One of the things that determine the growth of any organization is the people it attracts. This is true whether the organization is a business, a church, a civic organization, or some other group. One of the major factors that determines the people that are attracted is the senior leader. A weak, insecure leader will attract mostly followers. At best, he or she will attract even weaker leaders. A strong, confident leader will attract more of the same resulting in an even stronger organization.
I have written previously about the Law of the Lid, a principle I first read in John Maxwell’s book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You (10th Anniversary Edition). Simply, the law states that no organization can rise any higher than the lid of its leadership. If the leader has a leadership capability of a five, the organization can never rise above a four in effectiveness.
The reason for this is easy to understand. A leader will a lid of a five will attract leaders who are a four. People are seldom willing to work for a leader with less leadership capability than they have, and most weaker leaders are too insecure to hire anyone who is a stronger leader than they are. Fours hire threes; threes hire twos; twos hire ones; and ones hire followers. The organization can never rise above a five in effectiveness because of the lid of the principle leader.
If the organization wishes to become stronger and more effective it has to invest in leadership development to raise the lid throughout the organization. This must begin with the principle leader. He or she must constantly be adding new skills and knowledge to their leadership. Only if they model continual growth in this area can they expect it of others, and you should expect it of others. In fact, you should demand it.
If current leaders are unwilling to learn new skills and grow in their leadership capability they should be replaced with some who will. No organization will be any stronger than its weakest link. For the owner or leader of an organization to allow people to remain stuck in their current leadership abilities does a disservice to the organization and the others who work there.
There is a lot of talk today about the value of culture in an organization. Part of your organizational culture should include an expectation that everyone, and especially the leaders, will pursue professional development. This is true whether the person has a corner office or works in the mail room. The world is changing too quickly for anyone in an organization to remain stuck in their current abilities.
The first person you need to look at is yourself. If you are a principle leader in your organization, are you growing in your leadership abilities? What about the development of your other leaders? What are you doing to ensure they can grow? What opportunities do you make available to them? What about others in the organization? Does everyone have the opportunities to attend events that will enable them to develop professionally? If you are not developing your team there will come a time when your organization will become stuck and unable to move forward.