Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Levels of Leadership

This is from John Maxwell's classic lesson called "The 5 Levels of Leadership." I first heard this lesson over twenty years ago and have used the material often myself. It's good common-sense information.

Below is a quick summary:

Level 1: The Position Level - Rights. People follow you because they have to. Many aspire to have a title, not recognizing that this is the lowest level of leadership. We've all worked for bosses who weren't good leaders. We follow them only to the extent that our job description demands. Move from this level as quickly as possible.

Level 2: The Permission Level - Relationships. People follow you because they want to. At this stage you are actually leading. People like you, so they will follow you beyond their job description. They will do what you ask not because they must, but because they want to.

Level 3: The Production Level - Results. At this level people will follow you because of what you have done for the organization. You have demonstrated that you are good at what you do and that you are able to generate results. At this level people believe in your abilities and will allow you more leeway.

Level 4: People Development - Reproduction. You reach this level with people when you've made a difference in their lives. They are willing to follow you because of what you've done for them. At this level you've demonstrated not just your ability, but that you care, and followers at this level want to be like you.

Level 5: Pinnacle - Respect. When I first heard John Maxwell teach this, he called Level 5 Personhood; those who attained this were legends. It was reserved for people who had built life-long legacies of effective leadership - people like Billy Graham. Those who have reached this level are sought after by other leaders because they have proven themselves. They represent excellence and integrity.

There are a whole series of lessons that can be taught based upon the 5 Levels of Leadership. John has recently written a book on this subject. I have not read it as yet, but  I will soon. These lessons are highly recommended for anyone in leadership, and especially for those who are developing other leaders. Below is a link to the book.

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