Book Review ” The 5 Levels of Leadership” by John C Maxwell

If you want to make a positive impact on the world, learning to lead better will help you do it. Leadership is influence and the people can increase their influence with others, they can lead more effectively. Leadership is a process, not a position. The challenge of leadership is to create change and facilitate growth. Good leadership isn’t about advancing yourselves, it’s about advancing your team. Lead people well and help members of your team to become effective leaders, and successful path is almost guaranteed. If we embrace a principle and become part of it, it become part of our values.

Different levels relate to the Laws of leadership.

  1. Level 1 – Position

The only influence a positional leader has is that which comes with the job title. People follow because they have to. And their people will usually do only what is required of them. When positional leaders ask for extra effort or time, they rarely get it. Positional leaders have difficulty working with volunteers, younger people and highly educated.

  1. Level 2 – Permission

When you like people and treat them like individuals who have value, you begin to develop influence with them. It’s getting to know their people and figuring out how to get along with them. You can like people without leading them but you cannot lead people without liking them.

  1. Level 3 – Production

Production level leaders gain influence and credibility, and people begin to follow them because of what they have done for the organization. Success and Productivity have been known to solve a lot of problems.

  1. Level 4 – Personal Development

Leaders become great because of their ability to empower others. The result is reproduction and level 4 leaders reproduce themselves. Production may win games, but People Development wins championships.

  1. Level 5 – Pinnacle

Leaders at this level not only require effort, skill, and intentionality, but also a high level of talent. Developing followers to lead on their own is difficult. Developing leaders to the point where they are able and willing to develop other leaders is most difficult leadership task of all. People follow them because of who they are and what they represent. Leadership gains positive reputation.


Level 1 – Position

Position is the bottom floor and foundation upon which leadership is built. Position gives you a chance, but it usually carries with it very little real power, except in systems where the penalties for not following are dire. Title and position come with some rights and a degree of authority to lead others.

Upside of Position

  1. Leadership position is given to people because they have leadership potential

Celebrate the fact that someone in authority believes in you. Best leaders promote people into leadership based on leadership potential, not on politics, seniority, credentials or convenience. Don’t tell what you’re going to do, show what you’re going to do.

  1. Leadership position means authority is recognized

When an individual received a position and title some level of authority or power comes with them. No man is a leader until his appointment is ratified in the minds and hearts of his men. As a new leader, you must use the authority you are given wisely. To advance the team and help people you lead. Do that, and your people will begin to give you even greater authority. When that happens, you gain leadership, not just a position.

  1. Leadership position is an invitation to grow as a leader

To whoever much is given, much shall be required. Leadership journey will only be successful if you dedicate yourself to continual development. You will be tempted to stop and graze instead of striving to grow and become the best leader you can. If you want to lead, you need to grow. The leaders who do the greatest harm to an organization are the ones who think they have arrived – they stop growing, innovating and improving. Good leaders are always good leaners.

  1. Leadership position allows potential leaders to shape and define their leadership

The position the leaders receive may be defined, but they are not. Leadership is much less about what you do, and much more about who you are. You can develop whatever style you want as long as it is consistent with who you are. If your leadership flows first and foremost from inner character and integrity of ambition, then you can justly ask people to lend themselves to your organization and its mission.

Who am I

Good leadership begins with leaders knowing who they are. Leaders must free their subordinates to fulfill their talents to the utmost. When leaders explore deep within their thoughts and feelings in order to understand themselves, a transformation can take shape. They know which kinds of people they work with and which kinds they have to try harder with to appreciate. Self-knowledge is the foundational to effective leading.

What are my Values

When leaders don’t have and maintain strong core values, their actions impact many more people than just themselves. Your values are the soul of your leadership, they drive your behavior. You should settle what you believe in three key areas –

Ethical Values – Doing the right thing for right reasons

Relational Values – Environment of trust and respect with others

Success Values – Worth spending your life on

Mature leaders with self-knowledge realize that consistently high performance from their people isn’t prompted by position, power or rules. It is encouraged by values that are real and genuine.

What leadership practices do I want to put into practice?

People with different personalities, different approaches, different values succeed not because one set of values or practices is superior, but because their values and practices are genuine. Good leadership changes individual lives. It forms teams. It builds organizations. It impacts communities. It has the potential to impact the world. But, never forget that position is only the starting point.

Downside of Position

  1. Leadership position is often misleading

A position always promises more than it can deliver. Leadership is action, not position. Leaders are always taking people somewhere. They aren’t static. If there is no journey, there is no leadership.

  1. Leaders who rely on position to lead often devalue people

Their position is more important than the work they do, the value they add to subordinates, or their contribution to organization. Hence, organizations suffer terrible morale. Positional leaders make other people feel small and just don’t seem to work well with people. They ignore the fact that all people have hopes, dreams, desires and goals of their own.

  1. Positional Leaders feed on politics

Leaders value position over the ability to influence others, the environment of the organization usually becomes very political. And when the positional leader is able to whatever it takes for positional gain, it often incites others to do the same because they worry that others’ gains will be their loss.

  1. Positional Leaders place rights over responsibilities

Positional leaders do things to make themselves look and feel important. Positional leaders who rely on their rights develop a sense of entitlement. They expect their people to serve them, rather than finding ways to serve their people. Just because you have the right to do something as a leader doesn’t mean that it is the right thing to do. Nearly all men can stand adversity but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. Change our focus from enjoying authority for its own sake to using authority to serve others.

