True leadership isn't a matter of having a certain job or title. In fact, being chosen for a position is only the first of the five levels every effective leader achieves. To become more than "the boss" people follow only because they are required to, you have to master the ability to invest in people and inspire them. To grow further in your role, you must achieve results and build a team that produces. You need to help people to develop their skills to become leaders in their own right. And if you have the skill and dedication, you can reach the pinnacle of leadership-where experience will allow you to extend your influence beyond your immediate reach and time for the benefit of others.
The 5 Levels of Leadership are:
1. Position - People follow because they have to.
2. Permission - People follow because they want to.
3. Production - People follow because of what you have done for the organization.
4. People Development - People follow because of what you have done for them personally.
5. Pinnacle - People follow because of who you are and what you represent.
Through humor, in-depth insight, and examples, internationally recognized leadership expert John C. Maxwell describes each of these stages of leadership. He shows you how to master each level and rise up to the next to become a more influential, respected, and successful leader.
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About the Author
He is the founder of The John Maxwell Company, The John Maxwell Team, and EQUIP, a non-profit organization that has trained more than five million leaders in 180 countries. Each year Maxwell speaks to Fortune 500 companies, presidents of nations, and many of the world's top business leaders. He can be followed at Twitter.com/JohnCMaxwell. For more information about him visit JohnMaxwell.com. Maxwell lives in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.
Read an Excerpt
The 5 Levels of Leadership
Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential
By John C. Maxwell
Center StreetCopyright © 2013 John C. Maxwell
All rights reserved.
Leadership Level Characteristics
This first section applies to your leadership in general. Please read the following ten statements. Place a check mark next to each one that you agree is true for you. Answer using your first instinct. Please do not skip any questions, and do not go back and change any of your responses.
I don't have to remind the people who work for me that I am the leader.
I think of each person who works for me as an individual person, not just in terms of his or her function or role.
Most days I look forward to going to work.
I recognize that the position I've been given is an opportunity to learn, not turf to be guarded.
The people who work for me are willing to do work above and beyond their job descriptions.
I know that dealing with people problems is a part of leading and have accepted that as part of the job.
I possess the desire to learn more about leadership and become a better leader.
I think of my job in terms of work to be accomplished and give very little focus to career path and the positions I desire to achieve along the way.
One of my primary objectives is to assist the people who work for me.
Most people find it easy to work with me.
If you marked eight or more of the previous statements as true for you, then you have probably already established yourself as a leader on Level 1 and have begun to move to the higher levels. Move on to the next section of the test. However, if you checked fewer than eight, then you have probably not yet mastered Level 1, and this is where you will probably begin your work in personal leadership development. Why? Because you are only as good as the lowest level you've mastered.
People outside of my department or area of responsibility respect my opinions and frequently seek me out for advice.
I know my strengths and weaknesses and rarely get blindsided in my work.
I genuinely like most people and want to help them.
I am very consistent and even-tempered in my interaction with the people who work for me.
When I say something to the people on my team, they always know they can count on it because I am trustworthy.
I have developed solid relationships with all of the people who work for me.
The people who work with me find me likable and pleasant nearly 100 percent of the time.
When I need to have a candid conversation with team members to correct errors or take care of problems, I follow through and don't allow too much time to go by.
I believe that employees desire more than just a fair day's pay for a fair day's work; most desire encouragement and I give it to them.
I have developed relationships with everyone who works for me.
If you marked eight or more of the above statements as true for you, then move on to the next section. If not, you may want to save the rest of Part 1 of the test for later because your answers indicate that you've not yet mastered Level 2 and you don't yet think like a Level 2 leader. If you do decide to complete Part 1 at this time, please be aware that even if you mark eight or more statements true in subsequent sections, you cannot be on the higher levels of leadership because you have not yet won Level 2. This also applies as you answer the questions in subsequent levels.
I consistently hit targets and goals in my work.
Good people always want to work with me and my team.
People see me as an expert in my field and seek me out to learn from me.
I am constantly setting and achieving higher goals for myself, even when my superiors don't set them for me.
My performance in my work often carries the team to a higher level.
