One of my favorite and most challenging concepts I enjoyteaching insurance agency leaders is “The Law of the Lid.”

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“The Law of the Lid” comes directly from the number oneleadership expert in the world, from his number one leadershipbook, and just happens to be the first law in this book. The bookis the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and theauthor is John C. Maxwell.

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Leadership ability & personal effectiveness


The law of lid is simply this: Leadership ability is the lid thatdetermines a person's level of effectiveness.

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I love teaching the law of the lid with insurance agencyleaders because it illustrates that by raising theirleadership ability they can multiply their agency’s results.At the same time, it creates a challenge because understanding thislaw means that you must also acknowledge that you as the leader areoften your own problem and your own solution.

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I work with many successful insurance agencies that have come torealize that they are only achieving a small part of their truepotential. That’s because personal success without leadershipability brings only limited effectiveness.

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Every agency gets stuck from time to time. Itdoesn’t matter the size of your book of business. You can get stuckat $1,000,000, $10,000,000 or even $100,000,000.

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Every organization reaches their lid at various times. The keyis to having the awareness to understand when you have hit your lidso that you can look at ways to improve your leadership.

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When most organizations are stuck they focus only on ways towork harder and dedicate themselves to success. While this is anoble pursuit, at some point, you will run out of time and energyfor only a small level of return.

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Multiplying effect


However, if you focus on increasing your leadership ability (peopleskills, planning and strategic thinking, vision) you will begin toincrease your results rapidly. That’s because when you understandand apply leadership skills to your insurance agency, you will sorealize that it has a multiplying effect.

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Related: 8 characteristics of a good insuranceexecutive

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In 1989, I watched my favorite basketball team, the ChicagoBulls lose to the Detroit Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals.Even after this disappointing loss, most people believed the Bullswere still a rising team as they had one of the most exciting andtalented players in the entire league, Michael Jordan.

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However, after this season, the ownership of the Bulls did avery surprising thing and fired their energetic young head coachDoug Collins. Doug Collins appeared to be well liked by the fansand his players, but others felt that for the Bulls to take thenext level, they would need a different kind of leader. Theorganization felt that the Bulls were reaching their lid with thiscoach.

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Related: 7 ways for insurance agents to create a culture ofsuccess

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While we will never know if the Bulls would have ultimately wona championship (or more) with Doug Collins as the coach, we do knowthat their next head coach Phil Jackson successfully guided theBulls to six NBA championships from 1991–1998.

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All of us have the ability to raise our leadership lid


Does this mean that if your agency is stuck you must fire theleader? Of course not. All of us have the ability to raise ourleadership lid. While I do believe that we have differing levels ofnatural leadership ability, I also believe leadership is alearnable skill and like all skills, you canimprove.

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While there is nothing wrong with working harder and longer toincrease your results, to ultimately increase your performance youmust learn to become a better leader.

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Remember, raising your leadership lid doesn’t just improveyour results, it multiplies your results. As your agency continuesto grow the need to increase your leadership lid becomes moreimportant.

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As John Maxwell states, “The higher you climb, the moreyou need leadership. The greater the impact you want to make, thegreater your influence needs to be.”

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Be open & willing to make changes


Understanding the law of the lid is what separates averageinsurance agencies from high achieving insurance agencies. It alsorequires you to be open and willing to make changes that willchallenge you. The good news is that these changes will also growyou and your organization.

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Think of some of your major goals that you want to accomplish inthe next year. How many of these goals will require theparticipation or cooperation of other people? How would raisingyour leadership lid impact your effectiveness?

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Regardless of your title or position, your ability to leadyourself and others is the lid that will determine your level ofeffectiveness for your insurance agency. What areas do youneed to improve? When will you start?

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Related: Be an agent of change

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Brent Kelly is a keynotespeaker, trainer, coach, and certified partner with the JohnMaxwell Team. He provides inspirational and purposeful businessgrowth for insurance professionals. You can connect with himat www.brentmkelly.com or email himat [email protected].

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