Several years ago I purchased and read John Maxwell’s book, The Five Levels of Leadership. The essence of that book is worth sharing with anyone who desires to increase the quality of his/her leadership whether in the home, in the church, at work, or in the community. It is not the title of leadership that makes one an effective leader; it is the strength of relationships that enables one to lead effectively.

True leadership isn’t a matter of having been given a certain job or title. In fact, being chosen for a position is only the first of the five levels every effective leader achieves. To become more than “the boss” who people follow only because they are required to, you have to master the ability to invest in people and inspire them to move beyond status quo. A leader is one who takes others where they would not go on their own. If they would, they would not need a leader.

To grow further in your role, you must achieve results and build a team of others who produce. You need to help people to develop their skills to become leaders in their own right. And if you have the skill and dedication, you can reach the pinnacle of leadership – where experience will allow you to extend your influence beyond your immediate reach and time for the benefit of others.

The 5 Levels of Leadership are:


  1. Position – People follow because they have to.
  2. Permission – People follow because they want to.
  3. Production – People have respect and follow because of what you have done for the organization.
  4. People Development – People follow because of what you have done for them personally.
  5. Pinnacle – People follow because of who you are and what you represent.


It is character, authenticity, trustworthiness, passion for others, and absence of pride that fashions a person to become one who is respected and safe to follow anywhere.


Dean Hammond


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