Jan
23

Level Up, Week 3: Position

By

Welcome to Week 3 of our group study of The 5 Levels of Leadership! This week we are studying Level 1: Position. The thing about position is, those who don’t have one, think that’s what they need to lead. But those who do have a position understand how little power it actually gives them in the long run. When you have no leadership experience, position seems like the only way to lead. True, it does often provide opportunity. But if a leader doesn’t grow in the levels of leadership, then position becomes a limitation.

As you facilitate discussion, keep in mind the various points of view that might be present in your group. Some might have never led. Some might have had a position that resulted in a bad leadership experience. Others might be in a new position and see it as an opportunity. Still others might have been leading at Level 1 for a long time, and be unaware of its limitations. Your goal is to help every member of the group see the possibilities of growing in leadership beyond position.

READING ASSIGNMENT:

Level 2: Position, pages 83-129

(We will discuss this reading assignment in NEXT WEEK’S post.)

DISCUSSION (Facilitator’s Guide):

1. (Icebreaker) What was your favorite game as a child (excluding sports and video games)? Examples include: board games, card games, playground games, and party games. Why did you enjoy that game so much? What type of game did you least like to play and why?

2. Think about your first leadership position. At the time did you see it more as opportunity or obligation? How did it turn out?

3. Why do you think the book says that turnover is high for positional leaders?

4. What does it mean for you when the book says, “Leave your position and move toward your people”? Why is that important?

5. Can you think of an example of an excellent leader you’ve worked with who never used position to lead? Talk about that person. What made him or her excellent?

6. Up to now, how much have you relied on position for leadership in your career?

7. What would you need to change to lead without using your position?

ASSIGNMENT:

This week’s assignment has two parts. First, identify a leadership model to learn from. Make a list of leaders who model the kind leadership that you aspire to. Study that person, writing down the characteristics that make them a good leader. If a biography has been written about them, read it and take notes. If not, find out what you can about them through news and online resources. Studying a model is a great way to start growing as a leader.

The second part is to find a leadership coach, which I also suggest on page 80 of The 5 Levels of Leadership. This week, think about leaders you know and admire who are two or more career steps ahead of you in leadership. Try to get one of them to agree to sit down with you once every month or two and answer leadership questions.

REMINDER:

In the comments section, the questions are threaded so you can answer each individually if you’d like. (This makes it easier for others to find them and contribute to the discussion.) But please feel free to answer all questions in one comment if that serves you better.

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Comments

  1. 1
    John C Maxwell says:

    1. (Icebreaker) What was your favorite game as a child (excluding sports and video games)? Examples include: board games, card games, playground games, and party games. Why did you enjoy that game so much? What type of game did you least like to play and why?

    • 1.1
      Christy Moosa says:

      Favorite neighborhood game, hide and go seek. Everyone played! The game was very exciting, some were better and some struggled all the time. I am a very competetive person and I love being around people. Lets play!

    • 1.2
      Francisco Hernandez says:

      I really enjoyed to play all kind of sports on the street,(soccer,football, baseball), because a could spend time with my friends from school and block.

    • 1.3
      Terry Smith says:

      My favorite game as a child was playing matchbox cars on a big piece of cardboard that I had drawn a town on. I seemed to enjoy the structure of an organizing roads, Fire stations, and simulating actions such as police car stops, Fire and rescue emergencies. The game I least liked playing was slow card games, I needed more action and drama :)

  2. 2
    John C Maxwell says:

    2. Think about your first leadership position. At the time did you see it more as opportunity or obligation? How did it turn out?

    • 2.1
      Christy Moosa says:

      Believe it or not, I was twelve years old. My sister had a new baby and neglected her child. I remember writing a poem about how much I loved that child and would always take her. I got joint custody of those two kids at the age 18. My aunt was taking care of them not in good health. I bought their clothes at the goodwill and helped buy them washing powders. Today, she is a grown women and I am very proud of her.

    • 2.2
      Francisco Hernandez says:

      Oh my God, it was very hard, I was only 20, and had a position of vice-manager, everyone else was older than me, but the manager trusted on me, and finally was an opportunity to grow in knowledge.

    • 2.3
      Terry D. Smith says:

      I saw my first leadership position as an opportunity, I saw it as an opportunity to serve others and it turned out well except to say that I was pretty naive about what it took to lead well. I had lots of passion but little skill :)

    • 2.4
      Marius says:

      The first real leadership position for me was when I was 26 years old. I was “thrown” in the lions cage and required to fix the problems as soon as possible. I considered to be an opportunity for me to show what I was capable of. It turned out well, and that experience helped me to get another promotion.

  3. 3
    John C Maxwell says:

    3. Why do you think the book says that turnover is high for positional leaders?

    • 3.1
      Christy Moosa says:

      When a person is only there for a position, their job is a burden, they often do not want to be there and everyone can read negative body lang. The person in the position suffers, the people suffer and so does the place where they are working. I would encourage this person to think about where they need to be and what they are called to do and hopefully they will begin to enjoy their tasks.

