MBA’s mission is to equip individuals and organizations to accomplish their visions, missions and goals and every service we offer our clients – regardless of whether the client is an individual or an organization – is designed to equip them to accomplish their visions, missions and goals.

Because leadership has such an impact on both individuals and organizations, leadership development is something in which we encourage all readers of this column to be involved.  

With that introduction, let me return to the title in this month’s column: How high is your lid? 

The first Law in John C Maxwell’s The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership is “The Law of the Lid.” This law states, “Leadership ability is the lid that determines a person’s level of effectiveness.” As Maxwell points out, “Leadership is always the lid on personal and organizational effectiveness. If a person’s leadership is strong, the organization’s lid is high; but if it’s not, the organization is limited.” 

In other words, the more effective you want your organization to be, the more leadership ability you need.  The effectiveness of your organization is determined by your ability to lead others.

I love the story about a sales manager who was having a meeting with all of his sales representatives. His division had the poorest sales record in the company and he was determined to get his team to perform better. 

He began the meeting by showing the group charts that reflected the sales made by each of the sales teams in the company, He made them keenly aware that their team was the poorest performing team in the company, and told them that had to change.

He began to berate them for their lack of sales and threatened if the team did not perform better during the next six months there would major changes in personnel.  He then turned to one of the sales representatives who had been a professional football player and asked, “that’s what happens in professional football. Isn’t it?”

The former pro player said, “That’s true. If a player did not perform well, he was cut from the team. However, if the whole team was performing poorly, we usually got a new coach.”

Lou Holtz, the only college football coach to lead six different programs to bowl games, said “You’ve got to have great athletes to win, I don’t care who the coach is. You can’t win without good athletes, but you can lose with them.  This is where coaching makes the difference.” 

As Maxwell points out in his book on the laws of leadership,

“Unity of vision doesn’t happen spontaneously.  The right players with the proper diversity of talent don’t come together on their own.  It takes a leader to make those things happen.  It takes a leader to provide the motivation, empowerment, and direction to win.”

This is true whether you are an executive, a division manager, or a unit supervisor.  When an organization is not performing well and is committed to doing better, there are only two choices – the leader can change or the organization can change leaders.

The great news in that statement is that an organization does not have to change leaders if the leader is willing to change.

Is your leadership lid as high as you would like?  If not, what are you willing to do about it?  What would you need to do to raise your lid?

How High is Your Lid

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