John Calvin Maxwell (born 1947) is an American author, speaker, and pastor who has written many books, primarily focusing on leadership. Titles include The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader. His books have sold millions of copies, with some on the New York Times Best Seller List.
Maxwell was born in Garden City, Michigan in 1947. An evangelical Christian, he followed his father into the ministry. He completed 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. He currently resides in South Florida with his wife, Margaret.
Since the 1970s, Maxwell has led churches in Indiana, Ohio, California, and Florida. After serving as senior pastor for 14 years, he left Skyline Church in 1995 to devote himself full-time to speaking and writing. In 2004 he returned to congregational ministry at Christ Fellowship in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, where he is currently a teaching pastor. On November 16, 2008, he began serving as a guest pastor at the famous Crystal Cathedral in Orange County, California. His mentor, Robert H. Schuller, had a variety of noted evangelical pastors preach at his megachurch after his son, Robert A. Schuller, resigned as senior pastor in 2008. Maxwell returned to preach at the Crystal Cathedral several times and his messages were broadcast on the Hour of Power television program.
Maxwell is a leadership expert, speaker, and author. He is the founder of INJOY, Maximum Impact, The John Maxwell Team, ISS and EQUIP. EQUIP is an international leadership development organization working to help leaders, involved with leaders from more than 80 nations. Its mission is "to see effective Christian leaders fulfill the Great Commission in every nation".
Maxwell speaks annually 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. A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Business Week best-selling author, he was one of 25 authors named to Amazon.com'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.
Maxwell serves on the Board of Trustees at Indiana Wesleyan University and has a building named after him there, the Maxwell Center for Business and Leadership.
Maxwell was a keynote speaker at National Agents Alliance NAA Leadership Conference several times, most recently in 2010. Maxwell was the keynote speaker for the Symmetry Financial Group's National Conference in February 2018. In 2012 he was awarded the Golden Gavel by Toastmasters International.
In July 2013, Maxwell's organization trained 24,000 leaders in Guatemala. Randy Stroman and other John Maxwell Team members took part in the weeklong leadership training sessions.
In May 2014, Maxwell was named the No. 1 leadership and management expert in the world by Inc. Magazine.
- See List of books by John C. Maxwell for a more complete list
- There's No Such Thing as Business Ethics (There's Only ONE RULE for Making Decisions), Warner Business Books 2003
- The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, Center Street – 2012
- The 5 Levels of Leadership, Center Street – 2011
- Everyone Communicates, Few Connect: What the Most Effective People Do Differently, Thomas Nelson –2010
- Put Your Dream to the Test, Thomas Nelson – March, 2009
- Leadership Gold: Lessons I've Learned from a Lifetime of Leading, Thomas Nelson – March 2008
- The 360° Leader, Thomas Nelson, January 2006 – One of Executive Book Summaries 30 Best Business Books in 2003
- Winning With People, Thomas Nelson, December 2004 – One of Executive Book Summaries 30 Best Business Books in 2005
- Today Matters, Warner Books, April 2004
- Thinking For a Change, Warner Business Books, March 2003
- Your Road Map for Success, Thomas Nelson, March 2002 (Orig.titled: The Success Journey, Thomas Nelson, 1997)
- The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork, Thomas Nelson, August 2001
- Failing Forward–Turning Your Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success, Thomas Nelson, 2000
- The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, Thomas Nelson, 1998
- Developing the Leaders Around You, Thomas Nelson, 1995 (Repackaged 2003)
- Developing the Leader Within You, Thomas Nelson, 1993 (Repackaged 2001)
- Be a People Person, Cook Communications (Originally Chariot-Victor Books, 1989)
- Be All You Can Be, Cook Communications (Originally Chariot-Victor Books, 1987)
- Make Today Count, Center Street, First Center Street Edition: June 2008
- How Successful People Think (originally published as Thinking for a Change), Center Street, First Center Street Edition: June 2009
- Intentional Living: Choosing a Life That Matters, Center Street, 2015
- Developing the Leader Within You 2.0, HarperCollins, 2018