The 360 Leader


Ninety-nine percent of all leadership occurs not from the top but from the middle of an organization. John C. Maxwell, author of The 360-Degree Leader, explains the principles leaders can use to bring value and influence to and from anywhere in the organization, enabling them to lead up, lead across, and lead down.

The author, John C. Maxwell divided the book into six section with one special section. Section 1, he mention about 7 myths of leading from the Middle of an Organization Leadership Myths. While section 2, he focused on the Challenges 360-Degree Leaders Face Leadership Challenges. 

In section 3, he did mention about the Principles 360-Degree Leaders Practice to Lead Up Lead-Up Principles while in section 4, the topic is the Principles 360-Degree Leaders Practice to Lead Across Lead-Across Principles. Section 5 he focused on the Principles 360-Degree Leaders Practice to Lead Down Lead-Down Principles and topic in section 6 is the Value of 360-Degree Leaders. In special section the title is Create an Environment That Unleashes 360-Degree Leaders.

There are 3 three principles to help leaders bring value and influence to and from every level of the organization:

1. Lead-Up: Leading up is the process of   influencing a leader. This process includes   lightening the leader’s load by being willing to   do what others won’t, while knowing when to   push forward and when to back off.

2. Lead-Across: Leaders in the middle of an   organization are leaders of leaders. These   leaders help peers achieve positive results,   let the best idea win, and garner mutual   respect. These leaders must develop and   maintain credibility, and continually exert   influence. 

3. Lead-Down: Leaders at the top who lead down   help people realize their potential, become   a strong role model, and encourage others to   become part of a higher purpose.  This involves   walking through the halls, transferring the   vision, and rewarding for results.


I can`t lead if I am not on the top
        The true measure of leadership is influence, there is nothing more or nothing less

When I get to the top, I`ll learn to lead
 Success need to learn as much as you can about leadership before you have a leadership position

If I were on top, then people would follow me
       A position give you a chance, but it cannot guarantee influence—that must be earned

When I get to the top, I`ll be in control
      The higher you go, the more you realize how many factors control the organization.

When I get to the top,   I`ll have no limit
          It doesn`t matter what job you do or what position you obtain—you will have limits

I can`t reach my potential if I`m not the top leader
      Strive for the top of your game, not the top of the organization

If I can`t get to the top, I won`t try to lead to the top
       You can learn to influence people at every level of the organization—even if you never get to the top

 By helping others, you can help yourself


Tension Challenge
Lead yourself exceptionally well
-Manage your emotion, your words, your energy, your personal life and your priorities.

Frustration Challenge
Building relationships with leaders, appreciating their strengths, adding value to those strengths, and complementing the leader’s weaknesses, help to keep frustration at bay.

The pressure of wearing many hats in the leadership role
Leaders who are able to handle multiple tasks and responsibilities must also be experts at knowing which hat to wear in any given situation, requiring consistent behavior, commitment to the   responsibility, and flexibility.

Ego Challenge
(Leaders in the middle don’t always get the credit they deserve, which can damage the ego)
It is also essential to know the difference between self-promotion and self-less promotion.  The former has a me-first mentality, whereas the latter puts others first.
Leader tend to like the front more than the middle
The right attitude, strong relationships, and a desire to win with the team lead to fulfillment anywhere in the organization.   

Vision Challenge
The best way for leaders to make a vision a reality is by putting the needs of the organization first, keeping the vision in front of people, and understanding their roles in the process. 

The influence challenge, does not escape anyone
These kinds of leaders care about their people, establish their character as trustworthy, exhibit competence, and remain consistent and committed to the cause.


