One of the books I keep on my bookshelf close to me while I work is the book, The 360-Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization by John C. Maxwell.
This book is one of my favorites because it helps people who are not necessarily the top leader in an organization to understand and use leadership in their work. For example, Maxwell has five sections within the book:
- The Myths of Leading from the Middle of an Organization
- The Challenges 360-Degree Leaders Face
- The Principles 360-Degree Leaders Practice to Lead Up
- The Principles 360-Degree Leaders Practice to Lead Across
- The Principles 360-Degree Leaders Practice to Lead Down
Within these five sections Maxwell provides 300 pages of descriptions and advice for leaders who might be towards the bottom or in the middle of an organization. This advice helps leaders to effectively lead from where they are.
Section III is my favorite because it provides leaders principles they can practice to lead up. Where I work at the United Way of Stanislaus County, I do not have any official staff whom I lead, but I do have a couple layers of management above me so I am always doing my best to “lead up.” In this book, Maxwell advizes people such as myself that in order to lead up you must:
- Lead Yourself Exceptionally Well
- Lighten Your Leader’s Load
- Be Willing to Do What Others Won’t
- Do More Than Manage-Lead!
- Invest in Relational Chemistry
As an added bonus when you purchase the book you receive a free self-assessment survey to rate how effectively you are as a 360-Degree Leader.
The 360-Degree Leader is one of my favorite leadership books and is definitely something I recommend that others read and apply to their lives.
Question: From what you have read on this post, what do you believe are the characteristics of a “360-Degree Leader”?