The 360 Degree Leader Workbook | John C. Maxwell

Summary of: The 360 Degree Leader Workbook: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization
By: John C. Maxwell

Final Recap

In conclusion, ‘The 360 Degree Leader Workbook’ seeks to empower readers to make the most of their roles, regardless of their place in an organizational hierarchy. The summary provides valuable insights into the types of leadership decisions, with many of them arising from middle management positions. It explores the need to lead up, across, and down the organizational ladder, as well as highlighting how to overcome misconceptions about leadership. Through fostering positive traits and self-management skills, 360-degree leaders can have significant impact on the growth of those around them and contribute to their organization’s overall success. At its core, this book summary demonstrates that leadership can emerge from any position and is undeniably a choice one makes, rather than merely a position to be granted.


In today’s dynamic world, leaders are known for their ability to span across the organization, exerting influence from wherever they are positioned. ‘The 360 Degree Leader Workbook’ by John C. Maxwell explores such a concept, asserting that leadership is not merely determined by an individual’s hierarchical position. In this book summary, you’ll learn about 360-degree leaders who adeptly lead up, across, and down an organization by navigating multiple dimensions of leadership. Discover how to overcome false perceptions about leadership and appreciate the inherent qualities required for effective leadership.

The Power of 360-Degree Leadership

In his book, the author challenges the notion that leadership can only come from the top by highlighting that 99% of leadership decisions come from the middle of organizations. He introduces the concept of 360-degree leaders, who have the ability to lead from any position in an organization. Such leaders are skilled at leading up, across, and down the hierarchy. He also stresses that leadership is a choice, not a position. He offers five reasons why people follow leaders and outlines the five steps middle managers must take to gain leadership skills. The author concludes that anyone can learn leadership skills, regardless of their position, and that true leadership is earned through influence.

Leading from the Middle

If you are a mid-level leader, your decision-making authority and power will often be limited. Adopting the wrong leadership style can increase your stress level. To reduce tension, keep expectations realistic, be a team player, and establish areas of responsibility. Insecure or incompetent leaders pose a major challenge in poor leadership environments. As a middle-level leader, help staff members feel confident and secure. Continually delivering solid results will increase productivity and job satisfaction. Encourage peers to share information and responsibilities to create good teams and motivate others.

Becoming an Effective Leader

Successful middle-level leaders must master the art of self-management to become great leaders. This involves efficient time management, emotional control, and sufficient energy allocation to various projects. A good leader is a good team player who assists the boss in achieving organizational success by doing their job well, solving problems, and providing honest feedback. Such managers work with people, not just processes. Being a 360-degree leader involves knowing when to listen, accept a decision, and when to push for your voice to be heard. Finally, being a “go-to player” and delivering quality work under all circumstances is a sure way for leaders to get noticed and achieve success.

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