The 5 Levels Of Leadership Lunch & Learn PDF Free Download

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Overview Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5

HUGE shoutout to John Maxwell for all of this valuable information. I have been on a strong leadership kick lately, and Maxwell has been my guy. If you are looking to build a culture of supercharged leadership in your organization, this mini course is perfect for you! Let’s get rolling.

Leadership is not a noun. It’s a verb. It’s action. It’s moving.

If we can understand the levels of leadership, and how to advance through them, we can expand our influence and effectiveness.

To lead well, you must embrace your need for continual improvement, and the 5 Levels provide a leadership GPS to help you with your journey. You must know where you are, to know where you’re going. The 5 Levels at a Glance: Level 1: Position—Learning to. The 5 Levels of Leadership Summary The 5 Levels of Leadership Guide Level 3: Results-Based Leadership Level 3 separates the movers and shakers from the fakers. Maxwell writes that a title and good relationships can only take you so far; production is what truly begins to separate you from the rest of the pack.

Starting Question: Who do you influence??

REMEMBER: leadership is influence. You may have few or no people reporting to you, but you still have influence!

  • Leadership Advice. Leadership is influence and everybody has influence, therefore, everyone is a leader in one form or another. When you learn about leadership, you increase your ability to lead people successfully; There are five levels to leadership, John talks more about this in his book, The 5 Levels of Leadership.
  • Number five for me, is really about your leadership legacy. When you begin thinking about Level Five in The 5 Levels of Leadership, John calls it the Pinnacle Level, and I like to use the word Legacy Level, and it kind of ties into this, it’s about where your focus begins solely on developing other leaders, always. There’s no start, no end.
  • True leadership isn't a matter of having a certain job or title. In fact, being chosen for a position is only the first of the five levels every effective leader achieves.In this 12-session training curriculum, leadership guru John Maxwell teaches participant the five stages of leadership and explains how to maximize each one to become more influential, respected and successful:Position.

Level 1 Leadership- Position

People follow because they have to.

  • Entry leadership level.
  • This is where everyone starts, but you don’t have to stay at this level for long. (Please don’t! lol!!)

Keyword: RIGHT

  • I have rights… so you have to follow me.
  • If you are at this level, you may be a boss, but you probably aren’t a leader… YET.

Individuals at level one are usually given a position, which doesn’t qualify them as a leader. A position does not make you a leader. To put this into perspective I like to ask this question: Have you ever had a shitty work manager?

Most people answer, YES!!

Well, they were a level one leader.

Unfortunately, if you are at this level, people will ONLY follow you within the stated boundaries of your authority!

The 5 Levels Of Leadership Lunch & Learn PDF Free Download
  • This is the ONLY level that does not require ability and effort to achieve.
  • ANYONE can be appointed a position.
  • It is a fine starting point. But every leader should aspire to grow beyond this level.
  • This is the place where you begin to shape and define your leadership.
  • You begin to work on yourself as a leader and define who you are.

Level one leaders have subordinates, not team members. In order to control their people, they rely on:

  • Rules
  • Regulations
  • Policies
  • Organization

The Downside:

The people who follow you will give you the least amount of their energy and effort. If they are following you because they have to, and that is what they have to do to get their paycheck, they will always give you the very least of their time, ability, effort and mind.

People don’t like to follow others because they HAVE to.

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You can always tell a level one leadership company or culture.

  • Quitting time is at 5pm.
  • Everyone clears their desk at 4:30, because there is only 30 minutes until the highlight of their day.
  • They are already starting the countdown because they want nothing to impeded their progress to leave the building.

You may have wondered: why am I not getting the best out of my people??

The answer is: Because they are only following you because you have a title!

Let’s get to level 2 as quickly as possible.

NOW we shift from rules to relationships.

Level 2 Leadership- Permission:

People follow because they want to.

  • This level is the first real step into leadership, when you learn to function on this level, everything starts to change. Your people will do MORE than merely comply with orders.


This is the point where your people actually start to follow you, and they do so because they WANT to follow you!! YAY!

So why this sudden change in attitude? Because you are influencing them with relationship, not just position!

  • People begin to work together when they feel:
    • Liked
    • Valued
    • Cared for
    • Included
    • And trusted

This can change the entire working environment.

Key: Be Likeable- People go along with the leaders they get along with.

