The concept of Level 5 Leadership has stuck with me after reading “Good to Great” by Jim Collins. Collins researched over 1400 companies to find 11 great ones, which beat the market by 3x for a minimum of 15 consecutive years. These companies all shared leaders coined: “Level 5 Leaders”.
According to Collins all of the level 5 leaders shared five main qualities:
- Level 5 leaders are self-confident enough to set up their successors for success.
- Level 5 leaders are humble and modest.
- Level 5 leaders have “unwavering resolve.”
- Level 5 leaders show “workmanlike diligence – more plow horse than show horse.”
- Level 5 leaders give credit to others for their success and take full responsibility for poor results. They “attribute much of their success to ‘good luck’ rather than personal greatness.”
I spent a lot of time reflecting on my own leadership style on past initiatives and how I had some qualities but lacked others. In general, the level 5 leader seems to be more easily associated with a B player type of personality. Having a Type A personality, I tend to be competitive and look for opportunities to prove myself. My main takeaways are the power of having workmanlike diligence and being more of a plow horse by being humble and modest. I also liked how Level 5 leaders shielded their team by giving them credit for success but taking responsibility for poor results.