Levels of Leadership by John Maxwell

Levels of Leadership by John Maxwell

This is where people follow the leader because the organization has leverage against the employee, because they control he pay check. Furthermore, at this level, “people follow you, because they have to”. They follow the leader because, simply put, the leader is the boss. The author started the book by discussing that many people confuse having a leadership position with actually being a leader. He made it clear that this only the entry point to leadership. It is the first level, Level 1 – Position. Leadership traditionally begins with Position. Someone Joins the Army, and he or she becomes a recruit, working to earn the rank of private.

A person gets a Job, and along with it comes a title or Job ascription: laborer, salesperson, waiter, clerk, accountant, manager. Position is the starting place for every level of leadership. It is the bottom floor and the foundation upon which leadership must be built. Real influence must be developed upon that foundation. There was a time when people relied heavily on position to lead, which is no surprise when you consider that at one time, hereditary leadership positions were handed down from father to son (and sometimes daughter) within families.

Princes became kings and their decisions were law -? for good or bad. In most industrialized nations, those days are gone. True, there are still nations with kings and queens, but even in most of those nations, such as England, monarchs rule with the permission of the people, and the real leaders are usually elected. Position gives you a chance, but it usually carries with it very little real power, except in systems where the penalties for not following are dire. There’s nothing wrong with having a position of leadership.

When a person receives a leadership position, it’s usually because someone in authority saw talent and potential in that person. And with that title and position come some rights and a degree of authority to lead others. Position is a good starting place. And like every level of leadership, it has its upsides and downsides. The sad thing about this level is that some leaders get stuck at it. They try to lead people by position. They get stuck because they often say to their employees, “l am the boss, this is my Job and your Job is to follow me”.

The Upside of Position: You have been invited to the leadership table A Leadership Position Is Usually Given to People Because They Have Leadership Potential – You have been given a leadership position. Upper management believes that you have some leadership potential in you. A Leadership Position Means Authority Is Recognized – A positional leader can use the position given to him to legitimate his leadership and earn the right to lead his team. A Leadership Position Is an Invitation to Grow as a Leader – The position given to a leader is a start for personal growth.

To leadership Journey. A Leadership Position Allows Potential Leaders to Shape and Define Their Leadership. – A positional leader gets to start his Journey with a blank page. He gets to choose the leadership style he wants to. John Maxwell teaches that leader must start by knowing himself and his values. When he knows this, he can define the type of leadership he would practice. Maxwell adds, “The greatest upside potential for people invited to take a leadership position is that it affords them the opportunity to decide what kind of leader they want to be.

The position they receive may be defined, but they are not. ” He wrote further: “When you first become a leader, your leadership page is blank and you get to fill it in any way you want. What kind of leader do you want to be? Don’t Just become reactive ND develop a style by default. Really think about it. Do you want to be a tyrant or a team builder? Do you want to come down on people or lift them up? Do you want to give orders or ask questions? You can develop whatever style you want as long as it is consistent with who you are.

As you think about the way you will define your leadership, take into consideration what kinds of habits and systems you will consistently practice. What will you do every day when you arrive at work? How will you treat people? What will be your work ethic? What kind of example will you set? Everything is up for grabs. It’s up to you to define it. And the earlier you are on the leadership Journey, the greater the potential for gain if you start developing good habits now. The bottom line is that an invitation to lead people is an invitation to make a difference.

Good leadership changes individual lives. It forms teams. It builds organizations. It impacts communities. It has the potential to impact the world. But never forget that position is only the starting point”. John Maxwell explained, that to succeed at this stage, one must know his values. The author discussed that values an be founded in three areas, Ethical values, Relational values and success values. He added further that mature leaders use their positions to drive high performance. The Downside of Position: True leadership isn’t about position 1 . Having position is often misleading.

A position promises more than it can deliver. And according to Maxwell, although you have been given the right to lead, you still have to earn that right to lead. To him, leadership is action not position, and leadership is a verb not a noun. 2. Leaders who rely on position to lead often devalue people. To positional leaders, the position is more important than subordinates. As a result, team or organizations that have positional leaders often experience low morale because positional leaders look upon subordinates as lowly employees 3. Positional leaders feed on politics.

They work to gain titles. They focus on control instead of contribution. Highly politicized organizations are often inefficient because there are many unwritten rules and protocols. High-level of rivalries and maneuvering also adds up to the organization’s ineffectively because of positional leaders coveting for the top post. 4. Positional leaders place rights over responsibilities. Leaders who rely on rights develop a self of entitlements. They feel that they are entitled to some level of importance, a PIP. They expect to be served instead of serve people. 5. Positional leaders are often lonely.

