The 5 Levels of Leadership by John Maxwell

Which level are you in?


As suggested in the title, there are different level of leadership, in order to “level up” in our management style, we have to completely dominate the level and move up, kinda like different paradigm, we have to own it in order to move to a higher paradigm.

The first level, level 1 is position. its the starting place for every level of leadership.

Good side of Leadership by position:

  • Leadership position is given to people with leadership potential
  • Authority is recognized
  • Invitation to grow as a leader by higher management
  • Allow potential leader to shape/ define their leadership style

In the entry of the leadership leader, self knowledge is so important for effective learning, also learn about our own ethical value, relational value and success value.

The down side of leadership by position:

  • Misleading, leadership is given , but not yet earned
  • Only rely on position often devalue people
  • Feed on politics
  • Place rights more important than responsibilities, leader tend to do things to look / feel important
  • Lonely, as others people think you are “superior”
  • Get branded and strangled
  • Receive people least , not their best behavior.

However we still make make the most of our of the position by stop relying on position to push people, if you have to tell people you are leader, you are NOT. we have to trade entitlement for momentum. We can also leave our position and move towards people, leaders are initiators.

Level 2 : Permission

The up side of leadership by permission

  • Leadership by permission make people more enjoyable, from me to we, leadership is an opportunity to serve.
  • Increase overall energy level
  • Open up channel for communication
  • Focus on value of each person, learn to see the personalities that lies beyond titles
  • Natural Trust

The down side of leadership by permission

  • Appear soft for some people, its good to help people but not to make them HAPPY
  • Frustrating for achievers
  • can be take advantages for certain members, normally in a team there are 4 types: taker, developer, waiter and friends
  • Require openness to be effective
  • Difficult for people who are not naturally likable, however consider people who are not likable normally don’t like people very much.
  • Force you to deal with the whole person

How we can win people permission on level 2?

  • Connecting yourself before try to connect with others, develop self-awareness.
  • Develop a people orientated leadership style
  • Practice the golden rule : treats others as you want others to treat you
  • Become the chief cheerleader of your team
  • Balance between care and candor – you care people doesn’t mean they can work without responsibility, think , speak and act in terms of the person because who they are.
  • Care establish while candor expand relationship ; care define while candor direct relationship.

Law of influence ” True measure of leadership : influence, nothing more, nothing less.”

Law of additions: always add value, the solid ground of trust is developed.

Law of magnetism: You attract who you are, not what you want.

Law of connection: Touch a heart before ask a hand

Law of Buy-in” buy in the leader , than the vision

How to move to level 3 from level 2 ?

  • Relationship alone are not enough
  • Build relationship require two fold growth, you growth together or grow apart.
  • Achieve the vision is worth risking the relationship, anytime you try to move forward, there is risk.

Level 3 : Production (result)

Outstanding leaders are those who set up quota and exceed them.

The good side of level 3:

  • Result give credibility to the leader, to show people where they want to go , not send them to .
  • Leader produce models and set the standard for others visually
  • Result bring clarity and reality to the vision
  • Result solve a multitude of problems, nothing build self-esteem, self confident like accomplishment.
  • Result create momentum: there are 3 type of people when come to momentum: momentum taker( don’t start /stop) / momentum breaker ( don’t produce, stop other production) / momentum maker ( create momentum)
  • Result is the foundation of team building – people want to stay in winning team

The down side of level 3:

  • Being productive make you think you are leader ( but you are not)
  • heavy weight of responsibility for results
  • Production leader make difficult decision
  • Demand continual attention of level 2

How to make the most out of level 3

  • Understand your personal gift contribute to the vision
  • Cast the vision for what need to be accompolished
  • Begin to develop people into a team: team member should complete one another, leaders make that happen / the one who score a basket has 10hands / team members should understand their mistakes / team member should receive feedback / Team member should work in environment for growth /inspiration.
  • Prioritize things which yield high return.
  • Be willing and ready to be a change agent – focus on similarity and build upon that.
  • never lose sight – result are your goal.

Belief that help to move to level 4: Production alone is not enough, people are an organization most appreciable asset/ growing leader is the most effective way to accomplish the vision.

Level 4: People development : Move from producer > developer

The Good side of people development :

  • Set you apart from most leaders
  • Growth can be substained
  • Empower others to fulfill leadership responsibilities. ” If action inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, you are a leader”.
  • Empower the leader to lead larger organization
  • Provide great personal fulfillment

The down side of people development:

  • Self-centerness can cause leader neglect people development
  • Insecurity leader feel threatened
  • Short sightness keep leader seeing the need
  • Lack of commitment

How to develop people

  • Recruiting – 4C ( Chemistry / character / Capacity / contribution)
  • Positioning – Right people@right position
  • modeling -show others how to lead
  • Equipping – help others to do the job well , by 5 step  :  I do it ( competence) >  I do it and you with me ( demonstration) > you do it and i will you ( coaching) > You do it (empowerment) > You do it and someone with you ( reproduction)
  • Developing -teach them to do well
  • Empowering : Make sure they succeed
  • Measure : Evaluating those whom you develop to maximize their efforts

Guide to growth thru level 4:

  • Be willing to keep growing yourself – everyone can teach me something, everything can teach me something
  • Decide which people worth the effort
  • Work thru your insercuities
  • Recruit the best people you can develop
  • Commit to spend the time
  • Create a personal development process
  • Never work alone
  • Blend soft/hard side of development
  • Take responsibility to engage others
  • Remain approachable

Level 5: Pinnacles

The up side of level 5:

  • We have created a top level 5 organizatoin
  • create a legacy within organization
  • Provide an extended platform for learning .

Leadership journey in short : learn , earn, return.

Its an awesome book to have a clear view of path of how management evolved which myself obviously love to stay in LEVEL 3 as to produce result myself but fail to move to LEVEL 4 to develop more leaders. For people who is about to go into management or within management for sometimes and feel stuck, this book is highly recommended

Until next time !

Check out the book yourself >>>>>>>>>>>>>> 5levelofleadership




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