Tag Archives: positional leader

As a Leader, On What Level are You Now?

Since yesterday, I have been re-reading Developing the Leader Within You by John Maxwell.  The five levels of leadership which the author brilliantly described caught my attention.


Level 1: Position

This is the basic entry to leadership.  People follow the leader due to his title which is often gained by appointment.  People will not follow a positional leader beyond his stated authority.  People who stay at this level get into territorial rights.

Level 2: Permission

The leader leads by interrelationships.  John Maxwell says, “People who are unable to build solid, lasting relationships will soon discover that they are unable to sustain long, effective leadership…Needless to say, you can love people without leading them, but you cannot lead people without loving them.”

John Maxwell advises us not to skip a level.

Level 3: Production

People here are results-oriented.  People follow the leader because of what he has done for the organization.

Level 4: People Development

People follow the leader because of what he has done for them.

Level 5: Personhood

People follow the leader because of who he is and what he represents.  Only few make it to this level.

Most of us are in the position level yet.  To advance to level 2, John Maxwell listed below some characteristics that must be exhibited with excellence:

  • Know your job description thoroughly.
  • Be aware of the history of the organization.
  • Relate the organization’s history to the people of the organization (in other words, be a team player).
  • Accept responsibility.
  • Do your job with consistent excellence.
  • Do more than expected.
  • Offer creative ideas for change and improvement.