Level Up, Week 7: The Pinnacle


Welcome to Week 7 of our group study of The 5 Levels of Leadership. This week we’re studying Level 5, The Pinnacle.

The difficulty with teaching this level is that Level 5 leaders are just not very common. Until now, you’ve spent your time nudging group members to reach for the level being discussed. But to reach Level 5, a leader needs to be developing leaders – and not just leaders but Level 4 leaders – for many years. Most people leading groups won’t have a Level 5 leader in them.

You can still discuss this level, though, by meeting your people where they are. What you need to focus on is how well they are developing leaders right now, and getting them to commit to the process as a way of life.



Portrait of a Level 5 Leader, pages 271-286 (We will discuss this reading assignment and the overall impact of this study in NEXT WEEK’s post.)


DISCUSSION (Facilitator’s Guide)

1. (Icebreaker) tell about a time when you met a celebrity who was important to you.

2. Have you ever known a Level 5 leader? What was that person like?

3. What’s the difference between helping others with personal development versus helping them with leadership development?

4. What have you found to be the best way to teach another person to lead?

5. Describe a crucible moment in your leadership journey. What lesson did you learn from it?

6. How would you go about teaching that lesson to another person?

7. Of all the people you work with, who has the greatest leadership potential?

8. What experiences, resources, and people can you share with those potential leades to help them become better leaders?

9. Do you think there’s plenty of room at the top for addition leaders, or do you believe that space is always limited? Why? How does that impact the way you develop other leaders?

10. What efforts have you made to create an inner circle to help you grow and keep yourself grounded?

11. The chapter says to plan for your succession. Are you currently training someone to replace you? If so, how? If not, what must you do to make that happen?



Take responsibility for creating a leadership development environment. Dedicate significant amounts of your time and talent to it. Recognize and reward leadership accomplishments. And make it your responsibility to mentor your top leaders. This is a commitment required not just for a season, but for a lifetime if you want to someday reach Level 5.


Be Sociable, Share!


  1. 1
    Anthony Cox says:


    Is this better than the last one or is this the new and improved.

    Each one has improve me in different areas of my life.

    thank you

  2. 2
    Angie Burrell says:

    8. I was in a leadership position a few years ago, I had 6 staff under me, more than some leaders currently at my work place, some have 1 :) anyway I trained up one of those staffers and he took on an identical role that I had, only they’d split the role into 2 so we ended up with 2 staff each :) this lasted a year for both of us, out of 7 positions, mine & the one I’d trained we’re taken away… To this day we don’t know the reason why… I questioned management into the next year, couldn’t give me an answer… They replaced me with a girl returning to our school, she went off on stress leave 6 mths into the job & resigned & went back to her old job, with less responsibility … I’d had great reviews, never complained, staff were extremely happy, I was happy, to this day, nobody discusses this situation …it’s an Interesting place where I work.
    Can only put it down to the fact that our leaders aren’t level 5 leaders.

    • 2.1

      My specific gratitute for sharing such wisdom with us. The leadership you always portray in your books is of MEGA knowledge and I’m reading your Leadership Bible the revised. I’m a Lecturer at Milpark Business school and you are assisting me to grow

  3. 3
    Thabo timothy says:

    I’m currently in a leadership position and this is my 4th year tenour being a this position and in my first year i developed a leader who went on to implement the things he ws thought by me and he managed 2 make a success of it till this day,and i have however taken a up a much more challenging leadership role as i have been leading 6 staff members 4 the past 3 years and now i am managing 17 staff members which in itself is a challenge my goal is 2 develop 3 leaders out of this team 2.

  4. 4
    Andrew Mason says:

    “The difficulty with teaching this level is that Level 5 leaders are just not very common.” Very true! We can only hope for the opportunity to be a level 5 leader someday. I think it’s unrealistic to think that everyone can be a level 5 leader. If everyone was a level 5 leader who would be following??? For me, becoming a level 5 leader 15-25 years from now is a ‘hope’ but not an ‘expectation.’ Thanks for the post!

  5. 5
    PAT CLARK says:

    We are studying your book in our church leadership class. Great read and most importantly, good information!

  6. 6
    Marius says:

    2. I have met and worked for a level 4 leader, but I have never known a level 5 leader. I had the opportunity to go and see Jack Welch in one of his conferences, so I could say I met one:)

    3. The difference is that the one you help with the personal development will end there – you help only that person. For the one you help with the leadership development, will in turn, help developing others. With other words, your reach is much higher compared with the personal development.

    4.Explain the task, show how I do it, and then watch them doing it in order to help them get it right quickly.

    5. One of the greatest crucible moments for me was when I realized that being the boss (well, I was at the beginning of my career, just before I realized that I have to be a leader, not a boss) does not mean that you have all the answers and all the solutions all the time, and it is in your advantage to listen to your people, because you never know what diamond they can put on the table :). The lesson I learned back then was to ask for inputs from the members of my team before making the final decision.

    6. I would explain the benefits of “having the brain” of the people for free, while we pay for their hands. Who knows better than the person that does that job every day? we need to hear the opinions, ideas of this person.

    7. Right now I have a new team (we’re a start-up) and I decided to hire young people that have a great attitude, are willing to learn and have potential to grow. I have discussions with them everyday about leadership subjects, and I have given them books to read and the requirement is that they come back and speak to the team about the book they read.

    8. I share from my experience of working with people – about how you can influence and motivate them. I share with my team the books that I have. I would like to give them the opportunity to spend an hour with the CEO of the company where they can ask questions about leadership. I am still working on this since he has a very busy schedule, but I am on the right path :)

    9. There is plenty of room at the top, and most of it is available. I take my people with me to the top because, as I grow they grow, as they grow I grow – it is a never ending story :) As we live in a very dynamic business world, there always something new to be done, something that could be improved, so everybody will have something to do.

    10. I am always looking for people that could complement me (for my weaknesses) so we can be stronger together. I look for people that have similar desires like me. For example, I met several months ago somebody that has the same dedication to teach and help other people to be successful like me. We discuss now how to make a program together.

    11. I have picked one from my team to be my successor. I empower him to take decisions. I showed him the direction and told him the requirements, and agreed with him that if he has problems that could prevent him doing his job, then he will get in touch with me immediately.

    In the mean time, we meet daily and discuss about one hour how the things are going, how i can support him, what he needs to do a better job, and so on.

    • 6.1
      Angie says:

      I loved reading about how you lead. This is how it should be :) be encouraged, great leaders will develop from your leadership :)

  7. 7

    […] try, or recognize comes from reading books written by other leaders. I read a lot of the likes of John Maxwell, Jeffery Gitomer, Ram Charan, and Jack Welch, to name a few. At the same time, I also read a bit of […]