Aug
22

What are the 5 Levels of Leadership?

By

In less than two months, my new book, The 5 Levels of Leadership, comes out! Last week I shared an excerpt that explained why I wrote the book. Today, I’d love to give you a quick overview and description of Level 1.

In the book, each level is explained in its own section, where you’ll learn the upside of the level, the downside, the best behaviors for that level, the beliefs that help a leader move up to the next level, and how the level relates to the Laws of Leadership.

Let’s talk briefly about Level 1: Position. This is the lowest level of leadership—the entry level. The only influence a positional leader has is that which comes with the job title. People follow because they have to. Positional leadership is based on the rights granted by the position and title. Nothing is wrong with having a leadership position. Everything is wrong with using position to get people to follow. Position is a poor substitute for influence.

People who make it only to Level 1 may be bosses, but they are never leaders. They have subordinates, not team members. They rely on rules, regulations, policies, and organization charts to control their people. Their people will only follow them within the stated boundaries of their authority. And their people will usually do only what is required of them. When positional leaders ask for extra effort or time, they rarely get it.

Positional leaders usually have difficulty working with volunteers, younger people, and the highly educated. Why? Because positional leaders have no influence, and these types of people tend to be more independent.

Position is the only level that does not require ability and effort to achieve. Anyone can be appointed to a position. This means that position is a fine starting point, but every leader should aspire to grow beyond Level 1.
 

 

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Comments

  1. 1
    Adrian Bawa says:

    Very insightful

  2. 2
    Rachel Tan says:

    Awesome stuff!

  3. 3

    Dear John Maxwell,
    I wanted to ask a question. Isn’t real leadership servantship. In order to lead one must serve? In every area in our life one must walk the path Jesus did. To be like Christ as the saying goes. Jesus said, “The Son of Man did not come to be served bur rather to serve. I just wanted you feed back on this. Is servantship leadership?

  4. 4
    Laurinda says:

    I’m looking forward to this book. I’ve always loved the 5 levels when I first read about them in Developing the Leader Within You. It will be good to read your thoughts on each one in detail.

  5. 5
    Apple Chico says:

    I really love reading your books since I started working 3 years ago. The main reason why I love reading them is because it’s not only educational but the lessons can be applied in our everyday life. Thank you very much for sharing this to everyone! I’m looking forward to read this book when it’s released here in the Philippines. God bless you and your team!

  6. 6
    Florence Sithole says:

    This is just excellant

  7. 7
    Mike Johnson says:

    *fumbles through his wallet… “where’s my twenty at I want this book NOW!”*

    Love this JCM! You’re killing it this morning for me! Can’t wait to get this book!

  8. 8
    Isidore Edokobi says:

    This book(5 levels of leadership) is powerful.

  9. 9
    Linda says:

    “People who make it only to Level 1 may be bosses, but they are never leaders. They have subordinates, not team members. They rely on rules, regulations, policies, and organization charts to control their people. Their people will only follow them within the stated boundaries of their authority. And their people will usually do only what is required of them. When positional leaders ask for extra effort or time, they rarely get it.” This is what we have in most Nigerian offices. I wish most bosses see this. Insightful.

  10. 10
    chidi says:

    Thanks mentor John C Maxwell, just as the 5level of leadership explain on level 5 “RESPECT”today u have achieve that respect by your mentoring ablity. Here in nigeria u have a whole lot of fans. I believe this book will go a long way to correct the misconcept of people stand behind their job title to lead. A great leader influence both his or her member and nonmember of the group. We do pray that the lunch of the book can arrive nigeria in time or if there is any means to order it from USA. May God contiune to bless you and use you for mighty work in this generation and generation to come will always remember U

  11. 11
    Ted Lederer says:

    I will be recommending this book to our ‘Book of the Monh Club’. We teach regularly on leadership and these perspectives fall right in line with our views on successful leadership that reproduces leaders of like kind. Awesome job Mr. Maxwell!

  12. 12
    enrique says:

    Can this be possible? that I follow the teachings of John but I am a pofessing ateist? thanks John for your words, they are inspiring….

  13. 13
    EMMA DANIELS says:

    You are the greatest on Leadership.
    You changed my Life the moment the Holy Spirit brought
    your book to my notice and began to teach me through them.

    Thank you.

    Regards
    Evangelist Emma Daniels.
    +234 705 230 5543.

  14. 14
    James says:

    Ouch!

    After reading a brief description about Level 1 Position, I cringed.
    I just realized after all of these years I am a boss and not a leader. I rely heavily on rules, regulations, policies and organization charts. There is a reason for this. I work for a school district which is run by law, code, policy, employee contracts, and other emcompassing restrictive measures.

    School districts are constantly being hit with every audit imaginable and every time we get an audit recommendation (bad) it is a reflection upon our ability to manage.

    I would love to reach Step 5–The Pinnacle–heck, I would love to go to Step 2, but it appears it is going to be difficult with our restrictions.

    Any advice from those in the public sector?

  15. 15
    Joe Lalonde says:

    I love this snippet from the book. Can’t wait for the release!

  16. 16

    Love this concept and have used it for many years. The problem occurs when people come into an organisation assuming they are higher than Level 1. Nope, everyone starts at the basement and works up. Level 1 is only achieved through consistently building relationship trust over time.
    Looking forward to the book

  17. 17
    christine says:

    Can’t wait to buy the book! Hope it is available in South Africa asap

  18. 18

    I have been waiting for you to do this book since 2006! I was over excited when I heard that you were doing this book. I wish you could do a leadership Bible version of the book too!

  19. 19
    kakobya says:

    Max,we really thank God for you,you’ve transformed the way we lead,we look forward for this book.May God bless you

  20. 20
    Martin says:

    I truly thank God for using you! To be honest, Leadership 101 sat on my TV stand for about a year and the moment I read the first page, I was hooked – now I have four of your books! Everyday I wake up feeling a little better knowing that I am growing in understanding myself and knowing that the Holy Spirit is using you to use me! I can’t wait for the 5 Levels of Leadership, thank you for adding value to my life spiritually and professionally.

  21. 21
    Gustino Kachingwe says:

    Hello John
    What a wonderful insight! I pray the book should reach us in Malawi. Looking forward to that wonderful production from you John.
    Regards!

  22. 22

    The leadership teaching of Johnmaxwell” had really inflence alot of millions of people around the world: he is one of the author i love to have as my mentor.

  23. 23
    trouble says:

    The book is very interesting.

  24. 24
    Kashaun Cooper says:

    John, your thinking has changed my thinking which has changed life in a very short period of time. I fall asleep reading your books and wake-up listening to your thoughts via Success Magazine Media.

    I have a question.
    Is it possible to posses the different levels of leadership with different groups of people you may encounter? Ex. Can the length of leading someone play a huge role in what level I may be with that person, compare to someone I just met today?