I believe, deep in our heart of hearts, we all desire to do more with our lives. To do more requires leadership. The leadership of self and others is necessary to win at work, have a loving marriage, guide your children, and influence your community. Leadership is the key to leaving a legacy beyond our years on this Earth.
In his book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, best-selling leadership author and guru, John Maxwell, outlines how and why we can follow the 21 laws of leadership. These laws help us grow our influence both in our homes, communities, churches, and well…anywhere!
My favorite law is the first, “The Law of the Lid.”
It states that a person’s leadership ability determines their level of effectiveness.
“That’s great, Brian!”, you say, but what is the leadership lid?
In my words, the lid is the stopping point of our influence in the areas of life that we care most about. It is where we can’t give anymore because we simply don’t have anything left to give. It’s kind of like the gunpowder in a firework. To provide the firework with lift and life that delivers the dynamic display we see in the sky, it needs gunpowder.
Our leadership is the same. For us to have influence, impact, and change in an effective way, we need leadership. To blow the top of the lid in our leadership, we need to address a few things, but before we do that, I would like to share a personal story about the lid on my leadership.
One to Many Locations
Some years ago, I was the career and finance ministry director at my church, Grace Family Church, in Tampa, FL. When I began there, we had one location. Even with one location, there was an abundance of opportunities to serve people with the classes, groups, and coaching our ministry provided. My leadership could handle one location and those who came to us for help.
In the next few years, the church was growing fast. As one of America’s fastest-growing churches, we began launching new campuses. This launch was exciting for everyone, yet required everyone’s leadership to grow. For those that grabbed hold of that, they flourished immediately. For others, like myself, who might be a little slow to adapt, we had to learn to grow our leadership exponentially to meet the demands of us.
As you can imagine, different challenges came for people due to their different personalities or leadership styles. I needed to learn to give my ministry away to others. This would require that I have my systems, processes, outlines, and such packaged in a way where they could be replicated at other campuses. Sounds great and simple, maybe, yet I didn’t do well with entrusting my “ministry baby” to others. I was hesitant and somewhat selfish because I liked “controlling” what I had worked long and hard to build.
My leadership lid, at that time, was my lack of understanding of ownership. I forgot whose ministry it really was. It was not my ministry, it was, and still is today, God’s ministry. He entrusted me with it, but it was not mine. For me to grow as a leader and become more effective, I had to admit that I was holding back it’s growth. I had to learn to… LET IT GO! (insert your best Elsa voice here…)
Wanna know how I did it?
Looking back, here are 4 steps that I took to blow the top off of my leadership lid. These 4 steps allowed God’s career and finance ministry, through the team and me, to light up the sky guiding people to know, live, and love the purpose for their career and finances!
The 4 Ways to Blow the Top off of Your Leadership Lid
To blow the lid off of our leadership, we must invest our time, talents, and finances. I encourage you to schedule time in your calendar throughout the year to read books, attend a conference, workshop, or an online leadership challenge course. Use your God-given talents and apply them to different leadership environments to learn from these experiences. To help you do this, be sure to set aside money in your monthly budget. It is an investment!
Honestly, there are times I wish I could just pay for an attitude adjustment instead of having to choose to adjust. Yet, we all have experienced the fruit of choosing to change our hearts, minds, and emotions to increase our leadership. My friend and former ministry leader, Melissa, would always tell me when assessing and taking leadership risks, “Bri, let’s try, track and modify!” These words helped me adjust my perspective that things don’t have to be, nor will they be perfect, but that surely does not mean that we should not give it a go!
One of the best things I can say about investing in and adjusting my leadership is that it helped me learn to better relate with others. Leading people is much harder than managing processes. People have needs, wants, desires, ambitions, and these are not always easy to lead. Yet, when we choose to relate to and connect with people before the end goal, it is one of the most rewarding life experiences. To continue to grow in effectiveness, your leadership should focus on the relationship and actually getting to know those you’re leading.
One of the best ways to build the necessary relationships is by celebrating the accomplishments of those you lead. In this life, we often glorify those who hit the most home runs, sing the best songs, or have the most social media followers. However, you and I both know that amazing things are going on right before our eyes in our homes, churches, communities, and in the marketplace that deserve celebrating.
For example, someone is
- reading for the first time,
- overcoming anxious thoughts,
- paying off their mortgage, or
- breaking down racial tensions by breaking bread with someone of another race for the first time.
These deserve celebrations, and when leaders celebrate, people connect, momentum is built, and leadership, well, leads on!
As you go about your week and the back half of the year, decide right now to blow the top off your leadership lid! As you grow and go in your leadership, you will bring others along for the ride! By the way, it’s worth it!
This is a guest post from Brian Horvath.
Brian is the Crossroads Career Tampa, St. Pete and Clearwater Metro Area Leader. Brian is an expert speaker, consultant, and coach who helps people know, live and love the purpose for their career and finances. You can learn more about Brian and his offerings at brianhorvath.com.