Five Levels of Leadership

In my blog for this month, I wanted to share with you concepts from a book that I am currently re-reading.  Given that time at work is often lengthy, and time with family is precious, to devote time to reading is something I consciously have to commit to and, in that context, to “re-read” something is an indication that either (a) I feel I missed something first time around, (b) its contents need re-visiting in the light of the circumstances I am working in at that time or (c) both (a) and (b)!

I first read John Maxwell’s “Five Levels of Leadership” last year as I prepared to make the step away from direct school leadership in my capacity as Principal at John Taylor High School, and become exclusively CEO of John Taylor Multi-Academy Trust.  I’ve read one of his early works “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” and found it a valuable summary and guide, and so became drawn to this book as it seemed to chime with my situation.

Below you can see the five levels:

Maxwell profiles the opportunities, skills sets, and drawbacks of operating on each level, and enables the reader to self- and peer-assess where they reside within the hierarchy.  As I reflected on this personally, there was also an inescapable need to consider the leaders I have worked for and alongside – from the truly inspirational to the utterly positional!

In a survey conducted several years ago, Hay McBer indicated that school leadership was attributable for 81% of a school’s success or otherwise.  With it being of such importance, we all owe it to our schools and their communities to be the best we can be, and encourage others to be the best they can be too.

I would recommend this to anyone interested in charting their own leadership journey – past, present and future – and to all who see leadership, as Maxwell describes it, as “an opportunity to serve, as opposed to turf to be guarded.”

Thanks for reading.