Have you ever read a book you were so excited about, that you couldn’t stop talking about? Then, when you go about your day, you can’t stop thinking about it.
You read through the book, once, twice, maybe even three times- struck by a new idea, a new thought when you read it again. As a matter of fact, it may happen each time you flip a page or turn to a new chapter.
That’s what happened to me when I read John Maxwell’s book 21 Irrefutable Laws Of Leadership and I had to share them with you.
In this podcast, we uncover:
- The Top 5 Laws that rocked my world and how I think physicians can apply them
- How the McDonald brothers hit against the Law of the Lid and never broke out on their own
- Who followers really follow and how you can pay attention to whether or not they are following you
- Discover how you rank on the Law of Respect and how that impacts your leadership
- Why I’ve failed with one law that I wasn’t aware of and how I am trying to change that
Last October, I had the joy of celebrating my parent’s retirement! It was an amazing moment to share with them.
They’ve worked so hard and so long. They deserve it. As a matter of fact, I flew halfway across the country from Bloomington, MN to Iselin, NJ to help them pack, move back to Dallas, TX, and unpack.
There was no way I was going to let my nearly 70 year old parents do all this crazy physical labor. Uh-uh, not going to happen.
I was so glad I did because they probably would have broken their backs. Anyhow…
During the unpacking process, my parents stumbled across a book… The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell. They sent it home with me and boy, I was glad they did.
There are so many nuggets in this book. In my opinion, it’s a classic that belongs on all of our bookshelves.
I know I am going to be referring to it time after time after time. It’s one of those books that you can relate to and you pick up some vital tools for where you are at now.
Then, you learn and grow and evolve and have more life experiences and a new concept, a new idea jumps out at you when you read it again- because you can better relate to that particular section or chapter.
While sharing leadership from a financial guy might seem a little strange, let me quickly explain why I chose to share this with you.
For me, The Freedom Formula for Physicians isn’t just about money or finances. No doubt- finances are certainly the cornerstone of the process. But, there’s more…
The Freedom Formula is a way of life. It’s about experiencing a liberated lifestyle. This means having financial freedom AND time freedom. This book by John Maxwell reveals a great deal of ways (& a lot of hard work) that it could take to achieve time freedom.
All of that being said, there are five particular laws that most spoke to me. Would it be okay if I shared them with you?
Rule# 1: The Law Of the Lid
The essence of this message is that your leadership ability determines your level of effectiveness. Basically, there is a cap on many leaders, or would-be leaders.
What really hit home for me is that you can be fired up and fully dedicated to success, but your leadership ability is what can increase or undermine your effectiveness.
In the chapter, Mr. Maxwell cites the example of the McDonald Brothers. They founded a great company based on a simple model and a simple menu and fast service. They were AWESOME operators of a restaurant. He cites that they understood how to run a restaurant, to make their systems efficient, cut costs, and increase profits….. but they weren’t leaders.
They were efficient managers- they knocked time and time again against the Law of the Lid as they wanted to franchise, but couldn’t do it on a large scale.
Instead, it took another gentleman, Ray Kroc, to turn McDonald’s into the global monster it is today.
For example, over their career- the McDonald brothers were only able to sell the concept to just 15 buyers, of whom only 10 opened restaurants.
In a mere four years, from 1955 to 1959, Kroc succeeded in opening 100 restaurants. Four years after that, there were 500 McDonald’s!
There was a lid on the McDonald brother’s leadership ability and it was inhibiting their growth.
This is a troublesome question for me personally. I was left asking myself, “What is my lid? What am I doing to limit my effectiveness? What can I do to be a better leader?”
What about you?
Where is your lid? What are you doing to expand your leadership?
Rule# 2: The Law of E.F. Hutton
This distilled, summarized law is simply… when the real leader speaks, people listen.
Having been blessed with being placed in several leadership positions, this is an area of struggle for me personally. I know many newly practicing physicians who are thrust into the spotlight, like I have been, and we can feel a bit like a deer in the headlights- our eyes fixed on the car that’s just about to slam into us.
A huge takeaway for me in this chapter- when you are put into a leadership role, in a new environment- you have to find out who the “real” leader is.
In a practice, that could be a nurse or a practice manager or a tenured practicing physician. Who are people paying attention to? Who has the respect?
Then, how can we get them to be on our side? For them to present our point of view?
It’s something I certainly haven’t mastered yet, but at least now it’s something I can be more aware of. I loved this quote from the book…
“If you see a disparity between who’s leading the meeting and who’s leading the people, then the person running the meeting is not the real leader.”
Rule# 3: The Law of Respect
Simply, people naturally follow leaders stronger than themselves.
He cites that people don’t follow others by accident. They follow individuals whose leadership they respect.
My favorite part of this chapter talks about how leaders could get ranked on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the strongest, 1 being the weakest. If there is someone who is an 8 in leadership doesn’t go out and look for a 6 to follow- he or she naturally follows a 9 or 10.
So, here’s the question…
How would you rank your leadership ability on a scale of 1 to 10? What are your natural abilities? Who are leaders that you would rank as 8’s, 9’s, or 10’s? What can you learn from their leadership styles? What did they do well? What did they do poorly? What are you doing to improve the weaknesses you have as a leader?
Rule# 4: The Law of the Inner Circle
Have you ever heard of a mastermind before? The principle here is that a leader’s potential is determined by those closest to him.
Napoleon Hill is another one of my favorite personal development books, Think and Grow Rich, emphasized the power of being around like-minded people that are holding one another accountable and sharing ideas and improving consistently.
In addition, within our organizations, John Maxwell emphasized that leaders should have 5 types of leaders.
1) Potential Value- Those Who Raise Up Themselves
2) Positive Value- Those Who Raise the Morale in The Organization
3) Personal Value- Those Who Raise Up The Leader
4) Production Value- Those Who Raise Up Others
5) Proven Value- Those Who Raise People Who Raise Up Other People
I never thought of who important it was for leaders to raise other leaders. That is has this multiplying effect. I know that sometimes we can feel threatened or get sucked into the black hole of organizational politics.
Yet, this opened my eyes that the power is in raising up others- in addition to improving ourselves.
Rule# 5: The Law of Empowerment
Only Secure Leaders Give Power To Others
At the beginning of this chapter, they talk about the sad story of Henry Ford and how he raised leaders that constantly undermined one another. He even crushed the heart of his son, Edsel, who sadly died at a young age.
I love this quote from Teddy Roosevelt, “The best executive is the one who has sense to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do.”
Easily said right? Not so easily done.
It takes a ton of self control. I’m working on this. It’s reallllllllly hard.
Have you read this book?
If not, are you going to pick it up?
What other books have you read on leadership?
I would love to hear from you, comment or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.