, Here's Life Publishers (San Bernardino, CA), 1991, revised edition, T. Nelson Publishers (Nashville, TN), 1993.

Developing the Leader within You, T. Nelson Publishers (Nashville, TN), 1993.

Developing the Leaders around You, T. Nelson Publishers (Nashville, TN), 1995.

You Can't Be a Smart Cookie, If You Have a Crummy Attitude, Honor Books (Tulsa, OK), 1995.

(With Brad Lewis) Your Family Time with God: A Weekly Plan for Family Devotions, Christian Parenting Books (Elgin, IL), 1995.

Breakthrough Parenting, Focus on the Family Publishers (Colorado Springs, CO), 1996.

It's Just a Thought—But It Could Change Your Life: Life's Little Lessons on Leadership, Honor Books (Tulsa, OK), 1996.

Living at the Next Level: Insights for Reaching Your Dreams, T. Nelson Publishers (Nashville, TN), 1996.

Partners in Prayer, T. Nelson Publishers (Nashville, TN), 1996.

People Power: Life's Little Lessons on Relationships, Honor Books (Tulsa, OK), 1996.

(With Jim Dornan) Becoming a Person of Influence: How to Positively Impact the Lives of Others, T. Nelson Publishers (Nashville, TN), 1997.

The Success Journey, T. Nelson Publishers (Nashville, TN), 1997, reprinted as Your Road Map for Success, 2002.

Your Bridge to a Better Future, T. Nelson Publishers (Nashville, TN), 1997.

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You, T. Nelson Publishers (Nashville, TN), 1998.

Think on These Things: Meditations for Leaders, Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City (Kansas City, MO), 1999.

The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader: Becoming the Person That People Will Want to Follow, T. Nelson Publishers (Nashville, TN), 1999.

(With Dan Reiland) The Treasure of a Friend, J. Countryman Publishers (Nashville, TN), 1999.

Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping-Stones for Success, T. Nelson Publishers (Nashville, TN), 2000.

The 21 Most Powerful Minutes in a Leader's Day: Revitalize Your Spirit and Empower Your Leadership, T. Nelson Publishers (Nashville, TN), 2000.

John C. Maxwell's Electronic Leadership Library (computer optical discs), Nelson Electronic (Nashville, TN), 2000.

Developing the Leader within You Workbook, T. Nelson Publishers (Nashville, TN), 2001.

(With Mark Littleton) Leading as a Friend, T. Nelson Publishers (Nashville, TN), 2001.

(With Jean Fischer) Leading from the Lockers, T. Nelson Publishers (Nashville, TN), 2001.

(With Mark Littleton) Leading Your Sports Team, T. Nelson Publishers (Nashville, TN), 2001.

(With Mark Littleton) Leading in Your Youth Group, T. Nelson Publishers (Nashville, TN), 2001.

(With Monica Hall) Leading at School, T. Nelson Publishers (Nashville, TN), 2001.

The Power of Attitude, RiverOak Publishers (Tulsa, OK), 2001.

The Power of Influence, RiverOak Publishers (Tulsa, OK), 2001.

The Power of Leadership, RiverOak Publishers (Tulsa, OK), 2001.

The Power of Thinking Big, RiverOak Publishers (Tulsa, OK), 2001.

The Right to Lead: A Study in Character and Courage, J. Countryman Publishers (Nashville, TN), 2001.

The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork: Embrace Them and Empower Your Team, T. Nelson Publishers (Nashville, TN), 2001.

Leadership 101, T. Nelson Publishers (Nashville, TN), 2002.

The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player: Becoming the Kind of Person Every Team Wants, T. Nelson Publishers (Nashville, TN), 2002.

Running with the Giants: What Old Testament Heroes Want You to Know about Life and Leadership, Warner Books (New York, NY), 2002.

Your Road Map for Success, T. Nelson Publishers (Nashville, TN), 2002.

Thinking for a Change: 11 Ways Highly Successful People Approach Life and Work, Warner Books (New York, NY), 2003.

Developing the Leaders around You Workbook: How to Help Others Reach Their Full Potential, T. Nelson Publishers (Nashville, TN), 2003.

Attitude 101: What Every Leader Needs to Know, T. Nelson Publishers (Nashville, TN), 2003.

Equipping 101: What Every Leader Needs to Know, T. Nelson Publishers (Nashville, TN), 2003.

Leadership: Promises for Every Day, J. Countryman (Nashville, TN), 2003.

There's No Such Thing as Business Ethics: There's Only One Rule for Making Decisions, Warner Books (New York, NY), 2003.

Relationships 101: What Every Leader Needs to Know, T. Nelson Publishers (Nashville, TN), 2004.

Today Matters: 12 Daily Practices to Guarantee Tomorrow's Success, Warner Faith (New York, NY), 2004.

Winning with People: Discover the Principles That Work for You Every Time, T. Nelson Publishers (Nashville, TN), 2004.

(With Les Parrott) 25 Ways to Win with People: How to Make Others Feel like a Million Bucks, T. Nelson Publishers (Nashville, TN), 2005.

