To My Lid-Lifters: Thank You

This Thanksgiving, like every other I’m grateful for many things. This year, I’m especially grateful for having some incredible people in my life, past and present, who have really made – and continue to make a huge impact on my life.

In John Maxwell’s The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership (a text that I refer back to and reference frequently in my blogs), the first law – the Law of the Lid asserts that, “Leadership ability determines a person’s level of effectiveness”. The lower an individual’s ability to lead, the lower the lid on his potential. The higher the individual’s ability to lead, the higher the lid on his potential. The greater the impact you want to have, the greater your influence needs to be.”

This law also discusses the process of raising our own lid, and specifically how we can raise others’ lids. It always causes me to reflect on who has been a good lid-lifter in my life, and I’ve been fortunate to have some incredible role models who have been what I call true lid-lifters. People who have really changed how I think and therefore, have positively influenced the results I’ve gotten.

The first lid-lifter in my life was my high school band director, Mr. Groth. He was the first person who taught me the importance of working at something at giving it 100% day in and day out. He was really teaching me Maxwell’s Law of Process – “Leadership develops daily, not in a day” – long before I would ever study leadership professionally. I applied Mr. Groth’s principles to my love of music, and achieved every goal that I had I set for myself. Even though I knew I wasn’t going to become a professional clarinetist, I realized even at the age of 14, that learning the process of setting goals and working hard would always serve me well, and it has. Thank you, Mr. Groth!

Another key lid-lifter for me was my former life and career coach, Pam Boney. Pam helped me understand my gifts and talents when I was struggling to figure out who and what I wanted to be several years out of college. I knew that I was passionate about leadership and helping others, but had no idea how to parlay that into a career. Pam was an expert coach and helped me sift through all of my conflicting thoughts about how to make my dreams a reality. It was also through the process of hiring Pam that I realized that coaching was for me. Pam believed in me gave me my very first coaching work. For that, I will always be grateful. Thank you, Pam!

More recently, I’ve linked up with some amazing business partners and colleagues who I’m lucky enough to also call my friends. A couple of years ago, I had established my coaching practice and had also just started my journey with Vistage. Vistage was essentially a startup in my community. I was making good progress, but eventually hit a wall. Fortunately, I connected with a fellow local John Maxwell practitioner and business owner, Greg Smith. Greg and I share similar passions for leadership and doing good, and as the Chairman of 4th generation-owned Compco Industries, Greg had an incredible platform and visibility within the business community. He is also an incredible servant leader who is relentless about helping others. His imprint in our community is something that inspires me greatly. Greg has opened many doors for me, and like my coach Pam, he saw potential in me far before I could see it in myself. Greg’s partnership and support has changed my vision, my business and my leadership forever. Thank you, Greg!

Last but certainly not least is my mentor coach, Ken Proctor. Ken came along right as I was launching my Vistage group. Initially, he was supporting me to help me develop as a Chair in order to lead and challenge my Vistage members. Our work together has evolved into much more than that. When I decided to confide in Ken about the challenges in my personal life and my relationships, our real work together began. He’s been a constant source of support for me in recent months, a confidante, and an advocate when I have needed it the most.  Ken has helped me realize exactly who I want around me in my life and how to get it.  He’s changed me for the better. Thank you, Ken!

Who has been a good lid-lifter in your life? This is a great time to reach out and let those people know just how much you appreciate the ways in which they’ve made a difference in your life. And as we come towards the end of 2016, it’s a great time to consider how you can raise the lids of those around you in the coming year.

Best wishes for a blessed Thanksgiving!!