There’s an axiom that applies to all of us. Whether it’s for business or our personal lives, this axiom can either help us reach our full potential, or make sure we never get there. It’s called the Law of the Lid, and the sooner we understand our relationship to it, the sooner we can advance in our own unique development. The axiom goes like this: Your potential success level is locked in direct relation to your ability to lead. Your leadership ability sets the lid on how far you can go. Lead well, and the sky’s the limit. Lead poorly, and the lid will limit any progress you wish to make.

How to raise your personal lid

To grow in your effectiveness as a leader, you first need to grow yourself.Your efforts to grow need to be intentional and they need to happen every day—literally. Pick a task that you would like to improve on. It can be small (and should be), but make sure you do it every day without exception so that it becomes a habit. It’s called an irreducible minimum, and it’s a way to avoid the big intentions that inevitably lead to burnout instead of progress.

Let’s say you committed to reading more, but the commitment only starts with two pages a day. It may not seem like much, but how much will you read if you keep that commitment every single day for a year? As momentum builds, you’ll read more because you want to. But always make sure that you hold yourself accountable to hit your minimum, even on days when you feel overloaded.

Leadership has a multiplying effect. A little change can turn into into a big transformation down the road. And that transformation can lead to an improved performance for your team. If you develop yourself and raise your leadership lid, it will permeate throughout the entire organization and motivate those around you to do the same. If you pour back into yourself, your leadership lid will start to float upwards, and then you will have the resources to motivate those around you.

Managers task, but leaders inspire. And by focusing on developing yourself and your leadership, your personal leadership lid can be launched into the stratosphere.

In our free webinar, Closing the Leadership Gap, John C. Maxwell discusses this same principle and how leaders are the lids for their organizations. Click here to learn more and sign up for our webinar today!