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The reaction can only go as fast as its slowest step. Think of this as a funnel. Imagine a 2 step reaction where Step 1 is faster than Step 2. Step 1 can produce reactants as fast as it wants, but if Step 2 is slow then ultimately the products of Step 1 will be turned into the final products only as fast as Step 2 goes.
Its just like a limiting reactant problem form fundamentals of 14A. The amount of product that can be made relies on the limiting reactant based on the molar ratios. In the same way, the slowest step limits the rate of the reaction.
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