The 5 Levels of Leadership

I have read almost all of John Mawell's books. He has been an incredible influence on my life and leadership. But, to be honest, I have struggled through his last few books. I have found them repetitive and uninspiring, that is until his latest, The 5 Levels of Leadership was released! This book might simply be his best yet! It is a must read for every leader and it was one I made sure I bought for my staff team.

Here are the 5 Levels of Leadership as John Maxwell describes them and a brief explanation of each:

  1. Position - People follow because they have to. Positional leadership is based on the rights granted by the position and title. Positional leaders usually have difficulty working with volunteers, younger people, and the highly educated.
  2. Permission - People follow because they want to. Level 2 leadership is based entirely on relationships. You can like people without leading them, but you cannot lead people well without liking them.
  3. Production - People follow because of what you have done for the organization. Level 3 leadership is based on results. This is when leading becomes fun, however, this is the easiest place to plateau.
  4. People Development - People follow because of what you have done for them personally. Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others. Level 4 is based on reproduction.
  5. Pinnacle - People follow because of who you are and what you represent. Level 5 leadership is based on reputation.

Insights into the 5 Levels of Leadership:

  1. You can move up a level but you never leave the previous one behind.
  2. You are not on the same level with every person.
  3. The higher you go, the easier it is to lead.
  4. The higher you go, the more time and commitment is required to win a level.
  5. Moving up levels occurs slowly, but going down can happen quickly.
  6. The higher you go, the greater the return.
  7. Moving farther up always requires further growth. Growing as a leader require a combination of intentional growth and leadership experience.
  8. Not climbing the levels limits you and your people. When leaders stop climbing, 2 questions need to be asked: “Can they improve?” and “Will they improve?” Some people can’t: they’ve reached their limit. Others won’t. Capacity is not the problem: choice and attitude are.
  9. When you change positions or organizations, you seldom stay at the same level.
  10. You cannot climb the levels alone. Good leadership isn’t about advancing yourself. It’s about advancing your team.

Download the accompanying leadership evaluation questionnaire (as a pdf) with the five stages of every leader and how to maximize each. If you complete this four-part questionnaire you will be in a much better position to grow in your leadership as you read and work through the book, The 5 Levels of Leadership.

I highly recommend this book. In fact, I would categorize it as the foundational read for every leader regardless of vocation or current position. To order a copy for yourself or for your team CLICK HERE.

Question: What disciplines do you currently use to regularly grow yourself and your leadership? You can comment in the "Leave a Reply" box below.