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Lift Your Lid

By John C. Maxwell | November 19, 2019
Lift Your Lid

Somewhere today a young person is working hard at their desk, hoping to be considered for a promotion.

Somewhere today an older person thinks about their looming retirement and hopes to find something productive to do with their next phase of life.

Somewhere today, hundreds of thousands of people, young and old, dream of a different set of circumstances for their lives because deep down inside they believe they are meant for more.

That’s today.

But what about tomorrow?

How many of those people will go right back to the same desk with those same hopes in the same circumstances, and think the same thoughts all over again?

My friend, that is the great tragedy of so many—repeating the same habits every day but hoping for a different outcome. The truth is that nothing in your life changes until you do. You have to act on your desire to be different. You have to make a move that alters your tomorrow.

In my book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, the very first law is called The Law of the Lid. Every one of us has a lid on our potential that is only lifted by our willingness to learn how to lead. When we take intentional action towards becoming a leader, we see the lid lifted off ourselves and what we can become.

Is it possible to grow without becoming a leader? Yes, it is.

Is it possible to become successful without becoming a leader? Yes, it is.

Is it possible to reach your full potential without becoming a leader? No, it is not, and here’s why:

Anything significant that you want to achieve will require the help of someone else. If you want others to help you, you’ve got to be able to influence them to join your cause. And the influence that you need to develop is cultivated through leadership ability.

Leadership ability is learning how to inspire other people. It’s learning to cast a vision for a better tomorrow. It’s about serving people well, so they feel valued and seen. It’s about helping other people make a difference in their lives, homes, and communities because it’s the right thing to do.

And it’s something that anyone can do.

The young person just getting started in career. The older person whose career is coming to an end. The people who dream and the people who drive, the poets and planners and possibility seekers.

We live in a world that needs more from you. We need you to lead. We need you to look at the world as it is and see the world as it could be and then take action to make that better world a reality.

You’ll need to challenge yourself to read, to think, to write, to learn, to do something that makes you better tomorrow than you are today. Because that is the price that leaders pay, and while it sounds huge, it’s really not.

It’s just a little bit more than you did today.

You have that little bit more in you. I know you do because I have seen thousands of others like you who decided that one more step was worth it. They chose to take that step for themselves, for their families, or for people they’ve never even met. They chose to take that step because they wanted things to be different for them.

I’ve seen them go from timid followers to bold leaders because the commitment to what was inside them inspired a passion to ignite that hope in others.

That can be you. Take one intentional step today that will stretch you, challenge you, and make you a different person tomorrow.

Your time is now. And I’m cheering you on.

John Maxwell Leadership Podcast

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19 thoughts on "Lift Your Lid"

  • Eunice says: November 19, 2019 at 6:24 am

    Thank you. I need help. In my practicing leadership, I feel ineffective, yes, it will be the same tomorrow. I want to be influential to my manager, yet, I don’t see progress in her leadership. I am tired.

  • Dan Williams says: November 19, 2019 at 7:39 am

    Thank you John

  • Dan Williams says: November 19, 2019 at 7:40 am

    Well informed

  • Steve Grove says: November 19, 2019 at 9:56 am

    You’re the best, John! Thanks again for being who you are.

  • Rueben says: November 19, 2019 at 10:00 am


  • Julie says: November 19, 2019 at 10:10 am

    I loved your post! Definitely it makes me believe that if I dream big, and choose the correct path, I am gonna do it sooner or later!!! Take care John, blessings.

  • Deb Boelkes says: November 19, 2019 at 10:29 am

    So true, John. Thanks of sharing.

    Even if you don’t want to be the one to lead some huge life changing project, you still owe it to yourself and others to inspire and support those around you to be the best they can be (which in itself is an act of leadership). You can do it, and you’ll feel better for it. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. Just step into that bigger self of yours and give.

  • Sue Deighton says: November 19, 2019 at 10:47 am

    Dear John,
    It is uncanny how incredibly timely that this message came to me.
    I am taking the steps of personal growth and leading others. In fact, I am writing you a letter today.
    I am grateful to have met you and I can assure you that I don’t have a lid. I have a lot of passion to help and serve others. It is my love in life.
    I look forward to serving you and our World at large.