I give my best to whatever I do.
I am comfortable with the idea that others are watching how I perform and follow my example.
I am known as a problem solver, and I often get difficult tasks done.
My work is very consistent on a daily basis.
I have systems and routines that help me perform at a very high level.
If you marked eight or more of the above statements as true for you, then move on to the next section. If not, your answers indicate that you've not yet mastered Level 3 and you don't yet think like a Level 3 leader.
I schedule and follow through with training and development for all the members of my team on a regular, consistent basis.
When deadlines loom or work becomes urgent, we never cancel our training and development sessions.
I consistently take risks by giving people responsibilities and authority that will stretch them.
I spend a significant amount of time every month mentoring up-and-coming leaders.
I know very thoroughly the strengths and weaknesses of all the people I lead.
I individualize the way I train, develop, and mentor my people.
I spend the most strategic and significant mentoring time with the people who have the highest capacity, talent, and potential.
I have a history of moving people from position to position to help find their fit.
I am continually giving people feedback, not just during formal reviews.
My team or department is considered by others to be the best trained (or one of the best) in the organization.
If you marked eight or more of the above statements as true for you, then move on to the next section. If not, your answers indicate that you've not yet mastered Level 4 and you don't yet think like a Level 4 leader.
I can name several specific people whom I have encouraged to speak hard truths to me, and they do so regularly.
I am using my influence to instill values in my organization.
The course of my organization is set by me or by a team of which I am a part.
I have developed many leaders who are developers of leaders.
I enjoy the interaction and friendship of a small circle of leaders with whom I am taking the leadership journey.
I am still at the top of my game, and the positive impact I am making is strong.
I can name at least one person who would be ready to step in and take my place should I decide to leave my current position.
I have influence outside of my organization.
People from outside of my specific industry seek me out for leadership advice.
I am using my influence and resources for causes greater than myself or my organization.
In leadership, you are only as good as the lowest level you've mastered. So I just want to remind you that even if you scored highly in one of the higher levels, if you scored poorly on a lower level, your leadership is actually on that lower level. That is where you will need to give your attention when working with people to improve your leadership ability.CHAPTER 2
Individual Team Member Assessment—Leader's Point of View
For each person you oversee directly (direct reports), please answer yes or no to the questions on the following worksheet. (Be sure to complete Part 2 before moving on to Part 3.)
INDIVIDUAL TEAM MEMBER ASSESSMENT
Name of Team Member: Date:
No This person acknowledges you as his or her leader.
No This person would agree that you are suited for the leadership position you hold.
No This person would acknowledge that you see your position as an opportunity to earn
your place at the leadership table, not as a privilege to be used for personal
No You know things about this person's family and personal life outside of his or her work.
No You know this person's strengths and weaknesses.
No You know this person's hopes and dreams.
No You are committed to helping this person succeed in his or her work.
No This person trusts you and you trust him or her.
No This person respects your professional ability and qualities.
No This person asks for your advice and expertise.
No This person has become more productive because of your influence.
No This person would acknowledge that the team is more productive because of your leadership.
No This person would agree that your team contributes to the vision and purpose of the organization.
No You have given this person specific training that has helped him or her to perform better.
No You have mentored this person or put him or her in a development process that has helped
him or her to become a better leader.
No This person is now leading others because you have given opportunities and training for him or her to lead.
No This person is consistently loyal and supportive, and always gives you the benefit of the doubt.
No This person is not only leading others but has trained those he or she leads to develop leaders thanks to your input.
No This person could step into your role with a very high probability of success if you were to step down.
No This person is your advocate and champions you with other leaders so that you gain others' respect even before you meet them.
You can learn two things from this assessment: First, you can understand where you are with each person on the 5 Levels of Leadership based on your answers. If you answered no more times than yes in a section, then you have not gotten to that level with that person. (Instead, you would be on the level below that one.)
The second thing you can learn is where you need to work to improve. A no answer to any statement indicates where you need to do some work.CHAPTER 3
Leadership Assessment—Team Member's Point of View
Ask each of the people who report directly to you to fill out the following worksheet for you. They may do so anonymously if they wish. Use the same criteria for evaluating this assessment as you used to evaluate the Part 2 assessment you completed.
