Lids Are Fine For Pots But Not Leadership

I recently conducted a leadership retreat for a client company where I introduced a leadership principle that I learned long ago. From John Maxwell's book, "The 21 Indisputable Laws of Leadership," I spoke on the Law of the Lid.

Frankly, I was a little surprised that no one was familiar with this principle. Simply put, this law states, "Leadership ability is the lid that determines a person's level of effectiveness."

In one organization I worked for, the top leader had many good leadership qualities and skills. However, communication wasn't one of them. This, you can imagine, led to some detrimental effects on the organization, one of which was losing highly talented leaders who became too frustrated to continue working in that environment. The top leader's "lid" prevented the organization from growing to its full potential.

Looking back, I can see my own leadership lids and how they affected my teams negatively.

To increase effectiveness as a leader, you must first recognize where your leadership lid is. Asking your team how you can be a better leader to them is a great place to start. Then, find the resources needed to help you grow and raise that lid. Focus on your strengths first as those are the qualities that will accelerate growth across the board. Next, look at the deficiencies. If it cannot be improved significantly, it would be better to bring in someone who compliments you in those areas. To lead is to learn. To learn is to live. So live like you mean it!

How about you? Have you experienced this in another leader's life, or even your own?  What "lids" do you experience most often?

Photo by author.


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