The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth: Live Them and Reach Your Potential

By John C. Maxwell

6,236 ratings - 4.34* vote

Are there tried and true principles that are always certain to help a person grow? John Maxwell says the answer is yes. He has been passionate about personal development for over fifty years, and for the first time, he teaches everything he has gleaned about what it takes to reach our potential. In the way that only he can communicate, John teaches . . .The Law of the Mirror: You Must See Value in Yourself to Add Value to YourselfThe Law of Awareness: You Must Know Yourself to Grow YourselfThe

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Book details

Hardcover, 265 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by Center Street

(first published January 1st 2012)

Original Title
The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth: Live Them and Reach Your Potential
1599953668 (ISBN13:9781599953663)
Edition Language

Community Reviews


This book contains a lot of wisdom but lacks compactness and flow to make the content stick. The 15 invaluable laws of growth are:
1. Law of Intentionality (be intentional about your growth)
2.Law of Awareness (know yourself to grow yourself)
3. Law of the Mirror (see value in yourself to add value to yourself)
4. Law of Reflection (learning to pause allows growth to catch up with you)
5. Law of Consistency (develop good habits that lead to success)
6. Law of Environment (if you are always at the head of the class, you're in the wrong class)
7. Law of Design (design your life plan)
8. Law of Pain (good management of bad experiences leads to great growth)
9. Law of the Ladder (character growth determines the height of your personal growth)
10. Law of the Rubber Band (if you're not stretching yourself, you're not growing)
11. Law of the Trade Offs (don't cling to an unsatisfactory way of life for fear of change)
12. Law of Curiosity (ask more questions)
13. Law of Modeling (find a mentor)
14. Law of Expansion (increase your capacity)
15. Law of Contribution (first you must grow yourself to be able to grow others)

This is the type of book that you go through slowly, pick out advice that seems useful, put down the book, apply the advice for a while, and then come back to the book. This book is like wisdom being handed down by a grandparent. It should be absorbed over time.

Clare Cannon

John C Maxwell is master of the To Do list, but what makes his lists so valuable is the profound wisdom contained in the goals he proposes and the methods he suggests to achieve them.

All of us would like to grow: in our character, our relationships, our professional development and our education, but daily demands on our time and attention often get in the way of making growth happen. In this book Maxwell identifies first why it is important to grow, and then how we can apply laws of growth to what we do each day.

Some of his laws include: The Law of Intentionality: growth doesn't just happen; The Law of Awareness: you must know yourself to grow yourself; The Law of Reflection: learning to pause allows growth to catch up with you; The Law of Pain: good management of bad experiences leads to great growth; and The Law of the Ladder: character growth determines the height of your personal growth.

The practicality of Maxwell's wisdom is impressive. He suggests working through only one chapter a week to give yourself time to reflect on the suggestions in your personal circumstances, and implement changes. His writing is full of anecdotes which apply the theory, and his examples reflect the kind of personal balance and coherence of life that turns an ordinary person into a great one.

Edwina Cowgill

I have been in the business world more years that I care to admit. I have followed John Maxwell since the beginning of my career. I’ve read many of his books, including books one and two of the Laws series: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork. I have just finished reading the third book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth. As in the first two books of the series, the third book is full of wisdom, motivational sayings and true illustrations.

Each chapter discusses one of the fifteen laws, such as: “The Law of Awareness: You Must Know Yourself to Grow Yourself;” “The Law of Reflection: Learning to Pause Allows Growth to Catch Up with You;” and “The Law of Trade-offs: You Have to Give Up to Grow Up.” At the end of each chapter, Maxwell has included questions designed to help the readers realize how the law discussed in that chapter can be applied to their lives resulting in personal growth.

Another benefit of this book is the sidebar quotes found on almost every page. Inspirational statements such as Phillip Yancey’s “Faith is trusting in advance what will only make sense in reverse;” “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone;” (Neale Donald Walsh) and “”If you want to keep giving, you have to keep growing,” will be added to my collection of motivational statements.

In The Fifteen Invaluable Laws of Growth, as in all the Maxwell books I’ve read, every sentence, paragraph and chapter is written to make the readers think, and the motivational statements to spur them into action.

Last, but definitely not least, Maxwell’s sincere desire to help people be all that God created them to be is evident throughout the book. He relates in the book one particular incident where he needed to make an immediate connection with the group, while at the same time proving to them that he cared. When he walked out on the stage he said, “Hello, my name is John. And I’m your friend.” He still says that today.

I strongly encourage you to purchase this book. The first read-through will give you a great head start on developing your personal growth plan. Subsequent reads will reveal much information you missed and reinforce what you learned the first time. It is a book you will keep and refer back to many times

Rosie Nguyễn

One of the most impactful books on personal growth that I've ever read. Full of insights into the basis of self - development, why do we grow, how do we grow, and the ultimate purpose of a human's life. The book helps me to consciously aware of my current situation, what I have obtained and what I need to take my knowledge to the next level. It reminds me to continuously develop my potential, to seek for mentors and mentees, to actively create a suitable environment for my growth, to empty my cup, so I can learn more and give more, and eventually serve more people.

Farshad Asl

This book is not about building a team, it's about growing YOURSELF first. It's a great book. I would strongly recommend this book, if you like to know how to increase your influence as a leader...this is it! I enjoyed it and I will order a copy for every member on my team. Growth begins with you :-)


Is your life really successful if you successfully live and die for the wrong cause?

