Is your leader limiting your growth?

Last week, I wrote to you about “bad leaders” – or, the symptoms of bad leadership.

We covered the three big indicators of growth-limiting leadership and I asked you to look in the mirror to see if you found any in yourself.

But our own “bad leadership” is not the only thing limiting us and our team.

John Maxwell’s Law of the Lid says that everything rises and falls on leadership. The leader’s lid limits the growth for all those who follow them. That means that unless you are the CEO of your organization, someone else helps set the standard for your growth.

That can spell bad news for you if you see symptoms of “bad leadership” in your leader!

It can be easy to get frustrated when we are in that position. Maybe we start thinking we could do better and imagining all the things we would do differently if we were sitting at their desk.

But, there is good news: if you are experiencing that right now, there is something you can do about it!

Remember the three ways that leaders hinder their team’s growth? You can not only assess them in yourself, but as a team member you can help your leader work through them as well.

Desire for Control

Many times, leaders concerned about job security feel compelled to micromanage their teams. They may have lost sight of the fact that they cannot win if their team is not winning.

Help them see that they cannot go to the next level of positional leadership without you. Let them know you want to help them, and the organization, succeed – and by helping them succeed, you will succeed.

Don’t forget that a rising tide lifts all ships! (I just love that saying.)


Leaders who fear they are not top of things in the direction the company is headed may feel threatened by strong leaders on their team. And of course, people who feel threatened will respond in kind!

If you think your leader suffers from insecurity, befriend them and offer to help them in your area of gifting. Fill in the gaps for them in a way that demonstrates that you are not a potential threat, but an underutilized asset.

Lack of Awareness

Unaware leaders can pose the greatest threat to their growth and their team’s growth. Issues may go unchecked – they may not know what is not working, or they may not know at all that something is amiss. We do not know what we do not know.

If you find you are working under an unaware leader, try to begin a dialogue with them. Present your feedback as observations, not accusations. Explain your perspective and concerns. Show them you care about the team and it is because of their vision that you express yourself.

Any leader worth following will give you a platform to voice your thoughts.


As you relate to your leader, keep in mind how you relate to your own team as a leader.

I mentioned last week that we are all a work in progress. There might be situations in your dynamic with your team that frustrate some of your team members.

But as the leader, you know you have a greater perspective. Being “higher up,” you can see a great distance away – you can see more of the picture, like how someone can see more from the 10th floor than the 5th floor.

This same way, consider the perspective of your own leader. If you propose solutions and you get a “no,” ask for clarification – give them the benefit of the doubt and seek their perspective.

In doing this, you will grow; you will gain understanding; you will show them your initiative to participate in the process; and you will show them your respect for their leadership.

That’s all for now.

Until next time,


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