John C. Maxwell

Moved to lead.

July 4, 1976—the Bicentennial—is a day that John C. Maxwell will never forget. The then 29-year-old pastor was preaching a normal Sunday morning message when he felt something stirring inside of him. God was calling him to develop leaders.

“I had never even thought about that.” Maxwell said in a 2011 interview. “I wasn’t even preaching on the subject, then suddenly I realized my calling was to train leaders.”

As he pursued this calling through his vocation as a pastor, Maxwell took a leap of faith in 1985 when he founded INJOY, a company dedicated to creating leadership tools and materials for pastors and lay leaders. At the time, Maxwell was also the senior pastor of a church called Skyline Wesleyan Church located near San Diego, California. For fourteen years, Maxwell poured himself into pastoring the church, challenging the church body in the areas of leadership and laity involvement, and ultimately saw the church grow from an average of 1,100 to 3,000 members. Then, in 1995, God called him to step down as pastor and commit to working full time for INJOY.

A trailblazer with global influence.

In 1997, the Michigan native moved INJOY’s headquarters from San Diego to its current location of Atlanta, Georgia. Eventually, INJOY became The INJOY Group made up of three different companies—The John Maxwell Company, The John Maxwell Team and EQUIP—that are each committed to developing and training world-class leaders. To date, Maxwell has trained more than 5 million leaders in 188 countries across the globe.

Maxwell’s leadership philosophy is, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” With this in mind, he seeks to continually move forward in the career that the Lord has called him to. He has written over 70 books—nine of which are New York Times bestsellers. Some of his most popular titles include the following:

  • “Developing the Leader Within You”
  • “Failing Forward”
  • “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth”
  • “The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork”
  • “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”
  • “The 360 Degree Leader”
  • “The Five Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential”
  • “Your Roadmap for Success”

In 2005, Maxwell became one of 25 authors named to Amazon’s 10th Anniversary Hall of Fame. Other writers on the list included C.S. Lewis, J.K. Rowling and Dr. Seuss. 

A biblical leader.

Every year, Maxwell speaks to more than 350,000 people about biblical leadership, success and the power of self-development. Not only is he teaching it, but he is also working to instill in himself the very essence of what he communicates to others.

“If anybody has ever heard me, they realize that I have been—for many, many years—on a mission to grow and to learn and to stretch myself and get out of my own comfort zone,” Maxwell said in a 2012 interview. “I’m as passionate about personal growth as I am about leadership. And when you really think about it, your personal growth is going to determine how well you lead.”  

Maxwell’s passion for self-development goes hand-in-hand with his heart for others. He realizes the world is in desperate need of strong, biblical leaders and has dedicated his life to training and mentoring those who wish to receive it. Over the years, Maxwell has spoken to a wide variety of clients from organizations such as Fortune 500 companies, the National Football League, foreign governments, the United States Military Academy at West Point and the United Nations.

“The first thing I do every morning is I ask God to help me add value to people. And the last thing I do every night is ask God, ‘Did I add value to people?’” Maxwell said in a 2011 interview. “It keeps me intentional and focused.”

For both his local and global work he has been recognized by the American Management Association®, Business Insider and Inc. magazine.  Yet, through it all, his aim remains clear.

“Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts,” Maxwell has said. “It is about one life influencing another.”