John C. Maxwell’s 3rd law is The Law of Process (See “The 21 irrefutable laws of leadership”.) Maxwell states that Leadership is not instant. Rather, it develops over time with continuous, almost daily improvements.
I think this is a fundamental truth. Leaders require depth of experience or, as Maxwell puts it, seasoning, to be truly effective. Continuous investment in leadership development will inevitably lead to improvement. It is the capacity to develop and improve your skill that distinguishes you as a leader from your followers. Taking the journey of continuous improvement through learning, self-discipline and perseverance will undoubtedly lead you to be a more successful leader.
Maxwell describes five phases of Leadership growth:
- Phase 1: I Don’t Know What I Don’t Know – few think of themselves as leaders and as long as a person doesn’t know the importance of leadership he isn’t going to grow.
- Phase 2: I Know That I Need to Know – at some point we discover we need to learn how to lead.
- Phase 3: I Know What I Don’t Know – if we don’t get better at leadership, our careers will eventually get bogged down. In this phase you develop a plan for personal growth on areas you need improvement.
- Phase 4: I Know and Grow and It Starts to Show – when you recognize your lack of skill and begin the daily discipline of personal growth, exciting things start to happen. You start becoming an effective leader but you have to think about every move you make.
- Phase 5: I Simply Go Because of What I Know – your ability to lead becomes almost automatic. You develop great instincts which results in incredible payoffs. But the only way to get there is to obey the Law of Process and pay the price.
B. C. Forbes once said:
“History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heart-breaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats. “
Be honest with yourself; What phase of Leadership growth are you in?
This is the 3rd article in a series of 21. Previous articles can be found here: