Leaders and Their People

Leadership Notes from John Maxwell
May 8, 2013
Beyond your Job Title
May 21, 2013


In a previous post, I referenced the 5 levels of leadership by John C. Maxwell and I encourage you to look it up not only because it’s a useful tool, but because Maxwell captures something that relates so well what it takes to lead real people.

For my own personal study and growth, I have been delving seriously in to the idea of leadership and will be exploring this here on the blog in the coming weeks. As I have done my own study, I have been reviewing beneficial, popular, and my own favorite books on leadership. In doing so, I have noticed something that to me is helpful  and I hope you may find it useful as well.

Patrick Lencioni’s outstanding work on teams, made popular through his book the Five Dysfunctions of a Team affirms Maxwell’s five levels of leadership. In fact, you may find it a helpful exercise to lay the two models next to each other. This is something I have done recently and here are a few notes:

*As a leader, you will have to rise above simply leading by title to build the kind of team that will yield results. Maxwell calls this Level 2 or Permission and as Lencioni notes that the foundational level of a team is that of trust, I believe it’s difficult to establish a functional team with level 1 leadership.

*High performance teams must have level 3 leaders at a minimum and Maxwell calls this level “Production”. So, for the team to reach higher, leaders must also be growing and going higher. If the leader doesn’t grow, the functional aspects of a team will stagnate.

*As I lay Lencioni’s 5 dysfunction’s next to Maxwell’s 5 levels of leadership, I also notice that level 4 leaders should see healthy teams multiply under their influence. In other words, “people development” (see Maxwell), should lead to an increased number of functional teams (see Lencioni).

This final point can be illustrated in the sporting world where head coaches have developed other head coaches and as a result, winning teams have been multiplied. This can also be seen in healthy churches and to me the best example has been in London, England where Dick Lucas trained up his leadership and not only has there been strong leadership for a long time at St. Helen’s Church at Bishopsgate, but many other churches have been planted and despite the retirement of Lucas a couple decades ago, the church continues to expand. Their leadership development scheme is complemented by the work of the Proclamation Trust that continues to develop ministry leaders.

If you know of corporate examples or any other examples where Level 4 leaders are helping not only other people to grow, but entire teams to become functional and effective, please let me know via twitter @bomwhite or connect on this site. I will continue on with this in the next post by looking more closely at leadership traits.



The Lencioni Model Expressed

from Wikipedia under the book’s title:

“According to the book, the five dysfunctions are:

  • Absence of trust—unwilling to be vulnerable within the group
  • Fear of conflict—seeking artificial harmony over constructive passionate debate
  • Lack of commitment—feigning buy-in for group decisions creates ambiguity throughout the organization
  • Avoidance of accountability—ducking the responsibility to call peers on counterproductive behavior which sets low standards
  • Inattention to results—focusing on personal success, status and ego before team success”

The Lencioni Model Explained




Share My Post

Comments are closed.