Leadership is not a negative work environment because they are easily threatened with people who have potential. As a result they undermine people with talent, which ends up with the employee leaving the organization for another. 6. Positional leaders get branded and stranded. The position doesn’t make the leader, the leader makes the position. When leaders fail to use their position to earn the right to lead, they are often branded as Just a boss and not as a leader. They move laterally but never to a higher position. 7. Turnover is high for positional leaders. People quit on People (bosses), not companies.

The low morale experienced by the organization tend to make employees look for other greener pastures. 8. Positional leaders receive people’s least not their best. The resulting low morale in the organization equals low productivity. Typically their employees become one of 3 types: Clock-watchers, Just-enough employees, and he Mentally-absent. Best Behavior on Level 1: How to make the most of your position Stop relying on position to push people. The best leader don’t use positions to get things done they use other skills. Influence comes into play. This is the time to form relationships with your subordinates.

Show interest in them, learn things about them. Trading entitlements for Movement/commitment. Leadership to Maxwell is not a right, it’s a privilege that must be continually earned. Good leaders don’t take anything for granted. They keep working and leading. For Level 1 leaders this is the mime to forget their rights and focus on the responsibility to make difference in the lives of the people they lead. Leave your position and move towards you people. Leaders are initiators. John Maxwell quoting Socrates, “let him that would move that world, first move himself”.

Leaders at this level should leave their comfort zone, take the risk and begin by moving towards their people. It is the leader’s responsibility to initiate the relationship with his subordinates, not the other way around. The Laws of Leadership at the Position Level: Lid, Process, and Navigation The Law of the Lid: Leadership ability determines a person’s level of effectiveness- A leader on level 1 should forget his positional title and focus on his ability and potential. He should break through the leadership lid and lift his leadership skills and effectiveness.

Therefore the leader should not content himself with his present position, and must move beyond level 1. The Law of the Process: Leadership develops daily – The leadership position can be received in a day, but leadership development is a lifelong process. A leader should concede to the thought that leadership in not a session in the organization but a process. The Law of the Navigation: Anyone can steer the ship, but it takes a leader to chart the course – If you’re a leader on level 1, leadership process, and determine how far he has to go, or how much he still has to learn.

Beliefs That Help a Leader Move Up to Level 2 Titles are not enough – According to John Maxwell, A leadership position is not a worth destination for any person’s life. Titles should not be enough because leadership should be active and dynamic. People not position, are a leader’s most valuable asset – People are the ones who get things done. A leader should focus more on his subordinates, not on his position. A leader should develop relationships with his people, to be able to influence them more and get things done.

A leader doesn’t need to have all the answers – A leader’s Job is not to know everything, but to attract people who know things that the leader does not. A leader must learn to harness the power of shared thinking. As Maxwell aptly put it, “one of us is not as smart as all of us”. A good leader always includes others – A leader should include others in the leadership Journey. He should learn to develop and equip people. The higher you go up the levels of leadership, the more you realize that good leadership is leading with others, not Just leading others. Guide to growing through level 1 1.

Thank people who invited you into leadership 2. Dedicate yourself to leadership growth 3. Define your leadership 4. Shift from position to potential 5. Focus on the vision 6. Shift from rules to relationships 7. Initiate contact with your team members 8. Don’t mention your title or position 9. Learn to say, I don’t know 10. Find a leadership coach Level 2: PERMISSION YOU CAN’T LEAD PEOPLE UNTIL YOU LIKE PEOPLE The second level is the PERMISSION LEVEL. People follow you because they want to. John Maxwell explains that the Permission level is about building relationships.

He calls it the 2nd mile level, it is the level where subordinates stay longer at work and contribute more because the leader likes them and the people like their leader. The Permission level focuses on the value of each person and opens up communication. Connecting with people begins with connecting with and growing the leader within you. Maxwell shares that “The first person I must get along with is me, the first errors to cause me problems is me, the first person that must change is me, and the first person that can make a difference is me. On the Permission Level , Maxwell further adds that muff can’t Lead People until You like People”. It is also on this level that leaders listen to people and people listen to them. This is where leaders need to make people know they matter. The book discusses that true leadership comes into being at Permission Level. In Level 1, subordinates did what they were asked only to willingly because the leader has built relationships with them. Since they get along tit the leader, they gladly go along with him/her. They give their best because they have established a good relationship.

