John Maxwell’s Leadership Law #16: The Law of Big Mo

The Law of Big MoDo you have the Big Mo on your side? I’m talking, of course, about momentum. As leadership expert John Maxwell writes in The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, “momentum is a leader’s best friend.”

As Mr. Maxwell says, when you have no momentum even the simplest tasks feel impossible. You feel stuck and overwhelmed by failure. Like a train at a dead stop, it’s hard to get moving again; morale is low, and the future is uncertain.

In contrast, “an organization with momentum is like a train that’s moving at sixty miles per hour. You could build a steel-reinforced concrete wall across the tracks, and the train would plow right through it.” If you can harness the power of momentum, you can achieve anything.

The Law of Big Mo

In his chapter on the Law of Big Mo, John Maxwell points out 7 key facts about momentum.

  1. Momentum is the great exaggerator. When things are going well, momentum makes them even better. When things aren’t going well, momentum makes them seem worse. This is because when you have momentum, you don’t worry about small problems and larger ones seem to work themselves out. Without momentum, even small obstacles seem insurmountable.
  2. Momentum makes leaders look better than they are. When you’re winning, people are willing to overlook your shortcomings and forget about your past mistakes. The present and future are what matters.
  3. Momentum helps followers perform better than they are. When you’ve got motivation, everyone is excited and motivated. As a result, the team plays better than expectations. The Law of Big Mo boosts everyone’s success.
  4. Momentum is more natural to steer than to start. An intrinsic part of the Law of Big Mo is that it’s hard to get going, but once you’re moving, you can control where it takes you.
  5. Momentum is the most potent change agent. With enough momentum, any change is possible. People trust leaders with a proven track record and are willing to get on board with your vision once they see that you’re taking them in a positive direction.
  6. Momentum is the leader’s responsibility. Creating momentum requires a firm goal, a good team, and motivation, all of which the leader must establish. It is your responsibility to initiate momentum and keep it going strong.
  7. Momentum begins inside the leader. The Law of Big Mo starts with a vision that you must believe in. When you do, that belief becomes contagious.

Momentum and Your Business

Momentum begins with you. If you’re not focused on your vision, working to motivate your employees, and maintaining the right attitude, you’re limiting your business’s potential. You have to model the behavior you want to see in your employees.

As mentioned, motivation is key to building and maintaining momentum. Where is motivation lacking in your organization? What components of your business are killing morale? Chances are the culprits are long meetings, lack of communication, and poor recognition of achievements. Remove these factors and see what you can do to motivate your employees.

Celebrating your business’s accomplishments is key to maintaining momentum and promoting an atmosphere of victory. Recognizing your employees should be a regular part of the workday. Maxwell writes that you should praise effort and reward accomplishments. The more you reward success, the more your people will want to succeed.

If you’ve lost momentum, it’s not easy to get it back. I can help you put the Law of Big Mo to work for you. If you fill out my contact form, we’ll schedule a complimentary video call to talk about getting your business on track.

Coach Dave


For more information on John C. Maxwell and why I like this book so much, watch the video below.

To read more articles in my “Laws of Leadership” series, click here.

John Maxwell's 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: An Introduction

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Dave Schoenbeck

Dave Schoenbeck

Dave Schoenbeck is a professional business and executive coach who translates complex business methods, processes, and strategies into actionable plans to dramatically improve financial results.
Dave Schoenbeck

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