  1. Positional Leadership is often Lonely

Good leadership is about walking beside people and helping them to climb up the hill with you. King-of-the-Hill leaders create a negative work environment because they are insecure and easily threatened. Whenever they see people with potential starting to climb, it worries them. They undermine the people who show talent, trying to guard their position and keep themselves clearly above and head of anyone else.

  1. Leaders who remain positional get branded and stranded

The position does not make the leader – the leader makes the position.

  1. Turnover is high for Positional leaders

‘people Quit People, Not Companies. How people often take a job because they want to be part of a particular company, but when they quit it’s almost always because they want to get away from particular people.

  1. Positional Leaders receive people’s least, not their best

People who rely on their positions and titles are the weakest of all leaders. They give their least.

Clock Watchers – When the people who work with you can hardly wait to quit working with you, something is not working.

Just Enough Employees – People don’t give their best to leaders they like least.

Mentally absent – Mental turnover and sloppiness are contagious. Success demands more than most people are willing to offer, but not more than they are capable of giving. The thing that often makes the difference is good leadership. If you don’t invest very much, then defeat doesn’t hurt very much and winning is not very exciting.

Best Behaviors on Level 1 – How to make the most of your position

  1. Stop Relying on Position to Push People

There is everything wrong with having a positional mindset. You must stop relying on position to push people. When I have a person whom I feel is ready to lead, they should be assigned sacrifice, courage and humbleness. It is not always glamorous as it appears. The new leader has to figure out how to improve the performance of his or her teammates without having a title or positional authority. Form a relationship with people and show interest in them.

It’s easy to fall back on position to push people, though it isn’t always effective. Most people respond very poorly to positional leadership. The truth is that if you have to tell people that you’re the leader, you’re not. You never know who is right but you always know who is in charge.

  1. Trade Entitlement for Movement

It is not the titles that honor men, but men that honor titles. Leadership isn’t a right. It’s a privilege. It must be continually earned. Good leaders don’t take anything for granted. They keep working and keep leading. Leadership must be earned and established. You must be willing to give up what is in order to reach for what could be. Focus on your responsibility to make a difference in the lives of the people you lead.

  1. Leave your position and move toward your people

Good leaders understand that it is their responsibility to move toward their people. Leaders are initiators. Socrates said – Let him that would move the world, first move himself. You need to stop being king of the hill, get down from your high place, and find your people. It is a leader’s responsibility to learn who they are , find out what they need, and help them and the team win. That involves taking risks, which can be frightening. Leaders must be willing to leave their comfort zones which involves taking risks, which can be frightening. It not only expands comfort zones but also enlarges people.

The Laws of Leadership at Positional Level

  1. The law of lid – Leadership ability determines a person’s level of effectiveness

If you are willing to forget about title and position, and instead focus on your potential, you will remove a great weight that would otherwise hold you down. If you want to break through your leadership lids and lift your leadership, you must move beyond level 1.

  1. The law of Process – Leadership develops daily, Not in a day

Endeavor every day to become a better leader. Making that kid of statement emphasizes that leadership is only a starting point and staying there means you would never actually begin your leadership journey.

  1. The law of Navigation – Anyone can steer the ship, but it takes a leader to chart the course

If you are on Level 1 as a leader, know your limitations. You can learn to chart the course, but to do that you must move up to higher levels of leadership.

Beliefs that help a leader move up to Level 2

You must first change your way you think about leadership. Four statements you must embrace internally to change from a positional leader to a permissional one

  1. Titles are not enough

Who the person is and the work he does is that really matters. And for every person who has received recognition, there are thousands of others working without recognition who perhaps deserve even greater honor. A position is not a worthy destination for any person’s life. Leadership is meant to be active and dynamic. Its purpose is to create positive change.

  1. People – Not position – Are a leader’s most valuable asset

If you’re focused on position and you get to the top, you won’t be satisfied with that. I was willing to use people to improve my position instead of using my position to improve people. Instead of powering down, Start peopling up. Develop people skills and express appreciation for people and taking interest in them personally.

  1. A leader doesn’t need to have all the answers

Leader’s job is not to know everything but to attract people who know things that he or she does not. Once you realize that one of us is not as smart as all of us, Stop bringing people together to give them the answers and started calling on them to help you find answers.

  1. A good leader always includes others

Moving up in 5 levels of leadership is all about others.  The higher you go up the levels of leadership, the more you realize that good leadership is about leading with others, not just leading others. It requires collaboration. It means being part of something greater than yourself. Once you decide to include others in the leadership journey, you are well on your way to achieving success at the other levels.

Guide to Growing through Level 1

  1. Thank the people who invited you into leadership
  2. Dedicate yourself to leadership growth – Commit to getting out of your comfort zone and trying to be a better leader than you are today.
  3. Define your leadership – Level 1 is the best place to spend time defining your leadership and deciding what shape you want it to take.
  4. Shift from Position to Potential – Instead of thinking in terms of position, think about leadership potential
  5. Focus on the Vision – Focus more on the vision of the organization and think of yourself more as someone who helps clear the way for your people to fulfill that vision.
  6. Shift from Rules to Relationships – Begin by looking for value in every person you lead. Communicate how much you value each person.
  7. Initiate contact with your team members – Make it your goal to get to know them, express your appreciation to them, encourage them and offer your support with them.
  8. Don’t mention your title or position – Don’t mention your title anytime you introduce yourself. Do whatever you have to do to identify less with your title and position and more with how you contribute to the team or organization.
  9. Find a Leadership Coach – To grow in leadership seek help of someone who’s ahead of them in the journey to coach or mentor you. Don’t ever waste your mentor’s time.