I am always amazed to find people who have leadership positions and responsibilities, despite the fact that they aren’t likable. It’s tough being in the people business when people don’t like you! Focus on being likable. Read books on relationships and interacting with others, and most importantly, learn how to love yourself first.

Level 2 Relational Leaders do 3 things extremely well:

  • Listen

    • They lead by listening to their people.
  • Observe
    • They are conscious about where and what their people are doing.
  • Learning
    • They have an attitude of servanthood. They know how to serve, learn while they serve, and they love to serve.
    • It’s a mindset, a culture.

Master relationships: The ability to get along with people.

Level 3 Leadership- Production:

People follow because of what you have done for the organization.

Keyword: RESULTS

This level qualifies & separates true leaders from those who merely occupy leadership positions.

  • Good leaders get results. They make things happen.
  • At this level you are starting to bring home the bacon.
  • You are becoming effective as a leader because you produce.

The best thing that you can do is: produce by example.

  • Be the example in how to be effective and productive.
  • People do what people see!
    • Too many leaders are like travel agents, sending people where they have never been themselves.
    • Instead, you want to be a tour guide. Come along and follow me.
    • Your Leadership will gain credibility because you are modeling things that your followers want to see.

You are now becoming productive in your life, and you are starting to attract productive people. YAS!!

Remember: We attract who we are. Not who we want.

Let’s talk a little bit about recruiting here. I always love to ask: What kind of person you are looking to bring into your business?

  • Write down a list of qualities that you are looking for.
    • NOW, take a hard look at yourself and ask, do I possess these qualities? Am I practicing these qualities in my day to day?
    • This is extremely important because: Who you are as a leader, is who you will attract onto your team.


Level 3 is truly awesome, because this is the first level that you can experience momentum.

When you really start to grow and develop, you get momentum which is a leaders best friend. It is the great exaggerator.

  • It becomes easier to grow and easier to lead.
  • Momentum is a problem solver. It takes care of a lot of your problems: If you can create momentum in your organization, it will solve 80% of your problems.

Emphasis is on personal and corporate productivity.

  • The ability to create a high productivity team, department, or organization indicates a higher level of leadership than most others will ever display.
  • Level Threes can make a significant impact on an organization.
  • They are productive individually, but they are also able to help the team produce.

No one can fake level 3.

Either you are producing for the organization and adding to it’s bottom line, or you’re not. Some people never make it to level 3, because they can’t produce results.

  • It’s usually because they lack:
    • Self discipline
    • Work ethic
    • Organization
    • Or skills to be productive.

If you desire to go to higher levels of leadership, you simply have to produce.

Level 4 Leadership- People Development:

The 5 levels of leadership lunch & learn pdf free. download full

People follow because of what you have done for them personally.

  • This is the level of people development.
  • This is what I live for. What I strive for. What excites me.


  • Empower people and they will reproduce themselves.
  • At this level, you begin to commit yourself to develop the people in your organization.
  • How do you grow a company? Grow the people.

At this level, you will increase the capacity of what you can do and what you can accomplish.

  • Now we are reaching the upper levels of leadership.

To reach this level and gain the ability to create elite organizations, leaders must transition from producers to developers. WHY?? Because people are any organizations most appreciable asset.

  • To help others grow into leaders, Level 4’s invest:
    • Time
    • Energy
    • Money
    • Thinking

How does this emphasize on people and translate into action?

  • Level 4s shift their focus from: The production achieved by others – to – The development of their potential.
  • They put 20% of their focus on personal productivity, and 80% into developing and leading others.

This can be a difficult shift for highly productive people who are used to getting their hands dirty, but it’s a change that can revolutionize an organization and give it a much brighter future.

3 thoughts on developing people:

1. Recruitment

  • The key to developing leaders is in recruitment.
  • The better the recruit, the better results you can have with them.
  • 80% of your success of equipping people to be successful depends on who you bring in.

This is extremely important: If you don’t have a clear picture of who you are looking for, you won’t know when you see it.

  • People say I am looking for some leaders, and I ask well what does your leader look like? Paint a picture.
  • You have to have a clear picture. And you have to be an example of the picture that you paint.

2. Positioning.

  • The ability to bring the right person in, AND put them in the right places.

