Levels of Leadership

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Levels of Leadership

Levels of Leadership

Jim Collins, author of “Good To Great, Why Some Companies Make The Leap and Others Don’t”, says in that book that Level 5 Leadership was in use in all 11 of the GTG companies. Now I’ll have a lot to say about this subject because in my view Level 5 Leadership is the SECOND most important aspect to the GTG transformation process for an organization to transform, commitment being the single most important. In their study the Collin’s team detected two core character traits of Level 5 leaders.

1. Humility
2. Strong professional will. (Can you see how commitment is so much a part of this?)_

Let’s look at humility. Humble people have an insight into themselves that is easy to detect. They “know” their humanity. They are unpretentious, and not at all braggarts. As someone once said, “humble people know the truth about themselves.” In the book GTG, Jim Collins uses Abraham Lincoln as a person of humility with strong personal will. Lincoln had many many moments of self doubt. But he didn’t let his doubt determine his outcome.

Humility isn’t a poor self image, it’s a correct one.

Humble people know who they are and who they are not. Because of their humility they admit their mistakes but more so, they have the self-awareness to learn from them. They are “teachable.” Humble leaders are just fine with hiring people who can do things they can’t do, and are genuinely grateful for those people. This ability to hire people that could exceed him/her in accomplishment is rare in corporate America. This is why so many personally successful CEO’s are what Jim Collins calls Level 4 Leaders. The succinct phrase that the book uses to describe a Level 4 leader is “a genius, with a thousand assistants.” Interesting phrase. What this means in plain terms is that the Level 4 leader is directly responsible for the success of the organization, based on his/her OWN efforts as a manager-leader. HE-SHE is the visionary, the one everybody turns to for direction and guidance. Level 4’s are EXTREMELY intelligent people, VERY knowledgeable.

BUT, none of the companies the GTG team studied who had Level 4 leaders, endured at a high level. This is a profound fact. When the Level 4 genius left, success waned.

Level 5 Leaders assemble the best people before they establish vision. During the process of establishing the vision, they don’t need to be in control, they “participate,” influence, test and prove-out the truth. They seek the GOOD for the organization, apart from their own success. This requires humility.

Level 5’s create something bigger and more enduring than themselves. Remember Lincoln?

E-mail me to begin the transformation process.

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