Level 2 – Permission

Building relationships develops a foundation for effectively leading others. Relationship is more powerful than price, delivery, service and quality. Leadership always means that people are going somewhere. They aren’t static.

  1. Leadership Permission Makes work more Enjoyable

Good leaders like people and treat them like individuals. They develop relationships and win people over with interaction instead of using the power of their position. Chemistry starts to develop on the team. Leadership is an opportunity to serve. The greatest joy comes from working with the team, not doing work itself.

  1. Leadership Permission increases the Energy Level

Good relationships create energy, and they give people’s interaction a positive tone. When you invest time and effort to get to know people and build good relationships, it actually pays off with greater energy once the relationships are built.

  1. Leadership Permission Opens up channels of communication

On level 2, top-down positional leadership is replaced with side-by-side relationships. Good leaders are open. They go up, down and around the organizations to reach people. They make a religion out of being accessible. The road to vision buy-in is a two-way communication and you have to learn to listen. Level 2 leaders should give the following – Eyes ( I see what you say), Ears (I hear what you say), Heart (I feel what you say) and Undivided attention ( I value who you are and what you say). When the term community is used, the notion that typically comes to mind is a place in which people do not merely ask ‘How are you?’ as a formality, but care about the answer.

  1. Leadership Permission Focuses on the value of Each Person

You can care people without leading them, but you cannot lead them effectively beyond Level 1 without caring for them. If you want the cooperation of human beings around you, make them feel that they are important. And you do that by being humble. When leaders learn to see the personalities that lie behind these seemingly humble titles ( drivers, guards and servants ), the people in those jobs do not just feel appreciated, they discover and walk into new horizons of their lives. They become great performers at what they do. They find personal fulfillment.

Nothing lifts a person like being respected and valued by others. As a leader on level 2, your goals should be to become aware of the uniqueness of people and learn to appreciate their differences. There is a common thread in all great businesses, governments, education centers and religious institutions. That thread is everyone’s valuing and respecting people. As a leader who moves up to Level 2, you can help set an example of that for your organization.

  1. Leadership Permission nurtures Trust

Trust is the foundation of Permission. If you have integrity with people, you develop trust. The more trust you develop, the stronger the relationship becomes. The more trust you develop, the stronger the relationship becomes. The better the relationship, the greater the potential for a leader to gain permission to lead. It’s a building process that takes time, energy and intentionality. When the crunch comes, people cling to those they know they can trust – those who are not detached but involved. Trust is required for people to feel safe enough to create, share, question, attempt and risk.

The Downside of Permission – Pressure is on You to Build Positive Relationships

  1. Permission Leadership Appears Too Soft for some People

Caring for people and being relational can be seen as weak, especially by leaders who possess a natural bias toward action ( rather than affection ). For that reason, some people dismiss it. It takes permission and production to become a good leader. It is a wrong goal to make everyone happy. The goal of a leader is to help people, not make them happy. If you’re relational without being productive, you and your team won’t achieve any progress. If you’re productive without being relational, you’ll fall short in the long run because you’ll either alienate your people or burn them out.

  1. Leading by permission can be frustrating for Achievers

The most common reason for leaders not moving up to Level 3 is that they become so relational that they lose sight of the primary goal of leadership : helping others work together, move forward and achieve. If you step on people’s fingers on the way up, they may trip on the way down.

  1. Permission leaders can be taken advantage of

Being relational is a risk. You might get occasionally hurt when someone takes advantage of you but don’t regret it.

  1. Permission Leadership Requires Openness to be Effective

You can impress people from a distance, but you must get close to influence them. The most essential quality of leadership is not perfection but credibility. People must be able to trust you. Most people believe they must show greater strength as leaders. However, if leaders try to maintain a façade with people they lead, they cannot build authentic relationships. To develop authentic relationships on the Permission level, leaders need to be authentic. They must admit their mistakes. They must own their faults. They must recognize their shortcomings.

  1. Permission Leadership is difficult for people who are not naturally likeable

People will not get ahead with others unless they are willing to get behind others. Look for something that is likeable about every person you meet and make it a job to find it. Discover what is likeable about yourself and do whatever you can to share with every person you meet.

  1. Permission Leadership Forces you to deal with the whole person

Leadership is an essentially human business. Both Universities and corporations seriously miss the point with their overemphasis on formal quantitative tools, unambiguous problems, and ridiculously oversimplified ‘human relations’ cases. The higher the rank, the more interpersonal and human the undertaking.

Each person has imperfections and irritating habits. Good leaders must learn to accept that about one another and still work together. Leaders who build relationships understand that conflict is a part of progress and often it is even constructive. If you care about people and understand them, then you expect things not to go smoothly. If you go into leadership on the Permission level with that expectation, it frees you to lead with a positive attitude and an open mind.

Best Behaviors on Level 2 – How to gain people’ permission

  1. Connect with yourself before trying to connect with others

The First Person I must know in Myself – Self Awareness

Learn your strengths and weaknesses. Then once you know who you are, forget about yourself and place your focus on others.

The First Person I must get along with is Myself – Self Image

There are a lot of things you can change about yourself. Work hard at those. But there are a lot of things you can’t. Accept them

The person to cause me problems is Myself – Self Honesty

 It’s very difficult to be self-deluded and successful at the same time. If you want to build relationships, you need to be honest – starting with yourself.

The first person I must change is Myself – Self Improvement

He, who has so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition will waste his life in fruitless efforts and multiply the grief which he purposes to remove.

The first Person who can Make a difference is Myself – Self Responsibility

If you don’t take responsibility for yourself, then don’t expect your life to become any different from what it is right now.

