I first met John Maxwell in 1998 when I joined Thomas Nelson as the Associate Publisher of the Nelson Books division. We were just launching, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, which became his breakout book. It landed on the New York Times bestsellers list, where it remained for months.
John is an international recognized leadership expert, speaker, and author. He has written more than sixty books. Collectively, they have sold more than 20 million copies and been translated into more than fifty languages. In addition, John routinely speaks to Fortune 500 companies, government leaders, and churches.
In the thirteen years I have known John, he has become a dear friend and trusted advisor. I have learned more about leadership from him than any other single source. That’s why I am particularly excited to introduce you to his newest book, which was officially released today. It is called The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential.
I have been listening to John talk about these five levels of leadership ever since I first met him. In a very real sense, this book embodies the core of his teaching. It lays out his entire leadership model. If you are new to his work, I would start with this book. In many ways, it is a roadmap to the others.
John starts with the idea that many people confuse having a leadership position with actually being a leader. He makes it clear that this only the entry point to leadership. It is level 1.
The five levels of leadership are:
- Position—People follow because they have to.
- Permission—People follow because they want to.
- Production—People follow because of what you have done for the organization.
- People Development—People follow because of what you have done for them personally.
- Pinnacle—People follow because of who you are and what you represent.
With his typical humor and a abundance of real-world examples, John describes each of the five levels in detail. He articulates the behaviors that best characterize them—and the downsides that can sometimes keep leaders from going to the next level. Perhaps most importantly, he explains how to get from whatever level you are now to the next one.
The book is a fast read. Though content-rich, the chapters are short and make ample use of subheads, bullets, and lists. This book would make a great study for any group wanting to take their leadership to the next level. I heartily recommend it.