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The 360 Degree Leader

The approach for our student leadership development is taken from John C. Maxwell’s The 360 Degree Leader.  This provides the principles for leaders to bring value and influence to and from anywhere in the organization/school, enabling them to lead up, lead across and lead down.  Maxwell identifies 3 key principles to help leaders bring value and influence to and from every level of the organization:

  1. Lead-Up: Leading up is the process of influencing a leader.  This process includes lightening the leader’s load by being willing to do what others won’t, while knowing when to push forward and when to back off.

  2. Lead-Across: Leaders in the middle of an organization are leaders of leaders.  These leaders help peers achieve positive results, let the best idea win, and garner mutual respect.  These leaders must develop and maintain credibility, and continually exert influence. 

  3. Lead-Down: Leaders at the top who lead down help people realize their potential, become a strong role model, and encourage others to become part of a higher purpose.  This involves walking through the halls, transferring the vision, and rewarding for results.