Maxwell’s Law of the Lid – Are You an Effective Leader?

John Maxwell was named the “#1 Most Influential Business Leader” by the American Business Association and he has been ranked the #1 Leadership Expert in the world by Inc Magazine year after year. He offers leadership development programs and has written numerous books – most of which are focused on leadership – so you could say he is definitely an expert on leadership.

He often opens his leadership seminars by explaining his “Law of the Lid” as he feels it is very important for people to understand the value of leadership – not just in business but in every aspect of life. As he explains it, “leadership ability is the lid that determines a person’s level of effectiveness.” So the higher your ability to lead means the higher the lid on your potential – and of course the opposite is then true. The lower the level of your effectiveness as a leader means the lower your potential – which will directly affect the potential impact of your firm.

Without leadership ability, your impact is lessened. The more successful you want your firm to be, the more important it is for you to be an effective leader. Your ability to reach success is directly related to your ability to lead others.

Despite what many may think, great leaders aren’t just born. Like many other skills, it is one that takes hard work and needs to be learned and then practiced. But again like so many other skills we learn, it is worth the effort. Maxwell says, “The true measure of leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less.” When you begin to improve your leadership skills, you will find that your ability to “influence” will increase – as that “lid” is raised.

Leaders value others and when they repeatedly demonstrate that, people will follow them. Another related leadership skill is to know your audience. Your “audience” may be your team, your clients, industry partners, referral partners, etc. Get to know a bit about their histories, their dreams and goals and show an honest interest in them. According to Maxwell,  relational. skills are the most important abilities in leadership.

Effective leaders have big dreams and see the big picture but can also effectively communicate their vision to their team in such a way that they create enthusiasm and motivation and then they act as an example for their team to follow.

A true leader does not become complacent. As they are reaching their current vision, they are already painting the picture for the next vision. Leaders also have clear priorities and maximize their time accordingly. That is really what “time management” is all about.

These are just a few of John Maxwell’s characteristics of leaders. Do you want to put a lid on your effectiveness – or do you want to work to increase your leadership ability and consequently raise the lid on your potential?

“People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.” – John Maxwell


Posted in

Drue Lawlor

Director of Business Transformation Coaching Drue leads our coaching and consulting. As a NCIDQ certified designer she and Gail co-developed the 12-month Strategic Business Transformation Group Coaching. The program leads the way in teaching designers how to build or redesign their businesses for profit and success. Outside of Gail Doby Coaching and Consulting she is the co-founder of Boomers with a Plan B. She is driven to help clients create a safer and healthier homes. You’ll find her in Senior Magazine and a contributor to the following books: Design for Aging: Post Occupancy Evaluations and Interior Graphic Standards, second edition.
7 Steps to Interior Design Success Checklist
What's Your Interior Designer Persona?
What's Your Interior Designer Persona?
The VIP Experience
Easy Budget Calculator Tool

Leave a Comment