Note that even if you are a very good leader, you may have an employee or volunteer who refuses to put you anywhere but Level 1. You can try to win over that person on Level 2 and then progress, but there are no guarantees that the person will allow him-or herself to be won over.
Name of Leader: Date:
Please read each statement and respond with yes or no in reference to the leader whose name is listed above. There are no right or wrong answers. This assessment is designed only to describe your interaction with the person. (If you wish, you may answer this assessment anonymously.)
Yes No You acknowledge this person as your leader.
Yes No This person is well-suited for the leadership position he or she holds.
Yes No This person treats the leadership position as an opportunity to earn a place at the leadership table,
not as a privilege to be used for personal advancement.
Yes No This leader cares about your family and personal life outside of work and regularly
asks you questions about them.
Excerpted from The 5 Levels of Leadership by John C. Maxwell. Copyright © 2013 John C. Maxwell. Excerpted by permission of Center Street.
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.
Table of Contents
You Can Have a Leadership Game Plan for Your Life 1
You Can Learn Practical Leadership Tools 3
Overview of the 5 Levels of Leadership 6
Insights into the 5 Levels of Leadership 11
Leadership Assessment: How to Gauge Your Current Level of Leadership 21
Level 1 Position: It's a Great Place to Visit, But You Wouldn't Want to Live There 37
The Upside of Position: You Have Been Invited to the Leadership Table 41
The Downside of Position: True Leadership Isn't about Position 50
Best Behaviors on Level 1 How to Make the Most of Your Position 64
The Laws of Leadership at the Position Level: Lid, Process, and Navigation 70
Beliefs That Help a Leader Move Up to Level 2 73
Guide to Growing through Level 1 78
Level 2 Permission: You Can't Lead People Until You Like People 83
The Upside of Permission: The Workplace Has Become More Pleasant for Everyone 87
The Downside of Permission: The Pressure Is on You to Build Positive Relationships 95
Best Behaviors on Level 2 How to Gain People's Permission 105
The Laws of Leadership at the Permission Level: Influence, Addition, Solid Ground, Magnetism, Connection, and Buy-In 118
Beliefs That Help a Leader Move Up to Level 3 122
Guide to Growing through Level 2 126
Level 3 Production: Making Things Happen Separates Real Leaders from Wannabes 131
The Upside of Production: You Now Have Leadership Credibility 135
The Downside of Production: The Weight of Leadership Just Got Heavier 146
Best Behaviors on Level 3 How to Make the Most of Production in Leadership 151
The Laws of Leadership at the Production Level: Respect, Magnetism, Picture, Victory, Big Mo, Priorities, Sacrifice, and Buy-In 166
Beliefs That Help a Leader Move Up to Level 4 171
Guide to Growing through Level 3 175
Level 4 People Development: Helping Individual Leaders Grow Extends Your Influence and Impact 179
The Upside of People Development: The Potential of the Organization Just Got Greater 183
The Downside of People Development: Leading on Level 4 Requires High Levels of Maturity and Skill 195
Best Behaviors on Level 4 How to Develop People 203
The Laws of Leadership at the People Development Level: Process, Addition, Inner Circle, Empowerment, Explosive Growth, and Buy-In 216
Beliefs That Help a Leader Move Up to Level 5 220
Guide to Growing through Level 4 224
Level 5 The Pinnacle: The Highest Leadership Accomplishment is Developing Other Leaders to Level 4 229
The Upside of the Pinnacle: Your Influence Has Expanded Beyond Your Reach and Your Time 233
The Downside of the Pinnacle: You May Start to Believe It's All about You 238
Best Behaviors on Level 5 How to Use the Pinnacle as a Platform to Do Something Greater Than Yourself 243
The Laws of Leadership at the Pinnacle Level: Respect, Intuition, Timing, Legacy, and Explosive Growth 252
Help Others Move Up to Levels 4 and 5: Create Crucible Moments for the Leaders You Develop 256
Guide to Being Your Best at Level 5 266
Portrait of a Level 5 Leader: Coach John Wooden 271