Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Level 5 Leadership

In his book, Good to Great, Jim Collins clearly distinguishes between good and great companies. Jim and his research team present a hierarchy of business leadership styles. The great organizations have what he calls Level 5 leadership. If you can imagine a pyramid with 5 levels, the bottom layer is the level 1 leader (highly capable individual), level 2 is a contributing team member...all the way to the top with a level 5 leader.

The level 5 leader is an executive that builds enduring greatness within the organization. When things are going well, the level 5 leader gives the credit to others. When things go wrong, he/she takes full responsibility for missed chances (rather than participating in thinking errors, such as blaming or controlling). In addition, the level 5 leader is humble, and has the attitude, "It's not about me." Instead, he/she sets an example, and channels ego needs away from himself (has a low me factor).

All of the great companies in Jim's book had level 5 leaders. In my opinion, level 5 leadership can be applied beyond the workplace. I need to be a level 5 leader for my family, in my community, at church, etc. Can you imagine the impact we could have if we were surrounded by level 5 leadership?

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