Permission level is one of connecting and getting along with people. You as a “leader should spend more time with subordinates, because until people like you they won’t follow you. ” The Upside of Permission: The workplace has become more pleasant for everyone Leadership permission makes work more enjoyable – According to John Maxwell, leaders who move up to level 2 shift their focus from me to we. The relationships developed with subordinates create a positive working environment and this makes ark more enjoyable.

Leadership Permission increases the energy level – Good relationship creates energy. Spending time with people whom you have good relations with requires less energy than working with people you dislike or do not know personally. Leadership permission opens up channels of communication – The relationship cultivated between the leader and the people, replaced top-down positional leadership with side-by-side relationship. The side-by-side relationships create better communication which leads to a creation of an environment where people begin to work in a spirit of community.

Leadership permission focuses on the value of each person – Maxwell explains that “you can care for people without leading them, but you cannot lead them effectively beyond level 1 without caring for them. Permission level is possible only when people respect and value one another. Treat your people as individuals not Just workers. This creates positive impact on people and strengthens your leadership. Leadership permission nurtures trust – Trust is the foundation of permission. The more trust leaders develop, stronger the relationship becomes.

The better the relationship, the higher permission attained by he leader. The Downside of Permission: The pressure is on you to build positive relationships Permission leadership appears too soft for some people – Leaders should learn both the hard, productive side and the relational soft side, so as not too appear weak with people. If a leader is relational but not productive, the team won’t achieve progress. Likewise if a leader is productive without being relational, a small degree of progress will be achieved at the beginning but will fall short in the long term because people would eventually burn out.

Leading by permission can be frustrating for achievers – Achievers want to get things done right and right away. They usually don’t stop or slow down for any reason. Leading by permission requires time. Permission leaders can be taken advantage of – When leaders are relational, followers often get close to them that sometimes they mistake this kindness as weakness. They assume that the closeness of the leader means that they can do whatever they want. According to John Maxwell as you travel the leadership Journey, you will build relationships with people.

He categorizes people as follows: Takers, Developers, Acquaintances, and Friends. Permission leadership requires openness to be effective – Leaders should be admit mistakes and recognize their shortcomings. If leaders try to maintain a facade with the people they lead, then they cannot build relationships. Permission leadership is difficult for people who are not naturally likable – If leaders want to be more likable they should start liking people as well. They should start caring about people within their control. They should look for something that is likable about every person they meet.

They should also discover what is likable about themselves and sake effort every day to express what you like about every person around you. Permission leadership forces you to deal with the whole person – Leadership is essentially human business. Leaders should not be tempted to build relationships only with those they like or are highly compatible with. Personal differences only make relationships more enjoyable. Leaders who build relationships with their people understand that conflicts are essential to development and often advantageous.

Best Behaviors on Level 2: How to gain people’s permission Connect with yourself before trying to connect with others – Here, John Maxwell cuisses self-awareness, self-image, self-honesty, self-improvement and self- responsibility. This self-analysis will help leaders in knowing and liking themselves. In this manner, leaders can start to connect with people and build relationships. Develop a people-oriented leadership style – Leaders must think of people first to achieve progress. They shouldn’t rely on rules and depend on systems. Leaders must develop relationships with people in order to achieve progress.

Practice the golden rule – Practice the golden rule to keep leadership in check. “Treat others as you want others to treat you”. The golden rule establishes the standard for relationships. Become the chief encourager of your team – Encouragement creates a positive work environment. Leaders who often encourage people will be rewarded with a workforce who strives harder to meet the leader’s positive expectation. Strike a balance between care and candor. Candor is the state or quality of being frank, open, and sincere in speech or expression.

Maxwell noted that, a leader needs to balance care and candor. He says that “too much care without candor creates dysfunctional relationships, while candor without care creates distant relationships”. Many think that being a permission leader means giving people the leeway to do anything they want. Maxwell argues that caring doesn’t mean that you will let your people work without responsibility and accountability. If leaders care for their people, they should be able to speak candidly to subordinates in order to correct their mistakes. These in return will help them grow and perform better.

