Level 5 Leadership


Truly Great: The Secret Is Exposed
“Level 5 leaders are a study in duality: modest and wilful, humble and fearless.”

‘Good To Great’, the revolutionary book authored by popular business consultant Jim Collins, redefines leadership, and explains how a truly great leader is different from an ordinary leader. The writer deserves special appreciation for his great literary. His book, which is an excellent research material, is outstanding, insightful and futuristic.

Level 5 leadership was initially introduced in a Harvard Business Review article published by the consultant in the year 2001. Later, in his book, he expanded the concept further. The idea, in no time, attained attention, and emerged as one of the most functional theories proposed in connection with leadership, exposing the downsides of the existing theories dealing with the same topic.

The research carried out by Mr. Collins as a part of the concept development process, touched every aspect of leadership, attempting to explore, in depth, all the layers connected to the concept. At least one thousand companies were monitored closely during the research process. When the process reached its final stage, around eleven of them were marked for being outstanding. The brilliant consultant shortly realised that the eleven successful ones shared one thing in common, and termed it as Level 5 leadership.

Leadership is not meant for someone who does not have courage. A good leader should hold an exceptional business acumen also. It determines his calibre to handle the crucial task of decision making. Courage and acumen alone can do no wonder. In the absence of knowledge and ability to organise, they are of little worth. A perfect leadership is the fine combination of courage, business acumen, ability to organise and knowledge.What turns Jim Collin’s research regarding leadership crucial is the fact that it proves the existence of an additional layer and introduces the concept of level 5 leadership connecting the newly discovered layer to the existing.

A level 5 leader is unique for his selfless attitude. He is the first to own up mistakes, and the last to take credit for success. As per his view, his success means his team’s success. He is against self-obsession and self-glorification, so he denounces the idea of individual accomplishment. He always loves to share credit of success with his team. What defines him is his humility. He knows very well there is nothing wrong in asking for help. It is foolishness to interpret that attitude as his weakness. In reality, it is one of his greatest strengths, apart from his qualities of humility and resolve.From level 1 to level 5, the journey of a leader is truly inspiring. It is not necessary that each step should be conquered one by one from the first to the fifth. It does not work this way. Actually, it is a simultaneous process.

A highly skilled individual, who is a great team player and an efficient manager, is a good leader. What level 5 does it to turn the good to the great. By adding the elements of humility and will into the existing is how the transformation can be done.

“Level 5 leaders channel their ego needs away from themselves and into the larger goal of building a great organisation. It’s not that level 5 leaders have no ego or self-interest. Indeed, they are incredibly ambitious but their ambition is first and foremost for the institution, not themselves.”

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