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By John C. Maxwell | October 6, 2021

The John Maxwell Enterprise Announces an Innovative Partnership Series for 21st Century Leadership: The League of Extraordinary Leaders

The globe’s premier leadership organization shares a fresh strategy for expanding leadership training and influence through a series of strategic partnerships with five unique thought leaders and their organizations.

Every significant brand—especially those built around a game-changing personality—arrives at a point where thought must be given to how it continues its growth beyond the energy provided by the founder.

Sadly, most don’t develop that plan early enough and experience a steady decline in influence and effectiveness. 

It should come as no surprise that the man who teaches leaders around the world would lead his organization in this discussion himself.

John Maxwell, best-selling author, and world-renowned leadership expert, and Mark Cole, the CEO, and owner of the John Maxwell Enterprise, announced today their plans for continuing and expanding Maxwell’s global influence. Well in advance of any slowdown in Maxwell’s worldwide speaking tours, the Maxwell Enterprise announced the addition of five unique partner brands and their thought leaders to the Enterprise’s suite of services.

This strategy not only adheres to Maxwell’s own leadership principles, but it will also allow the Enterprise to invest new effort in supporting voices in sync with Maxwell’s views and values.

The partnering thought leaders have been affectionately called the League of Extraordinary Leaders, and they will benefit from Maxwell’s continued mentorship and development as well as new opportunities to reach underserved leaders from all walks of life. The addition of these partner organizations also allows Maxwell and his team to answer the question of “What’s next?”

“Seldom does a leader get the chance to extend their reach while still reaching out,” Cole said. “But by adding these five brands to the Maxwell team, we get to grow beyond a persona-based company and into a philosophy-based organization. And we get to do this while John is at his peak.”

It’s a sentiment that Maxwell himself echoes.

“As I extend my legacy of adding value to people through the principles and lessons of leadership, I know that in order to stay relevant and reach the generations to come, I have to extend myself from ‘me’ to ‘we’. That means we have to build a team of talented leaders who can take us to another level because teamwork makes the dream work.

Cole says the key to making the strategy work is the subject matter expertise of each new partner. By working together with the Maxwell Enterprise, they create a once-in-a-lifetime draw for potential clients through their unparalleled training and content. Cole believes that collectively the newly formed League can help every client navigate the most difficult leadership challenges.

“These exceptional leaders will bring a world of experience that will make every member of the John Maxwell Team better,” Cole said.

The announced members of the new League of Extraordinary Leaders are:

  • Valorie Burton
  • Joel Manby
  • Jeff Henderson
  • Tim Elmore
  • Don Yaeger

Cole shared a deeper understanding of the value each partner will provide for the future:

Valorie Burton is the author of thirteen books on personal development, the founder of The Coaching and Positive Psychology (CaPP) Institute, and an international speaker on resilience and happiness. She has spent more than 15 years studying the research on resilience, positive emotion, and courage, developing unique strategies for implementing each in the lives of hundreds of clients from a dozen countries and nearly every state in the US. Her books include, It’s About Time, Successful Women Think Differently, and Brave Enough to Succeed, among others.

“It is more important today than ever before to equip people with the knowledge and tools that fuel resilience, hope and true servant leadership,” Burton says. “This is one of many reasons I am excited to partner with the John Maxwell Company, legendary leadership expert John Maxwell, and my longtime friend CEO Mark Cole. Together, we are elevating and empowering those whose focus is making a positive impact and leading with values such as love, excellence, authenticity and generosity.”

Joel Manby brings his 25+ years of experience as the CEO of four major corporations including SeaWorld Entertainment and Saab Automobiles, as well as his vast C suite experience to the Maxwell League of Extraordinary Leaders. He will assist leaders in transforming their organization’s business performance and culture through a servant leadership approach that systematically leads to lower turnover, improved employee engagement, more satisfied customers, and stronger profits. Manby is the author of Love Works: Seven Timeless Principles for Effective Leaders, detailing how to integrate love, the verb, into the leadership ethos and philosophy of any organization.

“I could not be more thrilled to join forces with John and the Maxwell team,” Manby said. “John’s teachings and philosophy have been instrumental in my growth as a servant leader and I look forward to helping leaders transform their business results through proven servant leadership processes and tools.”

Jeff Henderson is an entrepreneur, speaker, pastor, and business leader. Recently named by Forbes Magazine as one of twenty speakers you shouldn’t miss, Jeff’s latest work, FOR, has been the catalyst for hundreds of organizations to build stronger companies by focusing on what they are FOR. Henderson’s organization, The FOR Company, will work in conjunction with the Maxwell Enterprise to bring customer-focused training and solutions to equip business leaders and young professionals for leading well over their lifetime.

Of the opportunity to join forces with Maxwell, Henderson said, “23 years ago I was given a cassette tape of John Maxwell speaking on leadership.

That message was a defining moment for me. Now, all these years later, to be able to partner with John and the team to add value to other leaders is an extraordinary gift and honor.”

Tim Elmore joins the League having known John Maxwell the longest, having served on John Maxwell’s team for twenty years, beginning in 1983. His focus was to take John’s timeless principles and translate them for the next generation. Tim is the founder and CEO of Growing Leaders, an Atlanta‐based non‐profit organization created to develop emerging leaders. Since founding Growing Leaders in 2003, he has spoken to over 500,000 leaders in businesses, universities, high schools, athletic teams, and non-profit organizations. He is the author of 37 books, including the best-selling Habitudes: Images That Form Leadership Habits and Attitudes. His latest book, Eight Paradoxes of Great Leadership, is under the John Maxwell Imprint.

Elmore describes joining this elite team as a homecoming of sorts: “I can hardly wait to lock arms with the Maxwell team again and add value to both old and young worldwide.”

Don Yaeger has a unique background that includes serving as the longtime associate editor of Sports Illustrated while also writing more than 30 books – an incredible 11 of them have become New York Times best-sellers. In fact, his name has appeared on that prestigious list for more than 110 weeks. Over the last decade-plus, he has also averaged 75 keynote speeches for audiences around the globe. 

“I’ve been a student of John Maxwell’s for more than three decades,” Yaeger said. “And 15 years ago, our mutual friend John Wooden introduced us. John agreed to mentor me then as I sought to grow as a thought leader. To find myself arm-in-arm today with my mentor as part of this partnership is a professional highlight…and I know even greater days are ahead!”

The John Maxwell Enterprise will introduce these new partnerships at their annual leadership event Live2Lead, a live day of training simulcast globally from Atlanta to over 35,000 people worldwide. Burton and Henderson will join Maxwell as featured keynote speakers during the morning session, while Manby, Elmore, and Yaeger will join the afternoon session reserved for VIP and Platinum ticket holders.

For more information about Live2Lead, you can visit To join the event virtually on October 8th, go to

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