Successful people always position themselves well, they find their strengths and stay in their sweet spot. They also discover what they are good at. However, successful LEADERS discover what OTHER people are good at.

  • Successful leaders position other people well.

At level four the leader is always observing their people… watching. They recruit well, position well, and equip well.

3. Equipping

  • Once you understand what a person’s strengths are, you can equip and develop them.
  • Train them.

5 Step equipping process

Step One: I do it.

  • You can’t teach someone what you can’t do yourself. You have LIVE what you teach.

Step Two: I do it and you are with me.

  • We are going to spend time together.
  • Observe me in different situations
  • See what works
  • Ask me questions

Step Three: Now you do it and I am with you.

  • Now I am watching and tweaking you.
  • I am helping you to get better. Really fine tuning you.

Step Four: You do it. You just do it. You don’t need me anymore. You do it and do it well.

Step Five: You do it and someone is with you. You haven’t trained and equipped someone until they can do it themselves.

  • You have now trained somebody who has trained somebody.
  • We don’t train anyone unless they make a commitment to train someone else.

The 5 Levels Of Leadership Lunch & Learn Pdf Free Download Pdf

This is a beautiful level to be on.

Level 5 Leadership- The Pinnacle:

People follow because of who you are and what you represent.


  • You have done it so well, with so many, for so long, that people just absolutely follow you.
  • They follow you because of who you are.
  • Because of what you have done.
  • They have a great amount of respect for you.

It takes a long time to get here. It’s a long journey.

  • Leadership is always ongoing, learning, growing process.

Leadership at this level is a culmination of leading well on the other four levels.

  • It requires a high degree of skill, and some amount of natural leadership ability.
  • It takes a lot to be able to develop other leaders so that they reach level 4; and that is what level 5’s do.
  • The people who reach this level lead so well, for so long, that they create a legacy of leadership in the organization that they serve.
  • Level 5’s stand out from everyone else.
  • They bring success with them wherever they go.

Leadership at this level lifts the entire organization, and creates an environment that benefits everyone in it. This contributes to the leaders success.

  • Level 5 leaders often possess influence that transcends their organization and industry
  • Most leaders who reach this stage do so later in their careers.

But this isn’t a place for leaders to stop and view their success!

  • It is a reproducing place, from which they make the greatest impact of their lives.
  • That is why leaders who reach the pinnacle should make the most of it while they can, with gratitude and humility:
    • Lift up as many leaders as they can
    • Tackle as many great challenges as possible
    • Extend their influence to make a positive difference beyond their own organization and industry.

Now you are probably asking what level you are on…

You are going to discover that you aren’t on the same level with everyone.

  • You are on different levels with different people.

Here is your assignment:

  • Take the people that you lead, put their names down, ask yourself a simple question
  • What level am I on with this person? Do your best to put a number there, it isn’t an exact science but do your best.
  • After you know what level you are on with each of your people, you will know how to lead them.

Remember: Whenever you try to cast vision with your people:

The 5 Levels Of Leadership Lunch & Learn Pdf Free Download Free

  • They see you through the five levels grid.
  • A person who sees you as level 1 sees you entirely different than a person on level 4.
  • Understand that you will get different reactions from different levels.
  • Take the notes. Study them. Begin to be a student of the five levels of leadership.

I truly hope you enjoyed this mini course on the Five Levels of Leadership.

Remember: Leadership is influence. It always has been and it always will be…Only you have the power to increase that influence.

Check out our in depth training for every level:

Overview Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5

A business executive. A softball coach. A classroom teacher. A volunteer coordinator. A parent.

Whether you’re one of these things or all of these things, one thing remains true:

You are a leader.

But where are you on your leadership journey, and where do you go from here? Over my years of teaching about leadership, that question exists at the heart of so many leaders. Everyone wants to know where they stand and how to get to the next level. And you are probably no different!

That’s why I developed the 5 Levels of Leadership paradigm in my book, Developing the Leader Within You, and then expanded it in my book, The 5 Levels of Leadership. I wanted to help leaders understand and increase their effectiveness. And while there is more to this teaching than space in this blog, today I want to offer a general overview of the 5 Levels as a reminder that you are still on your way as a leader – and so am I! So feel free to bookmark this page or print it out as a quick guide for your journey as a leader.



