Level 5 Leadership

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Jim Collins creates a sort of guideline for companies that are mediocre or have had mediocre performances who want to make the leap to becoming a great company. The way Collins came up with these guidelines is by studying 11 great companies that were selected from a list of Forbes 500 companies and deemed great companies using a criteria created by Collins' research team. These 11 companies were than each compared to a company in the same industry with similar resources but who did not perform as well as the "great" companies in the 15 year time span in which the companies were studied. Collins was able to create the flywheel concept out of his studies which is broken down into 6 parts. The one that is the focus of this paper is the level 5 leadership. Through the study of the "great" companies and through comparison with other companies, one of the major factors of the success of those companies was the type of leadership in place in the company. It takes a leader with two characteristics to lead a truly great company to that success and those are: personal humility and professional will.

The way a company can truly be great is by utilizing a level 5 leader who exemplifies the qualities that Jim Collins describes in his book, Good to Great. A leader is at his or her best when they are able to challenge the workers in the company and to inspire them by the way they lead. What is different about the level 5 leader that Collins describes is in the paradox of it all. A leader is quiet, laid back, almost to the point of being considered shy yet at the same time there is this incredible drive to be the best not for the sake of oneself but because that is what is best for the company. The leader is put in that position of the company to shake things up and change the company culture but the leader does not have to be some hot shot from a different company here to save the day. No, this leader is from within the company, he knows everything there is to know about the...
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