  1. Develop a People-oriented Leadership Style

Good Level 2 leaders use a personal touch whenever they deal with people. They listen, learn and then lead. Leading an organization is as much about soul as it is about systems. Effective leadership finds it source in understanding. Unless a leader has an awareness of humanity, a sensitivity toward the hopes and aspirations of those he leads, and the capacity to analyze the emotional forces that motivate conduct, he will be unable to produce and be successful regardless of how often other incentives are given.

If want to be successful on Level 2, you must think less in terms of systems and more in terms of people’s emotions. You must think of people before you try to achieve progress. To do that as a permissional leader, you must exhibit a consistent mood, maintain an optimistic attitude, possess a listening ear, and present to others your authentic self.

  1. Practice the Golden Rule

There is a fine line between manipulating people and motivating people. When leaders change from driving people in a positional environment to respecting people in a permissional environment, their people go from feeling like a stake to feeling like a stakeholder.

  1. Become the Chief Encourager of your Team

As a leader, you have a similarly positive impact on others. People enjoy affirmation from a peer. But they really value it from their leader.

  1. Strike a Balance between Care and Candor

Just because you care about people doesn’t mean you let them work without responsibility or accountability. Every person needs to improve and needs someone to come alongside them to help them improve. If you’re a leader and you want to help people, you need to be willing to have those tough conversations.

Caring values the Person while Candor values the Person’s Potential

Caring for others demonstrates that you value them. However, If you want to help them get better, you have to be honest about where they need to improve. It may hurt, but it is meant to help and it shouldn’t harm. As a leader, you must be willing and able to do that. If not, you won’t be able to help your people grow and change.

Caring Establishes the relationship while candor expands the relationship

To expand a relationship, candor and open communication are required. But, If a leader ca balance care and candor, it will actually deepen and strengthen the relationship.

Caring defines the relationship while candor directs the relationship

Leaders have to make the best decisions for the largest group of people. Therefore, leaders give up the right to cater to an individual if it hurts the team or the organization. If you want to lead people well, you need to be willing to direct them candidly.

Caring should never suppress candor, while candor should never displace caring

Candid conversations are a leader’s responsibility and must be done – but in the right way with the right attitude. The next time you need to have a candid conversation, do it quickly, calmly ( never in anger), privately and thoughtfully.  If you want to be an effective leader and earn your way onto Level 2, you must allow the people you work with to be candid with you. You must solicit feedback. Caring for people, making good decisions for everyone involved, and building solid relationships is what Level 2 is all about. This is Permission at its best.

The Laws of leadership at the Permission Level

The influencing process begins at Level 2, where relationships are formed. That is where leadership begins the shift from coercion to cooperation. Many times leaders begin their careers with selfish motives. It is not a bad thing if they are willing to change and put focus on others. To move up to Level 2, leaders need to understand that great leaders practice the law of Addition. They lead in order to help people and add value to them.

You cannot influence people who don’t trust you. Trust is the glue that holds people together. Trust begins at Level 2 and it grows as you climb to higher levels of leadership. Without trust, you’ll quickly find yourself back down at Level 1. Like minded people are attracted to one another. Leaders attract who they are, not necessarily who they want. If the people who start flocking to you are relational, non-territorial, teachable and productive, then that is a positive statement about your leadership. If they are positional, close-minded, and unmotivated, then that reflects negatively on your leadership.

Connecting is having the ability to identify with and relate to people in such as way that it increases your influence with them. People buy into the leader, then the vision. The size or worthiness of a leader’s vision often isn’t what determines whether it will be achieved. Before you ask people to move forward to achieve the vision, they  must first buy into you as a leader.

Belief that help a Leader Move up to Level 3

  1. Relationships alone are not enough

If you’ve connected with your team, you now have some influence with them. That requires a leader to connect people’s potential to their performance.

  1. Building relationships requires twofold growth

People must grow with each other. Growing toward each other requires compatibility. Growing with each other requires intentionality. A relationship can’t last if you never go beyond those initial experiences. If you don’t grow together, there’s a very good chance you may grow apart.

  1. Achieving the vision as a team is worth risking the relationships

If achieving the vision is worth building the team, it is also worth risking the relationships. If you want to do big things, you need to take people out of their comfort zones. They might fail. They might implode. Risk always changes relationships. If you risk and win, then your people gain confidence. However, if you risk and fail, you lose relational credibility with your people and you will have to rebuild the relationships. But there is no progress without risk, so you need to get used to it. The leader is the key link between people and company. The leader is the face, heart, hand of the company on a day-to-day basis. If that leader connects and cares, that makes a huge difference.

Guide to Growing through Level 2

Make a decision to like everyone from today forward – even if they don’t like you. Write out that intention, then sign and date it. If you need to, keep it in front of you as a daily reminder to make people a priority.  You must become the kind of person; you would want to spend time with. Self-honesty is to look at yourself realistically and decide to face reality, no matter how much it may hurt. Self-Improvement is to make a commitment to grow in your ability to develop relationships.

Learn to win both relationships and results. Take time during the next week to tell each person at least one positive thing about themselves. Get answer to following questions from your team members

  1. What three non-business things do you know about this person?
  2. What does this person value?
  3. What are this person’s top three concerns?
  4. What does this person want or hope for in life?

If you are unable to get answer to above questions for your team member, then you need to spend more time getting to know that person. If you want to be a good leader, you won’t get to use people’s time and skills while ignoring or neglecting the rest if them as individuals. If you’re more task oriented than people oriented, then make fund a goal on your to-do list. When you engage with people, pay attention and really listen.