The Laws of Leadership at the Permission Level: Influence, Addition, Solid Ground, Magnetism, Connection and Buy-Len The law of Influence: the true measure of leadership is influence, nothing more, thing less – Maxwell reiterates that, leadership is influence. How does the leader get others to do something willingly? It is by influencing them. The law of Addition: leaders should lead in order to help people and add value to them. They should spend less time with selfish motives and focus more on helping people. The law of Solid Ground: trust is the foundation of leadership – People do not follow leaders that they do not trust.

Leaders need to earn the trust of the people in order to influence them. The law of Magnetism: who you are is who you attract – Birds of the same feather flock together. Like-minded people are attracted to one another. According to Maxwell, you must change yourself to the kind of people you want to attract. If you want achievers in your team, you must change and become an achiever. The law of connection: leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand – Maxwell explains, “connecting is the ability to identify with and relate to people in such a way that it increases your influence with them.

As a leader, you must have the ability to connect with people in order to influence them. ” The law of buy-in: people buy into the leader, then the vision – Before people buy into the vision, they should buy into the deader first. If the leader has not earned permission to lead, then the people will not buy into the vision. Beliefs That Help a Leader Move UP to Level 3 Relationships alone are not enough – Level 2 permission leaders now have the influence over their team. The next step is to lead this team to accomplish something.

Leaders are required to convert the people’s potential to their performance. Building relationships require a two fold growth – It is not enough that people grow toward each other when they build relationships, people must grow with each other. Leaders must grow toward and with their people. It’s always an ongoing task. Achieving the vision as a team is worth risking the relationship – Leaders should be willing to sacrifice the relationship he had built with his team to move forward towards the bigger picture. There is no progress without risk.

Leaders should get used to stretching their people and taking them out of their comfort zone. If a leader risks and wins, his people will gain confidence and shared history. Trust on the leader increases. Guide to Growing through Level 2 1. Be sure you have the right attitude toward people 2. Connect with yourself 3. Understand where you’re coming from . Express value for each person on your team 5. Evaluate where you are with your team 6. Accept the whole person as a part of leading 7. Make fun a goal 8. Give people your undivided attention 9.

Become your team’s encourager-in-chief 10. Practice care and candor Level 3: PRODUCTION According to John Maxwell, on this level the keyword is RESULTS and that “Production level leaders are followed because of what they have done for the organization”. Level three, the Production Level, recognizes that relationships alone are not enough. It is expected that leaders have to get things done. Their credibility is based on their example. Leaders are measured by what the entire group have accomplished and not by the individual effort of the leader alone.

Leaders develop relationships with their people to influence them so that they would willingly achieve results for the organization. To Maxwell, when followers see good results, they get a good reason to follow the leader. Production Level qualifies a leader from people who merely occupy leadership positions. Leaders cannot fake Level 3. It is either you produce or not. Maxwell quotes Peter Trucker, “There are two types of people in the business immunity: those who produce results and those who give you reasons why they didn’t. John Maxwell further explains that when leaders produce results, they create a positive culture, and the team starts to gain momentum and high morale. When leaders achieve their reputation for making things happen they attract high- achievers to the team. On this level, the weight of leadership is heavier because if you remove production people would stop to following the leader. The Upside of Production: You now have leadership credibility Leadership production gives credibility to the leader – Leaders gain credential as leaders when hey deliver results.

This is where the leadership talk is supported by their walk. Critics are silenced when a leader delivers results. A leader should produce results to cement his reputation and qualify him as an authentic leader. Leadership production models and sets the standard for others visually – Productive leaders are an example to the people they lead, and their productivity sets the standard for the team. Leaders should model examples that set the standards for the team. Leadership production brings clarity and reality to the vision – Effective leaders always draw the big picture to his people.

Production bridges the reality of the situation to the vision of the organization. In this manner, team members can relate more to the vision therefore contribute more to its attainment. Leadership production solves a multitude of problems – Good leaders on level 3 produce positive results which promote team morale. People with high morale often produce good results. The momentum shared with the team becomes contagious and results in productivity solving much of the problems of the team. Leadership production creates momentum – Level 3 is a momentum producing level.

When high morale and high radioactivity is sustained, momentum kicks in. Once momentum is rolling, everything is easier and performance is actually better than capability. When Steve Job’s Apple came out with the ‘phone, momentum kicked in. From there Apple took off to claim most of the smart phone market. Maxwell identifies 3 types of people: momentum takers, momentum breakers, and the momentum makers. Leadership production is the foundation for team-building – Nobody leaves a winning team. When leaders produce they attract achievers. The leader can build a winning team by retaining the best people from the ones he attracted.