Good to Great #2 Level 5 Leadership

Posted: April 24, 2010 in Uncategorized
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Level 5 leadership: Humble Leadership key characteristic of Great Company Executives

Have you ever been belonged to an organization or perhaps just observed an organization that is being led by a ‘personality driven leader’?

This type of leader’s effectiveness is a direct result of the power of his personality. Many times these times of leaders are described as being charismatic leaders. They look good, smell good, talk good and make you feel good when you are around them.

They are normally workaholics who micro-manage every aspect of their organizations. These types of leaders spend no time developing leaders in their organization because they see this as a threat to their own job security. These personality leaders usually have huge egos and are often glamorized by the press as being the desired saviors that come in and rescue troubled companies and restore them to profitability.

When a personality driven leader leaves an organization there is an immediate leadership void due to the fact the personality driven leader invest no time in developing leaders. The result is an organization destined for some immediate decline due to the dependent relationship the organization had with the personality driven leader.

While some of these type of leaders have some level of success in different organizations there are pitfalls to being led by this type of leader. Collins makes it clear in his book that this is not the type of leader who takes an organization from being a good company to a great company.

Great companies are led by the opposite type of leaders.

  1. They set up their successors for success. It is common for many leaders to fail at setting up their organizations for success after they leave. These leaders mistakenly conclude that if the organization falls apart after their departure that it somehow a testament to their greatness showing they are irreplaceable. Level 5 leaders contrast this trend by establishing a culture of leadership development where a leadership pipeline has been built to sustain the success of the leader long after he departs.
  2. They have a compelling modesty. In contrast to the celebrity leaders that gather so much attention in our day and age, Level 5 leaders rarely if ever talk about themselves, instead focus attention on their team or the results of the company as a whole. Level 5 leaders don’t aspire to attain the celebrity status of many of their peers, but instead desire to live a life as an ordinary person producing extraordinary results.
  3. They have unwavering resolve. Level 5 leaders simply do whatever it takes to make the company or organization great. These leaders are fanatically driven to produce sustained results with workmanlike diligence.
  4. Every good to great company had Level 5 leadership. While there is a damaging trend to  select dazzling celebrity leaders and deselect potential Level 5 leaders, good to great companies have a penchant for selecting only Level 5 leaders to lead their organizations to sustained success. 10 of 11 good to great CEOs came from within the company.

Level 5> Level 5 Executive: Builds enduring greatness through a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will.

Level 4> Effective Leader: Catalyzes commitment to and vigorous pursuit of a clear and compelling vision, stimulating higher performance.

Level 3> Competent Manager: Organizes people and resources toward the effective and efficient pursuit of predetermined objectives.

Level 2> Contributing Team Member: Contributes individual capabilities to the achievement of group objectives and works effectively with others in group settings.

Level 1>Highly Capable Individual: Makes productive contributions through talent, knowledge, skills and good work habits.

  • What kind of leader are you?
  • Where do you and your team members fit on the leadership scale?
  • Do you have a personal improvement plan to move up the leadership scale?
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