Tony DeMeo

The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork by John Maxwell

John Maxwell is one of the most prolific writers today on the subject of leadership, teamwork and success. He breaks down very complex topics into simple, easy to understand teaching. I like his bullet-point and numbering outline style of writing. His book The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork is a must read for anyone who must take a group of individuals and forge them together into a cohesive unit focused only on the collective good. This is especially poignant in today’s world of me, rather than we. The ESPN crowd promotes this kind of thinking by highlighting show-boating and attention seeking athletes that focus only on themselves. So a book that is so good in teambuilding is a real treasure.
Maxwell goes into depth describing his 17 Laws and uses a variety of great examples and quotes. I’m going to give a brief taste of all 17:

1. The Law of Significance – a great quote “One is too small a number for greatness.” Put your ego on a shelf and be a team player.

2. The Law of the Big Picture – another great chapter. It’s all about TEAM. Maxwell quotes football legend Bud Wilkinson” If a team is to reach it’s potential; each player must be willing to subordinate his goals to the goals of the team.”

3. The Law of the Niche – each player has a role to play on the team. All the roles are important and must be embraced.

4. The Law of Mount Everest – Everyone has a dream but the team is more important than dream. Focus on building a team to accomplish the dream.

5. The Law of the Chain – a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Tour team isn’t for everyone. You have to eliminate weak links by either strengthening or replacing.

6. The Law of the Catalyst – every team needs a get it done and then some kind of guy. Go to guys. A guy who senses opportunity and seizes it.

7. The Law of the Compass – the core values that give a team direction. The vision that of what can be.

8. The Law of the Bad Apple – a rotten apple ruins a team and must be removed as quickly as possible. Talent is not enough. Rotten apples multiply.

9. The Law of Countability – teammates must be able to count on each other. The greatest compliment is to be counted on.

10. The Law of the Price Tag – teams fail to reach their potential when the fail to pay the price. The price must be paid by EVERYONE.

11. The Law of the Scoreboard – teams can adjust when they know where they stand. The scoreboard is essential for the team to understand where they stand.

12. The Law of the Bench – great teams have great depth. The bench provides insurance against injuries. A strong bench gives a leader more options.

13. The Law of Identity – “Shared values define your team”. Values add value to your team. You must build a value-based culture.

14. The Law of Communication – communication is the key to changing the culture of an organization. Share information to boost morale. Communication should flow BOTH ways. Coach to players and players to coach.

15. The Law of the Edge – the difference between to equally matched teams is leadership. Good leaders do things a little bit better than the others.

16. The Law of High Morale – high morale can overcome circumstances. When morale is good the team is focused.

17. The Law of Dividends – make whoever you’re with the most important person in the world. Investing in the team compounds over time. Get the best talent you can gather and mold them into a team.

Those are John Maxwell’s 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork. This is an outstanding book and should be not just read but reviewed regularly. I also reviewed Maxwell’s book: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership which is also a great book. I recommend both very strongly.