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The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential Paperback – September 3, 2013
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"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 LeadershipGurus.net. 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 Twitter.com/JohnCMaxwell. For more information about him visit JohnMaxwell.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
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!
Maxwell begins with the premise that the purpose of leadership is to produce more leaders and to help each person move toward the highest level of achievement they can reach. Then he lists and explains the five levels of leadership that he has seen and experienced. They are first leadership by position, the lowest, weakest, least helpful, most self-centered form of leadership. The second level is leadership by permission, the first level of leadership which can only be earned. It is this second level which make the following three levels possible. The third level of leadership is production as a result of the respect earned in level 2. The fourth level of leadership is people development as a result of productivity. Finally, the fifth level of leadership is the pinnacle of leadership – that level when your leadership extends its influence beyond your own reach.
The fascinating value of this book is that Maxwell presents the information in such a manner that, though it is geared to positions of leadership within an organization, the principles it teaches are obviously intended for everyone’s personal development. The book banks on character, morals, and sound ethics. These principles are priceless for individuals of any society and in any relationship. One doesn’t need to hold a position of leadership in order to be a leader. In fact, Maxwell makes this point very clear when he advises that supervisors should promote the leaders present instead of attempting to make a leader out of the person they just promoted. Additionally, if every husband and wife utilized the information taught in this book, it would vastly improve their marriage through empowering each other and increasing mutual respect and trust. If parents would utilize the principles in this book, their children would potentially have a much greater relationship with their parents and other authority figures, have a healthier self-image, and live more productive, gratifying lives.
The Five Levels of Leadership should be required reading in every high school, college, pre-marital, marital, and parenting class. Of course, it should also be required yearly reading for every employee, volunteer, and public leader. The true value of the five levels is the outward focus the levels create, always seeking to help grow others and base one’s level of success on how well others succeed. It is a book of servant leadership – a counter paradigm to the “dog-eat-dog” world that often characterizes corporate America as well as the private lives of most cultures. The greatest internal recommendation for this book is in the author’s own words, “...there is no better way to increase your positive impact on the world and add value to others than to increase your leadership ability.” What better reason could one give for reading a book on leadership?
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