Maxims from Mike - As the leader goes, so goes the organization.

Hello Leaders,

Welcome to Today. This week's Leadership and Personal Development tip embraces organizational growth.

Maxim: As the leader goes, so goes the organization.

Many organizations continue to thrive due to an outstanding leader at the helm. The leader has put an incredible team in place, has the right systems and processes, and is laser focused on the mission of the organization. As the leader continues to grow his or her capabilities, the organization continues to grow. So how can others do likewise? How can they get their organizations, groups, or teams growing? The leaders must grow by raising the lid on their potential. This is the Law of the Lid.

According to John Maxwell, "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 higher an individual's ability to lead, the higher the lid on her potential." Further, a team will only rise to the level of effectiveness of its leader.

A few observations

I have seen many organizations where the top leader (CEO/Bishop/Superintendent) has clearly articulated a compelling vision and motivated the members (employees/congregations/teachers) to achieve its mission. Parts of the organization were thriving! But a certain group was stagnant at best or withering at worst. The thriving groups were healthy and upbeat. The withering group was toxic and downcast. What was the key difference? The leader of the group.

As the leader goes, so goes the organization, the group, or the team. If we want a healthy team, it is paramount we have a healthy leader leading us. Further, to have a growing team, it is imperative to have a growing leader. On a scale of 1 - 10, if my leadership effectiveness is a 5, my team will only grow to a 4. To grow beyond that level, I either need to raise my leadership potential or be replaced.

Many gifted salespeople have been promoted to sales managers. Some did extremely well while others failed miserably. Those who succeeded understood it would take a different skillset to lead a team versus being an individual contributor. Many who failed either tried to make replicas of themselves or simply told the team to do as they did as a salesperson. They did not grow as a leader. As a result, their teams languished.

"...the higher up you go in an organization, the more you need to make other people winners and not make it about winning yourself." This is an excerpt from Marshall Goldsmith's book What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful. They become more successful by raising the lid on their potential... their leadership potential. How do we do it?


1. Solicit feedback. Our opinion of ourselves may be greater than the opinions of others. Growing leaders seek feedback. They seek input from superiors, colleagues, subordinates, clients, communities, etc. They look for trends within the various data. If there are several things that continue to surface, they work on them. They also solicit feedback informally by asking questions in various settings. John Maxwell remarked, "Good leaders ask great questions." The feedback is sought in an effort to continuously improve. Margaret McKenzie, President of Cleveland Clinic South Pointe Hospital, recently commented, "Everywhere I go, I try to create a learning environment." As the staff continues to learn, they will continue to grow. As leaders, we grow our organizations by growing ourselves. Honest feedback is a key to knowing our areas of strengths and areas of weaknesses.

2. Invest in leadership training. Pay the price today to get the results you want tomorrow. Some may argue leaders are born, not made. Whereas there are many gifted leaders who have inherent traits, the rest of us can learn how to become great leaders, if we invest in ourselves and put in the work. President Harry S. Truman said, "In reading the lives of great men, I have found that the first victory they won was over themselves... Self-discipline with all of them came first." John Maxwell followed with, &qu