    • 3.2
      Francisco Hernandez says:

      Because all the positional leaders have is the position, the title, they are all time worried about loose the position, must remenber, if you prepare to don´t loose, you will loose.

    • 3.3
      Terry D. Smith says:

      because it doesn’t work well long term. People pick up on it, find it to be self-serving to the positional leader, and choose to not support that person in that role anymore than they absolutely have to…

    • 3.4
      Marius says:

      I consider that, as long as you are interested only in your position, your title, your needs, your this and your that, then people will not go along with you for long time. We all need some support and appreciation from the people we work for. I consider that our people need to see that we are there for them when they need us.

  4. 4
    John C Maxwell says:

    4. What does it mean for you when the book says, “Leave your position and move toward your people”? Why is that important?

    • 4.1
      Christy Moosa says:

      I. You, as a person, are called to lead.
      II. Your position is merely description of your service.

      III.True Leadership will encourage and work closely alongside their people.

      IV.Leadership is about adding value to the place where you work and your people, your title or position or place of service has really little to do in regards to leadership.

    • 4.2
      Francisco Hernandez says:

      It is very important because, before we can ask for a hand, we must touch the heart of our people,

    • 4.3
      Marius says:

      For me it means that we have to be close to where the action is, because this is where our people are day in and day out and more important, this is where the opportunities will show up.

      It also means that I should be where my people are and my people are where I am. I want to take them with me on my journey.

  5. 5
    John C Maxwell says:

    5. Can you think of an example of an excellent leader you’ve worked with who never used position to lead? Talk about that person. What made him or her excellent?

    • 5.1
      Terry D. Smith says:

      Jay Jure’, my 1st Fire Station Captain was more concerned about all of us, including him, doing our jobs well instead of looking like fools who didn’t know what they were doing..

    • 5.2
      Marius says:

      I still remember him very well, even if it was 10 years ago. He never used his position to lead. He inspired his people to do their best, he supported everybody that needed help or encouragement. He wanted everyone to be successful.

      He literally pushed me off the cliff in order to start “flying” by myself and he taught me the real value of course correction.

      Even now I use him as an example when I discuss with my people about commitment and helping others.

  6. 6
    John C Maxwell says:

    6. Up to now, how much have you relied on position for leadership in your career?

    • 6.1
      Angie Burrell says:

      Where I work , we have “Positional ” leaders leading. I have experience in leader, during a discussion in the staff room, actually standing up during the discussion to say “I’m the head of the department! I’m the one who will make the decision !! I am the coordinator!” to which I believe, if you have to state you are the leader, then you aren’t the leader & somebody else without the title is actually leading :)
      This guy is a young guy and hasn’t been in leadership for long…. Less than 12 months… Could even b less than 6 months. I’m older than him and probabably have more influence than him therefore he had to “put me in my place” :)

    • 6.2
      Christy Moosa says:

      I have never relied on position, but took responsibilty upon myself to step up when I saw a need.

    • 6.3
      Marius says:

      I have relied on position for leadership very little so far. I did it only when I needed a decision to be made quick by people from other departments and the prolonged delay was affecting the results of my department.

  7. 7
    John C Maxwell says:

    7. What would you need to change to lead without using your position?

    • 7.1
      Christy Moosa says:

      See a need and step up to meet that need and then you begin to influence everyone your serve.

    • 7.2
      Terry D. Smith says:

      adopt the role of “Point of Contact” instead of “Supervisor”

    • 7.3
      Marius says:

      I need to develop my influence skills even further. As a part of this process, now I work on my listening skills, and I practice more listening than speaking, and to be honest, the results are amazing.

  8. 8

    I am reading how successful people think and the 21 irrefutable laws of leadership right now but this is the next one after I finish these.

  9. 9
    John Irogbo says:

    I wish I could meet Dr Maxwell.

    • 9.1
      Kim says:

      John~ I made a similar statement in June 2004 when I saw him speak at a leadership event. Guess what? You can! I became one of his founding partners in his new certification company and had the opportunity to spend a week learning directly from him and visit at his home even! I now continue mentoring under him and his facility and will attend his birthday party in February. If you’d like, contact me and I can share more of how you can gain the same access (if you’d like,) and other opportunities to learn his concepts and principles. Good for you for tapping in to this great group study!

  10. 10
    Ashok says:

    Leader is he who could die for the cause that he loves it deeply than his own life.

  11. 11
    Olasoji Adewale says:

    I was over 40 (2005) when I got a brief positional leadership. I used it an opportunity to be a good example. I was a supervisor and there was an inducement for me to deprive my staff of some basic necessities so that I become richer at the expense of the Job we were to do. By the wisdom of God I took an action that made all my staff benefit. It became so emotional for me that when I left that station, some of the staff revert back to me to get confirm any information from the headquarters.

    Pastor Biodun Coker, A transformational leadership teacher has been one of the best leaders I have worked with though not directly.

  12. 12

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