Level 1: Lead by Position

Definition of a Level 1 leader: People follow you because they have to

Positional leadership is based on the rights granted by the position and the title. Nothing is wrong with having a leadership position. Everything is wrong with using a position to get people to follow. Position is a poor substitute for influence.

          John Maxwell, The 5 Levels of Leadership

 Today’s post is the first of a series of five that takes a closer look at John Maxwell’s latest book, The 5 Levels of Leadership. As indicated in the introduction to this series, “5 Levels” has been five years in the making. I’ve been in leadership development in ChurchWorld for over 30 years – and I’ve been looking for a resource like this.

To whet your appetite and convince you to drop everything and get your own copy today, over the next five days I’m going to quote the top 3 points in each of five sections for each of the 5 Levels. In math shorthand, that’s 3 x 5 x 5. The product of that equation is a leadership development gold mine for you!

Level 1 – Position

The Upside of Position

1.       A leadership position is usually given to people because they have leadership potential

2.       A leadership position means authority is recognized

3.       A leadership position is an invitation to grow as a leader

The Downside of Position

1.       Having a leadership position is often misleading

2.       Leaders who rely on position to lead often devalue people

3.       Positional leaders feed on politics 

Best Behaviors on Level 1

1.       Stop relying on position to push people

2.       Trade entitlement for movement

3.       Leave your position and move toward your people 

Beliefs That Help a Leader Move Up to Level 2

1.       Titles are not enough

2.       People – not position – are a leader’s most valuable asset

3.       A leader doesn’t need to have all the answers

Guide to Growing through Level 1

1.       Thank the people who invited you into leadership

2.       Dedicate yourself to leadership growth

3.       Define your leadership

Position is a good starting place – but great leaders are not content to stay there. Moving up from Level 1 to Level 2 requires the greatest personal change from a leader. It requires a change of beliefs and attitudes toward other people and leadership. But here’s the truth: once you decide to include others in the leadership journey, you are well on your way to achieving success at the other levels.

Tomorrow: Level 2 – Permission


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s