Are You a Level 5 Leader?


Many people throughout the U.S and the World have unrealized potential. Unfortunately, the potential to be a great leader is sometimes not discovered before it’s too late to run a successful company. Here are some steps that will help you to find out if you’re a level 5 leader.

First, let’s breakdown is each level of leadership on the pyramid.

Level 1: Highly capable person who is able to give to the company through knowledge, skills and other good work habits.
Level 2: Contributing team members are workers who start to use talents to give to the success of the group.
Level 3: Competent manager is someone who understands basic organization of employees and resources to meet objectives and goals.
Level 4: Effective leader that stimulates a higher performance standard.
Level 5: “Building enduring greatness through humility and professional will.” Good to Great

“I never stopped trying to become qualified for the job.”
-Darwin E. Smith Chief Executive of Kimberly Clark

Level 5 Leadership Broken-down

There’s a huge difference when we look at a Level 4 vs. Level 5 leader. Level 4 leaders are able to effectively run a company. Jim Collins states in his book “Good to Great” that, “level 4 leaders can successfully run a good company. There have been plenty of powerful and successful level 4 leaders.” The point of Jim Collin’s study, was to find out what made good companies into great companies. What he found was to have a “great” company you must have a level 5 leader. The two biggest differences between a level 4 and a level 5 is that the level 5 leader possesses professional will and personal humility. What exactly is professional will and humility?

Level 5  Personal Humility and Professional Will

Level 5 leaders are very humble people. They credit their success to the company and the people in the company. They shy away from fame, and obsess over making the company better each and everyday.  They tend to be more quiet, and very disciplined. When interviewed (which is rare) they credit the employees for the hard work and hate talking about their own achievements.  They look in the mirror when the company makes a mistake, and look out the window, at the employees, when the company succeeds. Level 4 leaders tend to say, I instead of we in interviews. They also look in the mirror when the company is achieving its goals and look at the employees to blame when the business is doing poorly.  Level 5 leaders who posses professional will display an unwavering amount of work ethic to get the job done. They see a goal, and they work their butts off to reach it.  They take responsibility to work harder than anyone else in the company, with the belief that others will join in.  I have heard it quoted as “workmanlike diligence”.  These leaders trust their decision and work to prove it will be successful.

Making the Jump to a Level 5 Leader

  • Work on developing your personal humility side. Be sure to learn about giving your team the credit. When you understand that giving back is a part of success, you can understand humility on a deeper level.
  • Take responsibility for your actions. Show your team that you’re there for them when they need you, and are there to have their backs when problems occur.
  • Develope discipline and understand that if you make a decision for the company, stick to it. Disciplined leaders stick to their task, no matter how difficult it may become.
  • Level 5 leaders seek help when they need it. They’re not afraid to ask questions. They have an understanding that seeking help will help the company grow.  Sometimes, level 5 leaders are viewed as weak for asking questions, but they understand that having a diverse set of ideas and skills is what makes companies successful.

Level 5 leadership may come naturally to some people, but there will always be growth and practice needed for all of them. You’ll learn the techniques to become a great leader if you study and work hard. Not everyone will be a level 5 leader, but all of us can benefit from the practice and study of personal humility and professional will.

Be sure to go out and learn as much as you can to grow your leadership skills. If you enjoy it, learn more. If you don’t, take the experiences and growth and use it towards other things in your life!

“We are the Young Life Perception”

Be sure to check out our podcast at www.younglifeperception.com

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