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82 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly surprised
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...
Published on October 25, 2011 by laurab123

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very Similar to his other audio books
I'm a huge John C. Maxwell fan but I wasn't impressed with this particular book. It repeated a lot of themes and concepts from his other books. I got more out of and enjoyed some of his other books. I don't have the titles readily available but it was the gold colored cover audio book.
Published 10 months ago by Jerry R. Hedrick


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82 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly surprised, October 25, 2011
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This review is from: The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential (Hardcover)
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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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars JUMP your leadership level, October 4, 2011
This review is from: The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential (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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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, October 28, 2011
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This review is from: The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential (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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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A review of critiques for a great book, June 5, 2012
This review is from: The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential (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. One of these is the production level, yet Maxwell never deals with the negative of time demand, always being called in or asked to work over, or being flooded with too many tasks. Level 4 would have been a great place to discuss burn out or the struggle to start all over with new members on your team. Maxwell fails to include these (or any solid negatives) as he seems to see these highest levels of leadership as the holy ground.

Maxwell does not take into account that not everyone has his personality. Maxwell is very extroverted and charismatic. This makes much of what he suggests natural for him, I just wish he would have taken the time to walk slower through the material that may not come so easy for those different than he.

Finally, I found myself a little annoyed when Maxwell insisted on leadership rules that are difficult to impossible for many leaders. Maxwell has only worked in the nonprofit world. At least that where many of his stories come from. Of course he can devote 80% of his time to people. That's his job! He has no product to produce. In insensitive to just assume everyone should be able to do their leadership role the way you do when the industries may be very different.

Taking all that into account, the material was still very solid.

Maxwell explains well that the height of leadership is to develop and lead leaders, not followers.

Buy this book!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything rises and falls on this Maxwell book, October 28, 2011
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This review is from: The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential (Hardcover)
John C. Maxwell has always provided me with great information in all of his books, CD's and DVD's. Maxwell has helped me help so many others become better leaders through his material.

That said, if you value leadership and to be a better leader, then buy this book. Id you know someone who wants to be a leader, buy this book for that person. If you know someone that fancies themselves a leader, but hasn't a clue, buy them this book.

Quite frankly, you could tear page 6 out of the book and toss the rest away and you will be better off then you where. But don't do that. Each chapter gives you robust information, examples and sound advice to help you rise through the levels of leadership.

Finally, when you get to chapter five, it will be the fifth course of a five course meal. It will be the dessert that you will want to savor. Not only will you want to become a Level Five leader, but you will only want to work with and associate yourself with these pinnacle leaders.

Everything rises and falls on leadership. That is a phrase of Maxwell's I repeat again and again. This week alone I have given away four copies of this book. One to the general manager of my company, one to a college president, one to a business owner and one to a leader of a nonprofit I work with. If everything rises and falls on leadership, I want those around me to be at their pinnacle as soon as possible.

Buy the book. Then you will buy more.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, October 28, 2011
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This review is from: The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential (Hardcover)
This book has taught me so much already! I'm ready to read it again! John has a simple, straight forword, common sense writing style that's easy to understand and take away nuggets of knowledge. I will definitely be a better leader at my place of work and at home.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Classic by a Leadership Guru, October 20, 2011
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This review is from: The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential (Hardcover)
I have read many of John Maxwell's books, such as "Thinking for a Change" and "Today Matters", as well as "The 21 Indespensible Laws of Leadership". This book is full of great leadership principles as the others are.

Maxwell begins by talking about the level of position. Just because you have a position doesn't make you a leader.

The second level is permission. People give you permission to lead them when you develop relationships with them. "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.

The third level is production. When you become productive, people respect you and follow you. Good leaders are good models.

The fourth level is people development. This is where a leader produces other leaders.

The fifth level is pinnacle. This is where you produce leaders who produce leaders.

Many of the concepts are repetitive if you have read other of Maxwell's books. John believes that "repetition is the mother of all learning"

I am one of his fans - I love his simplicity and style of writing. As a pastor, I can implement many of these principles in leading the people of our church. I think any pastor would benefit from this book, as well as any leader of any ministry or corporation.

