How to Maximize the Seven Levels of Leadership

Leaders rise or fall at points of execution and completion.

[Video version of this post.]

7 levels of leadership:

#1. Believe you can make a difference.

Roots of belief:

  1. Someone saw something in you that inspired you to believe in yourself.
  2. Small successes helped you believe you could take on bigger challenges. Belief grows after taking action.
  3. Failure and falling short lose their ability to hobble.

#2. Passion for excellence.

  1. Dedicate yourself to personal leadership development.
  2. Realize pursuit isn’t attainment. Today’s achievement is tomorrow’s starting point.
  3. Acknowledge that you have a narrow band where excellence is easy. Everything else is hard work.

#3. Dedication to learning.

Master methods of management and personal strategies for leadership.

Tip: Pour your energy into those who are dedicated to pursuing excellence (#2).

#4. Commitment to execution and completion through people.

The practice of leadership is about getting things done through others. Practice requires self-control and self-awareness. 

  1. Self-control is the urgent need to get things done – combined with the ability to ignore distraction.
  2. Self-awareness is recognition of the impact your behaviors and attitudes have on others.

#5. Humility.

There comes a point when humility is more than a good idea. The higher you go in organizational life, the more you rely on others.

Arrogant leaders manipulate, meddle, and over-manage. Humble leaders enable, empower, release, and practice mutual accountability.

#6. Kindness.

  1. Kindness flows from humility (#5).
  2. Kindness lets others know it’s safe to follow you.

#7. Passion to serve the best interest of others.

One reason leaders become jerks is they haven’t humbly worked through difficulty and adversity. Disruption, adversity, and disappointment are all connected to commitment to execution and completion (#4).

The fire of adversity (#4) is an essential opportunity to develop humility. Lack of humility (#5) accounts for unkind (#6), self-serving leaders (#7).

The last three levels of leadership – humility, kindness, and selfless service – emerge when leaders successfully wrestle with execution and completion (#4).

How might leaders best navigate the pivotal point of the leadership journey #4?