What is it?
Level 5 leadership is a defnition of leadership that combines personal humility with professional will, resulting in leaders who prioritize the organization’s long-term success, build exceptional teams, and leave a lasting legacy of greatness. It is a mindset and a set of behaviors that are developed and refined by a leader over time.
Where does it come from?
Jim Collins introduced the concept of Level 5 Leadership in his book “Good to Great” to describe a specific type of leadership that is associated with the transformation of good companies into truly great ones. Level 5 Leadership represents the highest and most effective form of leadership in his research.
How does the model work?
Level 5 leadership works by combining certain key principles and behaviors that are focused on achieving long-term organizational success rather than personal gain or recognition. Here’s how it works:
1. Personal Humility: Level 5 leaders are humble individuals who are not driven by ego or the desire for personal glory. They are willing to give credit to others and don’t seek the spotlight for themselves. This humility fosters an environment of trust and collaboration within the organization.
2. Professional Will: While they are personally humble, Level 5 leaders exhibit a strong professional will. They have an unwavering commitment to achieving the organization’s goals and are willing to make tough decisions and take decisive action when necessary. This determination helps drive the organization toward greatness.
3. Focus on the Organization: Level 5 leaders prioritize the success and well-being of the organization above all else. They view themselves as stewards of the company and take responsibility for its long-term success. This perspective leads to decisions and actions that benefit the organization rather than individual interests.
4. Team Building: Level 5 leaders are skilled at building and leading high-performing teams. They understand the importance of having the right people in key positions and creating a culture of excellence. By surrounding themselves with talented individuals, they can collectively drive the organization toward greatness.
5. Enduring Legacy: Perhaps the most significant aspect of Level 5 leadership is the idea of leaving an enduring legacy. Level 5 leaders work to build an organization that can thrive even after they have moved on. They do not rely on their individual charisma or skills but instead focus on creating systems, structures, and a culture that can sustain success over the long term.
In practice, Level 5 leadership involves consistently demonstrating these principles in leadership decisions and actions. It’s not something that happens overnight but is rather a mindset and a set of behaviors that are developed and refined over time. Level 5 leaders are not necessarily born with these traits; they can cultivate them through self-awareness, personal growth, and a deep commitment to the organization’s success.
To develop level 5
- Develop humility
- Ask for help
- Take responsibility
- Develop discipline
- Find the right people
- Lead with passion