5 levels of leadership and ways to become great leader
The following 5 levels of leadership improvement open a clear, specific perspective on the difference between a good leader and an ordinary manager.
Jim Clifton - President and CEO of Gallup, once said: "Great employees, especially stars, will enter the company and replace their managers". This is the fundamental thinking for an employee to nurture his or her leadership ability.
So in the transition from employee to leader, what are the levels that help measure individual leadership skills?
In an article shared on Harvard Business Review, Michael C. Bush - CEO of Great Place to Work said he and his colleagues identified 5 levels of leadership ability from a separate study.
Specifically, Bush studied 75,000 employees and 10,000 managers working primarily in the US, across sectors, from retail, hospitality, manufacturing, technology, finance and healthcare. Respondents scored on the working environment as well as expressed their views on current managers.
Based on the assessments and observations of survey staff, Bush identified 5 levels of leadership distinction between a good leader and a regular manager as follows.
What are 5 levels of leadership? / ph: pexels
I. 5 levels of leadership - Level 1: No leadership intentions
People often fall into this type of leadership for many different reasons, including the reason they don't really want to be a leader. They may have done a great job so they were promoted to supervise co-workers. However, after being promoted, they are not trained more in team leadership skills.
They can also be people with excellent skills and expertise but lack human leadership skills, such as inspiring, motivating ... They can also be people having health problems, having difficulty in the family ... should not be able to go to work in the best condition.
This is the lowest level of leadership. The "indifferent leader" is often not fully aware of their impact on others and often fails to inspire and deliver confidence to the team. The staff who report directly to this group of leaders often feel like a passenger on the bus where the driver ... doesn't know where to drive. And this driver also did not tell the passenger about what was going on.
1. Manifestation of a Level 1 Leader
- Assume that "employees" and "people" are two separate concepts
- Competing in the things we don't do
- Caring too much for himself when taking on the general job
- No change after receiving negative feedback about work from colleagues
- Express your anger by raising your voice or criticizing others personally
2. How to improve?
The first change at the leadership level that needs to be made is participation in a leadership training program. In addition, they need to learn to behave in a more mature manner, making efforts to cooperate more with employees. From there, their team will relieve the feeling of fear or doubt, gradually more trust in the ability of the leader.
When the negative atmosphere of the office is gradually broken, people will focus more on their work, instead of looking forward to the end of working hours soon. The change in the working atmosphere also minimizes the need to change jobs within the company.
II. 5 levels of leadership - Level 2: Constantly changing
Level 2 leaders are people who change often, hot and cold, good bosses, hard bosses. Unlike the "Indifferent Leadership" group, the Level 2 leader often actively gives support to his teammates or does his or her part in meeting common needs.
However, similar to "Indifferent Leadership", Level 2 leaders often fail to cooperate effectively with other members, leading to many disruptions in internal communication. Because they change too often, so whether accidentally or intentionally, this type of leadership often fails to gain confidence in the plans they want to execute.
1. Manifestation of a Level 2 Leader
- Often feel like themselves are thinking too much
- Can not focus on work because of certain problems in private life
- Got a friction issue regarding some of the members in the leadership team
- There are complaints from employees in your department that spread to other departments, with super managers, or have employees quit.
- Receive warnings about not meeting your goals or need to improve your leadership skills.
2. How to improve?
For this group of leaders, to take a new step in leadership, they need to limit their actions on inspiration, regularly communicate with members inside and outside the management team, creating a feeling of participation to your team members, and periodically show how you are recognizing your teammates' contributions.
If a level 2 leader can change in this direction, the members who work with them will improve their cohesion with the company, improve productivity.
Leaders of this group often attach importance to controlling work, especially those related to the goals they have set.
They often only focus on to-do lists or on indicators measuring the performance of the job. While always leading the team in the right direction, the controlling leader does not have the vision or the style of senior leaders.
