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The 5 Levels of Leadership

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The 5 Levels of Leadership

Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential

Center Street,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Understanding the “five levels of leadership” helps you climb “the pyramid of success”

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Editorial Rating



  • Applicable
  • Well Structured
  • Concrete Examples


True leadership is a lifelong journey that requires constant learning. Best-selling personal development guru John C. Maxwell shows you how to understand your current level of leadership, and how to climb to the next rank, and the next. Maxwell defines the “five levels of leadership” as “position, permission, production, people development” and “pinnacle.” He explains that to advance to higher levels, you must go beyond Level 1, where you use your position to influence others, and grow to Level 2, building relationships; Level 3, producing results; Level 4, developing your employees’ talents; and Level 5, creating future leaders. Some of his advice seems clichéd, but Maxwell provides an easy-to-understand blueprint for leadership development. getAbstract recommends his book to current and aspiring leaders in any industry.


Leadership Is a Journey

Developing as a leader is like embarking on a voyage. As you progress, you will pass through “five levels of leadership.” Climbing to each successive level involves increasing amounts of work, but as you develop, you will find leadership easier. You cannot skip any level, and as you progress to a higher level, you “never leave the previous one behind.” Although moving up takes lifelong effort and commitment, you can fall from grace with horrendous speed, so never forsake your values. The higher you ascend, the greater your fulfillment will be, particularly since you’ll earn the opportunity – at the pinnacle of leadership – to develop future leaders and build a legacy.

Level 1: “Position”

Your leadership journey begins when you gain a managerial position. Someone believed in you and gave you a higher rank with more responsibility. Your first task is to show your boss and staffers how you intend to help them succeed.

Just having a top position doesn’t mean you are a leader, though your new title may mean you have arrived in terms of status. To ensure that your company grows, expand your capabilities. Leadership based on holding a...

About the Author

John C. Maxwell’s bestselling leadership books include Talent Is Never Enough, The 360º Leader, Leadership Gold and Everyone Communicates, Few Connect.

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    S. K. 7 months ago
    The explanation to emerge as a team leader is very clear and easy to understand !
  • Avatar
    B. P. 9 months ago
    nice and useful
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    S. S. 9 months ago
    Very nice learning