John Maxwell: The Law of Buy-in

By August 2, 2016 June 2nd, 2024 Articles on Leadership

Last Updated on June 2, 2024 by Dave Schoenbeck

One of the premier leadership experts is author and speaker Dr. John Maxwell. He breaks down the critical fundamentals of leadership into easy-to-understand language and presents concepts that can be adopted to enhance your leadership presence. I highly recommend reading “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.” It is my favorite of his books, and I have found it helpful in my career.

A photo of Mt. Rushmore depicts the law of buy-in

Of his 21 Laws of Leadership, the one that has always resonated with me is Law #14, The Law of Buy-in.

The idea behind this law is simply….people buy into the leader, then the vision. Dr. Maxwell explains it best in his own words, “Many people who approach the area of vision in leadership have it all backward. They believe that if the cause is good enough, people will automatically buy into it and follow. But that’s not how leadership works. People don’t at first follow worthy causes. They follow worthy leaders who promote causes that they can believe in. People buy into the leader first, then the leader’s vision.”

Take a look at the photo above this article. George Washington and Abraham Lincoln are universally well-known and highly respected leaders in American history. They had a vision of what our country should become. Still, before implementing their plans, they had to convince the public that they were the right messengers to deliver their controversial message.

Run through your list of the highly impactful leaders in your personal and work life, and I am very confident that you first believed in the person and their attributes before you could hear and support their vision.

In our roles as business leaders, the challenge for you and me is to subordinate our ingrained urgent instinct to aggressively push our agenda and work on implementation before ensuring our colleagues and teammates will support us.

Here are three other quotes that support the law of buy-in:

“They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Theodore Roosevelt

“To lead the people, walk behind them.” Lau Tzu

The best and most successful commanders are those who win the respect, confidence, and affection of their subordinates by justice and firmness, tempered by kindness.” General John Schofield

John Maxwell is a fantastic oracle for the truths about being an influential leader. Read The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and work hard to allow his ideas to mold your leadership style. If you are designated a leader by your company, you must be perfect. The long-term success of your business depends on it. And guess what, your people are watching!

I hope this post made you think about the law of buy-in. If you want additional ideas to help you grow and prosper, click here and read my other blog posts.

Coach Dave

Dave Schoenbeck
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