Leaders in this group are often people working on a habit, prioritizing old working principles over the benefits of applying technology to work improvement. They can be a "role model" that reflects how superiors have managed them. This leadership group is suitable for a work environment that does not give much power to middle management.
In this leadership group-led work environment, employees can confidently do their assigned tasks. This spirit is often useful for specific operations, foreseen ones. On the contrary, the employees under this leadership group will not have a voice, as well as not be flexible enough to respond to unexpected changes.
1. Manifestation of a Level 3 Leader
- Focus on completing work rather than talking and connecting with people
- Assign more than listening to the concerns or challenges the employees are facing
- Not knowing much about what's going on in the personal lives of colleagues
- Feeling like a chain in a machine operating synchronously
- Co-workers appreciate discipline compliance more than soft skills
- Described by the staff as efficient but cold-hearted
2. How to improve?
For this group of leaders, they need to stop working as an automated machine and start building skills related to connecting people. This means communicating more with subordinate employees, listening and welcoming their work solution ideas.
This group of leaders need to show how each person is contributing to the overall picture of the company. This will help employees feel being managed by an impartial person rather than a rigid machine.
IV. 5 levels of leadership - Level 4: Good Leadership
Comparing to leaders of the previous 3 levels, Level 4 leaders are consistent, open, and sincere people. They clearly define expectations in each human resource position, recognize potential mistakes, and understand that everyone has a life outside the office.
Employees often describe "Good Leadership" as being conversational, understanding and fair. Good leadership is the reason employees stay in their current jobs.
However, there is still one factor that prevents good leadership from reaching the highest levels of leadership. It's thinking you have the greatest responsibility for the organization's outcomes, instead of sharing responsibilities with the entire team. This mindset can make them feel vulnerable or uncomfortable, and open up when it comes to their work mistakes.
1. Manifestation of a Level 4 Leader
- Helping employees to develop their careers
- Become a mentor for employees
- Can chat with anyone on the team about most matters, regardless of job or personal life
- Inability to establish good relationship with a small number of people who feel inaccessible
- Have a serious sense of leadership
- Receive good performance assessments, including feedback from colleagues and direct staff
- Get promoted by a colleague because of his good management ability.
2. How to improve?
With the group "Good Leadership", to step up to the top level, good leaders do not just focus on everyday work. They need to have a longer vision into the future as well as bring members together to achieve common goals.
In addition, they also need to be able to calculate common goals so that everyone feels inspired and connected. Ultimately, level 4 leaders need to prevent ego from turning them into overbearing bosses, as well as depriving them of the joy of creating an environment for their teammates to shine through.
V. 5 levels of leadership - Level 5: The leader of people
At this level, the leader receives the love of the employees. Teams led by a level 5 leader are more successful than any other team. And stepping away from public acclaim is a common trait among leaders of this level. If you've ever heard of humble leadership, that's them.
Leadership level 5 will tend to lead from behind, creating space for teammates to work best. They treat everyone equally. Those who work with level 5 leaders tend to work hard and be led by a role model. Employees will see their leaders as sincere, ethical, and honest.
Leadership at level 5 is also often someone who is not so important. They are pleased to have employees autonomous in their work, welcome feedback and suggestions from others in their decisions.
1. Manifestation of a Level 5 Leader
- Being with smart people, connect, inspire people to develop to their full potential
- Lead a creative team and achieve results that exceed goals
- Having a team that works well together, volunteering to support each other for a common goal
- Having employees who say they love their current job
- Often being invited by employees to be mentors for them
- Helping many people grow in their careers
2. How to maintain?
Becoming a great leader is not easy. In a constantly changing business environment in terms of market demand and internal resources, in order to maintain a great leadership mindset, you need to constantly reevaluate your performance, review the success factors that your staff needs to add.
In addition, you still need to cultivate an open, flexible mindset. For many great leaders, their fulcrum is to continue learning to improve themselves through private training or meditation practice.
Hopefully the above 5 levels of leadership gave you a clearly look on the difference between a good leader and an ordinary manager.
Now let's start to do your first step to become a great leader.