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3 Things Level 5 Leaders Do

By Maxwell Leadership | August 12, 2013
3 Things Level 5 Leaders Do

“Reaching our potential sets an environment for others to reach theirs.”1

As leaders climb the ladder of the 5 Levels of Leadership, they pave the way for others to reach their potential. The process of building a new level upon the previous one showcases the steps by which others can follow. As high-level leaders reach their potential, they set the stage for others.

First, leaders must assess where they are in their leadership ability. Last week, we discussed three things to remember when evaluating your own leadership.

Today, we’ll highlight the highest level of leadership and what that level entails. However, before we begin, check out the four levels prior to Level 5 here:

  • Level 1: Position – People follow you because they have to.
  • Level 2: Permission – People follow you because they want to.
  • Level 3: Production – People follow you because of what you have done for the organization.
  • Level 4: People Development – People follow you because of what you have done for them.

And now, Level 5: The Pinnacle states, “People follow because of who you are and what you represent.” 2 It should be our goal to serve at the pinnacle of leadership.

Here are three things (among many) that Pinnacle leaders do:

1. Pinnacle Leadership Creates a Level 5 Organization

“Because Level 5 leaders empower many people to lead larger, they lift the leadership lid for everyone in the organization.” 3

Level 5 leaders have worked their way through each level. They recognize when other leaders transition into a new level of leadership and help navigate the waters. These leaders facilitate growth for others, consistently creating a pipeline of leaders being produced. In turn, new leaders are constantly available to step into necessary roles to maintain the growth and success of Level 5 organizations.

2. Pinnacle Leadership Creates a Legacy within the Organization

“If you reach the Pinnacle of leadership, you have an opportunity to make an impact beyond your tenure and possibly beyond your own lifetime. You do that by developing a generation of leaders who will develop the next generation of leaders.” 4

The ultimate test as a leader is to leave a legacy behind and see how well those you developed carry on after you are no longer leading. Level 5 leaders do more than succeed. Instead, they prepare the organization for their own leadership succession to ensure that there is great continuity from one leader to another. Then, those new Level 5 leaders have the opportunity to empower and develop the next generation and the cycle can continue.

3. Pinnacle Leadership Provides an Extended Platform for Leading

“Level 5 leaders are able to cross lines out of their industry or area of expertise to speak with authority. People respect them for who they are and what they represent. That gives them a greater platform and extended influence.” 5

Level 5 leaders influence others out of their expertise. Regardless, people listen to them and learn from them. Team members often have received so much from Level 5 leaders that they continue to come back for more. Therefore, Level 5 leaders have the chance to impact society in large ways.

As you read these three things that Pinnacle leaders do, who comes to mind in your life? There is likely a person in your sphere of influence who falls in this category that you admire, are mentored by, or strive to be like one day.

Perhaps that leader is even you! However, “no matter where you are in your own leadership journey, [we] encourage you to learn all you can and keep learning.” 6

Leaders, what is one way you are working toward increasing your current level of leadership?

We’d love to hear your thoughts below or have you join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

To learn more about Levels 1-4, check out The 5 Levels of Leadership.
1 The 5 Levels of Leadership, pg. 17
2 The 5 Levels of Leadership, pg. 229
3 The 5 Levels of Leadership, pg. 234
4 The 5 Levels of Leadership, pg. 235
5 The 5 Levels of Leadership, pg. 236
6 The 5 Levels of Leadership, pg. 237

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