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What is a Leader

Updated on August 7, 2010

By: Toni Tucker


Just to preference, this is what I got overall from John Maxwell's book and

from my own life experience as to what a leader is.

What is a leader?

A leader is one who influences others. A leader is insightful.

A leader is a visionary and is able to inspire others to follow that vision.

A leader cares, takes stock and continues to progress, even with

setbacks. A leader is persistent.

John C. Maxwell sets out to influence and inspire millions in a small

100 page book that looks at the successes of great visionaries.

He begins by explaining "The Law of the Lid." The Law of the Lid is

the leadership ability which is the "lid" which determines a

persons ability to lead and more pointedly his/her level of

effectiveness or influence on others. Maxwell accentuates that

the 'higher ones lid' the greater ones effectiveness, the lower the

less influential one might be. He breaks the lid concept down to

a point system. For instance, if the leadership is rated on an 8

the effectiveness of the leader can be no greater than a 7.

If the leaders lid is a 4,subsequently his/her effectiveness

equates to a 3. He stresses that, for better or for worse, ones

leadership ability always determines ones effectiveness and impact

on his/her given organization, church, community, etc.

He points out in a very simplistic easy read, how two brothers

with a dream moved to California from New Hampshire where

opportunities were slim. And fresh out of High School

with wide eyed California dreams they found jobs on a

Hollywood movie set. After working on the movie set, they soon

embarked on opening a movie theater in Pasadena.

It failed. But, that was not the last of their dreams.

Not far away in San Bernardino drive-up restaurants were

opening with carhops and again these motivated brothers once

again saw a need and an opportunity. A need for hungry

people, everyone's got to eat to live) and they came up with

their on twist to an already ingenious idea and a way to meet that need.

Back in the 1930's they seized the opportunity by opening a restaurant

where people could go out and eat in a nice affordable environment.

They served meals with real silver ware and china plates. But,

also saw that if they cut some of the costs and expanded their

menu to fun fast foods, like fries, hamburgers, and hot-dogs, with

paper plates and plastic ware, the people would still

come. Their profits doubled, then tripled, and so on, as time went on.

As some of you may well know, they were the McDonald's brothers, and time

has shown how incredibly ingenious their business savvy was.

McCadee's is still here and probably here to stay until Jesus comes back!

Go Ronald McDonald.

I remember my past leadership experiences from being

the local and national president of the Young Women's Auxiliary

for the National Baptist convention and the local Greater

New Era district, to Producing and Hosting my own local CBS

Talk show for fourteen years. The show was a relatively unknown

staple in Chicago, yet unknown. When God blessed me to Host and

to produce the show he give me the vision and the tools to take it

to a whole new level or stratosphere. I devoted hours to inviting

up to 500 guests sometimes twice a week to the show, and a panel

of 2 to 5 with video drop ins that I also produced and reported.

Now my Associate Producer was inspired by me and we worked

diligently to make that show known in Chicago for those 14 years

and eventually were awarded a Chicago Emmy. That was God!

Keeping the lid up as high as I could with all the enthusiasm I could

muster and work and vision, which brought my Associate Producer

and Assistants and interns to a high lid. All the credit goes to God.

But I can relate and attest to Mr. Maxwell's simplistic teachings

and laws, and the manifestation of those teachings.

It should be noted that Mr. Maxwell is human just like all the

rest of us, and we all make stupid mistakes. Even with a mega church,

numerous well received books, and a host of other great achievements;

he was arrested at the Palm Beach International airport

last March for carrying a concealed weapon, a gun, that he claimed

was a gift from a friend that he forgot that he had in his briefcase.

After the arrest and the media attention which ensued, he is

stated as saying, "Truly, it’s one of the stupidest things I’ve ever done.

You can probably guess the rest. I was arrested, handcuffed,

and taken to jail, where I was fingerprinted and photographed.

Needless to say, it opened my eyes to a world I’d seen only in

the movies. I was glad when I posted bail and was able to leave."

Nonetheless, we can all learn from his past mistake,

I am now a twitter follower of Mr. Maxwell's and enjoy his tweets

immensely! And recently he tweeted me and now follows my

tweets, no doubt, due to this report on his book! Cool huh?!

Humility is humbling, even for John Maxwell, but he's learned from

his mistakes and continues to carry on the philosophy of his lid theory.

Howbeit from a 10 to 9 ratio, to a 1

to 0 (his airport arrest) back to being a 10 with a 9 level of renewed



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    Post Comment

    • Heavensgates profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      geegee77, Glad to hear from you and thanks!

    • Heavensgates profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      djbraman, thank you for your post!

    • Heavensgates profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Hi Kaie, and I appreciate your comment! I'm glad to know I've introduced you to a brilliant author.

    • geegee77 profile image


      8 years ago from The Lone Star State!!

      Great Hub!:)Thumbs up!!

    • Heavensgates profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Thanks Skye2day for your comment!

    • profile image 

      8 years ago

      If we only had more leaders like John Maxwell!

    • Kaie Arwen profile image

      Kaie Arwen 

      8 years ago

      I wasn't familiar with John Maxwell- thank you for the introduction! Kaie

    • skye2day profile image


      8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      John Maxwell is awesome. I give him a thumbs up. He loves the Lord.

      Many many blessings heavens gates.


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