Level 5 Leadership
Level 5 Leadership
Leadership is a process by which one person influences the thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors of others. Leaders set a direction for the rest of us; they help us see what lies ahead; they help us visualize what we might achieve; they encourage us and inspire us. Level 5 leadership refers to the highest level in a hierarchy of executive capabilities that we identified during our research. Leaders at the other four levels in the hierarchy can produce high degrees of success but not enough to elevate companies from mediocrity to sustained excellence. And while Level 5 leadership is not the only requirement for transforming a good company into a great one—other factors include getting the right people on the bus (and the wrong people off the bus) and creating a culture of discipline—our research shows it to be essential. Good-to-great transformations don’t happen without Level 5 leaders at the helm. They just don’t. (Traylor, 2001)
The Level 5 leader sits on top of a hierarchy of capabilities and is, according to our research, a necessary requirement for transforming an organization from good to great. But what lies beneath? Four other layers, each one appropriate in its own right but none with the power of Level 5. Individuals do not need to proceed sequentially through each level of the hierarchy to reach the top, but to be a full-fledged Level 5 requires the capabilities of all the lower levels, plus the special characteristics of Level 5. (HBR, 2001)
Builds enduring greatness through a paradoxical combination of personal humility plus professional will.| Level 4|
Catalyzes commitment to and vigorous pursuit of a clear and compelling vision; stimulates the group to high performance standards.| Level 3|
Organizes people and resources toward the effective and efficient pursuit of predetermined objectives.| Level 2|
Contributing Team Member|
Contributes to the achievement of group objectives; works effectively with others in a group setting.| Level 1|
Highly Capable Individual|
Makes productive contributions through talent, knowledge, skills, and good work habits. |
It differs from other leadership styles as the leaders come from the grass root of the organization. Meaning, it is the leader who has grown and developed from the ground level of the organization and has gradually escalated towards the top most level. This allows an employee to go through all phases and nurture to the top level of the organization i.e. CEO level.
A few years ago in Strategy & Leadership, Michael Raynor debunked the premises on which the shareholder-first model rests, and a few months ago Michael Porter criticized the current belief that looking beyond the business is bad for business. In the January/February Harvard Business Review he argues that companies should be considering other stakeholders, and so generates economic value by creating societal value. These respected thinkers offer another answer to the question about the purpose of a business: the firm should see itself as an interdependent part of a community that consists of multiple stakeholders whose interests are integral to business success. In this view, an enterprise can be seen as a system of long-term cooperative relationships between affected parties. (Collins, 2001)
These include the firm’s managers and employees, customers and clients, investors, suppliers, the towns, states and nations where the firm is located or sells goods and services and even future generations of stakeholders. In such a system, stakeholder influence generates pressure for the organization to behave in ethical and environmentally and socially responsible ways, and in turn, this interdependency helps the firm be sustainable and resilient. This alternative approach to leadership is...