Life is stranger than fiction. You hear it a lot and then you experience it or witness it and you can hardly believe it. This episode is kind of like that. You might recognize that the title, Your Leadership Ability Determines Your Effectiveness, is John Maxwell’s first irrefutable law of leadership: the Law of the Lid. What do movies have to do with the Law of the Lid? Well, quite a bit, depending on the movie. Actually, most movies have a lot to do with leadership.
If you want to see a great movie about persistence (Ray Kroc’s favorite word, we will get to that in a few moments), then watch Lion. I don’t know how you could “imagine” a tale more incredible than this real life story about Indian-born Australian businessman Saroo Brierley. That movie is going to be one of my favorites for all time. It’s based on Saroo’s book A Long Way Home.
I don’t want to spoil the plot for you, so I’m not going to tell you much. At five years old, Saroo accidentally gets lost on a train which takes him almost 1,000 miles across India, away from home and family. There’s so much more that I want to tell you, but I really want you to discover it for yourself. Have a watch and tell me that you don’t fall in love with Sunny Pawar and greatly admire Dev Patel (the actors who portrayed Saroo in child and adulthood). After watching it, tell me again what you’re not capable of. After watching it, tell me how difficult your life is. Wow!
So I mentioned how your leadership ability determines your effectiveness. After watching Lion and getting ready for this episode, I pulled a book off my shelf that I haven’t picked up for a while. I was thinking about the Law of the Lid and so I grabbed John Maxwell’s The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. As many of you know, the first law, The Law of the Lid, is right at the beginning of the book. The Law of the Lid says leadership ability determines a person’s level of effectiveness.
I’m very familiar with the Law of the Lid. I was actually thinking about where my leadership capabilities are currently and that caused me to look at this again, Ironically, and without my remembrance, the example that John uses is Ray Kroc’s involvement with the McDonald brothers. So, as soon as I reread that chapter, I thought “Man, I gotta get that movie The Founder so I can learn more about Ray Kroc.” So we went to Redbox and picked it up.
It’s a great movie as well and would definitely recommend it. It surprised me a bit though. I’m not sure what I expected, but some of what I saw shocked me a little. Make sure you cross-check the movie with some facts about Ray’s life as there is some editorial license taken with the story.
Leadership lessons we can take from Ray’s astounding success:
- Sees a problem/pain that the McDonald brothers could not overcome, one they did not have a solution for, and one that he knew he could solve
- Passion for the project, building the franchise. He had a vision and could see a path to accomplishing it.
- Identified the people that he needed to surround himself with
- Imparted a vision for what was possible if franchisees would replicate the system
- He was a shrewd businessman
If you want to raise your effectiveness, you will have to increase your influence. What you are going to accomplish is restricted by your ability to lead. It’s the Law of the Lid.
You might look at how far you have to go and feel disheartened. To grow the effectiveness of your team, you have to raise your leadership ability. How do you get past the limitations? You have to want to raise your lid. That’s what I want and I suspect it’s the only reason you are here: because that’s what you want as well.
Together, with each episode, we are going to raise our collective lid. We are going to increase our leadership ability to improve our effectiveness. Are you with me? If you are, then let me know. I’m committed to you and your growth as a leader. Let’s continue and go for it.
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