Leadership From John Maxwell's Book The 21 Irrefutable Laws

The first law in John Maxwell’s book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership is The Law of the Lid. John Maxwell says, “Everything rises or falls on Leadership.”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.

THE MAXWELL PHILOSOPHY : “Your leadership is like a lid or a ceiling on your organization.”

This is true for each of us personally and it is also true in our companies, our schools, and our communities. Our potential for success is determined by the abilities of our leaders. If we are the leaders in our companies then the success of our companies is determined by our abilities to lead. This rule remains, if we are leaders in different clubs and organizations, the success of those organizations is determined by our abilities to lead.

You have probably heard of the 80/20 Rule in Business and Sales. It is a fact that 80% of all sales and successful businesses are made by 20% of all people. These 20% are the Top Performers in their field. For the last 15 years I have been trying to figure out the difference between the Top Performing Sales People and Leaders and the average salesperson or leader. I have personally trained thousands of salespeople. Time after time I have seen a group go through the same training, with the same materials and presentation, yet only about 20% of them will become Top Performers. For the past few years I even changed my presentation from just training people how to sell like the Top Performers to spending time pointing out the “Opportunity” that each sales person has to become a Top Performer.

A few weeks ago on a John Maxwell Team Training call, Coach Christian Simpson said something that made me realize what makes the Top Performers different. It doesn’t have anything to do with Opportunity, it is about Potential. When a person realizes their own potential they move their dreams and goals from the subconscious mind to their conscious mind. When they see their potential and move their goals to their conscious mind, it consumes them. The realization of one’s own potential opens up one’s eyes and mind to what they are missing and what they need to do to achieve their goals. Christian pointed out that we all have the same opportunities to be successful and for years I was presenting the opportunities available to become a Top Performer when the True Top Performer looks past the opportunity and sees the true potential. It is only when we realize our potential that we can raise the Lid and become a better Leader, a better Manager, and a better Salesperson. Once we understand our potential, we can become a Top Performer by working on growing.


To find your Leadership Lid number you rank yourself on each quality on a scale of 1-10 and then divide the total by 21. That is your Leadership Lid.                   TOTAL __________÷ 21 = ________________

Once we realize our Leadership Potential we can now work on raising our Leadership Lid and thus making our company, our organization, and ourselves more successful. By realizing our potential we now have the opportunity to raise our lid and become a true Top Performer.

Once we realize our potential and establish our Leadership Lid we must invest in our growth through reading books, hiring a Personal Coach, investing in training and participating in Master Mind groups and seminars.

FACT: If you continue doing what you have always been doing, you will continue to get what you already have. You must have a plan to change what you do and how you do it to be more successful.

Once you have decided to lift your Leadership Lid and grow it is now time to write down your goals and plans to lift that lid. It is not good enough to just have those plans somewhere in your mind.  You must write them down.

A few years ago there was a report by a Sales and Management Magazine.It reported that their survey found.

• 3% of the population is highly successful and financially independent.
• 10% of the population is comfortably situated and reasonably successful.
• 60% of the population lives from pay check to pay check.
• 27% of the population is dependent upon public assistance for their livelihood.

How about in your hometown? What percent do you think is highly successful and financially independent? Living pay check to pay check? What can you witness on in your town every Friday afternoon? People rushing to the bank, grocery, and gas station because they live paycheck to paycheck?

What the report also found is that the Top 3% had well written out goals. They planned on being highly successful and financially independent. The next 10% has some ideas on being successful but never took the time to write their goals. 60% wanted to do better but they are now just trying to survive. And the last 27% had no goals and they had given up. They no longer believed they could do any better.
What they also found was the Top 3% had no advantage in education or ability. The only difference was they realized their potential and had invested the time in developing that potential.

The great news is that the level of our education or our ability has nothing to do with whether we can become a Top Performer. What matters is that we realize our potential and then invest the time in writing down our goals and developing a plan to increase our skills, to grow personally and professionally and lift our lid.

Most people consider Michael Jordan the greatest basketball player of all time. I have played basketball and I consider myself a decent coach. I believe I can take the worst ballplayer reading this and after spending just one day with them I can have them out shooting Michael Jordan on his best day.
Now I know what you are all thinking. You were buying what I was saying until I made that statement. Let me finish my statement. I believe I can take the worst player reading this and have them out shoot Michael Jordan as long as we blindfold Michael Jordan and turn off all of the lights and turn him around and around 10 times.

Of course no one would expect Michael Jordan to be able to hit a goal he can’t see, so how can you expect to hit a goal that doesn’t exist?

Jeff Raver is a John Maxwell Certified Speaker, Coach and Trainer and has been training and coaching Top Performers for over 20 years.

If you are ready to lift your Leadership Lid contact Jeff atJeff.Raver@BeginToWinNow.com for a FREE Consultation.