You need to read this 5 Levels of Leadership summary if you want to take your leadership skills to the next level. John Maxwell wrote these five P’s or levels provide a clear roadmap for aspiring leaders, helping you navigate the complexities of leadership and achieve your goals.
Whether you’re a newbie manager or a seasoned executive, understanding the five levels of leadership is crucial if you want to lead your team to success.
5 Levels of Leadership Summary
What Are The Levels of Leadership?
In this book, Maxwell outlines the five levels of leadership – position, permission, production, people development, and pinnacle – and explains how to progress through them. To reach higher levels, one must go beyond just using their position to influence others and focus on building relationships, producing results, developing employees’ talents, and creating future leaders.
Although some of the advice may be familiar, the book provides a straightforward guide to leadership development. It is recommended for both current and aspiring leaders in any field.
Level 1 Leadership: Position
Picture this: you’ve just been promoted to a managerial position – congratulations, you superstar! Someone saw your potential and decided to entrust you with more responsibility and a higher rank.
Now it’s your turn to show your boss and team what you’re made of. Your mission, should you accept it, is to lead your team to success by demonstrating how you plan to help them achieve their goals.
Having a high position or fancy title in a company doesn’t automatically make you a good leader. Even if you have a higher status than others, you still need to work hard and improve your skills to help the company grow. Sometimes, people in high positions can feel lonely, but using your rank to inspire and lead your team is essential.
If you only care about your position, you might make bad decisions that hurt your team, and people might leave because of it. Good workers won’t tolerate bad leaders and may quit. This is why you must value your team and ensure they feel appreciated. When people don’t feel good at work because of a bad boss, they might leave for a better job.
Being in charge doesn’t mean you can boss people around. Instead of telling people what to do, inspire and encourage them to act. Ask how you can help them, and not the other way around. Using your position to make people do things they don’t want is not a good idea.
Level 2 Leadership: Permission
This is a crucial stage in a leader’s journey to becoming an authentic leader. Some leaders focus on two ways to lead:
- The “hard” way which focuses on getting things done.
- The “soft” way which focuses on building good relationships.
Leaders who focus on building relationships may be seen as “soft” in companies that care only about getting work done. Leaders who focus on getting things done may skip Level 2, where relationships are meaningful, and move straight to Level 3, where getting things done is most important.
On the other hand, leaders who focus too much on building relationships may get too comfortable in Level 2.
At this leadership level, your goal is to build good relationships with your team, like your employees. Working together is more manageable when you have good relationships with your team and everyone is happy. As a Level 2 leader, you must treat each person as a whole, including their good and bad qualities, any problems they might have, and anything that makes them unique.
To be a good Level 2 leader, you must be a good listener, keep a positive attitude, and be consistent with your moods. It would be best to stay positive, despite problems or conflicts. Good leaders know that conflicts are part of leading but remain positive and deal with issues well. When you encourage and support your team, they will do their best work for you.
To be a great leader, you must know what specific values are essential to you and show them by doing good things. Be grateful to the people who helped you get your job. Work with people who are good at things you are not. It’s okay to say you don’t know something. Know what you’re good at and what you need to get better at.
Ask for feedback to become a better leader. Focusing on good relationships with your team and not just rules is essential. Still, sometimes you must have tough conversations with people who could do their job better. Before you have a tough discussion, here is some advice:
- Don’t wait too long!
- Stay calm, and do not have the conversation when you’re upset.
- Have difficult conversations in private.
- Be considerate, so you don’t embarrass or scare your employee.
- It’s good to ask for feedback and take constructive criticism to heart.
Level 3 Leadership: Production
This level is where you find out who the real leaders are. If you want to be a fantastic leader, you have to get things done. You can’t pretend to be a good leader if you don’t produce good results. You need to get good results to keep your job. But if you do get good results, people will respect you more, and you will feel more confident. Getting good results will boost self-confidence, improve workplace morale, and keep everyone moving forward with momentum.
At Level 3, leadership becomes a true test of character. You must make difficult decisions, own up to your mistakes, and take charge of achieving your goals. But this level can be challenging, as leaders can feel the weight of constant supervision and the pressure of employees always looking to them for guidance.
As you progress to Level 3, the relationships you’ve built with your team will shift. Some will rise to the challenge with you, while others may struggle to adapt to the new demands. It’s important to remember that everyone on your team is an individual with their own unique strengths and weaknesses. It would be best to work to make their jobs enjoyable, even as you push them to achieve their full potential.
It’s like playing on a sports team; your goal is winning the championship. To be a good team leader, you need to know what your team is trying to achieve and what kind of leader you are.
Focusing on your leadership strengths can help your team win more games and get closer to the championship. You also need to ensure everyone on your team knows what they’re supposed to do and that they agree with your plan.
But leading a team is not just about one person. Each player on your team has their own unique skills that can help your team win. Make sure everyone on your team has a role that fits their skills.
As you work towards winning the championship, it’s essential to focus on the most important things first and not waste time on things that don’t matter. Stay focused on your goal and keep your team motivated. With your leadership and skills, you can win the championship.
Level 4 Leadership: People Development
At this Level 4 of leadership, you’re not just leading a team anymore. You’re creating a whole leadership culture. That means you’re not just supervising people around but helping your team members become leaders.
You need to determine what each person is good at and help them improve. That way, your whole team can work together like a well-oiled machine.
