Five Levels of Leaders

BY JIM COLLINS - 2016-07-15

Jim Collins classifies leaders into five levels. A Level 1 leader is a highly capabl individual. He plays an important role in the success of his organization through his own talent, knowledge, skills, and good work habits. A level 2 leader is a contributing team member. He i very good at working with his team meets its assigned objectives, and fulfills the core purpose. A Level 3 leader is a competent manager. He is skilled at organizing people and resources towards the effective and effecient pursuit of organizational objectives. A level 4 leader is an effective leader. He sets high performance standards. He is remarkable at motivating his people and leading them single-mindedly towards realizing his vision for the organization. A Level 5 leader transforms the organization into a great institution. He epitomizes personal humility and fierce professional will. the five levels are shown in below figure.

The Level 5 Leader

According to Jim collins, there are some significant differences between a Level 4 leader and a Level 5 leader is highly ambitious for the success of his company. He wants his to company to succeed irrespective of his presence at the helm. for example, Sam Walton, a Level 5 leader, had a unique and charismatic personality. When he was suffering from cancer in 1992, everybody wondered what would happen to Wal-Mart once Sam Walton was gone. But Sam Walton wanted to prove that his company was bigger than himself. He wanted to show that the company would be equally successful even when it was not headed by a charismatic leader like him. He chose David Gloss, who was not a charismatic personality, to succeed him. The company continued to be great even after its founder was no longer its head.

The Level 4 Leader

In contrast to a Level 5 leader, a Level 4 leader is not very concerned about the greatness of the company once he is no longer in charge. Lee Iacocca, for example, is usually considered a level 4 leader. A Level 4 leader ensures a high level of performance during his tenure, but does not care about the performance of the organization after he has left. A Level 4 leader is often more bothered about his personal greatness than the company's greatness.

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Acknowlegement: Leadership and Change Management book

Gemba Kaizen