John Maxwell biography, quotes and books

John Maxwell - Toolshero

John Maxwell (1946) is a well-known author, speaker, leadership guru and pastor. John Maxwell is a leadership expert and is known by his books. John C. Maxwell has also developed the 5 levels of leadership, which visualize at which level a leader performs and how he or she can be more influential, respected and successful.

Who is John Maxwell? His biography

John C. Maxwell is an evangelical Christian and completed his Bachelor degree at Ohio Christian University.

He obtained his Master degree at Azusa Pacific University and followed his father by entering the ministry. Because of this, he also obtained his Doctor of Ministry degree at Fuller Theological Seminary, a degree which may be earned by a minister of religion who is engaged in some form of ministry.

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Since the 1970s, John has led several churches and he has served as a senior pastor in the Skyline Church for 14 years (1981-1995). As a senior pastor, he led the pastoral team and his messages were focusing on areas of leadership.

Maxwell had always desire to make a difference in the lives of people. His passion in life is growing and equipping others to do remarkable things and lead significant and fulfilled lives. He is passionate about teaching, and for this reason, since 1995, John Maxwell has devoted himself to full-time speaking and writing.

He and his brother Larry have established the organization EQUIP. The non-profit organization focusses on personal development, leadership training, speaking, and mentoring youth. The mission is to positively influence Christian leaders to impact their families, businesses, organizations, and communities.

In addition, John challenges corporate leaders and consumers to inspire, challenge, and equip organizations to live out leadership and reach their potential through The John Maxwell company. The company assesses and assist individuals to learn and lead with excellence. One of his most famous theories are the 5 levels of leadership

The way of approach can be customized to any organizational, cultural and leadership challenges. His team comprises more than 13.000 trained and certified coaches that help in adding value to external organizations.

Since 2008, he became more actively involved as a guest speaker in multiple churches. He has preached at Chris Fellowship, Palm Beach Gardens, and Crystal Cathedral, which was broadcasted by Hour of Power, an American religious television program that provides spiritual principles and practices.

In 2010, John Maxwell was a keynote speaker of National Agents Alliance, a company that offers help regarding securing capital and unexpected events in the future for potential customers.

At this moment, Maxwell speaks annually at the Fortune 500, a ranking list that ranks the largest corporations by gross income in America. John also speaks frequently to International government leaders and organizations.

John Maxwell sold more than 26 million books and had been nominated by the American Management Association as the number 1 most influential leader in business in 2014. The same nomination has been given by the Business Insider, a global news corporation, and by Inc. Magazine.

Most of his books have been nominated by the New York Times as best-sellers. The books focus on leadership such as The Indispensable Qualities of a Leader and The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and have been translated and sold all over the globe.

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Famous quotes

  1. “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”
  2. “The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda.”
  3. “A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.”
  4. “Teamwork makes the dream work, but a vision becomes a nightmare when the leader has a big dream and a bad team.”
  5. “Time management is an oxymoron. Time is beyond our control, and the clock keeps ticking regardless of how we lead our lives. Priority management is the answer to maximizing the time we have.”
  6. “A minute of thought is greater than an hour of talk.”
  7. “The difference between average people and achieving people is their perception of and response to failure.”
  8. “People who use time wisely spend it on activities that advance their overall purpose in life.”
  9. “As a leader, the first person I need to lead is me. The first person that I should try to change is me.”
  10. “Most people want to avoid pain, and discipline is usually painful.”
  11. “Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.”
  12. “Do not take the agenda that someone else has mapped out for your life.”
  13. “Growth inside fuels growth outside.”
  14. “Learn to say ‘no’ to the good so you can say ‘yes’ to the best.”
  15. “Life is 10% of what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.”

