The Law of Process

The Law of Process – Leadership development is a Process

John C Maxwell’s best selling book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership introduces The Law of Process which states, “Leadership Develops Daily, Not in a Day.”

You can become a leader by following the process.  Becoming a leader is a process that takes time and investment. The process entails:

  • learning
  • application
  • adjustment

These three steps are typically followed in the process by growth… followed by more learning, more application, more adjusting and more growing. This process never really ends, it’s a life long journey. Leaders are not born leaders, they followed a process to become leaders.

Do you want to lead?

Are you willing to go through the process to become one who can lead? In this day of instant gratification and microwave mentality, we are faced with a leadership crisis. We promote people into positions of leadership without regard to the LAW of process. Process towards substantive and meaningful leadership is not just a good idea, process is mandatory for the development of productive leadership. Look at your organization, your team or your self, is there a clear and obvious process for the development of leadership?

The US Marine Corps

One of the things I love about the Marine Corps is their dedication to producing leaders. They most definitely have a process and that process begins early. I believe that the process begins when the recruiter takes the prospective Marine to the processing station to be sworn in and it continues through the last day that he of she puts on the uniform.

I can remember standing in line (no… LOTS of lines) waiting to sign a form, or get poked or prodded or to be issued an item that would be necessary to eventually make me a Marine. Every line has a head, the person at the head of the line is training to be a leader. Stop, go, turn… wait… These are beginning steps. Every time the line of scared and confused kids needs to do something, a burly guy with a bunch of stripes on his arms gives the leader of the line a command. Then it is up to this new “leader wanna-be” to guide the rest of the bunch to the designated objective.

Leadership training gets more intense from there. The point is that the Marines have a process. They don’t just put someone in the lead and watch him flail around, there is teaching, application, correcting and more learning… it is a constant process.

Your Leadership Law of Process

What is your plan for growth?  If you don’t have one… try mine.

1. Learning

There are so many great resources out there for learning the ins and outs of leadership.  Here are a few of my favorite leadership books.  If you want to begin or continue the “learning” step in your “process”, these are a great start.

  • The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, by John C Maxwell
  • Strengths Based Leadership, by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie
  • Good to Great, by Jim Collins
  • How to win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Caregie

Another great way to learn about leadership is to seek out great leaders in your company, your industry or in your community.  Tell them that you are beginning your leadership process and ask their advice… then listen, learn and apply.

2. Application

You don’t need a title to lead.  John Maxwell wrote a great book called the “360 Degree Leader, Developing your influence from anywhere in your organization”.  His premise is that you don’t have to wait until you are labeled “leader” to lead.  If leadership is influence and influence comes through intentionally adding value to others (which anyone can do), then you can lead from right where you are.

Consider who you can add value to on your team, in your organization or in your community.  Give it a try.

3. Adjustment

Have you ever done something that just didn’t work out like you planned?  We all have and leadership is no different.  Leaders make mistakes every day.  Great leaders (or great potential leaders) learn from those mistakes and correct their course constantly.

I can remember so many of my leadership mistakes.  I was thrust into a leadership position at a very young age.  My process toward effective leadership was very bumpy.  I was constantly required to adjust my tactics and my methodologies.  Fortunately I had a mentor who came along side of me and gently nudged me down the path.  I was a leadership train-wreck!


Leadership is a process.  If you don’t try to shortcut this process, you will grow and develop into an effective leader.  How do I know?  Well I have seen it happen hundreds of times over the past 30 years in business.  The Law of Process works.  Anyone who wants to become an effective leader can become one by following the process.

If you are skeptical… great… give the process a chance and if you don’t see results, get in touch with me and I promise to help you make it work.

I look forward to any questions or comments you might have… please leave them below.

Back to – 21 Laws That Everyone in Leadership Must Obey

Back to – Law # 2 – The Law of Influence