Review of The 5 Levels of Leadership by John C. Maxwell

September 26, 2012 — 2 Comments

Recently I read the book, The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential by Dr. John C. Maxwell.

5 Levels of Leadershp by John MaxwellThis is a great book which I believe will be a classic leadership book in the coming years.

The book begins with a leadership assessment to grade the reader’s current level of leadership. The assessment grades the reader’s own level of leadership (on a scale from one to five) and it also requires other people to take the same leadership assessment about the leader.

Once the reader has discovered her own level of leadership based on the scale from one to five, Dr. Maxwell then explains each of the five levels in great detail. In fact, he does not just explain what each level is, he also explains the benefits and disadvantages of each level as well as possible ways to grow to become a better leader.

The five levels are as follows:

  1. Position: It’s a great place to visit, but you wouldn’t want to live there.
  2. Permission: You can’t lead people until you like people.
  3. Production: Making things happen separates real leaders from wannabes.
  4. People Development: Helping individual leaders grow extends your influence and impact.
  5. The Pinnacle: The highest leadership accomplishment is developing other leaders to level 4.

For me, I am a level three leader: Production. I am very good at working with people to get results, accomplish goals, and do them with excellence, but I still struggle with the role of helping others to grow and become better employees.

Perhaps the thing I like most about The 5 Levels of Leadership is it helps to show leaders where they can improve. Due to Dr. Maxwell’s great description of each level, it helps readers see how they are doing in their leadership and shows areas they can improve in their leadership. This is good because Maxwell writes, “The better the leaders are in an organization, the better everyone in the organization becomes. When productivity is high, chemistry is good, morale is high, and momentum is strong, then the payoffs increase” (p. 15). Reading The 5 Levels of Leadership and working to improve yourself as a leader will not only help you, but it will help your organization as well.

Question: Have you read The 5 Levels of Leadership? If you have, what did you think?

Christopher L. Scott

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Christopher Scott is Small Groups Pastor at Rocky Hilly Community Church in Exeter, CA. He has more than ten years of experience leading volunteers, running nonprofit programs, and teaching the Bible in small group settings. He holds a bachelor's degree from Fresno Pacific University and master's degree from Dallas Theological Seminary.

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