The 360-Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence Anywhere in the Organization, T. Nelson Publishers (Nashville, TN), 2005.

The Choice Is Yours: Today's Decisions for the Rest of Your Life, J. Countryman (Nashville, TN), 2005.

(With Stephen R. Graves and Thomas G. Addington) [email protected]: Marketplace Success for People of Faith, T. Nelson Publishers (Nashville, TN), 2005.

Author of foreword to Who Moved My Church?: A Story about Discovering Purpose in a Changing Culture, by Mike Nappa, RiverOak Publishers (Tulsa, OK), 2001.

ADAPTATIONS: Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping-Stones for Success, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You, and The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork: Embrace Them and Empower Your Team have been adapted for audio.

SIDELIGHTS: John C. Maxwell has written more than fifty books, has founded several nonprofit and for-profit organizations, is an ordained minister, and is well known for his successful leadership conferences. He is a man who challenged himself to create a bridge between his Christian community and the business world by recording his own steps to realizing success. Now he teaches others how to do the same. Since 1984 Maxwell has been writing books that tackle issues he has confronted in his own life. His books have become so popular that they often spend weeks on the nation's bestseller lists. Maxwell's popularity as a writer is directly related to his own successful story, and he gladly shares with readers all he has learned on his journey.

Although some of Maxwell's writing is specifically geared toward the Christian community, the majority of his books are directed toward the business world, with a specific aim at business leaders. Of these, one of the most popular is The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You. The basic premise of this book relates to creating successful working relationships with other people. Maxwell writes that anyone who wants to be a successful leader must be able to help others develop their own skills while maintaining a positive attitude and developing strong leadership skills such as charisma, courage, problem-solving abilities, and vision. As Dr. Terry van der Werff stated in an online review for Global Future Report: "No one becomes a leader by reading a book." However, van der Werff added that solutions to a problem often come to light by looking at it from a different perspective. "Maxwell's book is a good place to begin."

Both The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader: Becoming the Person That People Will Want to Follow, the book that Maxwell published one year later, spent some time on the Business Week bestseller list. The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader breaks down the character traits that Maxwell believes make up the successful leader: commitment, discernment, generosity, initiative, passion, responsibility, and self-discipline. He gives his readers definitions of each trait and illustrates them with anecdotes. He also offers exercises that help readers improve in areas in which they may be lacking. Kirk Charles, in a review for Black Enterprise, recommended the book to all, even those who are already in "quasi-leadership" positions. Charles enjoyed the accessibility of The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader and suggested that it might help take the reader to the next level of leadership.

Among the several books released by Maxwell in 2000 was Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping-Stones for Success. In a review of the book for Inc., one writer commented: "Maxwell obviously never met a failure he couldn't learn from." That seems to be the whole premise of the book, as he always manages to turn the proverbial lemon into lemonade. Maxwell offers fifteen steps toward making the best of a bad situation, and he presents real-life examples of successful people and the challenges they overcame.

Maxwell's The 21 Most Powerful Minutes in a Leader's Day: Revitalize Your Spirit and Empower Your Leadership offers daily meditations for leaders based on Biblical truths and characters, such as Jesus, Moses, and King Solomon. Although Maxwell, who comes from a religious background, has always relied upon a general Christian perspective in forming the base of his teachings, in this book he makes more specific Christian references. Maxwell addresses topics that have appeared in some of his prior publications, but in The 21 Most Powerful Minutes in a Leader's Day, he recommends the use of prayer to help readers put the ideas into practice.

Unlike many of his works, which focus on leaders and leadership, one of Maxwell's 2001 publications stands out by virtue of its emphasis on teamwork. In The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork: Embrace Them and Empower Your Team, Maxwell suggests that teamwork is essential, whether the setting is the business world, a church, a sports team, a school, or a family. Although in the past Maxwell has often delivered the message that building a good team is a means of gaining success, in this book he puts teamwork at the forefront. Writing for Publishers Weekly, Marcia Ford began her review of The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork by stating: "If John C. Maxwell is right, the next phase in management style will be team leadership." According to many business leaders, this is exactly what is needed. The old-school autocratic way of running an organization is witnessing an overhaul; or, as Maxwell puts it, there may be individuals who play the game, but when it comes to winning, it is the team that is awarded the championship. Some of the teamwork laws, according to Maxwell, include the "Law of the Big Picture," which states that every member must be able to envision the goal; the "Law of the Niche," which states that there may be a lot of great potential in various team members, but they have to be in the spot that is right for them if they, and the team, are going to be successful; and the "Law of Mt. Everest," which proposes that each time the team achieves a goal, it must work a little harder to succeed at the next level. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly stated that it was quite obvious that "Maxwell has found a formula that works."