    Let’s do this!!!
    Sue Deighton

  • Celease Reid says: November 19, 2019 at 11:18 am

    “Inspired”. Thank you John?

  • Abdikadir says: November 19, 2019 at 5:37 pm

    what great leader you are, John. Thanks again

  • Jason Brooks says: November 19, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    Hi Eunice–as John often says, “Everything worthwhile is uphill.” Please continue doing what you’re doing–though it may feel ineffective today, every day that you add value to your manager and practice your leadership, you are building a compounding influence that will pay dividends in the future. It sounds trite, I know, but your faithfulness will be rewarded when you stick with the values you have that help you add value to others.

  • Joshua Sturgell says: November 20, 2019 at 1:38 am

    Love the insightful follow up on your law of the lid. I am a fan and feel that the five levels of leadership is the book that transformed my leadership and changed me as a person. I reviewed it on my blog.

  • Franc Ortega says: November 21, 2019 at 11:20 am

    Thanks for the push. Much needed and greatly appreciated. I just got back from a missions trip to Cuba, where the virtues of true leadership is in desperate demand. This is my first time I make contact with John, but I’ve been connected to his YouTube presentations as of the last 4 weeks, often listening to some of them over and over again. What a guy. I’d like to learn more, so I can be more, so I can do more for the Kingdom, especially in Latin America, where this teaching is much needed. I live in Texas but have traveled to Spain, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Peru, Panama, Nicaragua and Ecuador, but my heart is in Cuba, where I’ve been doing ministry for the past 10 years. I wish to learn more about John’s powerful material and see if I can take it and apply it in such settings.

  • Matt Berry says: November 22, 2019 at 7:54 am

    Thanks for the message John! I agree with Joshua in how the 5 levels of Leadership was the catalyst for my current personal growth and leadership plan. It was a little over a year ago when i first listened to the audio book and was just transitioning from my dedicated project work to a supervisory position. It provided me with the insight and clarification into looking at what had made me successful to that point and as to why the current supervisor selected me as her Deputy.

    Since then i have continued to listen to the rest of your audiobooks in your suite and i absolutely loved the 21 irrefutable laws. The law of the lid did stick out to me and I use that message when i speak to the employees during evals to keep them looking to grow and develop into something great.

    With your books and a few others, also doing the Clifton strengthsfinder and the High Five version, I have found my passion and calling in life. I am finally in a position to truly unleash my potential and be proactive in pursuing. Your message and team have been a catalyst for all of it.

    Thank you for being that voice i needed to understand i have so much more to give than what i had previously.

    Matt Berry

  • Zubair says: November 22, 2019 at 10:02 am

    Thank you John.

    I really needed to hear this. Ever since I’ve been involved in network marketing I have found myself on a journey.

    On the one side I have friends, family who don’t like and believe in the the idea but on the other hand it is because of Network Marketing I have learnt about personal development and leadership.

    I am fighting an uphill battle but because I have your influence and influences or other amazing individuals running through me it really inspires me to keep going and fulfil my vision to create a better, positive life for me, my family and many other individuals around the world.

    Thank you John for being there for me.

  • DMARIE says: November 22, 2019 at 1:23 pm

    Looking for the “lifting the lid online assessment tool referred to in Johns book “21 most productive minutes…”

  • Daniel says: November 25, 2019 at 6:54 am

    Hi. I’m one of your subscribers from Korea. Every in the morning I start my day after being motivated through one of your posts. I’m not leader kind of person. But you say without being a leader, its not possible to reach all of my potential. It made me so hesitated cause I always try to be standing behind leaders and help them and satisfied with the way I am. cause that doesnt give me much pressure and no need to feel responsible for something. But… in the same I would not go more to show myself to the world. I want to be important person but dont like responsibility..or duty given because of the reason I am a leader. Im still hesitating to step forward more.

  • luis adan says: December 8, 2019 at 12:38 pm

    JOHN M.
    Por alguna razón te he conocido y siento que estoy aquí por que quiero cambiar vidas principalmente la mía, he tomado la decicion de crear una mejor versión de mi mismo y quiero cambiar con base a tus enseñanzas.

    mi duda para seguir en mi camino.
    el costo del la menbresia esta en dolares o en pesos mexicanos ?

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