Books and publications by John Maxwell

  • 2017. No Limits: Blow the Cap Off Your Capacity. Center Street.
  • 2015. Intentional living: Choosing a life that matters. Hachette UK.
  • 2014. NIV, The Maxwell Leadership Bible. eBook, Thomas Nelson Inc.
  • 2014. How Successful People Grow: 15 Ways to Get Ahead in Life. Hachette UK.
  • 2014. Good leaders ask great questions: Your foundation for successful leadership. Hachette UK.
  • 2013. The 17 indisputable laws of teamwork: Embrace them and empower your team. Thomas Nelson Inc.
  • 2013. Sometimes You Win–Sometimes You Learn: Life’s Greatest Lessons Are Gained from Our Losses. Hachette UK.
  • 2013. How successful people lead: Taking your influence to the next level. Center Street.
  • 2013. Be a people person: Effective leadership through effective relationships. David C Cook.
  • 2012. Mentor 101: What Every Leader Needs to Know. Thomas Nelson Inc.
  • 2012. 15 Invaluable laws of growth. Publisher: Center Street.
  • 2011. The 360 Degree Leader with Workbook: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization. Thomas Nelson Inc.
  • 2011. The 5 levels of leadership: Proven steps to maximize your potential. Center Street.
  • 2011. Put Your Dream to the Test: 10 Questions that Will Help You See it and Seize it. Thomas Nelson Inc.
  • 2010. Everyone communicates, few connect: What the most effective people do differently. Thomas Nelson Inc.
  • 2009. Teamwork 101: What every leader needs to know. Harper Collins.
  • 2009. How successful people think: Change your thinking, change your life. Hachette UK.
  • 2009. Christian reflections on the leadership challenge (Vol. 143). John Wiley & Sons.
  • 2008. Leadership gold: Lessons I’ve learned from a lifetime of leading. Harper Collins.
  • 2008. Talent is never enough. Pearson Education India.
  • 2008. Today matters: 12 daily practices to guarantee tomorrow’s success. Hachette UK.
  • 2007. Winning with people: Discover the people principles that work for you every time. Harper Collins.
  • 2007. The 21 most powerful minutes in a leader’s day: Revitalize your spirit and empower your leadership. Harper Collins.
  • 2007. The 21 irrefutable laws of leadership: Follow them and people will follow you. Thomas Nelson Inc.
  • 2007. The 21 indispensable qualities of a leader: Becoming the person others will want to follow. Thomas Nelson Inc.
  • 2007. Failing forward. Harper Collins.
  • 2006. The 17 essential qualities of a team player: Becoming the kind of person every team wants. Thomas Nelson Inc.
  • 2005. 25 ways to win with people: how to make others feel like a million bucks. Thomas Nelson Inc.
  • 2004. Relationships 101. Harper Collins.
  • 2004. Self-improvement 101. Nelson Books.
  • 2003. Thinking for a change: 11 ways highly successful people approach life and work. FaithWords.
  • 2007. Leadership Promises for Every Day: A Daily Devotional. Thomas Nelson Inc.
  • 2002. Teamwork makes the dream work. Harper Collins.
  • 2002. Leadership 101: What every leader needs to know. Thomas Nelson Inc.
  • 1997. Becoming a person of influence: How to positively impact the lives of others. Thomas Nelson Inc.
  • 1995. Developing the leaders around you: How to help others reach their full potential. Thomas Nelson Inc.
  • 1993. Developing the leader within you. Thomas Nelson Inc.

How to cite this article:
Zeeman, A. (2017). John Maxwell. Retrieved [insert date] from Toolshero:

Original publication date: 07/15/2017 | Last update: 03/19/2024

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Alexander Zeeman
Article by:

Alexander Zeeman

Alexander Zeeman is Content Manager at ToolsHero where he focuses on Content production, Content management and marketing. He is also an International Business student at Rotterdam Business school. Currently, in his study, working on the development of various management competencies and improving operational business processes.


5 responses to “John Maxwell biography, quotes and books”

  1. Gulshan says:

    Wow, amazing, how I can get any of these publications via email?

  2. Alex says:

    Great John C. Maxwell overview! Love this guy. My favorite quote from him is “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.” So solid! One of my most popular blog posts was actually written on this topic.

  3. Treasure Cornelius says:

    This is awesome. ‘As a leader, the first person I need to lead is me and the first person I try to change is me’. I’m motivated

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