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  • Writer's picturejoel

The Leadership Gap: The Law of the Lid - Are You Measuring Up?

The Leadership Gap:


Leadership is the ability to inspire, guide, and influence others towards a common goal. It is a skill that can be developed and honed over time, but many leaders still struggle with it. The Leadership Gap refers to the gap between a leader’s current level of leadership and the level required to achieve the organization's goals.


John C. Maxwell says, "Leadership is not just about holding a position of authority; it is about the profound ability to ignite a spark within others, providing them with guidance and influence that propels them towards a shared vision," Leadership is a multidimensional skill that comprises the power to inspire, guide, and influence individuals in their collective pursuit of a common goal. It is the ability to bring people together to work for a common goal. Even though it is a skill that can be developed and perfected through time, many leaders discover that they are having difficulty navigating the nuances of it.


The idea of a leadership gap arises when there is a mismatch between an existing leader's level of leadership prowess and the level required to successfully accomplish the organization's goals. This disparity is what gives rise to the term "the leadership gap." This gap represents the difference between what a leader currently possesses in terms of leadership competencies and what is essential to move the team or organization towards success. It may present itself in several different ways, including a lack of strategic vision, inefficient communication, or the failure to excite and engage members of the team.


The Leadership Gap is an important tool for serving as a timely reminder that leadership entails a never-ending process of personal growth and improvement. It underscores the necessity for leaders to regularly evaluate their skills, look for possibilities for progress, and invest in their own personal and professional development. Leaders can bridge the gap between their current capabilities and the elevated degree of leadership that is required to push their company toward the results that it has envisioned for itself if they acknowledge the leadership gap and work to address it.


John C. Maxwell said that "a leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way." This phrase perfectly captures the spirit of leadership as well as the necessity for leaders to not only have a distinct vision but also to lead by setting an example for their followers. It highlights the significance of leadership in directing others, navigating the route forward, and inspiring individuals to strive for excellence in their own lives. A leader's true potential can be unlocked, and they can inspire greatness in their teams if they are willing to accept responsibility for the difficulties that are a consequence of the leadership gap.


The Law of the Lid:


According to the "Law of the Lid," which was developed by John Maxwell, the efficacy of a leader is constrained by the level of leadership that they possess. On a scale from 1 to 10, a leader with a rating of 5 will have team members with ratings of 4 or below working for them.

Because of this, the team and the company are unable to reach their full potential. On the scale of leadership effectiveness, a leader needs to grow to the level of 8 if they want to have team members with a score of 7 willing to work for them. This indicates that the ability of a leader to lead is the primary factor in determining the caliber of a team.


Leaders of a team need to not only be productive members of the team but also capable leaders to establish a fantastic team. This calls for the acquisition of information, abilities, and experience in the art of leading. In addition, those in positions of authority have an obligation to assume complete responsibility for the outcomes of their work and to elevate themselves beyond the point of power to guarantee that they are evaluating their performance in terms of the outcomes rather than the efforts alone.


A great number of leaders are also productive members of their teams, but they are not very good at leading. They might be very good at some activities like manufacturing, planning, ordering, or selling, but they don't have the knowledge, experience, or abilities necessary to establish a powerful team. It's possible that they're unwilling to make difficult decisions or hold members of the team accountable for their performance. This can lead to teams functioning below their potential and increasing employee turnover.


Competence verses Capacity:


Leadership entails two critical components: competence and capability. Competence is being exceptionally skilled at what you do as a leader, as well as having the abilities and knowledge to make sound decisions. Capacity refers to being prepared to take on larger and more challenging leadership tasks in the future, such as having the vision and emotional intelligence to effectively lead a team. So, competence is excellence at your current job, whereas capacity is being prepared for even greater difficulties in the future. To be effective, good leaders must have both. Think of them as quality versus quantity, or improvement versus expansion.


The next article explores Vertical Growth verses Horizontal Growth. Check it out!


Joel Smith

Business Coach, Author and Entrepreneur

This article is a section out of the book Team Design: Building Great Teams By Attracting the Right People. Download the Free PDF version.



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