Levels of Leadership and Quotes that go with it

There are a lot of voices and opinions about what leadership is and every one of them would agree that we need high-quality leaders in today’s society.

My thinking about leadership does not add anything spectacularly new to the conversation. I am more interested in how do we get or become the high-quality leaders our world need.  Some years ago, in his classic book, “Good to Great,” Jim Collins introduced the concept of a level 5 leader as a description of a high-quality leader. This framework helped me in my thinking, and as I am sorting and clarifying the concept for myself, I would like to share some quotes as thinking points and conversation starters. Let me know what you think.

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The five levels if Leadership

Level 1: Highly Capable Individual. At this level, you make high-quality contributions with your work. You possess useful levels of knowledge, and you have the talent and skills needed to do a good job. This level is mostly inward focused on self-leadership.

Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” – Jack Welch

“Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.” –  Albert Schweitzer

Level 2: Contributing Team Member. At Level 2, you use your knowledge and skills to help your team succeed. You work effectively, productively and successfully with other people in your group

“A leadership position is one that requires many different skills. It is an activity that is sometimes hard to measure, but the results of the team will determine the leader’s success.” – Catherine Pulsifer

“Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.” – Sam Walton

Level 3: Competent Manager. Here, you’re able to organize a group efficiently to achieve specific goals and objectives.

“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want to be done because he wants to do it.” – Dwight Eisenhower

“The best leader is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants to be done, and the self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” -Theodore Roosevelt

Level 4: Effective Leader. Level 4 is the category that most top leaders fall into. Here, you’re able to galvanize a department or organization to meet performance objectives and achieve a vision.

“Average leaders raise the bar on themselves; good leaders raise the bar for others; great leaders inspire others to raise their own bar.” – Orrin Woodward

“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” – Bill Gates

Level 5: Great Leader. At Level 5, you have all of the abilities needed for the other four levels, plus you have the unique blend of humility and will that are required for real greatness.

It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership. – Nelson Mandela.

“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor but without folly.” – Jim Rohn

One of the best paradoxes of leadership is a leader’s need to be both stubborn and open-minded. A leader must insist on sticking to the vision and stay on course to the destination. But he must be open-minded during the process. – Simon Sinek

and finally, a surprising yet powerful summery:

“A leader is a dealer in hope.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

 

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This is the true joy of life

This is the true joy of life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one, the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap, the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.” – George Bernard Shaw

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I love this quote from George Bernard Shaw. It is powerful. What stands out to me is “recognized by yourself”.

In a world full of agendas. Those of government, your boss, marketing companies, friends, salespeople, to be able to recognize your own agenda is crucial.

When we don’t know what is important to us, everybody else’s “important” takes us along.

On a personal level this is true, but more so in business. Decisions made in the shadow of a definite purpose leads to business growth and it gives employees a sense of security.

It must be “mighty”

Said purpose must be “a mighty one”. Just making money is not mighty. When greed and fear born out of a scarcity mindset are allowed to be the motivators, it will lead to the illusion that making money is a good purpose. This is similar to fixating on the odometer when you want to travel a great distance. It is not smart to get all wrapped up in the measuring instrument and forget about what you want to measure. Money is the measurement of value added.

Adding value can be “a mighty” purpose.

A Business that is constantly measuring how to add more value to its customer will grow. An employee working with a mindset of “am what I doing adding value to the company,” is the one that employers are looking for.

Leaders in business need to remember this and constantly remind the people they are leading of the “big why” they are doing what they are doing. The higher purpose of a business should be like the air we breathe. Ever present.

Beware of the Hurdles

Why, one can ask, are there so few businesses with a higher purpose?

I think, mostly because it takes effort. It takes dedication and biggest of all, it takes the courage to acknowledge that the world is bigger than me.

Our immature egos are the biggest hurdle to greatness. We most often stand in our own way. The world does not revolve around us. Businesses and business owners who think this way do not last long. A man that is wrapped up in himself, makes a pretty small package.

In contrast. By recognizing that that we can play a role in the bigger world, that our business has a controbution to make outside our doors, our purpose grows in might.

The second hurdle is the lie we belief that things should be easy. Trust me, if everything was easy, you would be more unhappy than you are now. For us, to function optimally, we need a challenge. So stop complaining and embrace it when things go wrong. It is your opportunity to shine. To show off your strength.

It is up to you to “recognize” a  mighty purpose which will compliment your strengths. Something that will stretch you outside your comfort zone and facilitate the development of these strengths.

