John C. Maxwell

Pretty common name. Very uncommon man … for a number of very legitimate reasons. In my travels as a keynote speaker, seminar leader and consultant, I come across more of Maxwell’s books on the shelves of CEOs, managers, and supervisors than any other author I can think of. I’ve dedicated an entire shelf in my own library to Maxwell’s works and can’t imagine a collection that didn’t include at least a few of his classics.

John C. Maxwell is an American author, professional speaker, and internationally recognized leadership expert. Why uncommon? Let’s take a look.

  • He is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Business Week best-selling author, having written more than 50 books which have sold more than 16 million copies!
  • Those books have been translated into more than 50 languages.
  • Maxwell was one of only 25 authors and artists named to’s 10th Anniversary Hall of Fame.
  • Three of his books, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, Developing the Leader Within You, and The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader have each sold over a million copies.
  • Every year he speaks to Fortune 500 companies, international government leaders, and organizations as diverse as the United States Military Academy at West Point and the National Football League.
  • Maxwell serves on the Board of Trustees at Indiana Wesleyan University and has a building named after him there, the Maxwell Business Center.
  • Maxwell is the founder of INJOY, Maximum Impact, ISS and EQUIP, an international leadership development organization working to help leaders. It is involved with leaders from more than 80 nations.
  • His organizations have trained more than 2 million leaders worldwide.

In 1985, Maxwell founded INJOY® in San Diego, California, with a mission to develop leaders of excellence and integrity. The company moved to its current location in the Atlanta area in 1997 and established Maximum Impact a few years later to extend that impact reach. Each business develops tens of thousands of leaders each year. This is done primarily through large events, corporate training programs across the United States and Canada, and through high-quality resources in the form of books, audio and DVD training kits, monthly mentoring subscriptions, and small group curriculum.

John C. Maxwell has also achieved the number 1 ranking on the international Leadership Gurus survey for two years in a row. The “Leadership Gurus 30” award identifies the top leadership professionals in the world by merit and public voting. Contenders are judged on their ability to develop and instil leadership in others. Those in the Top 30 Gurus are the “Cream of the Crop,” the world’s top 30 most influential leadership professionals. All not only apply their own leadership principles to achieve superior results in their organizations but develop and influence leaders and leadership throughout the globe.

The research came from e-mails sent to 22,000 business people, consultants, academics and MBAs around the world for nominations and an in-depth public opinion poll.  The criteria for judging the top 30 focused on: originality of ideas, practicality of ideas, presentation style, international outlook, impact of ideas, quality of publications and writings, dispersion of publications and writings, public opinion, and guru factor.

While all of this sounds quite impression, consider the list of competitors who placed below John C. Maxwell. Each is known worldwide for their achievements.

  • # 3 Tom Peters (In Search of Excellence, etc.)
  • # 4 Stephen Covey (Seven Habits, etc.)
  • # 5 Marcus Buckingham (First, Break All the Rules, etc. )
  • # 7 Ken Blanchard (One Minute Manager, Raving Fans, etc.)
  • # 8 Anthony Robbins (Unlimited Power, Awaken the Giant Within, etc.)
  • # 9 Jack Welch (Jack Welch and the G.E. Way, Winning, etc.)
  • #11 Jim Collins (Built to Last, Good to Great, etc.)
  • #14 Harvey Mackay (Swim with the Sharks, etc.)

As you can easily see, Maxwell topped a list of some pretty impressive company.

John C. Maxwell was born in Garden City, Michigan, in 1947. His father, Melvin Maxwell, was a minister in a local Wesleyan church. John followed his father into the ministry, completing a bachelor’s degree at Ohio Christian University in 1969, a Master of Divinity degree at Azusa Pacific University, and a Doctor of Ministry degree at Fuller Theological Seminary. Maxwell received five honorary doctorates of divinity (including ones from the California Graduate School of Theology and Liberty University).

For more than 25 years, Maxwell led churches in Indiana, Ohio, and California. In 1995 he left Skyline Wesleyan Church (near San Diego) to devote himself full-time to speaking and writing. Driven by his passion for leadership and joy of adding value to others, John C. Maxwell has spent decades researching and studying leadership and communicating his insights across the globe.

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

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