Welcome to Week 4 of our group study of The 5 Levels of Leadership! This week we’ll be diving into Level 2: Permission.
Are you naturally people-oriented or task-oriented? You’ll discover that everyone in your group naturally defaults to one or the other. They’ll assign the highest value to either getting things done or building relationships.

Those who are people-oriented will wonder why you’re even discussing this level, because it will seem as natural to them as breathing. Most of what’s described in the chapter they do intuitively. (Their difficulty will likely come at Level 3.)

The task-oriented people may see permission as “soft.” They may even think that the 5 levels were listed in the wrong order, and production should come ahead of permission. Your goal is to get everyone on the same page, understanding that if you build relationships first, it makes production easier and helps you develop teamwork. If leaders do that, then when pressure comes, fewer things blow up because they already know everyone’s personalities and how they work together.



Level 3: Production, pages 131-178

(We will discuss this reading assignment in NEXT WEEK’S post.


DISCUSSION (Facilitator’s Guide):

1. (Icebreaker) If you were given a free day totally for yourself, how would you spend it?

2. What’s the difference between leadership that asks permission to lead and leadership that assumes the right to lead?

3. What is most frustrating to you about working with people? What’s most rewarding?

4. Are you naturally task-oriented or people-oriented? How do you think that impacts your attitude toward Level 2 Permission?

5. The book says that permission leadership appears too soft for some people. Where do you stand on this?

6. Why do you think I say that openness is required for permission leadership to be effective? Do you find it difficult or easy to be open with the people you lead?

7. In the past, how have you handled the care and candor issue? Which do you find to be naturally easier? Expressing candor or caring?

8. What things can a leader do to gain permission from followers?

9. What do you need to change to make your leadership more personal and relational with the people you influence?


Take time in the next week to get to know each individual that you lead more personally. Or course, you need to respect people’s privacy and be appropriate. But your goal is to get a better sense of who the person is, what is important to him/her, and what motivates him/her.



For the sake of simplicity, we have not threaded the comments this week. Please feel free to start your own comment thread. You can answer as many of the 9 questions as you wish, either in one or separate comments.

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