Everyone can be a leader. That is a true statement, however, there is a catch. Leaders are made not born. Some of us must work at it a little harder than others, and that’s OK.
It is true that you can be the best manager around, yet if you lack leadership skills and vision to move your team and company forward, you will only get so far. Limitations. We all have them, it is what you do about it that is the difference between greatness and mediocrity.
In John Maxwell’s book, 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, Law #1 is The Law of the Lid. In this law, he tells the story about 2 brothers and a guy named Ray. To paraphrase the story, the 2 brothers were wildly successful restauranteurs running one of the most successful restaurants in Southern California.
Their problem? They had a vision, however, they lacked other skillsets to make their vision come to fruition. Enter the man named Ray who purchased their idea and name and created a national success serving over 2 billion customers since the 1960’s.
The moral of the story here is to find your lid – find your limitations and work to mitigate them so you can level up your organization. This can come in many forms from hiring people smarter than you to surround you with the expertise to personally developing your leadership abilities. Leaders can lead from anywhere not just the C-suite.
Take an honest look at your own limitations. Just because they are there does not mean they need to stop you. What do you have to do to get yourself, your team, your organization to the next level? Do you need to be in charge or can you turn something over to someone better qualified in your organization?
What you focus on grows. Find and acknowledge your lid. You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge. Once that step is done, figure out the next right thing to do. Are you going to go through, around or over those obstacles and who will help you do that?
Leaders Think Outside Their Industry
There is a story about going outside of the industry for inspiration to solve a problem. It’s a story about Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital in London, UK and Formula One Ferrari’s. The two don’t seem to quite go together, do they? It’s one way Dr. Goldman, the pediatric ICU chief looked to Formula One racing for answers to patient handoffs. He knew where their Lid was for this problem.
In 2003, Dr. Goldman and Dr. Martin Elliott were enjoying watching a race on TV after a particularly hard and long day in the operating room. They were both fans and noticed similarities between the tasks performed in the pit stop and their problem with patient handovers.
In 2005 a study was conducted and found that nearly 70 percent of preventable mishaps occurred because of communication breakdowns, and at least half of these seemed to occur during a patient handoff.
These doctors found their Lid. They identified their problem and immediately set out to find the right experts and procedures to solve it.
Ferrari even used human factors expert to study how their pit crews performed and the doctors at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital did too, eventually. After changes were implemented the average number of technical errors per handover fell 42% and information omissions fell 49%. (Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Hospital races to learn lessons of Ferrari crew, November 2006) Read the full story here in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the original story appeared in the Wall Street Journal.
In America, examples of this in the healthcare industry are bountiful. For example, Kaiser Permanente of California, they have 37 medical centers and 8.6 million members they use a handoff method based on a change of command system developed for nuclear submarines. Other hospitals across the country have implemented other plans and have had much success.
Can this happen in your industry? Yes. Absolutely. Why were these doctors successful in their changes? Because they found their Lid and they did what they had to do to move past it and expand their knowledge and skills.
Where can you find your inspiration to solve your problems?
Your Leadership Action Plan
• Decide: When faced with a challenge, my first thought is Who can I enlist to help? Not What can I do?
• Honestly evaluate your weaknesses. For example, follow through, organization, distractions.
• Ask for help with whatever direction you decide to go. Find a mentor inside or outside your industry or organization. Sometimes the best ideas and motivation come from outside your industry – maybe even from a hobby of yours.
Let us know where your Lid is in yourself or your organization in the comments. Visit InVision Business Development or Contact us with your questions, we will have a conversation and help you move yourself and your organization forward, so you get unstuck without becoming unglued.