Leading up is the 360-degree leader’s greatest challenge. Most leaders want to lead, not be led. But most leaders also want to have value added to them. If you take the approach of wanting to add value to those above you, you have the best chance of influencing them.
v  Lead Yourself Exceptionally Well Nothing —To become someone your leader turns to when the heat is on, manage your emotions, time, priorities, energy, thinking, words, and your personal life.

v  Lighten Your Leader’s Load— If you help lift the load, then you help your leader succeed. Lifting shows you are a team player. When you find a problem, provide a solution.

v  Be Willing to Do What Others Won’t—Successful people do the things that unsuccessful people are unwilling to do. Good leaders also find a way to succeed with people who are hard to work with by finding common ground and connecting with them.

v  Do More Than Manage — Lead!— To move beyond management to leadership, you need to broaden your mind-set and begin thinking like a leader.

v  Invest in Relational Chemistry— The key to developing chemistry with our leaders is to develop relationships with them by listening to their heartbeat to understand what makes them tick, knowing their priorities, catching their enthusiasm, supporting their vision, connecting with their interests, conforming to their personality, earning their trust, learning to work with their weaknesses, and respecting their family.

v  Be Prepared Every Time You Take Your Leader’s Time— Don’t make your boss think for you, and bring something to the table.

v  Know When to Push and When to Back Off—Successful leaders make the right move at the right moment with the right motive. Go-to players produce when the pressure is on. They are the people who find a way to make things happen no matter what.

v  Be Better Tomorrow Than You Are Today— If you keep learning, you will be better tomorrow than you are today, and that can do many things for you. 
The 7 Principles that a 360° Leaders needs to lead across:
1. Understand, practice, and complete the leadership loop
2. Put completing fellow leaders ahead of competing with them
3. Be a friend
4. Avoid office politics
5. Expand your circle of acquaintances
6. Let the best idea win
7. Don’t pretend you’re perfect


As a 360-degree leader, when you lead down, you are doing more than just getting people to do what you want. You are finding out who they are, helping them to discover and reach their potential.

Walk Slowly Through the Halls— To connect with people, you travel at their speed. Express that you care and create a healthy balance of personal and professional interest. Professional interest shows that you have the desire to help them.

Everyone as a ‘10’— To shine in this area, see people as they can become. Let them borrow your belief in them.

Develop Each Team Member as a Person— Getting the job done through others makes you a leader. But developing people while helping them get the job done at the highest level makes you an exceptional leader.

Place People in Their Strength Zones— Successful leaders find the strength zones of the people they lead. The ability to help people find the best place means discovering their true strengths, giving them the right job, identifying the skills that they’ll need, and providing world-class training.

Model the Behavior You Desire Leaders— set the tone and the pace for all the people working for them. Therefore, leaders need to be what they want to see. If your decisions are not consistent with your values, they are always short-lived. If you don’t like what your people are doing, first take a look at yourself.

Transfer the Vision— As a leader in the middle of the organization, you will be transferring what is primarily the vision of others. To interpret the vision in a way that fires up people and sets them off in the right direction, include the following elements: clarity; connection of past, present and future; purpose; goals; a challenge; stories that make the vision relational and warm; and passion. If there is no passion in the picture, then your vision isn’t transferable.

Reward for Results—To reward results most effectively, give praise publicly and privately, back up praise with money, don’t reward everyone the same, give perks beyond pay, promote when possible, and remember that you get what you pay for.


The following are five values that 360-degree leaders add to their organizations:

1. A leadership team is more effective than just one leader. Organizations need to develop leadership teams at every level. A group of leaders working together is always more effective than one leader working alone.

2. Leaders are needed at every level of the organization. If a team starts out with a leader but without a vision, it will do fine because it will eventually have a vision. Leaders are always headed somewhere.

3. Leading successfully at one level is a qualifier for leading at the next level. Growing organizations are always looking for good people to step up to the next level and lead.

4. Good leaders in the middle make better leaders at the top. Good leaders maximize the performance of those on their team. They set direction. They inspire their people and help them work together. They get results.

5. The 360-degree leader possesses qualities that every organization wants to see in all of its employees, especially in its leaders. These include the following:

  1. Adaptability: Quickly adjusting to change.
  2. Discernment: Understanding the real issues.
  3. Perspective: Seeing beyond your own vantage point.
  4. Communication: Linking to all levels of the organization.
  5. Security: Finding identity in self, not the position.
  6. Servanthood: Doing whatever it takes.
  7. Resourcefulness: Finding creative ways to make things happen.
  8. Maturity: Putting the team before oneself.
  9. Endurance: Remaining consistent in character and competence over the long haul.
  10. Countability: Being able to be counted on when it counts. 


By Zulkamal

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