5 Lessons for 360 Degree Leaders

The 360 Degree Leader

In my current position, I have the privilege to lead and follow every day. As the leader, I work with my staff to unleash their potential and to empower them to be leaders.

360 Conclusion Circle

As a 360-degree leader, I have learned it is the level of my influence, not my position or title, which will move our organization forward.

This post is eighth in a series about leadership based on John Maxwell’s book The 360 Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization. In this final post, we will discuss lessons learned for 360 Degree Leaders.

Maxwell’s book is an excellent guide for aspiring, emerging and experienced leaders. He captures the essence of many leadership theories in a practical way that is thought provoking. While Maxwell does not provide an in-depth analysis of any particular leadership theory, he validates real-life leadership behaviors.

Here are some lessons learned from Maxwell’s 360-degree leadership principles:

  • Leadership being the sole territory of top executives is a myth…
  • Those in the middle of the organization exercise tremendous influence
  • People who simultaneously lead and follow face unique challenges
  • 360-degree leaders lead-up, lead-down and lead-across the organization
  • 360-degree leaders can make an impact from anywhere within the organization

According to Maxwell, leadership is a journey that starts where the leader is, not where they want to be.

360° Leaders by definition are nonpositional; they lead through influence, not position, power, or leverage”
– John Maxwell

The journey can have many twists and turns through difficult terrain of myths and challenges, which is why Maxwell dispels the myths and outlines strategies to address the challenges of leading from the middle. Next, Maxwell provides practical strategies to lead-up, lead-across, and lead-down the organization. Finally, Maxwell emphasizes the value of 360° Leaders.

Leading and influencing others is a complex task”
– James Clawson

Effective 360-degree leaders create an environment that unleashes other 360-degree leaders. As you increase your ability to lead from the middle not only will your level of influence grow, but your organization will also. Enjoy the journey!

Your friend,


Dr. Kim Moore

Kim d. moore

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