The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork by John C. Maxwell–Book Review

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you may already know that teamwork is one of my core values (L. A. T. C. H. On To Your Core Values).  So when I saw this book at the local library, I decided it was something I wanted to read.  John Maxwell is known as an expert on leadership, in fact I previously reviewed another book of his– The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader by John C. Maxwell–Book Review.

In order to be an effective leader, you must have a team.  In fact we’re all part of teams at work, at church, in community organizations, even in our family.  Maxwell says the question is not “will I participate in something that involves others?”  The question is, “will my involvement with others be successful?”  In his book, he lists seventeen “laws” that will help your team perform better.  He uses illustrations from business, sports, churches and other organizations that have succeeded through effective teamwork.  At the end of each chapter, there is a teamwork thought that summarizes the law, a paragraph about becoming a better team member, and a paragraph on becoming a better team leader.  He also refers readers to his website for further information.

VERDICT:  4 STARS.  The information is clearly presented and the book could easily used by a team or leadership group at your church for study and discussion.  A workbook is also available.  However, since it was written in 2001, some of his examples are a bit dated, especially the references to Enron as a successful example to emulate.

For more on teamwork see:

Two Are Better Than One

Bulls Eye!

Philippians Chapter 1 — What Stands Out


Grade Yourself #3

I’ve been thinking a lot this month about grading yourself honestly on how you are doing spiritually — is it possible (see Grade Yourself)  and who/what should you compare yourself to in assigning a grade (see  Grade Yourself #2 ).  I concluded with input from a friend, that each of us should be “graded” against ourselves.  How have we matured in our relationship with God, our good works, our understanding of Scripture over the past weeks, months or years.

Recently I did another spiritual exercise that had to do with imagining my own death.  How would I want to be remembered?  What would I expect to be said in my eulogy.    What are my life goals and have I met them?  This too, is a kind of “grading” or evaluating.  Of course, it is my faith and not my works that save me, but will I feel at all  worthy to hear these words?

‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!'”  Matthew 25:23

I thought hard about this.  Looking back on my life, trying to grade myself, I would consider three things.  The first is my life verse(actually it’s two verses):

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

Second is my personal mission statement What’s My Mission?:

“”To keep in mind that I am a pilgrim on a journey to draw closer to God’;  to recognize and respect this pilgrim quality in others and use my God given talents, insights, and resources to encourage them;  to enjoy the life, friends, family and work with which I have been blessed and to be a peaceful and harmonious influence in all of these places.”

Finally, my core values (L. A. T. C. H. On To Your Core Values):

  • Learning
  • Attentiveness
  • Teamwork
  • Creativity
  • Honesty

These are the things I would use to “grade” my life–this is what I would use to see if I had worked toward being the kind of servant God created me to be.

If you haven’t done any exercises like these, I would encourage you to do so.  Knowing what you’re aiming for will help you persevere.  As Dietrich Bonhoeffer said:

“If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction.”




Two Are Better Than One

The phrase that stands out for me in Chapter 4 of Ecclesiastes is “two are better than one.”  Ecclesiastes 4:9.  To get the entire idea you must read further:

Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”  Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Of course, this is a section of Scripture often read at marriages.  Having just celebrated my 49th anniversary, I certainly agree that life has been better with a companion to walk and stand with me, to help me up when I feel weak or discouraged.

However, I think it also appeals to me because teamwork is one of my core values (see L. A. T. C. H. On To Your Core Values). I’ve seen T-E-A-M used as an acronym to say “together everyone accomplishes more.”  I truly enjoy working with a group, and  I’ve completed projects with other people that I would never have considered doing on my own.  Genesis tells us:

“The LORD God also said, “It is not good for the man to be alone….”Genesis 2:18

We were created to be in relationship with others — and with God!  That’s the reason “a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”  God strengthens any relationship He joins.  In fact, without God, our ties to one another quickly fall apart.  Only with God’s help can we remain forgiving, self-sacrificing, and loving.

If you have a spouse, a dear friend, a helpful co-worker, a cherished sibling, give thanks!  Two are always better than one!

For more on the book of Ecclesiastes see:

A Time to Die

Hoping for Something New?

God Moments in Ecclesiastes


L. A. T. C. H. On To Your Core Values

In my last post, I wrote about an exercise to use in determining your LifeCall (taken from the book, Younique by Will Mancini).  Another way to increase your clarity and focus in determining your personal mission, is to think about your core values, or as Mancini terms it, your LifeCore.  These values will help you say “yes” or “no” more confidently when opportunities arise.  Knowing your values will help you do more of the things you do best.  Some of the questions to consider are:

  • What motivates you most deeply?
  • What would others say you value most?
  • What ideals do you want to define your life?
  • What do your heroes and heroines stand for?
  • Who are you when you are at your best?
  • What is always true of you no matter what you are doing, who you are with or where you are?

After spending some time with this, draw up of list (fairly short — 3-5).  Then select a structure to fit your values into.  It could be alliterative or rhythmic, something that makes it easy to remember.  In my case, it turned into the word, “LATCH.”

  • Learning
  • Attentiveness
  • Teamwork
  • Creativity
  • Honesty

Give it a try, readers and authors — then tell us what your core values are–  I’ll be waiting to hear.

For another post on the same book follow this link:

Bulls Eye!