The book closes with showing how John Wooden, coach of UCLA, was a level 5 leader. I enjoyed that part of the book very much, as I have always admired Coach Wooden.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great start for new leaders, December 9, 2011
This review is from: The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential (Hardcover)
The Five Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential is the latest book by John C. Maxwell. Maxwell is the author of many books on communication and leadership including Everyone Communicates, Few Connect: What the Most Effective People Do Differentlyand How Successful People Think: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life.

In 5 Levels, Maxwell provides an overview of his five levels of leadership, which are:
1. Position
2. Permission
3. Productivity
4. People Development
5. Pinnacle

The book begins with an assessment that can be used to determine at which level of leadership you are currently performing. It includes questions for yourself and others to answer about your leadership skills. The bulk of the book covers each of the steps in separate sections. Each section contains a detailed review along with both the upsides and downsides of each level.

1. Position - is the authority you are granted by your job and title in a company. A great place to start because you will need some level of legitimate power to be a leader but you will not be a successful leader if you remain on this basic level. I am sure we have all been associated with leaders who never advance beyond being a position leader - these are the ones who rely on the letters after their names and their job titles to direct others.

2. Permission - is all about establishing relationships and getting others to choose to follow you. This involves getting to know your team, but be aware that when you begin to build these relationships with others you get the whole person and not just the hands. Meaning you get all their issues, concerns and fears from both their work and personal lives. This is the first stage that leaders need to begin to transform their thinking from me to we.

3. Productivity - focuses on getting things done. The key in this step is to help make everyone else productive and not just yourself. As a project manager I have found that making the team successful makes a project manger successful - not the other way around.

4. People Development - is about developing others and letting them take control. This is where it becomes all about the individuals working with you and not about yourself. Leaders can not be afraid the develop others who would potentially replace them. Insecure leaders never reach this level because instead of developing people, they spend their time micro-managing. It is here that the insecure leaders will identify themselves. If you place blame while taking accolades you need to focus in this area. I work under the belief that if I have not prepared a project to be successful upon my departure from the project then I have not done my job successfully.

5. Pinnacle - is about getting other leaders to Level 4. According to the author this is the highest level a leader can achieve, the one at which leaders are developing other leaders. These leaders rise above their company and industry to become recognized leaders - think Jack Welch and Nelson Mandela. This is not to suggest Level 5 leaders can sit back and rest, but instead need to continue to advance themselves and others around them. In order for leaders to remain at this level they have to keep their ego in check and not lose focus (See Lee Iacocca). For additional reading on how companies and leaders can fall from this level check out Jim Collins' How The Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In.

It is important to note that you need to build on these levels as you move up the steps. For example to be a successful Level 4 leader, you need to first establish relationships with your team before you can facilitate their becoming productive. It is only at that point that you can begin `growing' your team members. On the other side you will not be a successful leader if you establish good relationships with your team but never advance them to a high level of productivity.

One of the most interesting concepts in this book is the realization that you are on at different level with different individuals you interact with at any given time. For example you may be at Level 3 with one person while still at Level 1 with another. It is thus important to understand where you are with each person and plan for maturing your leadership accordingly. When you start a new job, as I am doing right now, you are basically back at Level 1 with everyone and need to start up the steps once again.

This book is a great guide for anyone who is new to leadership. It will provide you with a big picture as to the levels of leadership and a path for moving up the steps. Be aware that leadership is a very complex topic so no one single tome will provide you with all the knowledge to be a great leader. This book sets the stage by providing a general understanding of the steps, but you will need to use other resources to help move you through the steps. For example to get to Level 4, People Development, the author discusses the need to motivate teams and bring out the best in them, but does not include specific detail how to accomplish this task. For further reading on this topic I suggest Liz Wiseman's Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter.

If you have been a leader for any amount of time I would suggest using this book as an assessment. It is also interesting to use this book as a guide for assessing other leaders that either you work with or work for you, as I found myself doing.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five stars for 5 Levels of Leadership, October 28, 2011
This review is from: The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential (Hardcover)
5 Levels of Leadership gives much needed insight on what being a leader really consist of. Definitely something I can apply to my life on a daily basis. The information and knowledge in here is priceless. Depending on how you apply it to your life it has the potential to change your life and those around you dramatically.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good leadership book, December 31, 2013
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John Maxwell delivers again. This is a good leadership book, but the reason I gave it four stars is that it treats leadership as a linear process when in my experience and research it is not.
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The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential
The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential by John C. Maxwell (Hardcover - October 4, 2011)
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