Since the release of The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork, Maxwell has continued to publish a string of educational and inspirational works on topics such as achieving success, establishing relationships, improving one's attitude, and planning for the future. In Thinking for a Change: 11 Ways Highly Successful People Approach Life and Work, Maxwell attempts to break down the thought processes of people who have achieved much success in their lives in order to help others learn how to change their thinking and become successful as well. A Publishers Weekly contributor pointed out several of the book's merits, including its "encouraging tone" and "down-to-earth writing style," as well as its "useful tips" and "concrete lessons." Peppered with anecdotes, insights, and inspirational quotes from successful people ranging from George Washington Carver to George Lucas, Maxwell's book describes several manners of thinking, including big-picture thinking, creative thinking, and realistic thinking. Writing for the Library Journal, Stephen Turner remarked that Thinking for a Change "would make a useful addition to extensive business/leadership and career advice collections."

Like Thinking for a Change, Maxwell's 2004 book Today Matters: 12 Daily Practices to Guarantee Tomorrow's Success focuses on achieving success. The premise of Today Matters is that people spend too much time thinking about past successes instead of making solid decisions today that will benefit them tomorrow. Maxwell has highlighted twelve areas on which people should focus in order to achieve success. By making decisions in these twelve areas today, people will put themselves on a track for achieving success in the future. One Publishers Weekly reviewer wrote: "Readers hoping for creative and original advice … are likely to be disappointed," but continued, "others may still find the book's message uplifting."

In Winning with People: Discover the People Principles That Work for You Every Time, Maxwell explains that success is often directly related to whom you know; therefore, it is important to establish relationships with the right people and strengthen those relationships over time. The book's twenty-five principles for creating good relationships are introduced with stories about familiar figures including Abraham Lincoln, Helen Keller, and Barbara Walters. In a review of Winning with People for the Information Management Journal, Julie Gable explained: "For some, it will be impossible to read without a highlighter in hand, because there are passages that, if not new, are well said." Gable added: "Unexpectedly, perhaps, none will be able to resist thinking about how to make their own relationships better."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Asia Africa Intelligence Wire, September 20, 2004, Dante M. Velasco, "John Maxwell: Inspiring Readers, Moving Crowds."

Black Enterprise, June, 2000, Kirk Charles, review of The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader: Becoming the Person That People Will Want to Follow, p. 92.

Booklist, May 1, 2004, David Siegfried, review of Today Matters: 12 Daily Practices to Guarantee Tomorrow's Success, p. 1526.

Business Week, October 4, 1999, review of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You, p. 22.

Christian Herald, April, 1985, review of Your Attitude: Key to Success, p. 52.

HRMagazine, September, 2003, Leigh Rivenbark, review of Thinking for a Change: 11 Ways Highly Successful People Approach Life and Work, p. 162.

Inc., April, 2000, "Viva la Difference," review of Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping-Stones for Success, p. 153.

Information Management Journal, July-August, 2005, Julie Gable, "Relationship Building 101," review of Winning with People: Discover the Principles That Work for You Every Time, p. 68.

Leadership (Carol Stream, IL), winter, 2002, Linda A. Wurzbacher, review of The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork: Embrace Them and Empower Your Team, p. 113.

Library Journal, August, 2001, Barbara Hoffert, review of The Success Journey, p. S76; April 15, 2003, Stephen Turner, review of Thinking for a Change, p. 101.

Long Island Business News, February 28, 2003, review of The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player: Becoming the Kind of Person Every Team Wants, p. 25A.

Planet IT, April 19, 2000, review of Failing Forward.

Publishers Weekly, July 10, 1995, review of Your Family Time with God: A Weekly Plan for Family Devotions, p. 29; August 30, 1999, review of Think on These Things: Meditations for Leaders, p. 75; July 2, 2001, Marcia Ford, "Leading Leaders," p. S18; July 23, 2001, review of The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork, p. 74; July 1, 2002, review of Running with the Giants: What Old Testament Heroes Want You to Know about Life and Leadership, p. 50; March 10, 2003, review of Thinking for a Change, p. 68; April 12, 2004, review of Today Matters, p. 56; December 20, 2004, review of Winning with People, p. 49; December 19, 2005, review of The 360—Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence Anywhere in the Organization, p. 58.

Rapport, March, 1992, review of Be a People Person, p. 41.

School Administrator, March, 2004, Janiece T. Buck, review of Attitude 101: What Every Leader Needs to Know, p. 40; November, 2005, Kathleen M. Hickey, "Failing Forward to Succeed," review of Failing Forward, p. 16.

School Library Journal, September, 2001, Barbara Hoffert, review of The Success Journey, p. S76.

Supervision, August, 2005, Robert D. Ramsey, "Ten Career-Boosting Additions for Your Professional Bookshelf," review of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, p. 8.

Washington Business Journal, February 16, 2001, review of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, p. 39.

ONLINE

Global Future Report, http://www.globalfuture.com/ (October 7, 2001), Dr. Terry van der Werff, review of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.

INJOY Web site, http://www.injoy.com/ (March 24, 2006).

Leadership Now, http://www.leadershipnow.com/ (March 24, 2006), biography of John C. Maxwell.

Nelson Ministry Services, http://www.nelsonministryservices.com/ (March 24, 2006), biography of John C. Maxwell.

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