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Five levels of leadership

 What makes a great leader? Courage, discernment, knowledge, and understanding of business, the ability to organize people? Truly great leaders have a certain mix of skills. But they also have something that cannot be described in words. If you have to take on leadership roles, it is likely that you often wonder how to move to the next level - from good to great.

The concept of Level 5 leadership comes from the book Good to Great by Jim Collins. The writing of the book began with Collins trying to answer the question - what makes companies great? He drew attention to 1,435 companies, of which he chose 11 of the best. And all of these 11 companies were headed by the people Collins called Level 5 Leaders.

Five levels of leadership


He found that all of these leaders were humble and did not strive for success for their own glory and profit. They shared success with their subordinates and blamed themselves exclusively for mistakes. Collins also notes that these leaders tend to be shy, yet fearless in the face of the toughest decisions, especially those that most people find extremely risky.

Also, the leaders of the fifth level have the qualities of all leaders from the first to the fourth level. While you do not need to take turns mastering skills from Levels 1 to 5, you will eventually need to develop all of these skills.

Five levels of leadership

  • First level -high professionalism: You must have high-level qualities in your work. You have a wealth of knowledge about your area of ​​business, as well as the talents and skills needed to do your job well.
  • Second level - valuable team member: You know how to use your talents and qualities to make your team successful. You work effectively, efficiently, and successfully with your subordinates.
  • Third level - competent manager: You are able to organize the work of the team in such a way as to achieve certain goals.
  • Fourth level- effective leader: Most leaders do not reach this level because there is an extremely delicate job here - the ability to create a vision of the future and achieve the company's advance along the intended trajectory.
  • Fifth level- great leader: You possess all the skills of the previous four levels, and yet you have a unique combination of humility and outstanding personality traits.

How to Become a Level 5 Leader


Of course, this takes a lot of time; you won't be able to immediately become a Level 5 leader, even if you are incredibly intelligent and know your business. The good news is that everyone can reach this level if they have a lot of passion and desire to achieve it.

Here are some strategies to help you with this:


1. Developing humility

Why is humility so important to a leader? If you are humble, then on a deep, emotional level, you begin to understand how destructive ignorance can be. In addition, attributing success not only to yourself but also to team members will help maintain a positive atmosphere and high motivation in the team. Conversely, if a mistake has been made, you must completely accept the blame.


2. Request for help

This strategy also comes from humility. We used to think that asking for help is a sign of weakness, but this thinking is long out of date. The ability to ask for help is the true strength of a leader because it means one thing: he understands that there are people who are experts in any field and know more than he does. Eventually, your team will begin to realize that you need their knowledge, not just manage it. Guy Kawasaki said the best leaders hire the best people. If so, why not take advantage of this and get the most out of hiring highly skilled employees? Plus, they can make you a Level 5 leader. This way, both sides support each other.


3. Ability to take responsibility

Perhaps this is the main sign of a Level 5 leader. Your team member's mistake is your fault. The obsessive desire to push mistakes onto others is an all too popular model for many people and leaders, and that is why they will never become great. They are too proud and proud, and in the long run, this strategy does not work.


4. High discipline

Level 5 leaders are incredibly disciplined. It doesn't matter to them how difficult the problem is, because only persistence, action, and discipline will help overcome any difficulty. They listen to a wide variety of opinions, know how to weed out constructive criticism from non-constructive ones, and are almost always motivated. If motivation disappears for a while, discipline comes to the rescue.


5. Ability to find the right people

Leaders rely entirely on the people they hire. They spend a lot of time looking for them; they clearly know what skills they should have, and also help them to reveal their own potential.


6. Passion

Level 5 leaders are obsessed with what they do. This means that for them, the company is a family, and its goals are their meaning of life. This makes them completely unafraid to make tough decisions.

Such people show their love for the company to employees and infect them with their example. It should be said that not all of your subordinates are able to motivate themselves, but if they see that you, as a leader, are charged with incredible energy, they themselves begin to work better.


Also, read this wonderful post The rules of a successful leader


At whatever level of leadership you are, always strive for the fifth level, because this is where you can fully reveal your own potential. We wish you good luck!

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