The Law of the Lid

The Law of the Lid video thumbnailIn today’s video I talk about The Law of the Lid, from a book titled The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by my friend and mentor, John C. Maxwell.

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership is an incredible source of wisdom about leadership. In the book, John presents universal “laws” of leadership. When these laws are applied, they will increase your leadership effectiveness. The laws can be taken in any order and studied individually. They are best applied collectively, however.

The Law of the Lid is the first law of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.

John typically opens up his leadership conferences by explaining the Law of the Lid. He does this because it helps the audience to understand the real value of leadership.

“If you can get a handle on this law,” says John, “you will see the incredible impact of leadership on every aspect of life.”

So here is the law: Your leadership ability is the “lid” that determines a your overall level of effectiveness. The lower a person’s ability to lead, the lower the lid on his potential. The higher a person’s ability to lead, the higher the lid on his potential.

For example, if your leadership level is an 8, then your effectiveness can never be greater than a 6 or 7. If your leadership is only a 4, then your effectiveness on those you’re leading won’t be higher than a 3.

“Your leadership ability,” John says, “for better or for worse, always determines your effectiveness and the potential impact of your organization.”

So let’s say Gary has reached a success level of 8 in his business. Gary’s effectiveness as a leader, however, is a 1. To increase the overall success of his business Gary could do two things.

Firstly, he could work even harder on the operations, efficiency, and so on, until he raised the success level of his business from an eight to a nine or even a ten. This would take significant effort but it is possible.

On the other hand, Gary could work on increasing his effectiveness as a leader. If he were to “raise the lid” on his leadership ability, increasing it from a one to a three or a four, he could see the success of his business grow significantly.

By increasing your leadership ability, even though you don’t necessarily increase your overall effectiveness or success of your endeavor, you can actually amplify your original effectiveness a great deal. That’s because, as John puts it, “leadership has a multiplying effect.”

Here’s a short training video I put together where I talk about The Law of the Lid.

I think it’s easy to see how The Law of the Lid can add a lot of value if applied to your own life and business. Speaking of value, I hope you got value from this training video. If you did, please Like and share and comment below.

And if you’d like to download a free chapter from my book, Beat the Curve, with Brian Tracy, just go to

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