Level 2: Lead by Permission

Definition of a Level 2 Leader: People follow you because they want to

The agenda for leaders on Level 2 isn’t preserving their position. It’s getting to know their people and figuring out how to get along with them. You can like people without leading them, but you cannot lead people well without liking them.

          John Maxwell, The 5 Levels of Leadership

Today’s post is the second 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 this series I’m going to quote Maxwell’s 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 2 – Permission

The Upside of Permission

  1. Leadership permission makes work more enjoyable
  2. Leadership permission increases the energy level
  3. Leadership permission opens up channels of communication

The Downside of Permission

  1. Permission leadership appears too soft for some people
  2. Leading by permission can be frustrating for achievers
  3. Permissional leaders can be taken advantage of

Best Behaviors on Level 2

  1. Connect with yourself before trying to connect with others
  2. Develop a people-oriented leadership style
  3. Practice the golden rule

Beliefs That Help a Leader Move Up to Level 3

  1. Relationships alone are not enough
  2. Building relationships requires twofold growth
  3. Achieving the vision as a team is worth risking the relationship

Guide to Growing Through Level 2

  1. Be sure you have the right attitude toward people
  2. Connect with yourself
  3. Understand where you’re coming from

Moving up to Level 2 is an important development in leadership because that is where the followers give their supervisors permission to lead them. People change from being subordinates to followers for the first time, and that means there is movement. Leadership always means that people are going somewhere. They aren’t static. No journey, no leadership.

Tomorrow: Level 3 – Production


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