This book is filled with some great advice for growing as a better person, and a successful leader. I liked the advice on seeking council and the concept of the rubber band stretching in order to grow. This is great advice for growing in your faith as well. There was plenty of wisdom packed into this book. Some of it seemed random though. There were a lot of quotes and different directions.

It’s also filled with some very distracting and dangerous advice. Knowing Jon Maxwell is the teaching pastor at a church nearby, I expected plenty of Biblical-centered wisdom but I was shocked to find some lousy stuff. Tips like “Follow your heart” (Jer 17:9) and finding your purpose in life. How can a pastor who knows the one true ultimate purpose not tell his best-selling audience the truth?! Some of these postmodern self-help tips sound like “What’s true for me (a pastor), may not be true for you” mentality.

The crux of this book is about achieving success. But what is success? John Maxwell seems to describe success much like the world does: being a better leader, making a larger salary, advancing in a career, and even pastoring a larger church. The type of success he describes is me-centered (pg 88). He calls personal growth his main priority (pg 210).

John Maxwell seems to distinctly separate his Christian life from his career life. He discuss leaving his Christian audience (pg 159) because the secular market was having more sales. Again, are we really defining success by financial gain?? Jesus mentions in Mark 8:34b-36, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?”

It would be hateful and full of spite to write off this book as completely wrong. It is full of great advice and experience, but it is also peppered with some worldly wisdom that a Christian audience shouldn't be giving ear to. The focus is not centered on the Kingdom of God. Jesus discusses the first shall be last and it’s harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. Maxwell tries to recover denying self-centered success in the last chapter of the book, but it seems to contradict all the building up of self in the first 14 chapters. I really don’t see a selfless theme throughout the book.


I really enjoyed this book. Fantastic quotes throughout. Here are some takeaways:

* If you sow continually and abundantly, you can be sure that in due season there will be a harvest. Successful people know this and focus on sowing, knowing that reaping will eventually come. The process is automatic. If you live life with the intention of making a difference in the lives of others, your life will be full, not empty.

* Are you trying to put yourself in a place to help others win?

* Remember, sometimes the seeds you sow take a long time to grow. But you always see a harvest.

* Benjamin Franklin began each day asking, "What good shall I do today?" and ended each day asking, "What good have I done today?"

* John Maxwells' Daily Dozen: 1. Choose and display the right attitude. 2. Determine and act on important priorities. 3. Know and follow healthy guidelines. 4. Communicate with and care for my family. 5. Practice and develop good thinking. 6. Make and keep proper commitments. 7. Earn and properly manage finances. 8. Deepen and live out my faith. 9. Initiate and invest in solid relationships. 10. Plan for and model generosity. 11. Embrace and practice good values. 12. Seek and experience improvements.

* If I knew I could not fail, what would I attempt? If I had no limitations what would I like to do? If finances were not an issue, what would I be doing with my life?

* Movement with intentionality creates possibilities.

* "To know the road ahead, ask those coming back."

* "The race will go to the curious, the slightly mad, and those with an unsatiated passion for learning and daredeviltry."

* "My greatest strength as a consultant is to be ignorant and ask a few questions." Peter Drucker.

* "All meaningful and lasting change starts first in the imagination and then works its way out."
Albert Einstein

* If nothing changes, nothing changes.

* "There is no future in any job. The future lies in the one who holds the job." George W. Crane.

* "A possibility is a hint from God. One must follow it." Kierkegaard

* "You will never stub your toe standing still. The faster you go, the more chance there is of stubbing your toe, but the more chance you have of getting somewhere." Charles F. Kettering

* "Perhaps the very best question you can memorize and repeat over and over is, 'What is the best use of my time right now.'" Brian Tracy

* "Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a plan of action and follow it to the end requires some of the same courage which a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men to win them." Emerson

* Perspiration leads to inspiration.

* Motivation gets you going, but discipline keeps you growing.

* The mark of an effective leader is one who absorbs the punishment without surrendering his soul.

* A minute of thought is worth an hour of talk.

* "Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action." Peter Drucker

* "If you are clear with what you want, the world responds with clarity.

Paula Monica

I dont think I am into these kind of books. It lacks the flow I expected. And too many stories. I wanted something more practical. And what is this growth he is talking about? Well, perhaps it is not the book, it is me.
Don't get me wrong, there are good things as well. I am thinking about finding a mentor, but still don't know how. And perhaps trying to reevaluate my values and objectives.

Kells Next Read

Re Read because Maxwell is that good.

Bianca A.

Yet another book on self-development by a very famous author that has written up to 70 books and founded EQUIP (allegedly non-profit for training leaders, but one remains skeptical of hidden costs). The guy is also a pastor (heads up to you atheists!).
To people like myself (who have read a thing or two about personal development) some advices from the book are redundant: that personal growth has to be cultivated, as it does not just happen by itself as you go through life, and that there are methods and strategies to accelerate it. So far so good.
The rest is surprisingly reasonable as he addresses comfort zones, the time factor, knowing yourself and figuring out where you want to go, seeking pragmatism about your dreams, procrastination, support (just to name a few)... but at some point it does start playing the 'just do it' tune (although in a decently justifyiable way that doesn't make me resent it too much). If you've read other similar books, then this one might not offer you anything new. Maybe it did when it first came out (2013).
I struggled between 2 and 3 stars, because to me it was really just ok, but I think that perhaps for other people, being amongs their first choices, it could really be an eye opener.