5 Levels of Leadership - a John Maxwell Framework (Level 1 - Position)


John Maxwell, one of the influential thought-leaders on leadership in our era, developed a model/framework called the 5 levels of leadership. I had the opportunity to be exposed to this while reading the book “Developing the Leader Within You 2.0” And had the opportunity to attend a training programme on this as well.


What struck me was how simple yet profound this framework is. Thinking deeper, it not only provides this overarching solution to managing human motivations (whichever model you believe in - I personally enjoy using the fundamental one by Maslow’s), but really is about being authentic, and building trust with the people we lead.


I’d like to firstly explore Level 1 of leadership - Position. This is where you’re given a title and recognised as a “Manager“ of people, and along with it comes a certain level of leadership. At this stage, people follow you because they have to. This generally happens when firstly, you’re new to a company or role, and have just assumed management responsibilities. Alternatively, some managers stay at this level, because that is all the respect that they can garner due to the lack of building it to the next level.


In the infographic above, the summary provides oversight of this, but really, we can activate our understanding of this by looking at the reflection question.


Here’s to your building up to the next level of leadership -PERMISSION!

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