Level 1 — Position

The lowest level of leadership—the entry level, if you will—is Position. It’s the only level that requires no ability or effort to achieve. After all, anyone can be appointed to a position! While nothing is wrong with having a leadership position, everything is wrong with relying only on that position to get people to follow. That’s because it only works if you have leverage (such as job security or a paycheck) over your followers. At Level 1, people only follow if they believe that they have to.

People who remain on the position level may find it difficult to work with volunteers. Why? Because position does not automatically result in influence, and volunteers are aware that they don’t have to follow anyone. They truly only follow if they want to.

The 5 Levels Of Leadership Lunch & Learn Pdf Free Download Windows 10

But the news is not all bad about this level. It is a prime place for you to begin investing in your growth and potential as a leader. Use your time at this level learning to lead yourself – through priorities and self-discipline – and you’ll be ready to move to the next level.

Level 2 — Permission

Level 2 is based on relationship. At this level, people choose to follow because they want to. In other words, they give the leader Permission to lead them. To grow at this level, leaders work on getting to know their people and connecting with them. You can’t lead without people, which means you need to learn to like people if you want to lead well!

When you like people and treat them as individuals who have value, you begin to develop positive influence with them. Trust grows, which usually leads to respect. And the environment becomes much more positive—whether at home, on the job, at play, or while volunteering. Level 2 is where solid, lasting relationships are built that create the foundation for the next level.

The 5 Levels Of Leadership Lunch & Learn Pdf free. download full

Level 3 — Production

The best leaders know how to motivate their people to GTD – get things done! And getting things done is what Level 3 is all about. On this level, leaders who produce results build their influence and credibility. People still follow because they want to, but they do it because of more than the relationship. People follow Level 3 leaders because of their track record.

The Production level is where leaders can become change agents. Work gets done, morale improves, profits go up, turnover goes down, and goals are achieved. The more you produce, the more you’re able to tackle tough problems and face thorny issues. Leading and influencing others becomes fun, because when everyone is moving forward together, the team rises to another level of effectiveness.

It’s important to note here that the goal with the 5 Levels is not to move away from one level to grow at a new level. Instead, these 5 levels of leadership build upon each other. In other words, Level 3 leaders still need to do the things that make Level 2 happen. They just add Level 3 strategies to the mix. And as they become effective at Level 3, they are ready to layer on the goals of the next levels.

Level 4 — People Development

Level 4 can be summed up in one word: reproduction. Your goal at this level is to identify and develop as many leaders as you can by investing in them and helping them grow.

The reason is simple: When there are more leaders, more of the organization’s mission can be accomplished. The people you choose to develop may show great potential for leadership, or they may be diamonds in the rough, but the main idea is the same: When you invest in them, you can reproduce yourself.

The more you raise up new leaders, the more you will change the lives of all members of the team. As a result, people will follow you because of what you’ve done for them personally. And as an added bonus, some of those mentoring relationships are likely to last a lifetime.

So to grow at the people development level, you need to make investing in leaders a priority, and take intentional steps every day to help them grow. Do that consistently, for long enough, and you may begin to reap the rewards of the next level.

Level 5 — Pinnacle

The highest level of leadership is also the most challenging to attain. It requires longevity as well as intentionality. You simply can’t reach Level 5 unless you are willing to invest your life into the lives of others for the long haul. But if you stick with it, if you continually focus on both growing yourself at every level, and developing leaders who are willing and able to develop other leaders, you may find yourself at the Pinnacle.

The commitment to becoming a Pinnacle leader is sizeable, but so are the payoffs. Level 5 leaders develop Level 5 organizations. They create opportunities other leaders don’t. They create a legacy in what they do. People follow them because of who they are and what they represent. In other words, their leadership gains a positive reputation. As a result, Level 5 leaders often transcend their position, their organization, and sometimes their industry.

There’s so much more I’d love to tell you, but let me leave you with this. Leadership is about growth – for yourself, your relationships, your productivity, and your people. To lead well, you must embrace your need for continual improvement, and the 5 Levels provide a leadership GPS to help you with your journey. You must know where you are, to know where you’re going.

Otherwise, as the Cheshire Cat told Alice, when you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.

For more in-depth teaching on The 5 Levels of Leadership, read my 2011 book on the subject. Or learn from one of my expert facilitators at a workshop in your area.