Become an encourager-in-chief and give them confidence and make them feel good about themselves. When you see that someone on your team is making mistakes or in some way falling short, plan to talk with the person immediately.

Level 3 – Production

Good leaders  always make things happen. No one can fake level 3. The outstanding leaders of every age are those who set up their own quotas and constantly exceed them. They create momentum and develop an environment of success. It attracts other highly productive people. They enjoy collaborating. Leaders can get to Level 1 for an almost endless number of reasons. Leaders who are naturally good with people or who take pains to learn people skills can move up to Level 2. They can’t produce results if they lack self-discipline, work-ethic, organization or skills to be productive.

There are two types of people in business community : those who produce results and those who give you reasons why they didn’t. Level 3 leaders are more like tour guides than travel agents and set themselves as an example to follow. If the position will not reflect glory on me, I will reflect glory on the work. When a producer has already done the slower work of building relationships on Level 2, his or her leadership really takes off! If you can develop solid relationships with people and you can produce, you can be an effective leader. Level 3 leaders show the way and others follow.

Level 3 leaders constantly communicate the vision of the organization clearly, creatively and continually. Level 3 leaders help their people to see what productivity looks like. Productivity also expands the vision, because with increased confidence and skill, the people doing the work recognize that they can actually accomplish more than they may have believed was possible. Leaders cannot delegate the solving of problems to someone else. They have to be active in breaking through obstacles, putting out fires, correcting mistakes and directing people.

Nothing builds self-esteem and self-confidence like accomplishment. Good results create positive momentum and high morale. Morale is the state of mind. It is steadfastness and courage and hope. It is confidence, zeal and loyalty… it is staying power, the spirit which endures to the end – the will to win.

Leadership production creates momentum which is leader’s best friend. Without momentum, everything is harder to do than it should be. With it, everything is easier. That’s why I often advise leaders to spend less time trying to fix problems and more trying to create momentum.

Momentum Takers – Their productivity is based entirely on what others do to make things happen in the organization.

Momentum Breakers – They cause problems and intentionally or not, hurt the organization

Momentum Makers – Don’t worry about making friends; don’t worry about making enemies. Worry about winning, because if you win, your enemies can’t hurt you and if you lose, your friends can’t stand you.

The key to building a winning team is recognizing, selecting and retaining the best people from the ones you attract.

Leadership is defined by what a person does with and for others. Its measured by what the entire group accomplishes, not by individual efforts of a the person in charge. The pre-requisite for being an effective leader is the ability to be effective yourself. Good leaders must establish themselves in their position on level 1, gain people’s permission on level 2, be productive on level 3, and possess the desire to take the entire team to a higher level. No leader, however great , can long continue unless he wins victories.

Productivity is measurable, Organizational growth is tangible. Profitability is quantifiable. Leaders who fail to increase them are held accountable. Most leaders on level 3 experience days when they wish no one was watching their performance, looking to them for direction, or wanting them to make something happen. However, effective leaders understand that the cost of leadership is carrying the responsibility of their team’s success on their shoulders.  Be willing to make decisions. That’s the most important quality in a good leader. 25 per cent of decisions made on Level 3 relate to team, rest are personal ones that require change, honesty and self-discipline.

As level 3 leader, make difficult decisions to

1. Be successful before you try to help others be successful.

2. Hold yourself accountable to higher standard than you ask of others

3. Make yourself accountable to others

4. Set tangible goals and then reach them.

5. Accept responsibility for personal results

6. Admit failure and mistakes quickly and humbly

7. Ask from others only what you have previously asked of yourself

8. Gauge your success on results, not intentions

9. Remove yourselves from situations where you are ineffective.

Going first may not always be easy or fun, but it is always a requirement of leaders. It paves the way for the people who follow and increases their chances of success for completing the journey. There is a real temptation for leaders on the Production level to neglect relationships in pursuit of achieving a good bottom-line result. However, if leaders do that for an extended period of time, they burn their relationships with their people, and they will eventually find themselves back on level 1.

Moving up through level 3 based upon solid level 2 relationships is no small feat for any person. If you are a leader, you must have a sense of vision for your leadership. There is a strong relationship between giftedness and effectiveness as level 3 leader. After discovering what I was made to do, I began to focus my efforts. The more focused you are within your talents, the more rapid the rate of growth and the greater you increase your overall potential to be a productive leader. Productivity has to start with the leader. Focus there first, and you will earn opportunities to help others improve and reach their potential.

Vision when communicated and understood, fills the room with energy. How in the world can an organization be successful if the people in it don’t know what the target is? The commitment of the team begins with the commitment of the leader. Leaders dedicate their productivity to advancing the organization toward the vision. The job of a leader is to help the team succeed. As individuals on the team get to experience small successes, it motivates them to keep going and reach for larger successes. Make them part of your personal victory celebrations whenever possible, giving them as much of credit as you can. Level 3 production is possible only by a leader who is willing to push forward  and lead the way for the people.

Good team is always better than some of its parts and is able to accomplish more than individuals working alone. The job of every leader is to build a complimentary team, where every strength is made effective and each weakness is made irrelevant. A leader must know the strengths and weaknesses of each player.

Good leaders never assume that their team members understand the mission. As you lead, don’t take for granted that your people know what you know or believe what you believe. Don’t assume they understand how their talents and efforts are supposed to contribute to the mission of the team. Communicate it often.

The following are laws of teamwork

1. Goal is more important than role

2. All players have a place where they add more value

3. Vision gives team members direction and confidence

4. Team fails to reach its potential when team fails to pay price

5. Strength of team is impacted by its weakest link

6. Rotten attitudes ruin a team

7. Teammates must be able to count on each other when it counts

8. The team make adjustments when it knows where it stands

9. Team members should work in an environment conducive to growth and inspiration and team leaders should create a conducive environment for their people that inspires, challenges and stretches them. To succeed on level 3, a leader should acknowledge the influence s/he has and use it for everyone’s advantage.

