The Law of the Lid at Keller Williams Realty

Dec 17, 2012 7:15:22 AM

Just about the only thing constant in today’s new business world is change. It’s at times exciting to witness the pace at which businesses are moving to mold and grow in new and innovative ways. It’s also a strenuous venture for people who aren’t prepared. So what does it take to navigate this generation flux?

According to leadership expert and best-selling author, John C. Maxwell leaders must embrace the “Law of the Lid.”

In his book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, Maxwell says “Leadership ability is the lid that 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 leadership, the greater the effectiveness.” In other words, the more time you dedicate to developing your leadership skills the better leader you will be and the more successful you will become.


toddnewphotoRecently, our company’s leaders sat down with Maxwell to discuss The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership at Keller Williams Realty. Below are some of the top takeaways from the first irrefutable law in the series, the “Law of the Lid,” featuring Todd Butzer, regional director and regional operating principal at North Central.

Todd, you’ve been a long-time leader at Keller Williams Realty. Whose leadership have you come to admire over the years?

“My father and father-in-law were very gifted business leaders. They were good at profit and they were servant leaders. They had integrity. They listened to their people. When you’re around great leaders like Gary Keller, Mark Willis, Mo Anderson, Mary Tennant, John Davis, and Dianna Kokoszka, you pay attention and learn so much because they’re modeling leadership all the time.”

How does one spot an opportunity to raise their lid?

“Every time you get into a situation or any kind of leadership challenge, you have the opportunity to raise your lid. There’s a great illustration of this in Maxwell’s book. In the last few pages of the chapter, he tells the story of Don Stephenson. Don’s company took over the management of hotels that were financially unstable. Each time they came in they did something very bold – they fired the leader. Maxwell asked him how he could make such an audacious decision without interviewing the leader. Don simply explained that ‘If he’d been a good leader, the organization wouldn’t be in the mess it’s in.’ Though firing someone is not always the answer, this leaders inability to move himself forward was a contributor to the overall health of the company. It’s a very real example of the ‘Law of the Lid’ at work.”

How can a real estate agent raise their lid?

“Leadership has a multiplying effect. My suggestion to an agent or someone striving to be a leader in their organization would be to follow Maxwell’s instructions. A person’s impact is only a fraction of what it could be with good leadership. The higher one wants to climb, the more you need leadership. You can be a 9 when it comes to effectiveness and a 1 on the leadership scale. If you stay a 9 and then work on increasing your leadership ability, you’re effectiveness goes up dramatically!”



Earlier in the year, Butzer and more than 25 other leaders at Keller Williams Realty had the pleasure of recording their own leadership lessons with Maxwell. Now they’re available to you in a one-of-a-kind four-disc audio collection. Order The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership for Keller Williams Realty at

Subscribe to the KW Blog