When I was 18, I was promoted from Top Salesperson to Sales Manager. I, quickly, called a meeting for the following Saturday to teach the others how to improve their sales skills. Unknown to me, they called their own meeting prior to my meeting and decided it would be fun if no one showed up to my meeting.
I learned a painful lesson, “If no one is following, you are not leading!”
Fast forward to the early ‘90’s and while enrolled in a Leadership Development program I was given Developing the Leader within You by John Maxwell which contained a Leadership Model called the 5 levels of Leadership.
In Maxwell’s Levels of Leadership model, I learned that Position or Title is the lowest level of leading people and if you have to remind your people that you are the boss – you, probably, aren’t leading much. The Leadership Levels went on to talk about being a relational leader, being a (team) production Leader, and being a People Development Leader. All of these when done well over time would lead to the respect I was anticipating at the highest level – because I would be living the Personhood of a Leader.
As an Analytical Leader, with a B.B.A. in Accounting, an Information Systems background, and a start in CS Engineering, I was good at thinking – good at things – I don’t see that I was, necessarily, good at people. And although I had extensive experience in Sales – selling people was different than leading people. The 5 levels of Leadership provided a Process that I could follow.
Through understanding and working these Leadership Levels, I could increase my Influence with the people I led through being better at relationships, expand organizational capacity through team wins, and ensure sustainability and success planning through people development. It gave me the critical element of Leading Self First. After all, how can I lead you, if I can’t lead me!
Along with the 5 Levels of Leadership came a new definition of Leadership – that Leadership is Influence.
If Leadership is Influence – I could grow my Influence and where I was concerned before that you either are or are not a leader – now I had a process to follow and a clearer picture that Leadership was about influencing others – and that was a skill that could be developed.
Over the last 20 years, the 5 levels of Leadership model served me well. In fact, so well that I bought into a partnership that brings the Maxwell Levels of Leadership model into corporations and works to being about Organizational and Leadership change through the 5 Leadership Levels Model.
In connection with The John Maxwell Company and as a result of my passion for the 5 Levels of Leadership, I had the opportunity to be in a collaborative session with John Maxwell around the 5 Levels of Leadership and the value it brings to Organizations. The outcome of which was to add value to the release of a book solely on the 5 levels of Leadership, released October 2011.
Since the book’s release, we have developed an Organizational Effectiveness model based on the 5 Levels methodology that has yielded tremendous impact. (Ask about our Impact Cases)
For more information on how we can partner with you in Developing the Leader within you or the Leaders within your organization, please Contact us..
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