Maxwell defines the Law of the Lid by saying “leadership ability is the lid that determines a person’s level of effectiveness. The lower an individual’s ability to lead, the lower the lid on his potential.” This idea is troubling for some people because it means that no matter how much you desire to be a 10 on the scale of leadership, there is a cap to your abilities based on a number of factors. Some of these factors are your people skills, planning abilities, vision, dedication to success, and your past results.
The truth is, there are very few 10’s in the world; however, when you leverage the law of the lid and assess your own leadership, then you will have a straightforward view of who your followers are, where they might land on the leadership scale, and areas in which you can grow in to raise your leadership lid. The reality is that if you are a 7 on the leadership scale, in most cases you won’t be able to lead someone who is an 8, 9, or 10. Yet your skills can still offer invaluable leadership to people who are at a level of a 5 or 6. The good news is, the law of the lid has room for flexibility. It is unwise to think that where you are today as a leader is as good as you will ever be. Every leader can grow, but it takes a dedication to doing so and a willingness to work for it.
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