It is like the muscles in your body. The more you use it, the more it develops the bigger things you can pick up. Same is true in business. A business’ strengths are those unique solution you offer the marketplace. The problems you solve. The value you add.

So how would your life (and your business) be different if you recognise (because it is bigger than you) your “mighty” purpose and spend yourself on it?

Spending

H

 

Things to worry about

Things to worry about:

  • Worry about courage
  • Worry about Cleanliness
  • Worry about efficiency
  • Worry about horsemanship
  • Worry about…

Things not to worry about:

  • Don’t worry about popular opinion
  • Don’t worry about dolls
  • Don’t worry about the past
  • Don’t worry about the future
  • Don’t worry about growing up
  • Don’t worry about anybody getting ahead of you
  • Don’t worry about triumph
  • Don’t worry about failure unless it comes through your own fault
  • Don’t worry about mosquitoes
  • Don’t worry about flies
  • Don’t worry about insects in general
  • Don’t worry about parents
  • Don’t worry about boys
  • Don’t worry about disappointments
  • Don’t worry about pleasures
  • Don’t worry about satisfactions

Things to think about:

  • What am I really aiming at?
  • How good am I really in comparison to my contemporaries in regard to:

o   Scholarship

o   Do I really understand about people and am I able to get along with them?

o   Am I trying to make my body a useful instrument or am I neglecting it?

 

–          F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Life in Letters:

The Don’t Know Mind

“One way to encourage intuition is to enter what Korean Zen master Sueng Sahn call the “Don’t Know Mind”.

It is important to remember that in order to develop curiosity and fascination as a way of being in the world, we have to concentrate on the curiosity itself and not let ourselves get seduced into the habit of grasping for answers.

It is easy to have the illusion that understanding something will make everything better. If this was true, the smartest people would be the happiest.

Happiness involves many other factors beside knowledge.

The desire to know is a strong motivating factor in our intellectual learning. The spiritual approach is to be able to take a completely fresh view of each moment. Even when we have an answer, it is right only for its moment, because the next moment is completely new.”
– Wendy Palmer in “The Intuitive Body”

Thought I’ll share

Prospero’s Precepts

1. All beliefs in whatever realm are theories at some level. (Stephen Schneider)
2. Do not condemn the judgment of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong. (Dandemis)
3. Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider. (Francis Bacon)
4. Never fall in love with your hypothesis. (Peter Medawar)
5. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts. (Arthur Conan Doyle)
6. A theory should not attempt to explain all the facts, because some of the facts are wrong. (Francis Crick)
7. The thing that doesn’t fit is the thing that is most interesting. (Richard Feynman)
8. To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact. (Charles Darwin)
9. It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so. (Mark Twain)
10. Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong. (Thomas Jefferson)
11. All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed, second, it is violently opposed, and third, it is accepted as self-evident. (Arthur Schopenhauer)

10 Rules for Students, Teachers and Life

RULE ONE: Find a place you trust, and then try trusting it for awhile.

RULE TWO: General duties of a student — pull everything out of your teacher; pull everything out of your fellow students.

RULE THREE: General duties of a teacher — pull everything out of your students.

RULE FOUR: Consider everything an experiment.

RULE FIVE: Be self-disciplined — this means finding someone wise or smart and choosing to follow them. To be disciplined is to follow in a good way. To be self-disciplined is to follow in a better way.

RULE SIX: Nothing is a mistake. There’s no win and no fail, there’s only make.

RULE SEVEN: The only rule is work. If you work it will lead to something. It’s the people who do all of the work all of the time who eventually catch on to things.

RULE EIGHT: Don’t try to create and analyze at the same time. They’re different processes.

RULE NINE: Be happy whenever you can manage it. Enjoy yourself. It’s lighter than you think.

RULE TEN: “We’re breaking all the rules. Even our own rules. And how do we do that? By leaving plenty of room for X quantities.” (John Cage)

HINTS: Always be around. Come or go to everything. Always go to classes. Read anything you can get your hands on. Look at movies carefully, often. Save everything — it might come in handy later.

– Sister Corita Kent

Wise Choices

The decisions that shape a conscious life

When you are afraid and anxious, don’t trust the voice of fear.

When you are in a chaotic situation, find a way to bring order and calm.

When faced with an angry conflict, make no decision until the anger has subsided.

When meeting resistance to your ideas, consider the viewpoint of those who resist you.

When you are tempted to condemn someone else, see if what you hate in them is hidden away in yourself.

When you are in trouble, decide if the situation is one you should put up with, try to fix, or walk away. Having decided, act accordingly.

When you know the truth, speak up for it.

– Deepak Chopra