Maxwell’s Five

Written by Elisabeth Galperin on . Posted in Planning, Professional Development

J. Maxwell's book, 5 Levels of Leadership

Here at the Small Business Success Project,  we pay a lot of attention to the wisdom of John Maxwell.  One of his favorite topics is leadership, and his ideas fit nicely with the concept of TRIBES.  If you are committed to developing your leadership skills, or want to better understand how leaders lead, his book The Five Levels Of Leadership is a must-read.

Maxwell beautifully differentiates the many types of leaders in our world today and simplifies his theory through the 5 levels of leadership:

Level 1- Position

A Positional Leader has authority only because it comes with the job title.  Why do people follow this leader? Simply because they have to.  This leader is typically a BOSS who was given the title and has not truly earned the leadership role and the authority it involves.  Don’t confuse this leader with one who has real influence.  As Maxwell says, ” This… position is a fine starting point, but every leader should aspire to grow beyond Level 1.”

Level 2- Permission

A Permission Leader does have influence.  This leader is followed not because others have to, but because others want to.There is authentic connection & relationship between leader and followers at this level, unlike level 1.

Level 3- Production

People follow a Production Leader because of the results this leader has brought about and what this leader has done for the company or organization.  Followers show respect and endearment towards this leader.  At this level, momentum becomes a part of the equation!  Followers feel good about themselves and feel good about their leader.  Yes, this is a great level to reach, but there is still much potential that remains, according to John.

Level 4- People Development

Maxwell says the key word at this level is reproduction.  People follow this leader because of what he/she has done for them.  This leader is making his/her followers better as people, and guiding them to be leaders themselves.  The People Developer grows, at the same time that the followers grow.  LOYALTY abounds at this level, and  self-confidence is abundant for all involved!

Level 5- Pinnacle

The last level will be given to you, according to Maxwell..  This level equates to RESPECT.  Picture the coach, on his players’ shoulders, being joyfully carried off the field following a significant victory.  That image of respect and love for the coach is what the Pinnacle Leader represents.

Remember, as a business owner, leading your Tribe will reap great benefits for you and others.

At what level are you currently operating?

                                        For which level are you striving?  

                                                           What potential exists within YOU?  

The Many Meanings of Leadership

Written by Elisabeth Galperin on . Posted in Personal Development


geese.formationYou cannot be a leader just by claiming you are one.  Leadership is active, not passive.  In order to lead, you must be very clear on what that means to you, to your employees, to your tribe, to your clients & customers. It is so much more than a title or a label.

Leadership can mean many things:

  •  motivating others
  • inspiring others
  • putting others before self
  • influencing others by casting a vision
  • connecting with others through a shared dream
  • moving self & others towards a common goal
  • performing well & in new ways
  • communicating, inspiring & managing
  • assuming final responsibility

The list could easily go on and on.  What would you add to the list? Which of these descriptors resonate best with you?

Each individual needs to develop his/her own definition of leadership.  Each individual must measure leaders by his/her own unique set of  standards.  Yet how many of us have actually taken the time to explore what this terminology truly means to us as unique individuals?

To be a leader, you must become very clear on how to define yourself as a leader, and how to identify other leaders whom you choose to follow.

So here is our “challenge” to you for the week:

Take some time to generate your concept of leaders and leadership.  How do you define leadership?  Which characteristics do you deem most important for a leader?  What image(s) do you envision?   What legacy do you want to leave, as the leader of your tribe?

Remember, our world is looking for leaders!  What type of leader will you follow?  What type of leader will you be?