#9 The Law of Magnetism

21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership - John C. Maxwell

From the book “The 21 Laws of Leadership” by John C. Maxwell

#9 The Law of Magnetism - Who You Are Is Who You Attract

EFFECTIVE LEADERS ARE always on the lookout for good people.  As a leader you may have a mental list of what kind of people you might want in your organization.  Here are a few questions to consider in formalizing this list:

Now, what will determine whether the people you want are the people you get, whether they will possess the qualities you desire?  You may be surprised by the answer.  Believe it or not, WHO YOU GET IS NOT DETERMINED BY WHAT YOU WANT.  IT’S DETERMINED BY WHO YOU ARE.  In most situations, you draw people to you who possess the same qualities you do.  That’s the Law of Magnetism - Who You Are Is Who You Attract.  

There is an old saying that ‘birds of a feather flock together.’  This is found in many aspects of everyday life.  Good students spend time with other good students, good athletes spend time with other good athletes.  In some instances, many exceptional people band together as they align their shared motivation and values.  


A secret to successful leadership is to staff your weaknesses.  In doing so, you can focus and function in areas of strength (check out Strength Finders 2.0 for more on this subject) while others take care of the important matters that would otherwise be neglected.  The challenge is that people that are different will not naturally be attracted to you.  Leaders draw people who are like themselves.  

It is possible for leaders to go out and recruit people unlike themselves, but those are not the people they will naturally attract.  


If you think your people are negative, then you better check your attitude.  


People who view life as a series of opportunities and exciting challenges don’t want to hear others talk about how bad things are all the time. 


People tend to attract others of roughly the same age.  


Leaders tend to attract people from a similar background as their own.  


People are attracted to leaders whose values are similar to their own.  It does not matter whether the shared values are positive or negative.  Either way, the attraction is equally strong.  J.F.K. Was an idealist who wanted to change the world, and he attracted people with a similar profile.  On the other hand, Adolf Hitler’s values were rotten to the core and he attracted strong leaders of similar values to run his high command.  The Law of Magnetism is powerful.  Whatever character you possess you will likely find in the people who follow you.  


Life experience is another area of attraction for people.  If people are used to high energy and motivated leadership; they will be sharp, expectations will be high, and their body language will be positive.  If people are used to low energy and unmotivated leadership the body language will show they have mentally checked out.  


The better leader you are, the better leaders you will attract.  This has an incredible impact on everything you do.  

How do the people you are currently attracting to your organization or department look to you?  Are they the strong, capable potential leaders you desire?  Or could they be better?  Remember, their quality does not ultimately depend on a hiring process, a Human Resources department, or even what you consider to be the quality of your area’s applicant pool.  It depends on you.  Who you are is who you attract.  That’s the Law of Magnetism.  

If you think the people you attract could be better, then it’s time for you to improve yourself.       

#9 The Law of Magnetism - Who You Are Is Who You Attract

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I hope this book provides you with guidance for your journey.