Level 3 – Hitting Your Stride
By: David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

Last week we continued with our look into John Maxwell’s Five Levels of Leadership, and we discussed Level 2, Permission. It’s time to start looking at Level 3, Production.

5 – The Pinnacle
4 – People Development
3 – Production
2 – Permission
1 – Position

As we move into this level of leadership, we begin to see real progress and significant results. As Peter Drucker often said “There are two types of people in the business community: those who produce results and those who give you reasons why they don’t.“

Leadership production makes a leader credible. At Level One, it’s a title, and we have been given a seat at the leadership table. At Level Two it’s all about relationships and people truly enjoy working with us. At Level Three, people start to see why we were brought into leadership. We begin to deliver the goods. Things are getting accomplished, and we are seen as a go-to person with a go-to team. We are hitting our stride.

Leadership production also creates momentum. Law # 16, the Law of Big Mo, is now working in our favor. Momentum is a great exaggerator. It can propel us or drag us down when lost. As we move from one accomplishment to the next, problems seem more like opportunities for greater achievement. Perhaps a great example of the power of Big Mo is the current in a river. When you swim with the current, you can swim much faster and cover a tremendous distance with little effort. Conversely, swimming against the current takes great effort to cover just a small distance. Production level leaders know how to use Big Mo to their advantage.

The production found in Level Three can also be deceiving. When a person is able to produce, they may be mistaken as a leader. I have known people who were extremely gifted. They could produce amazing amounts of work or be extremely creative. Some were great at organizing tasks and projects, but they lacked basic people skills and didn’t feel a need to learn them. They viewed people as mere tools to accomplish the desired goal. In the end, they crashed and burned. It wasn’t pretty, and often all that was left were shattered relationships and half completed projects.

Level Three is a great place to visit. It provides us with credibility, and we’ve become an example to our team and others throughout our organization. Staying at Level Three will have its difficulties, and if we don’t grow, we will miss out on amazing opportunities. The best Level Three leaders realize that what got them to this Level, won’t get them to the next. Are you willing to keep growing?

Please join Marisa and me on The Next Page podcast as we dig deeper into Level Three and discuss building blocks to move to Level Four, People Development.

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