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The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged

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Editorial Reviews


"John has been a mentor and teacher for me for many years and what I love most about him is that he has pushed and helped me personally go through the 5 Levels of Leadership!"―Kevin Turner, COO, Microsoft

"The leader's greatest calling is building leadership in the coming generation, and John Maxwell's The 5 Levels of Leadership offers the roadmap for taking the journey to that highest level."―Michael Useem, author of The Leadership Moment and The Go Point

"The 5 Levels Of Leadership is John Maxwell's ultimate contribution to the topic. It's clear, helpful, inspiring and guaranteed to give any reader the ability to fulfill what Napoleon defined as the role of the leader: 'Define reality, then give hope.'"―Tim Sanders, former Chief Solutions Officer at Yahoo! and author of Today We Are Rich

"I first became acquainted with John Maxwell's material when I went back into coaching for the St. Louis Rams after a 14 year hiatus from NFL coaching....What a wealth of leadership and personal growth wisdom! I believe his 5 Levels of Leadership is his best work yet. I know you'll love it."―Dick Vermeil, Former NFL Head Football Coach

"When it comes to leadership, inspiration is just as important - if not more so - than information. John Maxwell offers both. The 5 Levels of Leadership will not only tell you how to climb higher, it will give you the motivation you need to reach the top."―Dan T. Cathy, President & Chief Operating Officer, Chick-fil-A, Inc.

"John has taught THE 5 LEVELS OF LEADERSHIP to our leaders at Delta with great results. The insight and valuable principles he delivers has helped all of us - no matter the position or level - raise our effectiveness and improve our performance. John is a dynamic communicator with a heart for leadership that all can learn from."―-- Ed Bastian, President of Delta Air Lines.

John Maxwell's books have been required reading for my leadership team for years. I can't think of anyone better at distilling decades of leadership experience into practical, approachable principles that anyone can apply at any level of leadership.
Dave Ramsey, host of The Dave Ramsey Show and bestselling author of The Total Money Makeover

About the Author

John C. Maxwell is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, coach, and speaker who has sold more than 24 million books in fifty languages. Often called America's #1 leadership authority, Maxwell was Identified as the most popular leadership expert in the world by Inc. magazine in 2014. And he has been voted the top leadership professional six years in a row on He is the founder of The John Maxwell Company, The John Maxwell Team, and EQUIP, a non-profit organization that has trained more than 5 million leaders in 180 countries. Each year Maxwell speaks to Fortune 500 companies, presidents of nations, and many of the world's top business leaders. He can be followed at For more information about him visit


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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Center Street; Unabridged edition (October 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607885174
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607885177
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (225 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #855,340 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John C. Maxwell is an internationally recognized leadership expert, speaker, coach, and author who has sold over 19 million books. Dr. Maxwell is the founder of EQUIP and the John Maxwell Company, organizations that have trained more than 5 million leaders worldwide. Every year he speaks to Fortune 500 companies, international government leaders, and organizations as diverse as the United States Military Academy at West Point, the National Football League, and the United Nations. A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Business Week best-selling author, Maxwell has written three books which have each sold more than one million copies: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, Developing the Leader Within You, and The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader. You can find him at and follow him at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

100 of 110 people found the following review helpful By laurab123 on October 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have to admit... after reading multiple John Maxwell books they all started sounding the same. I read the 21 laws of leadership so many times and every other one of his books seemed to be a watered down version of this book. So I skipped buying this 5 Levels of Leadership hardcover when it came out, despite being on his email list. Then a good friend called me (who had purchased the book) and convinced me to buy it. I'm so glad he did!!!! This book specifically takes you through a checklist of how to increase leadership on an individual basis. I learned so much from this and my eyes were opened about my own relationships and how people view me. WOW so so so glad I bought this book (ordered through Amazon for my kindle and only paid like 12 dollars). I can't speak highly enough about this book. You should buy it.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Aaron M. Marcelli on June 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I will start by saying this is a wonderful leadership book! I have read a lot of Maxwell and sometimes I get the sense he is recycling information. Well, for this book he had been saving up. The content was mostly new material laid out in a simple way. I found Maxwell's theory about there being five leadership levels quite solid and he does a great job of explaining them. That being said, I do have quite a few critiques of the book. Though I will list these concerns below, I still recommend the book to every leader.

If you know Maxwell at all, you know he has not shortage of confidence. As is usual, that comes across in this writing but can at times seem arrogant. He has almost nothing good to say about levels 1 and 2 (position and relationship), perhaps because he sees himself so far removed from those levels. This could be deflating to new leaders who will naturally start at level one. Maxwell can make it sounds as though you're insignificant until you reach the upper levels of leadership.

Then, once he gets into describing the upper levels of leadership, he has almost nothing bad to say about them. This is obviously where Maxwell sees himself as he shares most of his stories in these last sections of the book, so he may look past the negatives to these levels. The outline of the book is to explain a level of leadership, discuss the benefits to that level, list the negatives of that level, and then talk about how to reach the next level. With the upper levels I felt he was shorting on the negatives, only coming up with a few weak possible downsides to the levels he feels are most important. Perhaps to match the flow of the book he lists a few weaknesses but they are mostly hypothetical for levels 3 and 4.
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55 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Kary Oberbrunner on October 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Lead U2 singer Bono writes the same song with a thousand different nuances and it gets better every time.

Best-selling author John C. Maxwell wrote the same book with a thousand different nuances and it too just got better.

Besides Maxwell's book reaching a whole new level, it might help you jump to your next level of leadership. As the world's #1 Leadership Guru, John brings you his best: stories, humor, truth, experience, and practical application.

In this book you'll learn the 5 levels of leadership:

1. Position--People follow because they have to.

2. Permission--People follow because they want to.

3. Production--People follow because of what you have done for the organization.

4. People Development--People follow because of what you have done for them personally.

5. Pinnacle--People follow because of who you are and what you represent.

More importantly, you'll face your own leadership gaps and the choice of jumping to your next level. In the words of Maxwell: "everything rises and falls on leadership: - including whether or not you reach your next level.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Corinne Derenburger on October 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I've technically been in a leadership role with various organizations for 20+ years. I've read countless books on leadership. This one ties everything together into one neat book. I've given 5 levels out as gifts to our Board of Directors, colleagues and community leaders.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By HighlyDiscerning on December 31, 2014
Format: Paperback
"The 5 Levels of Leadership" by John C. Maxwell is a distinct disappointment considering the thirty plus books written by this author, his worldwide reputation, and the fact that there is very little meaningful leadership insight that will help a reader seeking to improve his or her supervisory effectiveness. As this highly repetitious, cliché ridden, wandering text, completely omits anything on improving one's motivational skills or how to get from point "A" to point "B". A lot about "what" leaders should do or what good leadership looks like (by the author's definition) but very short on "how" to become a good leader. The author's premises are also emotionally based, unacceptably vague, very simplistic, poorly reasoned, and unsupported by collaborating studies, science, or even credible examples. Such problems all stemming from the fact that his personal leadership experience is far too narrow to properly draw the conclusions he does, and as a result skews his idea of how things actually work, while demonstrating little depth or understanding of how successful leaders inspire others to follow. "The 5 Levels" is certainly not as profound as it is presented to be, with 100s of such trite statements as: "If you can develop solid relationships with people and you can produce, you can be an effective leader" (p 139); "When leaders produce, so do their people. Productive leaders thrive on results—from themselves and the team.Read more ›
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