It got Jimmy Carter elected president of the United States. It also cost him the presidency. What is it? For John Maxwell it’s something that may stand between you and your ability to lead effectively. It’s called the Law of Timing.
When Carter first threw his hat into the ring for the presidency, people in the media ignored him… But Carter was undaunted….Carter made his candidacy for president official in December of 1975, a year after finishing his term as governor. The reaction of people across the nation was painfully indifferent. The Law of Timing showed that it was the right time for an outsider to run, and Carter was everything that recent presidents had not been: He held no public office while campaigning …he was not a lawyer by profession. He was a vocal proponent of his Christian faith…His was a fresh face with a different approach to government, something the American people desperately wanted. I believe that at no other time—either before or since—would Jimmy Carter have been elected. Remarkably, on January 20, 1977, James Earl Carter was inaugurated as thirty-ninth president of the United States.
However, timing was not always Jimmy Carter’s friend. When the 1980 election rolled around, it killed his chances for reelection. The country experienced as many problems as it ever had. The economy was a mess: Americans faced double-digit inflation, record-high oil prices, and skyrocketing mortgage rates….The Law of Timing is a double-edged sword. Just as it served to elect Carter president in 1976, it worked against him four years later. (John Maxwell)
Timing is often the difference between success and failure in an endeavor. Every time a leader makes a move, John Maxwell writes, there are really only four outcomes:
1. The Wrong Action at the Wrong Time Leads to Disaster – If you take the wrong action at the wrong time, your team or organization will suffers and so will your leadership.
2. The Right Action at the Wrong Time Brings Resistance – Having a vision for the right direction and knowing how to get there is not enough. If a leader takes the right action but do it at the wrong time, she may still be unsuccessful because the team she leads can become resistant. Good timing requires the leaders to:
a) Be Understanding: leaders must have a firm grasp on the situation.
b) Have Maturity: if the leader’s motives aren’t right, their timing will be off.
c) Have Confidence: people follow leaders who know what must be done.
d) Be Decisive: indecisive leaders confuse and weaken their followers’ resolve.
e) Have Experience: if leaders don’t possess experience, then they need to gain wisdom from others who do possess it.
f) Have Intuition: timing often depends on intangibles, such as momentum and morale.
g) Be Prepared: if the conditions aren’t right, leaders must create those conditions.
3. The Wrong Action at the Right Time is a Mistake – the greatest mistake made by entrepreneurs is knowing when to cut their losses or when to increase their investment to maximize gains. Their mistakes come from taking the wrong action at the right time.
4. The Right Action at the Right Time Results in Success – When the right leader and the right timing come together a team or an organization achieves its goals and is successul.
Reading the right situation and knowing what to do are not enough. If leaders want their team or organization to move forward, they must pay attention to timing. Only the right action at the right time will bring success. John Maxwell believes that no leader can escape the Law of Timing.
THE 21 IRREFUTABLE LAWS OF LEADERSHIP BY JOHN C. MAXWELL
The book is divided in 21 main chapters, one for each of the 21 leadership laws. Below are the links to the individual chapters.
- THE LAW OF THE LID
- THE LAW OF INFLUENCE
- THE LAW OF PROCESS
- THE LAW OF NAVIGATION
- THE LAW OF E.F.HUTTON
- THE LAW OF SOLID GROUND
- THE LAW OF RESPECT
- THE LAW OF INTUITION
- THE LAW OF MAGNETISM
- THE LAW OF CONNECTION
- THE LAW OF THE INNER CIRCLE
- THE LAW OF EMPOWERMENT
- THE LAW OF REPRODUCTION
- THE LAW OF BUY-IN
- THE LAW OF VICTORY
- THE LAW OF THE BIG MO
- THE LAW OF PRIORITIES
- THE LAW OF SACRIFICE
- THE LAW OF TIMING
- THE LAW OF EXPLOSIVE GROWTH
- THE LAW OF LEGACY
ON AMAZON: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership