Launching a Leadership Revolution: Mastering the Five Levels of Influence

Launching a Leadership Revolution: Mastering the Five Levels of Influence

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by Chris Brady

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Sooner or later, we are all called to lead in some capacity. Leadership skills are vital in corporate settings, small businesses, church or community organizations, and even within the home. Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward have recognized this need and have jointly created an in-depth, step-by-step guide for developing leadership skills.

Utilizing an

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Sooner or later, we are all called to lead in some capacity. Leadership skills are vital in corporate settings, small businesses, church or community organizations, and even within the home. Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward have recognized this need and have jointly created an in-depth, step-by-step guide for developing leadership skills.

Utilizing an abundance of historical examples, the authors have developed a unique 5-step plan that charts a course for creating and maintaining strong leadership in any organization. The plan guides the reader through the "Five Levels of Influence":

  • Learning: a leader must be able to learn from anyone
  • Performing: perservere through failure to find success
  • Leading: extend your ability by expanding your team
  • Developing Leaders: learn to trust your people
  • Develop Leaders who Develop Leaders: create a legacy

This book is full of prescriptive advice, quotes and anecdotes that illustrate their principles.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Brady and Woodward offer a detailed examination of what defines a leader, the qualities necessary to fulfilling the role and the common path previous leaders have traveled toward achieving personal greatness. Initially self-published, this effort follows up the duo's earlier bestselling effort, Leading the Consumer Rebellion. Contending that "each of us has a natural wellspring of talent and ability buried within" and will eventually be thrust into a moment requiring leadership skills, they lay the groundwork for being prepared to perform when that opportunity arises. The leadership concepts are strengthened by anecdotes like one involving the New England Patriot's quarterback Tom Brady, who led his team to three Super Bowl wins despite a resounding lack of confidence in his ability to do so. But quotes on leadership from sources as diverse as Mark Twain and golfer Tiger Woods, often three and four to a paragraph, can get distracting. The authors also occasionally get carried away with charting their concepts and awkward metaphors (e.g., driving against the "traffic of mediocrity"; avoiding the "shoulder of frustration"). But overall, this manual is one from which any potential leader-whether of a country, corporation or a small staff-could draw insight. (Oct. 22)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

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Grand Central Publishing
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Launching a Leadership Revolution

By Chris Brady Orrin Woodward Business Plus Copyright © 2005 Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-446-58071-7

Chapter One Leadership Discussion

Sometimes if you want to see a change for the better, you have to take things into your own hands.


A Question of Leadership

We find ourselves in a time when leadership is sorely needed. From the chaos, confusion, and rampant mediocrity that we find in our schools, churches, workplaces, families, personal lives, national politics, and international relations, the same questions seem to echo: "Will somebody please lead?" "Isn't there anybody who can fix this?" "Is there anyone who can make sense of all this?" "Is there anyone who cares enough to take responsibility for improvement here?" "Where are the leaders?" "Do heroes even exist anymore?"

These questions and more flow freely. Everybody seems to have an innate sense that something is needed. It is not hard to identify problems in a given situation. Ask someone to identify what's wrong with their church, employer, or neighbors and you'd better be prepared for a long explanation. Don't even get them started on the government! That could take days. Identifying negatives and areas for improvement is child's play. Making suggestions for changes and modifications is not difficult, either. Everyone has an opinion about how to make improvements. Coming up with good ideas is no big deal. The world is full of great ideas and deep thinkers of grand theories. Implementation and results make the difference. They separate the heroes from the rest. And implementation with results, in any field or endeavor, takes leadership.

and provides them the training, education, and support they need."

4. Andy Stanley: "Leaders provide a mental picture of a preferred future and then ask people to follow them there."

5. Vance Packard: "Leadership is getting others to want to do something that you are convinced should be done."

6. Garry Wills: "Leadership is mobilizing others toward a goal shared by the leader and followers."

7. Alan Keith: "Leadership is ultimately about creating a way for people to contribute to making something extraordinary happen."

8. George Barna: "A leader is one who mobilizes; one whose focus is influencing people; a person who is goal driven; someone who has an orientation in common with those who rely upon him for leadership; and someone who has people willing to follow them," and "Leadership is the process of motivating, mobilizing, resourcing, and directing people to passionately and strategically pursue a vision from God that a group jointly embraces."

9. Kenneth O. Gangel: "I consider leadership to be the exercise of one's special gifts under the call of God to serve a certain group of people in achieving the goals God has given them toward the end of glorifying Christ."

10. Dwight D. Eisenhower: "Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it."

These insights and definitions are good and helpful, and some we like particularly, but John Maxwell gives an exemplary definition, quoted here at length from his book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership:

Leadership is influence-nothing more, nothing less. People have so many misconceptions about leadership. When they hear that someone has an impressive title or an assigned leadership position, they assume that he is a leader. Sometimes that's true. But titles don't have much value when it comes to leading. True leadership cannot be awarded, appointed, or assigned. It comes only from influence, and that can't be mandated. It must be earned.

What, then, is influence? Our favorite explanation of influence comes to us from nineteenth-century preacher and author Albert Barnes: "Influence is that in a man's known talents, learning, character, experience, and position, on which a presumption is based that what he holds is true; that what he proposes is wise."

George Barna tells us, "To be effective, a leader must have influence. But influence is a product of great leadership; it is not synonymous with it. You can have influence in a person's life without leading him anywhere."

Perhaps there will never be a short, cute definition for leadership. We are certain there will never be one upon which all "experts" agree. This very difficulty in arriving at a concise explanation for the concept illustrates the enormity of the subject at hand. But all of the above definitions hit near the same mark. Any attempts to be more concise or specific are like trying to grab smoke. For the purpose of this study, then, we will fuse the above commentary into the following:

Leadership is the influence of others in a productive, vision-driven direction and is done through the example, conviction, and character of the leader.

Why Leadership?

We have surveyed the thoughts of many great minds on the definition of leadership and, as with a complex painting, the image is getting clearer the more we work with it. To brush in more detail, we must discuss the purpose of leadership.

Many people are interested in leadership for what they imagine it can provide them, including:

1. Power

2. Control

3. Perks or Being Served.

But the life of a leader is quite different from such expectations. The life of a leader involves:

1. Giving power (empowering)

2. Helping others fix problems and move forward

3. Serving others.

Leaders lead for the joy of creating something bigger than themselves. Noted leadership consultant Warren Bennis says that he wants to publish books "that disturb the present in the service of a better future." That's good, and it's a sentiment shared by Hyrum Smith: "Leaders conduct planned conflict against the status quo."

To illustrate, consider the story of Ray Kroc and the making of the McDonald's fast-food empire. Kroc discovered the little McDonald's restaurant in Southern California in the 1950s and was amazed. The McDonald brothers had developed an efficient, unique, and highly profitable operation. They had fast-food production and delivery down to a science, and they were making what they considered a lot of money. But Kroc saw further. He realized that their little restaurant could be copied and duplicated and reproduced around the nation, and he set about trying to make that happen. Author Jim Collins, in Good to Great, explained that great leaders have ambition beyond their own personal self-interest. They are not satisfied with personal success only, but focus almost entirely upon furthering the vision of the enterprise.

Leaders can't stand to leave things the way they found them.

At first Kroc attempted partnering with the McDonald brothers, but he found this restrictive and an anchor on his progress. Then he tried buying rights to their system for a period of ten years, but again, his vision outran theirs and he found the provisions contained within the contract to be incompatible with his vision. Maury Klein explains what happened in The Change Makers: "As that vision expanded, [Kroc] found the brothers unwilling to deviate from the strict letter of the original terms." The best explanation, however, comes from Kroc himself: "The McDonald brothers were simply not on my wavelength at all. I was obsessed with the idea of making McDonald's the biggest and best. They were content with what they had." The McDonald brothers were content. Kroc was not.

So if leadership is influence applied toward an overarching vision (pun intended), it follows that this influence is motivated by discontent with the status quo and directed toward something better. We like to call this "making a difference." And leaders do that in the direction of their vision for the future, a vision that sees farther than others see. George Barna says, "[Leaders] have to own the vision completely. It must be a perception of a coming reality to which [they] are totally committed." Leaders can't stand to leave things the way they found them. They are driven to make them better. It is from this discontent, and toward their vision, with ownership and commitment, that they exercise influence. According to President Theodore Roosevelt, "We need leaders of inspired idealism, leaders to whom are granted great visions, who dream greatly and strive to make their dreams come true; who can kindle the people with the fire from their own burning souls." That is what it means to lead.


The level of leadership determines the success of its results. Over time, where there are lackluster results, there is a leadership deficiency. Where there are stellar results, there is strong leadership. John Maxwell says that "everything rises and falls on leadership."

Let's first consider the results of poor leadership.

When leaders or those in a position to lead shirk their responsibilities, cut corners, or fail in their responsibilities, the results are far reaching. Says Bill George in Authentic Leadership, "A Time/CNN poll taken in the summer of 2002 reported that 71 percent of those polled feel that the 'typical CEO is less honest and ethical than the average person.' In rating the moral and ethical standards of CEOs of major corporations, 72 percent rated them 'fair' or 'poor.' A similar survey by the Wall Street Journal Europe reported that only 21 percent of European investors believe that corporate leaders are honest." So one of the first products of poor leadership is an erosion of the trust people have in those who should be leading. As author Les Csorba wrote in Trust, "Leadership is character in motion."

Next come pain and suffering, which can be on a corporate, financial, or emotional level, depending on the setting. Or they may have major geopolitical ramifications.

The War of 1812 was a perilous time for the brand-new United States. Only a few decades old, the young country found itself embroiled in yet another war with England. With the exception of a very impressive string of naval victories, the United States had been battered at the hands of the British. Washington, the national capital that was still under construction, had been not only successfully invaded but also humiliatingly burned. While a treaty of sorts had been signed between the two nations, the British knew that word of the peace would not travel fast enough to stop the invading force they'd sent to attack the city of New Orleans.

New Orleans was a strategically pivotal city. Most of the trade from the North American west flowed down the Mississippi and through New Orleans at the base of the river's delta. If New Orleans were lost, Britain believed it could split the United States in half and force a treaty more favorable to their side. With the positive conclusion of an invasion of New Orleans, there would be time for the British parliament to reject the current terms and negotiate a much stiffer peace.

The confidence of the New Orleans leadership to fend off an attack was receding like an ebb tide. The Committee for the Safety of New Orleans issued a report itemizing the poor morale and lack of preparations by the local militia in defense of the city. The city had transferred from the hands of the Spanish, then the French, and finally to the United States in less than a decade, and the loyalty of her defenders was a major concern. In fact, the speaker of the Louisiana senate considered surrendering the city to the British without a fight because most inhabitants were more loyal to the city than to the United States. Additionally, there was the very real fear of a slave rebellion in the area.

By contrast, the British were confident. Riding high on their victory in the Napoleonic Wars, they expected a decisive rout at New Orleans. Many veterans of Wellington's victorious army of Waterloo were in the invading army's ranks. They were battle tested and proven, and certainly no ragtag multicultural militia could match their might.

If the leadership of New Orleans' defenses had remained in this confused state, the British hopes would have been well founded. The tumult in New Orleans would have given way to the armies of the British just as it had in Washington. One can only guess what would have become of the infantile United States had it been split in half from its south.

In the case of the defense of New Orleans in the War of 1812, the tragedy of poor leadership is quite clear. The results are similar to the results of bad leadership elsewhere, though they may not be fatal, whether in industry, in politics, or in the home. Chaos, lack of progress, confusion, and frustration are sure to follow where leaders refuse or fail to lead.

Now let's observe real leadership in action by resuming our look at the Battle of New Orleans.

Into this storm marched Major General Andrew Jackson. Only Andrew Jackson's indomitable will and courageous leadership stood between an acceptable peace treaty and the potential destruction of the United States. With only his small Tennessee militia, Jackson arrived on the scene just in time to bring order out of chaos and resolve out of fear. Assuming leadership of a patchwork army made up of the Louisiana militia, a band of local pirates, and several hundred black volunteers from Haiti, Jackson's entire force amounted to just over half the total available to the British invaders.

General Jackson immediately took charge. He declared martial law in the city and imposed a strict curfew. When he was alerted to the British landing less than a day's march from New Orleans, he mobilized his forces into action. Instead of waiting for the British to march to the city, Jackson devised a surprise attack. Had Jackson waited and allowed the British soldiers to assault the city on their own terms, the fragile confidence the New Orleans populace had in Jackson's ability to stop the British would have been destroyed. Instead, the surprise attack from the Americans pinned down the British and stopped their advance in its tracks. The battle would take place right where Jackson decided it would.

Quick and creative defense works allowed Jackson's badly outnumbered and outclassed army to perform at a level way above its strength. The battle opened with an intense artillery barrage, but Jackson's personal courage steeled the resolve of his men to endure in the face of overwhelming odds. Intense combat followed as the heroes of Europe slammed their best troops against Jackson's forces. Jackson shrewdly deployed his troops to meet every British challenge, much of the early fighting turning into hand-to-hand slugfests. Unable to advance and suffering heavy losses, the British lines eventually gave way. The battle turned into a rout. Three top British generals were killed in what became the most lopsided battle of the war. Within a few hundred yards lay nearly one thousand dead and dying British. The American side suffered thirteen killed and wounded.

The Battle of New Orleans, as it came to be called, allowed the treaty ending the conflict to be ratified and the War of 1812 to end. The difference between the early pessimism of the New Orleans defenders and the final American result was due directly to the leadership and decision making of General Andrew Jackson.


Excerpted from Launching a Leadership Revolution by Chris Brady Orrin Woodward Copyright © 2005 by Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Launching a Leadership Revolution: Mastering the Five Levels of Influence 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I admit after college, I promised myself, you have to pay me to read. However when I got hold of this book, I cant put it down. The principles here are real and simple a person with English as a second language can very well understand and apply.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the most practical collections of leadership information, that I've found. It not only pulls together the best information available on this subject from many credible authors and historic examples, but it is described in practical terms and that will benefit anyone reading it. To me it is clear that the authors, Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady, are very experienced with using this information in their own lives and businesses. It is refreshing to read a book from people that follow their own advice.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Don't waste your time or money! The only copies of this book that were sold were purchased by people in Mr. Woodward and Mr. Brady's multi-level marketing pyramid scheme. The authors wouldn't know leadership if it hit them up along side of the head! They are scam artists and nothing more. Your average kindergartener knows more about leadership principles
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wanna know. Answer is possible...
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P1B More than 1 year ago
Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward understand how to develop leaders because they developed thousands of them. Their system thinking is what is behind the power of this best-seller. Orrin is a master in system thinking. They took the concepts from auto industry, and from the thousand of books they read, applied them and it worked. Leaders are made, not born. Leadership is a decision and it is learned. Anyone can become a leader. Anyone going through a systematic process of reading, listening, associating, applying the information in this book and checking with a mentor will benefit greatly from their wisdom. This book an absolute first step necessity for future leaders. The examples given are very appropriate. Their Leadership Ledger is a powerfull tool for honest self rating and set a plan for improvement. We will be reading many more book by Chris and Orrin. The world is hungry for more leaders and this book describes the process to become a leader. Powerfull book. What a compeling value.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you really want to make a difference in someone else's life, then i would say, you have to read this book. As Orrin and Chris estate it, leadership is influencing, and boy are they making a difference in my life. Thank you gentlemen.....
Guest More than 1 year ago
The best Leadership book I have ever read. This is just the beginning of what Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady have to offer in the world of Leadership.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book is packed full of awesome leadership principles, and great historical references. I am very grateful to the authors, for creating such an inspiring book. They are revolutionizing the way people think about leadership, and I believe they are true heros in our time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great book for everyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Woodward and Brady have created a life changing source with this book. I love it. Most people ignore the importance of Leadership because they think they have to be a highly educated college graduate or something. This book explains how even 'ditchdiggers' can become leaders if they so choose. It teaches you the principles in a very relatable fashion that you can apply to everyday life and improve yourself on a daily basis. It's already had a profound effect on my life! I can't say enough about it. These authors are on to something big! I'm giving these out for Christmas gifts this year. I'm 100% satisfied with it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As such authors as Dale Carnegie or Benjamin Franklin have done in the past, Woodward and Brady have written a great leadership book built on principles and great learning. This is a well thought out book and can be applied to anyone in anything they do. This will become a classic over time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a compilation of principles outlined in many other leadership books with real life historical examples pounding the priciples home along with some new easy to apply concepts for both the beginning leader and the leader charged with building other leaders. An entertaining read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is by far one of the best leadership development books I have read. I also had the privilage of preordering this book and it was worth it. The men that wrote this book are outstanding examples of this book. If you apply everything you learn from this book you will see amazing results in your home, church, work, or friendships.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mr Woodward and Mr Brady have clearly laid out their strategy for getting the best out of people by teaching the principles of achieving Leadership levels and then teaching others to be Leaders. Any true student of business and Team Leadership MUST READ this book. Clint Maki
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an outstanding book and one that I think all leaders need to read. No other books covers these aspects of leadership. The tri-lateral leadership ledger should be used when hiring top level executives at publically traded companies. If it was, we would not have as many ENRON type situations in the future.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read several books on leadership skills, principles, values and developement, and I have to say this is clearly one of the best. The author's have written in a way so it is easy to understand and follow, using a level/step approach, allowing the reader to measure where they are at, and grow to the next level. I have personally seen and heard both of the author's speak, and based on all the leadership books I have read, to me they are true level 5 servant leaders. I also found it very amazing that on top of this book being an excellent tool for leadership developement, the author's are making a donation equal to 100% of all the advances and royalties from this book. I am so impressed with the purpose and significance of not only this book, but the authors as well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read my share of leadership books and this one surpasses them all. As a fan of John Maxwell, this is not a small statement. What Woodward and Brady have accomplished within the covers of this book is setting the groundwork for the Leadership Revolution ready to sweep North America. This important work will find its way onto the bookshelves of every leader in corporate America, as well as church, community and levels of government all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania avenue. I eagerly await the sequel!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Launching a Leadership Revolution is a book that I recommend for everyone interested in developing their leadership skills. It is the most in depth, thought provoking book on leadership that I've read in years. Normally I read a book in one to two days but this took me a week. It is a great text book for business schools conducting courses on leadership and ethics. Whether you are the owner of a company, work for a company or if you are self-employeed, you will benefit from the book. It is meant for all who have individual or organizational goals and need help developing the infrastructure to achieve an end that is mutually beneficial to all involved.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is not a typical one directional or introductory review leadership book. It is definitely more of a textbook of leadership development. In that vein, it is unequaled in thorough research and specific application. These principles, while explored in various books, are perhaps more clearly outlined and digestible than I have previously read. I will certainly put it on my re-read list.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Launching a Leadership Revolution has hit No. 14 on the Wall Street Journal Best Seller list as of October 4, 2007 and it has not even officially been released yet! This practical leadership guide empowers every reader with the necessary tools and guidance to develop their own personal leadership as well as that of their organization. If everything rises and falls on leadership, then LLR is a must-read for anyone seeking to develop their level of influence.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you¿re considering leadership development in your life, Launching a Leadership Revolution is a serious book that has enough light hearted anecdotes and real-life historical examples that keep its reading up beat and flowing. Whether you are a new student or seasoned practitioner of leadership, LLR is a must for your personal development library. Orrin Woodward & Chris Brady break down the essence of leadership. By going into depth on what a leader is and the foundational qualities of a leader, the co-authors set the stage for a unique educational tool that can be applied to any aspect of your life: the Trilateral Leadership Ledger. Understanding this single development tool alone is worth the price of the book! Studying and implementing the theories outlined within the Ledger should help anyone maximize their personal Cycle of Achievement. With this solid foundation established, LLR crescendos into an in-depth study of the Five Levels of Influence. Due credit is given to Maxwell & Collins for similar preceding theory, but Woodward & Brady provide increased clarity to these concepts making them more bite-sized and useful to the newer student. Overall, I personally give LLR 5 out of 5 stars and would highly recommend this to anyone wishing to grow in leadership. Launching a Leadership Revolution is destined to become an instant classic and the Team of Woodward & Brady are sure to step into a well deserved place among modern leadership experts & pioneers of leadership theory.