Have you ever heard of the Law of the Lid? The Law of the Lid states that everybody hits a lid, or a ceiling, at some point in their career. Let’s learn more about this.
Whether you’re an athlete or a CEO, this can happen to you. Perhaps you’ve finally reached a specific running goal, but no matter how hard you train, you can’t improve your time. Or, as a leader in a business, you may have accelerated quickly but then stalled out. The same goes for a CEO. You may be great at managing a $5 million company, but you’re stalled when the company grows to $25 million, and you no longer know how to manage. At some point, everybody hits a lid and they are unable to perform at the level they were performing at previously. Hitting your lid is completely normal and understandable. You might have been a great CEO when you started your business, and because you were such great leader, the business took off. At some point, it grew so big that you felt out of your element; the whole situation changed. You feel paralyzed trying to figure out the right move.
Allowing the Law of the Lid to take place in your business is difficult. On the one hand, you don’t want leaders who have reached their lid and stalled out. On the other hand, you want to allow your leaders the chance to break through their lid. The key is to learn to recognize the lid in yourself so you can understand if you are hitting it. You also want to understand the lid in key team players so they don’t keep hitting their lids too. When key people can’t break through, it may be time for the company to make a change and bring someone in with more capacity in that area. The employee who hit their lid should be placed in the area they are strongest in. Oftentimes, once a change like this is made, the business sees accelerated growth in profitability and performance.
Running a business means that you will likely hit numerous lids in completely different areas. The key is to take a step back and figure out what skillsets and capabilities you can use to get past the lid. If you can’t accelerate past it, recognize when it is time to step back. Don’t allow the Law of the Lid to run rampant in your organization, and you will continue to see success.
If you want to hear me talk about this further, listen to my video on the Law of the Lid: