Leaders that care make connections

The 10th article in the current series takes us to John C. Maxwell’s 1oth of 21 Irrefutable laws of Leadership; The Law of Connection.

The Law of Connection states that leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand. Clearly, to be effective you must move people to action. All great leaders instinctively first move people with emotion. Maxwell states:

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”

Successful leaders who obey the Law of Connection always take the first step with others and then make the effort to continue building relationships. It can be difficult, but it is critical to the success of the organisation.

Maxwell gives eight ways to initiate connection:

  1. Connect with Yourself – If you don’t believe in who you are and where you want to lead, work on that before doing anything else.
  2. Communicate with Openness and Sincerity – People can smell a phony a mile away. Authentic leaders connect.
  3. Know Your Audience – When you work with individuals, knowing your audience means learning people’s names, finding out their histories, asking about their dreams. When you communicate to an audience, you learn about the organization and its goals. You want to speak about what they care about.
  4. Live Your Message – Practice what you preach. That’s were credibility comes from.
  5. Go to Where They Are – Remove as many barriers to communication as possible. Try to be attuned to their culture, background, education, and so on. Adapt to others; don’t expect them to adapt to me.
  6. Focus on Them, Not Yourself – Focus on others, not yourself. That is the number one problem of inexperienced speakers and ineffective leaders.
  7. Believe in Them – It’s one thing to communicate to people because you believe you have something of value to say. It’s another to communicate with people because you believe they have value. People’s opinions of us have less to do with what they see in us than with what we can help them see in themselves.
  8. Give Them Hope – French general Napoleon Bonaparte said, “Leaders are dealers in hope.” When you give people hope, you give them a future.

How do you make connections?

Does your team know how much you care?

This is the 10th article in a series of 21. Previous articles can be found here:

  1. The Law of the Lid: How effective are you as a leader?
  2. The Law of Influence: The True Measure of Leadership
  3. The Law of Process: Leadership is a Journey of Continuous Improvement
  4. The Law of Navigation: Anyone can Steer the Ship…
  5. The Law of Addition: Adding Value by Serving Others
  6. The Law of Solid Ground: Trust is the Foundation of Leadership
  7. The Law of Respect: People Don’t Follow Others by Accident
  8. The Law of Intuition: Evaluate Everything with a Leadership Bias
  9. The Law of Magnetism: Who You Are, Is Who You Attract

About Peter Borner

Peter is an entrepreneur and successful business leader. Currently leading a consultancy firm specialising in technical diligence for M&A and advising global firms on IT consolidation and migration to consumption based costing through the use of Cloud Technologies.

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Great post, Peter!  John Maxwell's 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership is a phenomenal read and this is a great treatment of one of the most difficult laws - the law of connection.  Not only is it difficult to connect with others but it's sometimes even more difficult to connect with self!  It's been many years since I read the book - appreciate your series tremendously to reacquaint me with the material!

Peterborner moderator

 @leaderswest Thank you. I only found a copy of Maxwell's book a few weeks ago so enjoyed reading it for the first time. I think you are right, connecting can be difficult , specially for the uninitiated. I've learnt over the years that it is connections that make the world go round. I am luck enough to have a broad spectrum of people in my network and those that I look to for help and advice have always been quick to help. I now try to mimic this behaviour myself and that is having the effect of increasing the quantity and quality of my connections.


  1. Peter Borner says:

    […] The Law of Connection: Leaders that Care Make Connections […]