Archive for the ‘Leadership’ Category


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?


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.


Leadership Strategies for Motivating Employees

April 5, 2010
  1. Focus on people, not numbers.  An organization’s failure or success is determined by the moods, innovation, energy, thoughts, and behaviors of the people who work there.
  2. Model good behavior.  Leaders set the tone for how employees respond to almost every situation.  They can inspire or they can extinguish.
  3. Practice positive leadership.  Positive leadership means remaining purposeful in the face of adversity.
  4. Fill the void.  As a leader, you must meet with your employees and continually communicate, communicate, communicate.
  5. Tell energy vampires, “Its time to get on the bus of off the bus”.  No matter how many pep talks you give or good behaviors you model, your efforts won’t go far unless you are on the same page.
  6. Forbid complaining………all complaining.  Let your employees know that they are not allowed to complain unless they offer solutions.
  7. Teach your people to be heroes, not victims.  Both heroes and victims get knocked down.  The distinction between the two groups lies in the fact that heroes get back up while victims give up.
  8. Focus on the small wins.  Always place your attention on those little, ordinary, unspectacular “wins” that add up to big successes.
  9. Make sure you have sharks in your key positions.  Look at your team and figure out which people display the characteristics of driven, go-get-’em, nice sharks.  Sharks choose to swim ahead, believing that the best is yet to come. 


March 2, 2010

Some say we are born with it, others say we can learn it.  How do we define leadership?

What is a Leader?

Leadership is about relationships. 

Leadership is about modeling the behavior in ourselves as well as the behavior we expect others to follow.  We lead with guiding principles and values that we believe in. 

Leadership is about inspiring others with a shared vision.  We want to paint a picture and share it with others. 

Leadership is about challenging the process to look for ways to improve and stay current.  Leaders are seen as pioneers by breaking into unchartered territory. 

Leaders enable others to act by building trusting relationships and collaborating on ideas.  Leaders experiment and take risks to find new opportunities. 

Leaders encourage the heart.  They celebrate values and victories.  They recognize everyday contributions people make.

A leader gets his people to turn challenging opportunities into remarkable success.  They unite people for a common cause and ignite their passion to succeed.  Leaders do not look for short-term results that affect the bottom line, but instead work to develop long-term relationships with people and institutions to help them adapt, change, prosper and grow. 

Leadership is not about personality; it is about behavior.

Attributes of a Leader

  1. Honesty by building trusting relationships
  2. Forward looking by connecting vision to hopes and dreams of the people below them
  3. Inspire by exciting people; energizing people; being positive with people
  4. Competency through relevant experience and sound judgement

Leaders do what they say they will do.