The power of leadership laws

Published 9:31 pm Thursday, May 25, 2017

By Elaine Lankford

When theologians discuss the Old Testament Laws, immediate emphasis is placed on the Ten Commandments. In science classes across America, middle school students are learning about Sir Isaac Newton’s law of gravitation.

And, by this time tomorrow, there will be several new laws carefully crafted and proposed by one congressman or another, attempting to get them past our government’s approval process.

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So, what is a law, and more importantly, why do we need leadership laws?

In simplistic terms, most people would say a law is a rule that brings about order and prevents society from becoming a chaotic state. In that sense, the Old Testament Laws of the Bible and our national laws do just that.

However, there is a second definition for the term law that we need to explore and then apply to the topic of leadership. When speaking of laws, such as the law of gravitation, the term law is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as “a statement of fact, deduced from observation, to the effect that a particular natural or scientific phenomenon always occurs if certain conditions are present.”

It is from this reference point that we begin our discussion on the laws of leadership.

I don’t know about you, but over the years, during the many leadership positions I have had, I have never been taught the laws of leadership. Have you?

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell is a must-read for everyone in leadership. During the course of the next several months, I propose we dive into these Leadership Laws and unearth the many lessons that John has learned over his expansive career. Every couple of weeks, we’ll look at a new law.

Why not go through them in one fell swoop? First, there is so much to unpack in each law that I wouldn’t want you to miss out on anything. And second, it is important that we not just learn about the law, but that we learn how to practice the intention of the law.

To simply consume the information will not make us better leaders, as transference of information does little to shape our leadership ability. Rather, it is putting the laws to work for us that will bring about transformation.

Can you imagine if when Sir Isaac Newton first began considering his theory of gravity, no one took it to heart or ever attempted to use the information acquired? What if those around him had said: “That’s a great theory, but what does it have to do with me” and then left it at that?

Without understanding something of the law of gravity, Orville and Wilbur Wright would never have made that first flight in Kitty Hawk, nor any of the flights afterward. If our consciousness had not been thus transformed, Neil Armstrong would not have made it to the moon.

John Maxwell has given us some pretty powerful insights. Let’s become more than consumers of leadership information. Let’s dig deep and become leaders who are transformed into effective, influential people, who inspire others and make a notable difference in business.

Ready to get started? Great! Join me next time as we learn the Law of the Lid and explore at what level our effectiveness as leaders may be capped off.

Elaine Lankford is the founder of Transforming Love Ministries, LLC and a board member of the Christian Business Coalition of Hampton Roads. Email her at