The Law of Explosive Growth

“To add growth, lead followers; to multiply growth, lead leaders.” — John C. Maxwell
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Reflections on John C. Maxwell’s “21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”

One cannot talk about the Law of Explosive Growth without discussing the elephant in the room; Christianity.

Jesus led by action. His mission was to extend the covenant God made with the Jewish people to the entire world.

In a civilization without mass communication, no internet, or Instagram influencers, Jesus had to use the Law of Explosive Growth the hard way. He took twelve leaders under his wing and trained them to lead through discipline, compassion, and faith.

The result was the sacrificial offering of his body to humanity, opening up eternity for the Gentiles. Now that the gates opened and connection with God could be intimate again, those twelve leaders had to get to work.

Soon those disciples became Apostles and preached, growing their numbers. They grew followers, but they especially grew leaders, establishing a priesthood, a diaconate, and ultimately the Church.

The Law of Explosive Growth is the ability to train leaders so they, in turn, train more leaders.

Maxwell’s law can is similar to another law called the Law of Startup Physics. Here is Executive Coach Khalid Halim on how businesses grow.

“Human beings grow biologically and linearly. A year from now, you will be a year older — there’s no growth hacking we can do to make that happen faster. Even if we were looking at the metrics of ‘you’ — the age of your bones, your height, everything — you’re not going to grow exponentially. You’re going to grow linearly because all biological systems do that. A company, which is a collection of biological systems called humans, can grow exponentially. Especially in tech, companies exist in a world in which you can be serving 100 customers one day, and a million a year later.”

By this law, Christianity grew exponentially, drawing in more people to believe in the mission and placing the right amount of leaders to help continuous growth.

Halim uses the idea of military groupings to help businesses grow. Jesus used a group of twelve.

Halim says: “I started noticing patterns in startups — which I’ve validated with executives and VCs over the years — that how companies scale and break matches military groupings. So, the most efficient group in the military is a group of three, then a group of eight, and then three groups of eight, so 24. Look across companies and you’ll see that around 24 people, someone speaks up to say, ‘We need a manager.’ If a startup makes it to 48 people, the next break is often in HR. And so on. As they scale, companies have more predictable breaking points.”

So what does this mean for a middle manager working in a corporate environment? Start grouping your teams, placing someone in charge of each team to build on their leadership skills. Each “squad” leader will start gaining real experience when leading. As they grow exponentially, your business grows explosively.

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