April 25, 2019
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DR#: 21 The Leader's Highest Return: Forming a Dream Team of Leaders


John Maxwell spends the first six chapters of Developing the Leaders Around You writing about a leader’s first and foremost responsibility—to identify and train his/her potential successors. To this point in his book, Maxwell’s emphasis has been on individual leaders and their personal leadership qualities. Chapter 7 shifts his focus from individual leaders to teams of leaders. He terms the forming of a “dream team” of leaders “the leader’s highest return.”

The emphasis in this chapter is placed on linking the skills of a group of leaders rather than employing the skills of an individual leader. Maxwell writes that “[a] good team is always greater than the sum of its parts, but teams of leaders increase their effectiveness exponentially.” (p. 137) He outlines and explains ten characteristics of dream teams. Crucial to the success of these teams is that members must have a common goal and they must cooperate, communicate, and commit to that goal.

Through this reading, the participant will:

  • understand the importance of forming a team of leaders;
  • understand the ten characteristics of a dream team of leaders.
  • "The Leader’s Highest Return: Forming a Dream Team of Leaders” from Developing the Leaders Around You, by John C. Maxwell, pp. 135-149.
Options for Additional Readings
  • The Leadership Challenge, James K. Kouzes, Barry Z. Posner (Jossey-Bass Inc., Publishers, 2003)

    Part 4: Enabling Others to Act

 -  Chapter 7: “Foster Collaboration: Promoting Cooperative Goals and Mutual Trust” (pp. 151 – 179)

 -  Chapter 8: “Strengthen Others: Sharing Power and Information” (pp. 180 – 206)

Suggestions for Journal Reflection
  1. Reflecting on your current staff, who would you immediately ask to form a “dream team” of leaders in your school? Why? What would be your greatest challenge in forming that team?
  2. The formation of a “dream team” of leaders requires that team members put aside any personal agendas for that of the common good. What strategies would you employ to achieve the subordination of personal agendas among your team members?
  3. On page 144, Maxwell uses the term “niche principle” and quotes another author (Philip Van Auken) in this way: “People who occupy a special place on the team feel special and perform in a special way. Team niches humanize teamwork.” Given the limited human resources in our schools, team members frequently have to function in a variety of roles. How do you go about “cross-training” your team members?

 Compassionate and gracious Father,
you are the giver of all good gifts,
the one who creates us in your own image
with talents for the coming of your Kingdom.

You have made some of us to be teachers,
others to be counselors,
still others to be coaches,
and others to be leaders.
           Help us whom you equip to be leaders
to combine our talents into a team
dedicated to the service of both our colleagues and our students.

May we leaders set aside our own wants and desires
and work without concern for personal gain
and without counting the cost.
                May Father André Coindre always be our model
        of selfless and focused commitment
as we seek to make your kingdom
a reality in our schools.

We make this prayer,
trusting always in your love and mercy,
now and forever.


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