10. Shared values define the team

11. Interaction fuels action due to communication

12. The edge of leadership is the difference between two equally talented teams.

13. When you are winning, nothing hurts. This keeps morale high.

Being part of a team of people doing something of high value is one of the most rewarding experiences  in life. To build good-to-great companies, make “stop-doing” lists as “to-do” lists. Staying in your areas of strength – where your efforts yield highest return – and out of your areas of weakness is one of the keys to personal productivity. Shift more of your time and attention to the should-dos and love-to dos. As a rule of thumb, try to hire, train and position people in such a way that

1) 80 percent of time they work in their strength zone

2) 15 percent of time they work in learning zone

3) 5 percent of time they work outside their strength zone and

4) 0 percent of time they spend on weakness zone

People see better organization, increased productivity and higher profitability. Leaders don’t attract who they want, they attract who they are. Level 3 leaders attract more producers and helps make a productive team that you’ve developed even more productive. Nothing motivates people in a positive way more than seeing a positive leadership model. The best leaders on level 3 find ways to win. They always do. They produce. If you find on level 3 gaining momentum, its not time to have a rest or back off, its time to press on. Level 3 leaders do the right things the right way at the right time for the right reasons. Climbing to higher levels of leadership is not easy, it takes effort and requires sacrifices. To climb higher levels of leadership, you’ll have to give up doing some of the things you love that don’t give you a great enough return on your time. People buy into a leader, then the vision. They want to know you care about them, and they want to know you can produce.

The most talented and dedicated leaders feel the pull to go higher. Great leaders measure themselves by what they get done through others. Developing people so that they can lead with you requires a leadership culture which increases the capacity of organization and lightens personal leadership load, but it also adds value to people in a way that would really benefit them. People are an asset that have greatest potential for actually going up in value but only if they are challenged, valued and developed by someone capable of investing in them and helping them grow. Growth occurs only when its intentional. The more the leaders an organization has, the greater its horsepower. If you help people become bigger and better on the inside, eventually they will become greater on the outside. If you invest in people, they will never be the same again and neither will you. Its impossible to help others without helping yourself.

1) Be a team member you want on your team – If you want dedicated, thoughtful, productive people on your team, you must model those characteristics. Write an action plan to possess the traits that you’s like to see in your team but which you lack yourselves.

2)  Turn focus outward from own production and begin helping others become high producers.

3) Define each team  member’s area of contribution and figure out how they all work together to make the team most effective.

4) Team members need you to describe the vision and define its success.

5) Plan to meet with your team daily ( or atleast weekly) to give feedback on performance.

6) If you’re not thinking in terms of helping your team win, then you aren’t thinking like level 3 leader. The greater the number of wins there are both individually and corporately, the more you can increase the difficulty of challenges and more momentum you can gain.

7) As the leader of the team, your job is to know who is who and to lead the team in a way that maximizes the makers, motivate the takers and minimizes the breakers. Put majority of time and energy into momentum makers and place them strategically in the organization so that they make the greatest impact. Have candid conversations with momentum breakers, Give them a chance to change their attitude and become productive members of the team and if they fail, get them off the team.

8) Review team’s priorities daily or weekly and make sure 80 percent of team’s efforts are focused on top 20 percent in terms of importance.

9) Be forever on the lookout for ways to improve them team and initiate them. And if things go wrong, take responsibility for that as well.

10) As you work on production level, don’t forget to stay relationally connected to your people.

Level 4- People Development

Leaders must transition from producers to developers because people are any organization’s most appreciable asset. Good leaders invest their time, money, energy and thinking into growing others as leaders. Every person is a potential candidate for development.  Bringing out the best in person is often a catalyst to bringing out the best in the team. Making the right people decisions is ultimate means of controlling an organization well. Executives who do not make effort to get their people decisions right do more than risk poor performance. Leaders on level 4 should focus 20% on personal productivity and 80% of developing and leading others. This can revolutionize an organization and give it much brighter future.

Production is wrong focus and if you really want to expand an organization and its potential, focus on growing the leaders. We must believe in their value and value their dreams. We must also believe that the time, money, effort, energy and resources that developing them requires are also well worth it. Developing leaders is probably the most appreciated benefit in the company. Anybody can replicate physical capital but what cannot be replicated is the dedication, skills and teamwork of people. Only by helping your people reach their potential can an organization reach its potential.

The test of your leadership is not what happens when you are there, but what happens when you’re not there.  Leadership is the art of helping people change from who they are thought to be to who they ought to be.

The following are some leadership principles

1) Leaders transfer ownership for work to those who execute the work

2) Leaders create the environment for ownership where each person wants to be responsible

3) Leaders coach the development of personal capabilities

4) Leaders learn fast themselves and encourage others also to learn quickly.

Don’t allow yourself to become the lid on your organization. Give it the best chance for a bright future by developing other leaders. A competent person who won’t share responsibility puts lid on the organization. People development is transforming. If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. With the addition of more good leaders, the organization’s current efforts improve. Every developed leader adds more horsepower to the organization. Let your team know that you are responsible to them, but not for them.

They must take responsibility for their growth through their choices, attitude and commitment. If they don’t, you will pay for their failure along with them, but its worth the risk because upside advantages if they succeed are so great. In healthy organization led by level 4 leaders, rewards are given for empowering others, not for climbing over them. Building leaders frees up time for you to think, envision and strategize to take your organization to the next level.  You cannot become an effective level 4 leader unless you are willing to let go some of your responsibilities. Be pragmatist and not a perfectionist.

