Archive for April, 2012

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The 5 Levels of Leadership

April 5, 2012

Did you take that promotion due to the title or are you truly ready to lead?  How would you rate yourself as a leader?  How do others view your leadership styles.  Below are the five levels of leadership.

 Level 1 – Position

People at Level 1 follow because they have to.  You are leading with your position or title and with no other influence.  This level is usually associated with low employee morale, and high turnover.  Imagine working on the production floor and being told what to do day after day.  No thinking, no feedback, no input.  Just do what you are told right or wrong.

 Level 2 – Permission

People at Level 2 follow because they want to follow.  At this level of leadership, you are building relationships with people, as well as treating them with dignity and respect.  Building relationships with people, leads to building trust within the relationship.  Once you have established a level of trust, people follow you because it’s fun, although there may be no results or achievements at this level of the organization.

 Level 3 – Production

People at Level 3 will follow you because they trust you and they trust the direction you are leading them in to achieve results for the organization.  Results start to happen due to the momentum of the people, resulting in very little effort required. 

 Level 4 – People Development

People at Level 4 follow you because of what you have done for them.  You value people, and spend more time mentoring and coaching people to reach new personal levels within themselves and for the organization.  People grow and develop at Level 4.  Future leaders are developed at this level and this leads to succession planning.

 Level 5 – Personhood

People at Level 5 follow you because they admire your principles and ethics.  Personally, you cannot put yourself at a Level 5.  Only others that see you as a great leader and someone who is capable of leading can place you at this level of leadership.

 What level of leadership are you at?

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Leading From The Middle Of The Organization

April 3, 2012

Many great organizations have great leaders at the top of the organization in roles such as the CEO, COO, CFO and President.  Although these men and women are the face of the organization, the reality is that 99 percent of all leadership takes place in the middle of an organization.  The question that I keep hearing from my many years of experience in various leadership roles is this, “Can I still lead if I am in the middle of the organizational hierarchy.  The answer is, ‘Yes’.  I have seen many examples where leadership has come from the shop floor from people that want to contribute and get things done.

 Good leaders learn to lead from whatever level in the organization they are at.  They learn to lead up, down and across.  They become 360o Leaders.  These leaders learn to influence people at every level of the organization.  During my many years of experience in manufacturing operations roles, I was always on the lookout for these types of people.  People that can influence others in the organization (no matter what level they are at), are the hidden gems in any organization.  These are the people that make things happen, and can be good additions to any succession planning strategy.