A Quick Review of “The 5 Levels of Leadership"

According to John C. Maxwell, effective leadership is about “getting people to follow you because of who you are and what you represent.”   Effective leaders are not those that get others to follow because of the position they hold or the power they represent.  In fact, these types of leaders are at the first level of leadership that Maxwell lays out in his book The 5 Levels of Leadership, Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential.  Leaders at this first step get people to follow because they have to, and won’t get the effort that’s required to take the organization to the next level.

If you’ve ever been asked to define leadership or describe what it is, you’ve probably struggled finding the right words unless you’ve studied leadership like Maxwell has for the past 30 years.  He is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Business Week bestselling author who has sold more than 20 million books.

He’s trained over 5 million leaders worldwide and speaks to leaders from Fortune 500 companies, foreign governments, and the National Football League to name a few.  He knows what it takes to get organizations to that next level – effective leadership.

So, what are the 5 levels of leadership that Maxwell presents in his book?

They are as follows:

  1. Position – People follow because they have to
  2. Permission – People follow because they want to
  3. Production – People follow because of what you have done for the organization
  4. People Development – People follow because of what you have done for them personally
  5. Pinnacle – People follow because of who you are and what you represent

Maxwell provides in-depth insight and examples to show how one can master each level and rise to the next to become a more influential and successful leader.  It will also help you to be better prepared when asked to define or describe leadership.  Definitely worth the read!