People don’t wear out or become less valuable than equipment or buildings. So, investing in your team members and helping them become the best leaders they can be is super important.
Becoming a top leader is tough. Some leaders try to increase production instead of training future leaders, which is not good. Training future leaders helps you grow and stay competitive. Still, it means you must focus on developing others instead of just getting things done.
Staying in control and focusing solely on production can be tempting as a leader. However, delegating tasks and sharing responsibilities are critical at this leadership level.
Training and developing your team members into leaders is beneficial for their growth. It gives you more time to think and plan for the future. A thoughtful leader is integral to your development and growth, even if you don’t realize it initially.
Taking the time to step back and consider new ideas and approaches is essential for continued success. So, feel free to delegate and invest in your team members – it’s a win-win for everyone involved.
At Level 4 of leadership, your company’s true potential is unlocked through the talented leaders you’ve helped create. It’s no easy feat to develop new leaders, and it requires a level of maturity and dedication that not all leaders possess.
Some leaders pour their heart and soul into developing their employees into leaders but don’t always get the rewards they deserve. It can be discouraging to see talented employees move on to other opportunities after they’ve been trained or to find out that they need more time to be ready for leadership roles after all.
Some leaders don’t want to teach others how to be leaders because they only think about themselves or are not very confident. But good leaders understand that teaching others how to be leaders is also essential. This helps the company in the long run.
To be a good leader, you must stop being bossy and trust the people working with you. You can teach them how to be leaders like you, which will help the company succeed. So, don’t just think about yourself; try to help others become great leaders.
When looking for people to lead, think about four things:
- Whether you get along well with them (chemistry).
- If they are good and trustworthy people (character)
- if they can do the job (capacity).
- What they can offer to the team (contribution).
Chemistry is essential because it helps build trust between people, which is vital for a good mentoring relationship. You need to get along with the people you’re trying to mentor to be able to help them effectively. Assessing a person’s abilities can be hard when looking for future leaders.
When choosing leaders, look for people who can handle stress well, have good skills, and can solve problems effectively. A good leader is someone who stays positive when things get tough. Choosing leaders willing to go way above what is expected of them is essential.
Look for people who have qualities like honesty, problem-solving ability, vision, good communication, influence, creativity, passion, teamwork, a servant-like attitude, a positive attitude, confidence, and self-discipline.
Level 5 of Leadership: Pinnacle
Being a Level 5 leader means being good at leading; it takes work to get there. It takes being grown-up, really smart, and having special skills. It’s like being a superhero of leaders! When you’re a Level 5 leader, you’re crucial to your team, other teams, and society. You must also help others become great leaders, especially those already good. That way, they can also be leaders someday.
When helping others become leaders, it’s necessary to focus on the people with the most potential to become great leaders. This means spending most of your time (about 80%) helping the top 20% of your team to become strong leaders who will last a long time. This is called the Pareto Principle, which means that you should focus on the people who can have the most significant impact rather than trying to help everyone equally.
Level 5 leaders are really good at leading, and they got there by learning to be humble. This means they know that many people helped them succeed and want to help others succeed too. They teach the people around them how to become better leaders and help them reach higher levels. If you want to be a great leader, you should also try to teach the people around you how to be better leaders and help them climb higher.
As a leader, you may have worked hard to get to where you are, but it’s important to remember that you’re not the only person who can do your job. Finding someone who can take your place when you’re ready to move on is a good idea. This person should be someone who is likely to be successful in the role and can build on what you have accomplished.
It’s essential to be comfortable with being “succeeded instead of needed.” This means you are okay with someone else taking over and doing a great job rather than feeling like you are the only person who can do the job right. This mindset allows you to focus on finding the best possible successor and developing leaders who can take your organization to greater heights.
When you develop leaders, you can help your organization grow and make a lasting impact on the industry and society. So even though you may have reached a high leadership level, remember to always think about the future and find the best people to continue your work.
As a leader, it’s essential to help other people become leaders too. You have to teach them and show them how to do it. You are the best person to know who is ready to become a leader and who needs more help. If you don’t help people become leaders, they might go to someone else who will help them, and they might not be as loyal or trust you as much.
When leaving your job, choosing someone to take your place is also essential. You need to pick someone you have trained and think will do a great job. By helping others become leaders and finding someone to replace you, you can ensure your job will continue to be done well, even after you’re gone.
People go through tough times, like being sick, losing a job, getting divorced, or losing someone they love. These experiences can be challenging and teach us important things about life. As a leader, you can use what you’ve learned from these experiences to help others through tough times.
Don’t be afraid of the people you have taught and trusted becoming powerful or successful. When you help others succeed, it reflects well on you too. The more you prepare and guide others, the more you can benefit from their successes. So don’t be afraid to share your experiences and help others grow, even if they become more successful than you.
When you become a top executive in a company and start training future leaders, you must not become too proud or overconfident. You should still be humble and open to learning how to improve and listen to the honest opinions of your close friends who care about you.
It’s also vital to encourage leadership at all company levels, not just at the top. This means allowing everyone to lead and make decisions, regardless of their job. The company can grow and succeed more when everyone is empowered to lead.
Finally, it’s essential to use your success to help others and improve the world. This could mean using your influence to support good causes or ensuring your company does its part to benefit society. When you use your success to do good, it makes the world a better place for everyone.