The next few posts will focus on the topic of leadership and different areas regarding how to become a better leader. The wealth of knowledge on the subject of leadership is endless and the guru himself, John C. Maxwell, probably produced 80% of it! That may be an exaggeration, but you get the point. My purpose is not only to share wisdom on how to become a better leader but also stir you to ask these questions: How do you define yourself as a leader? How do you lead? How do you follow? How do you define leadership? What’s missing in the leadership discussion? Anna Quindlen, novelist, essayist, said it like this:
The choice is ours at each moment and at every moment to learn the lessons of leadership. Unfortunately, we tend to associate learning new skills with youth, but in fact, the possibility of leading is available throughout our lifetimes; with every choice we make, we take charge of our lives. It is never too late to discover our unique voice as a leader.
So I invite you to go on an in depth study of how to lead better and more effective than before. Sometimes we do not blossom in our gifts till later in our lives, but that does not mean we stop watering the seed and shining light on our potential. We will start out with the foundational piece from John Maxwell’s five levels of Leadership. Be Blessed! Be Revealed!
- LEVEL 1 (POSITIONAL LEVEL) – Key Word “Rights.” People at this level follow you because they have to. It is the beginning of all leadership. The position does not make you a leader but the leader can make the most out of the position. The upside is that this is the place where we shape and define our leadership. The downside is that the people will give you their least amount of effort at this level.
- LEVEL 2 (PERMISSION LEVEL) – Key Word “Relationships.” People follow you becasuse they want to. Now you have connected with your people and relationships are established. Relationship with people is the foundation of leadership. Leadership is influence and you cannot influence those that you antagonize. If you’re going to grow as a leader, you’re going to have to grow beyond your title. A relational leader are good at three things:
- 1) they listen well
- 2) they observe well
- 3) they are learners.
- LEVEL 3 (PRODUCTION LEVEL) – Key Word “Results.” This is the level you start to bring home the bacon. You are effective and you produce results. You produce by example. People do what they see and far too many leaders want to take people where they have not been themselves. You want to be a tour guide as a leader and show them where you have been. In this level, your leadership gains credibility. You attract people that are productive because you attract what you are, not what you want. Momentum is a leader’s best friend. Leaders create momentum, managers solves problems. Yet, a leader knows that if they can generate momentum, 80% of their problems will be solved.
- LEVEL 4 (PEOPLE DEVELOPMENT) – Key Word “Reproduction.” You grow a company by growing people. When you grow them, you grow their capacity, which increases what you can do and accomplish. Three thoughts on developing people:
- 1) Recruitment – 80% of success of equipping people happens at the front door, who comes in. Unless you have a clear idea of what you’re looking for, you won’t know when you see it.
- 2) Positioning – Successful people find their strength zone, their niche, and their sweet spot. Successful leaders discover what other people are good at.
- 3) Equipping – it’s about compounding. You are not equipping until you see who you mentored is now teaching and equipping another.
- LEVEL 5 (PINNACLE LEVEL) – Key Word “Respect.” This is when people follow you because of who you are and what you have done in the field. There is a great awe and reverance for your craft. This will usually take a long time to reach. The point is that leadership is always ongoing and a learning process that takes a long time.