We are more fulfilled when we forget ourselves and focus on others. We are closest to people when we help them grow. Leaders treasure the noted they receive from people who generously share the credit for their growth and success with them. Howard Schultz writes that Victory is much more meaningful when it comes not just from one person, but from the joint achievements of many. The euphoria is lasting when all participants lead with their hearts, winning not just for themselves but for one another.  The purpose of life is not to win but to grow and share. Looking back, it gives more satisfaction from pleasures you have brought into other people’s lives than you will from times you outdid and defeated them.

When you become the leader, you give up the right to think about yourself. If you want to lead on level 4, you need to ficus 80% of your attention on others and helping them grow, learn and achieve. You should remove obstacles that prevent people from doing their jobs. Level 4 leader should get over selfishness, get outside yourself and adopt the attitude that if you help other get what they want, they will help you get what you want.

Ego – Leaders recognize that success always comes from combined contributions of everyone on a team.

Control – Progress comes from taking risks and making mistakes. Leaders are pioneers and are willing to take risks, to innovate and experiment in order to find new and better ways of doing things. They make the most of their fumbles, flops and failures. A leader’s role is to guide, energize and excite.

Trust – Trust produces speed because it feeds collaboration, loyalty and ultimately results. If you want to become a People Development leader, you must give others your trust and earn their trust in return.

Investing in people takes a lot of time and energy. Leaders look at big picture and it takes patience. It always takes longer than you think and more difficult than you expect. You must do it anyway, otherwise you limit the potential for yourself, your people and your organization. Attracting, developing and leading other leaders is much more difficult and requires tremendous efforts and sacrifices. Only leaders can develop other people to become leaders and nobody can understand leadership until s/he does it.

Nobody understands leadership until s/he does it. It takes a leader to know (Recruit and Position), Show (Model and Equip) and Grow (Develop, Empower and Measure). Only leaders can develop other people to become leaders. Recruiting is first and most important task in developing people and creating winning organizations. If you know what you’re looking for, your chance of finding them goes up astronomically.

If you don’t like the person, you will not be an effective mentor to them. Your team should like and enjoy working with him or her. People will work with people they like. Good character makes trust possible which in turn makes strong relationships possible and that in turn makes mentoring possible. Character closes the gap between intentions and actions. Frustration is trying to bring out what isn’t there. To develop good leaders, you should not ask for what your team members can give but what they have potential to give.

Assess capacity in Stress Management, Skill, Thinking, Leadership and Attitude. People who possess X Factor ( ones who go above and beyond their assigned job responsibilities ) are joy to develop and returns in them grow compounded. Have servant’s heart and superior skills. If you want to be better, recruit better players.  Games are won not by putting the best people but by putting people who can work in a team as best. A leader must have a clear picture of each person’s strength and weakness and understand how they  fit the needs of the team.

In order to Model Integrity, the following skills are needed on level 4 for developing people

1. Authenticity – Foundation

2. Servanthood – Soul

3. Growth – Measurement

4. Excellence – Standard

5. Passion – Fuel

6. Success – Purpose

A good leader does not just simply tell people what they need to do. In order to develop their potential, a good leader helps them to do their jobs well using the following 5 steps

Competence – I do it ; Demonstration – I do it and you are with me ; Coaching – You do it and I am with you ;

Empowerment – You do it ; Reproduction – You do it and someone is with you

The individual leads so that those who are led can develop their potential as human beings and thereby prosper.  The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it. When you delegate tasks to leaders that you are developing, you need to trust them, believe in them and hold them accountable. Without accountability, people drift. With it, they achieve results.

Developing people takes time and you have to put in many hours of mentoring and wait months, years and sometimes decades for people to develop into good leaders. Good leaders put their people first, not themselves. If you want to become a great leader, serve the people you lead. Make their success your success. If you are a leader with a big vision, you wont be able to achieve it without a team of leaders – an inner circle. The first method of estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at men he has around him. People don’t reach level 4 unless they are willing to empower leaders, promote them and release them to lead.  There is not a faster or more effective way to compound your time, effort and resources than by developing leaders. When leaders act worthy of their positions in level 1, build good relationships on level 2, model productivity on level 3 and invest in their people by developing them on level 4, people go beyond just knowing the vision.

The improvement to individual leaders’ lives is the highest goal of leadership  development. As  a level 4 leader, you should focus 80 percent of your attention on developing the best 20 percent of the leaders you have. Leaders with the most powerful and who give you the highest rate of return on your investment also have the greatest likelihood of turning around and raising up other leaders, which is emphasis on level 5.  If you want to start creating a leadership development culture that cultivates level 5 leaders, then do the following –

Champion leadership – Define and Model good leadership

Teach leadership – Train leaders on a regular, frequent , consistent basis

Practice leadership – Help emerging leaders to plan and execute, fail and succeed.

Coach Leadership – Review new leaders’ performance and correct their errors

Reward Leadership – Reward good leadership with pay, resources and recognition.

Mentoring is a mantle that they wear willingly, and they strive to add value to others. They value it because they have transitioned from chasing a position of success to pursuing a role of significance. If you remain teachable, your people will remain teachable. If your mind is closed, so will be the minds of people you mentor. Leaders who are afraid of looking bad or of being replaced rarely develop other leaders. Spend time with people you trust and who know you well enough to talk through your issues. Do whatever it takes, because insecure leaders don’t develop people. A leader’s value is in the investment that he makes in others, not in what he can do personally. While average leaders try to lead everyone the same way, level 4 leaders lead everyone the same way, level 4 leaders lead everyone differently and that takes creativity and confidence.

