What are your constraints?
The purpose of the Dillon Group, Inc. is to develop leaders within our companies and brands and develop leadership within our clients and their organizations.
Whether we help our clients develop leaders through training, mentoring, or coaching, or we help their organization develop market leadership, there are fundamental laws that govern leadership. As a long-time student of John Maxwell and others (and a member of The John Maxwell Team), I have studied leadership development for more than 20 years.
The laws of leadership proposed by John Maxwell have held true in my experience and in the experience of millions of people around the world who have directly and indirectly benefited from his insights.
The first law, the Law of the Lid, states that your leadership ability determines your level of effectiveness and whatever you accomplish will be propelled or restricted by your ability to lead others. Your leadership ability is a constraint on your success.
I’ve learned this the hard way, as I have with most of the lessons I’ve learned over the years. Apparently, I don’t learn very well from the experiences of other—I have to experience the lesson myself.
I began by questioning my own leadership abilities. However, I decided I couldn’t rely on my own perception since I am biased—as you likely are biased about your own skill as a leader. I started asking people to give me feedback on my abilities across specific dimensions of leadership. And I didn’t ask just anyone— I asked my boss, the team I led, my colleagues, and my critics. I learned a lot— mostly that I wasn’t as good as I thought I was. I also learned that feedback can be really harsh and I had to develop thick skin to survive and thrive if I was serious about my own development as a leader.
Since those first painful steps to self-awareness, I have improved. I’m not perfect, but I’m becoming better in those leadership dimensions.
I found that I couldn’t do it alone— I didn’t have the tools to transform. I have used teachers, mentors, and coaches to grow, reducing those constraints imposed by my leadership abilities. I deliberately practiced (and continue to practice) my leadership at every opportunity.
I discovered a curious thing—there appears to be a direct correlation between my leadership ability and the success of the companies I’ve founded and lead. As I became better, we became better!
This illustrates the Law of the Lid: as I grew as a leader, my effectiveness increased and the companies performed better. I’m still growing— every day I learn that I still have a lot more to learn—and I can see the impact that I have on our team and we have on our clients.
So what are the leadership dimensions that are constraints to your effectiveness and success? Character? Charisma? Commitment? Competence? Courage? Discernment? Focus? Generosity? Initiative? Listening? Passion? Positive attitude? Problem solving? Relationships? Responsibility? Security? Self-discipline? Servanthood? Teachability? Vision?
On a scale of 1-10, how good are you?
Now, take a dose of courage and ask your critics.