The Two Most Critical Ingredients in Leadership

The Two Most Critical Ingredients in Leadership

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The Two Most Critical Ingredients in Leadership

There are many books out there on Leadership and most of them worthwhile in reading. One of my all-time favorites is a book called “The 5 Levels of Leadership” by John C. Maxwell.

The five levels according to John include:

• Position – People follow because they have to. “Need a paycheck.”
• Permission – People follow because they want to.
• Production – People follow because of what you have done for the organization.
• Person Development – People follow because of what you have done for them.
• Pinnacle – People follow because of who you are and what you represent.

The higher you go up in the levels, the easier it is to see the differences. These levels can also change over time and with different people in an organization. What I mean you can lead both by Position & Pinnacle in the same company with different people. Then leaving one company and going to another you will most likely start leading by Position it is up to you to move up. A lot of people don’t understand this, unfortunately, and that is what makes leadership hard.

It is my opinion today there are too many people that fall into “Position” category, and many are OK with this as it is self-serving. They fail to realize that they are leading because the employee relationship is a rental relationship. The employee does a service and gets paid therefore they are leading because people need to pay their bills.
Outside of the book, there are two things in my opinion that are necessary to move up and becoming the best leader possible. Those two elements are trust & integrity which are simple to say but not easy for all to do nor do I believe that all leaders truly understand what this means.
How does one build trust and move up the leadership ladder? Honor your word, deliver on your commitments and put the greater good of the company and people above yourself and other individuals even if it makes you unpopular and causes harm to you. I will admit this is hard but necessary to become a leader beyond a title and position.

Another component is integrity, now instead of giving you the Webster definition of integrity I will give you mine. Integrity is simply doing the right thing at all cost even if it hurts you individually. Not modifying your behavior when challenged or backed into a corner. A person who lacks integrity just simply can’t lead any employee who is looking to follow more than a “Position” type leader. As those interested in following great leadership will demand more than a paycheck, they will expect something from you as well.

It is that simple Trust & Integrity regardless of the situation will pay back in dividends, and those that follow you will do so for you not just because of a paycheck. Accomplishing that will yield results you never thought possible.
For everyone out there that wants to move into a leadership role or for those that have been at it as a reminder, it is not about being liked. If being liked was leadership we would have more leaders in the world and fewer followers. If we look at our past Presidents and their popularity after exiting, you can see this typically in their popularity polls. One of my very best friends was a Sniper on Seal Team 5 he and other special forces guys will tell you they may not all like everyone on the Team. However, they all do lead with trust and integrity and will put it all on the line to maintain that even if it means their life and in business, no one is asking for your life. Ask yourself the question do you focus on leading by being liked and title or do you lead with trust and integrity? Which do you believe will get you furthest in life?