Level 5 Leadership: The Triumph of Humility and Fierce Resolve

When I read “Build to last by Jim Colin”, I understood that what is the meaning of visionary company and how some companies move on the philosophy: preserve the core and stimulate the progress and stabilize as a visionary company.  

After few months, I read path breaking research book by Prof. Jim Colin: Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and others don’t”. I understood that what is the true sense of leadership: level 5 leadership? What is the power of simplicity? What are the meaning right human resources? Why culture of discipline is must for execution of our good plans.

Kindly link an article on Level 5 leadership written by Jon Jenkins & Gerrit Visser at imaginal.nl

Level 5 Leadership

An excerpt:

Level 1 is a Highly Capable Individual who “makes productive contributions through talent, knowledge, skills and good work habits.”

Level 2 is a Contributing Team Member who “contributes individual capabilities to the achievement of group objectives and works effectively with others in a group setting.”

Level 3 is the Competent Manager who “organizes people and resources toward the effective and efficient pursuit of predetermined objectives.”

Level 4 is an Effective Leader who “catalyzes commitment to and vigorous pursuit of a clear and compelling vision, stimulating higher performance standards.”

Level 5 is the Executive who “builds enduring greatness through a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will.”

“… But leadership is equally about creating a climate where the truth is heard and the brutal facts confronted. There’s a huge difference between the opportunity to ‘have your say’ and the opportunity to be heard. The good-to-great leaders understood the distinction, creating a culture wherein people had a tremendous opportunity to be heard and, ultimately, for the truth to be heard”- Jim Collin  

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6 Responses to “Level 5 Leadership: The Triumph of Humility and Fierce Resolve”

  1. Bo Carrington Says:

    The only part that I don’t completely agree with is the following statement:

    “Good-to-great leaders are self-effacing, quiet, reserved, and even shy – more like Lincoln and Socrates than Patton or Caesar.”

    Humility does not always mean self=effacing, quiet, reserved or shy. This is how humility is seen, but not necessarily how it truly is! The part that I believe rings truest is that L5 leaders channle their ego away from themselves and toward the people within the organization (which is the organization). In many ways, the L5 leader adopts a servant leader attitude which pervades its way throughout the organization and that is why we see the results that we do from “Good-to-Great” companies. These companies are filled with people that are there to serve each other and their customers and that can only start at the top.

    When a leader truly adopts an attitude of humility, many other things happen as a result. The planning and succession are a natural outcome from a humble leader (as defined above) because he/she is looking beyond him or herself and will ensure that something is in place to protect the organization.

    There are a lot of things that have to happen in an organization for it to be successful and then to sustain that success. With humble leaders (L5) these things happen because the leader understands the needs. With other leaders, these things can still and often do, happen, however, they happen which much different effort and long-term outcomes.

  2. gowri Says:

    I fully agree with Carrington that:
    Humility does not always mean self=effacing, quiet, reserved or shy
    .
    I particularly like the idea of a leaders ego moving away from themselves to the group.

  3. Yuvarajah Says:

    I couldn’t agree more with Carrington.

    I retired early from the military to join the corporate world thinking things would be different where results are more measurable and driven. Boy, was I in for a shocker. I work in a monopoly business where our marketing brings money from their desk and playing golf!. You can say the kind of leadership is quiet, reserved and shy.. But guess what, the culture sucks. Everyone works hard for the money at the expense of teamwork and meaning to life! Yeah, what we have is “management by distancing “!. There is a They versus Us feelings and as HR, I have the displeasure of witnessing the rot. Will this company become great. Doomed is more the case, few more years down the road.

    I feel the biggest denominator for leaders is being passionate about goals and compassion towards their people. If one is lacking then, you will never have a success story because the bottom line is the success is made possible by social contract called TEAMWORK!. Its all about being there and feeling for each other. I do not think a shy or quiet guy can make a good impact on people!. I feel leader’s need to be dynamic in varying their qualities for the occasion.

    If Collin’s research has found evidence then I would say, it could be that they had great “followers” who had the strengths to make up for their leader’s inadequacies, in making the company great. Though we recognise leaders make a diffrence, but lets not take away credit form followers, as well.

  4. Informatiewaarvooru Says:

    Well.. I don\\\’t agree.. If you look it from the other side

  5. Thaya Says:

    Well, for me the essence of the argument, when it comes to application to problem-solving, is captured in the para…

    ““… But leadership is equally about creating a climate where the truth is heard and the brutal facts confronted. There’s a huge difference between the opportunity to ‘have your say’ and the opportunity to be heard. The good-to-great leaders understood the distinction, creating a culture wherein people had a tremendous opportunity to be heard and, ultimately, for the truth to be heard”- Jim Collin ”

    Fair hearing… or an environment where individuals are fairly and judiciously heard is ultimately what is to be seen by the existence of a great leader. A lot of irrelevant, uneccessary and show-stopper issues get vanished into thin air, upon fair hearing. It an act of re-emphasizing the “I’m by your shoulder…” attitude of the leader.

  6. How to Get Six Pack Fast Says:

    Not that I’m totally impressed, but this is more than I expected for when I found a link on Digg telling that the info is awesome. Thanks.

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