Level Four – Breaking Free to Greater Success
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 3, Production. While it may appear that we have arrived as a leader, we really need to start looking at Level 4, People Development.

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

I closed last week’s email with this statement; “The best Level Three leaders realize that what got them to this level, won’t get them to the next.” At Level Three we focused on our own, our team’s, and our company’s productivity. Our efforts resulted in higher than average productivity.  We are good! Really good, but not good enough. I know that you might find that statement startling. What isn’t good enough about a higher than average productivity? If we stay at this level, the organization or team we lead is only above average when we are there. We feel like we can’t grow because they need us. What happens if we leave? We actually become trapped in our own success. We need to break free to greater success, People Development. At Level Four, people are following us because of what we have done for them.

People Development allows us to sustain growth. Even though we have achieved success, it is far too dependent on us. So many organizations have hidden assets that are never developed because the leaders get stuck in the production mode. The only way to safeguard the organization and position it for sustained growth is to begin the process of developing the potential within each person. As our team develops, we are able to delegate daily activities to the team, freeing up time for strategic thinking, planning, and people development.

One struggle for the developing leader is the battle with insecurity. Often a developing leader begins to feel threatened by their own team members. I battled this feeling from time to time until I realized that my team could actually make me better and that having them better in certain areas freed me up to work in my strength zone.

People development is extremely rewarding. It builds our organizations, engages employees, and fosters long-term relationships, but as The Count on Sesame Street was prone to say, “But wait, there’s more.”  There certainly is. Level Five, The Pinnacle.

Please join Marisa and me on The Next Page podcast as we dig deeper into Level Four and discuss building toward the fifth and final level of leadership– The Pinnacle.

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