As you prepare to develop people, teach from your strengths and encourage those you mentor to seek out others who can help them in areas where you can’t. Put your dream to the test. Level 4 leaders deal with both people issues and business issues and are able to do effectively. Write your priorities and put them in order of your importance as a guide. As you work to develop people, strive to create an emotionally engaging process that encourages those you mentor to take risks and enjoy their experiences. Share ‘been-there-love-that’ instead of ‘been-there-done-that’. Openness,humility and transparency are always attractive.

Level 5- The Pinnacle

Pinnacle leaders stand out from everyone else. Most leaders who reach the Pinnacle do so later in their careers. With gratitude and humility, they should lift up as many leaders as they can, tackle as many challenges as possible, and extend their influence to make a positive difference beyond their own organization and industry. The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the convictions and the will to carry on. Level 5 leaders are measured by the caliber of leaders they develop not the caliber of their own leadership. In level 5 organizations, when the top leader steps down, there are usually many leaders ready to rise up and take the reins.

In America, we believe everyone has the right to speak. But even in a free society, you have to earn the right to be heard. Level 5 leaders have paid their dues and earned the right. Level 5 leaders are able to cross lines out of their industry or area of expertise to speak with authority. They often have a chance to make a broader impact on society or to advance the cause of leadership, redefine it, and pour themselves into the next generation of leaders. Level 5 leaders understand that the highest position of leadership is not a place to be served by others but to serve others. Level 5 leader is here for the sake of other men – above all for those upon whose smile and well-being our own happiness depends, and also for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy. The leadership journey has the potential to take individuals through a lifelong process in three phases – learn, earn and return.

Those who are susceptible to the downside on the Pinnacle fall dramatically. Momentum can overcome a lot of problems, but even great momentum cannot continually compensate for negligence, arrogance and stupidity. Every organization for which people work is a trust. To be effective, leaders must always be learners. Be confident, but also be humble. If you’ve become successful, its only because a lot of other people helped you all along the way. If leaders who reach the Pinnacle want to make the most of their time there, they must remain focused on their vision and purpose and continue leading at the highest level. No matter where you are in your leadership journey, never forget that what got you to where you are wont get you to the next level. Level 5 leaders don’t stay on top without focus, humility and hard work.

Every time you develop good leaders and help find a place for them to lead and make an impact, they gather more good people to them. Its even more difficult to develop leaders who will devote themselves to developing other leaders instead of just leading. The first step in developing leaders is to have a desire to develop people so that they can succeed without you. The ultimate leader is the one who is willing to develop people to the point that they eventually surpass him or her in knowledge and ability. If you want to develop people, you must help them discover and build upon their strengths. You become a world class empowerer. The empowerment leadership model shifts from ‘position power’ to ‘people power’ where all people are given leadership roles so they can contribute to their fullest capability.

One of the keys to developing leaders – at any level – is seeing people not as they are or as others see them, but as they could be. Seeing what is takes very little talent. Seeing what could be  and helping to make it reality – takes vision, imagination, skill and commitment. A good inner circle will allow leaders to be themselves and people in your inner circle can become your favorite people -like family. You need to be a good model to everyone in the organization by valuing people, continuing to grow, practicing the golden rule, being authentic, exhibiting good values, and living out the right priorities. Leadership is influence. Leverage it to add value to others.

The ultimate test for a leader is not whether s/he makes smart decisions and takes decisive action, but whether s/he teaches others to be leaders and builds an organization that can sustain its success even when s/he is not around. No leader should hurt the organization’s momentum by staying too long just for his or her gratification. Plan your succession and leave before you feel you have to. You have the opportunity to leave a positive legacy. One of they keys to arriving at the end of our lives without regret is doing the work or creating a lasting legacy.

Every great institution is the lengthened shadow of a single man. True leaders earn respect by showing worthiness for the chance to lead on level 1, developing relationships on level 2, creating productive team on level 3 and developing people on level 4. Intuition is the ability to experience immediate insight without rational thought. The more naturally gifted you are in leadership, the stronger your leadership intuition is likely to be. If you’re not yet on level 5, then be aware that others may not trust your advice when it comes to winning. The goal in life is not to live forever but the goal is to create something that does.

Change occurs in people’s lives when they

1. Hurt enough that they have to ( Pain and Adversity )

2. Learn enough that they want to  ( Education and Experience ) or

3. Receive enough that they are able to (Support and Equipping)

When you try to develop others and share breakthrough experiences, some people will call you arrogant or egocentric when you tell them. Don’t let that deter you. I know of no better way to communicate important truths to others. Asking others and looking for ways to develop certain quality is a wonderful way for a person to grow. First, they have to keep their eyes open for good leaders and well-led organizations, which begins to develop a leadership awareness in them. Leaders on Level 5 have an access to leadership, organization, opportunities and experiences that your emerging leaders don’t.

What legacy do you want to leave? What will the end result be of your leadership efforts and career? Don’t wait for someone else to determine what your life stood for. Identify it while you’re still able to affect it, and start doing whatever you must to try to fulfill your legacy.

Make the most of one’s self

1. Be true to yourself

2. Make each day your masterpiece

3. Help others

4. Drink deeply from good books

5. Make frienship a fine art

6. Build shelter against a rainy day

7. Pray for guidance and give thanks for your blessings everyday.

Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming. You always win when you make the full effort to do the best of which you’re capable.


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