The 5 Levels of Leadership will be available for purchase starting TOMORROW (October 4, 2011)!

I can’t wait! Why? Well, as I’ve told anyone who asks, “It’s the best thing I’ve ever done.”

People who have known me for awhile always smile when I say that. That’s because they know I believe it about everything I do. “This is the best lesson I’ve ever taught.” “This is the best book I’ve ever written.” “…Until the next one,” is what they add in their minds.

And they have a valid point, most of the time. I AM a pretty positive guy, and my favorite project is almost always the one I just worked on. But I might have to argue that The 5 Levels of Leadership truly could stand the test of time as the best book I’ve ever done. That’s because it’s the first book based solely on a concept I’ve been teaching for over 30 years, with great positive response. It’s clear, it’s proven, and it’s well-received.

Here’s one last excerpt before the book arrives on shelves. Just a few insights into The 5 Levels of Leadership:

1. You Can Move Up a Level But You Never Leave the Previous One Behind

Now that you’ve seen the levels and learned the basics about them, you may assume that a leader climbs them, leaving one to arrive at the next, similar to the way one moves up a staircase. But the truth is that you never leave a level behind after you’ve achieved it. Instead, you simply build upon it.

 2. You Are Not on the Same Level with Every Person

Leadership is dynamic, and it changes from relationship to relationship. The same is true for the 5 Levels of Leadership. I may be on a different one of the 5 Levels with each of five different people at my job. Someone the first day on the job will acknowledge only my position, while someone in whom I’ve invested and whom I’ve raised up to lead will likely put me on Level 4.

3. The Higher You Go, The Easier It Is to Lead

Here’s some good news. As you work to climb up the levels of leadership, you’ll find that it gets easier to lead people. Each advance allows you to be more effective in leading others because your influence increases as you go to a higher level. As your influence increases, more people follow you more readily. Limited influence, limited leadership. Greater influence, greater effectiveness.

4. The Higher You Go, the More Time and Commitment Is Required to Win a Level

Which is harder? Being given a leadership position (Level 1) or getting people’s permission to lead them (Level 2)? That’s pretty obvious. It takes time, effort, and commitment to develop positive relationships with people. How about moving from Level 2 to Level 3? I believe it is harder to become consistently productive than it is to make friends. It’s even harder and requires much more time to go to Level 4, where you develop people to become good leaders. And it can take a lifetime to become a Level 5 leader who develops leaders who in turn develop other leaders.

There is no easy way to get to the top. And each time you go up, you pay.

5. Moving Up Levels Occurs Slowly, But Going Down Can Happen Quickly

I’ve had people ask me, “How long will it take me to become a Level 5 leader?”

“A lot longer than you think” is my answer. Building always takes a lot longer than destroying. A lot of things have to be right to climb to a higher level, but sometimes it takes only one thing going wrong to cause someone to fall. While it’s unsettling to think about how quickly one can fall from a level of leadership, I hope you can take solace in this: once you’ve climbed up to higher levels, the ones below you function as a safety net. So the more you’ve advanced up the levels, the more secure your leadership is.


By now you may be wondering, “What level of leadership have I reached with the different people that I lead?

Well, there’s an app for that!

My publisher has created a 5 Levels of Leadership iPhone app. In it you’ll find quotes, more insights, and best of all, an assessment. You can get an idea of where you stand on the levels with every person in your life, if you want. Just click the image below or search the iTunes store for “5 Levels of Leadership.”

It’s my sincere hope that this app and the book would add value to your life and help you grow as a leader!

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