THE TWENTY ONE LAWS OF LEADERSHIP
THE L AW OF THE LID: LEADERSHIP ABILITY DETERMINES A PERSON’S LEVEL OF EFFECTIVENESS
The ability to lead is the “lid” that determines a person’s effectiveness. The lower an individual’s ability to lead, the lower the lid on his potential. The better a person is at leading, the higher the lid on his potential for achievement.
For example, in the 1930s, Dick and Maurice McDonald opened one of the first fast food restaurants. By the mid-’50s, their annual revenue was $350,000, and they
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took home about $100,000 each year. But despite their success, they were not true leaders. They tried to franchise their restaurants, but sold only 15 licenses, of which only 10 became actual restaurants.
In contrast, Ray Kroc joined them in 1954 and proved himself a powerhouse of leadership. He assembled a team of the sharpest people he could find, worked hard, and sacrificed for the business. In 1961, he bought the McDonald brothers out for $2.7 million. Today, the company has 31,000 stores in 119 countries. The McDonald brothers’ weak leadership put a lid on their ability to succeed.
Everywhere you look you can find examples of success being limited by lack of leadership. For example, Steve Wozniak was the brains behind Apple in the 1970s, but his leadership lid was low. By contrast, Steve Jobs’ leadership lid was high, and he built a world-class organization out of Apple.
To apply the Law of the Lid, take four steps:
1. List some of your major goals — ones that require cooperation from others.
2. Assess your leadership skills.
3. Ask others to rate your leadership on a scale of 1 to 10.
4. Compare their scores to your own assessment. Then ask yourself how willing you are to grow in the area of leadership.
2. THE LAW OF INFLUENCE: THE TRUE MEASURE OF LEADERSHIP IS INFLUENCE — NOTHING MORE, NOTHING LESS
If you don’t have influence, you will never be able to lead others. True leadership cannot be appointed or assigned. Titles are often meaningless in this sense. Leadership must be earned. The only thing a title can buy is a little time — either to increase your level of influence with others or to undermine it.
There are five major myths about leadership:
• First, the management myth holds that leading and managing are the same thing. However, leadership is about influencing people, while management is about maintaining systems and processes.
• Second, the entrepreneur myth holds that entrepreneurs are de facto leaders. Entrepreneurs are skilled at identifying opportunities and making money from them. The McDonald brothers were entrepreneurs. Ray Kroc was a leader.
• Third, the knowledge myth holds that those who possess knowledge and intelligence are 2 A UDIO-TECH
leaders. But you can visit any major university and meet brilliant research scientists who would not make good leaders.
• Fourth, the pioneer myth says that anyone who is out in front of the crowd is a leader. To be a leader, a person has to be out in front, but he must also have people who are willingly following him.
• Fifth, the position myth states that a person’s title as top man — or woman — defines that person as a leader. When the board of directors at Saatchi & Saatchi forced Maurice Saatchi out in 1994, the talent and accounts followed him out the door, and the company’s stock dropped by 50 percent. Saatchi lost his position but remained a leader.
To apply the Law of Influence, take three steps:
1. Ask yourself which of the five myths you have believed in the past. What must you change in your current thinking to make you more open to improving your leadership in the future?
2. What do you usually rely upon most to persuade people to follow you? Rate yourself on a scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high) for each of the following factors:
• Character — who you are • Relationships — who you know • Knowledge — what you know • Intuition — or what you feel • Experience — or where you’ve been • Past success — or what you’ve done • Ability — or what you can do
Then ask yourself how you can optimize the ones with low scores.
3. Volunteer to work with an organization, such as a soup kitchen or a community project.