Becoming a Level 5 leader will take time, effort and most of all a passion for leadership. While there is no predetermined length of time to become a level 5 leader it can and will happen. Here are some behaviors to think about and work towards implementing.
The most important trait of a level 5 leader is humility. Humility is defined as having a modest or low view of one’s importance. It makes sense for this to be the most important trait since being a leader is caring more about those you lead than you care for yourself.
You have to understand on a deep and emotional level why arrogance and self-importance is so damaging to the success of a leader. A leader that portrays these behaviors is destructive and usually unable to propel themselves much less their team forward. Since they aren’t able to move the team forward they are rarely able to move the business forward.
The easiest way to start behaving in a humble way is to give credit to your team for successes they achieve and always take responsibility for when things go wrong. It sounds easy doesn’t it? Yet I continue to witness leaders blaming failures on their team and claiming credit for when something goes right because they “coached” them or have been “working” with them on that. This cycle repeats, but usually at some point I ask if they documented these performance issues, to which the reply is often “no I need to do that”.
Asking for help is another way to reach level 5 leadership. For some reason, people view asking for help as a weakness when it is actually a sign of strength. When you ask for help you are capitalizing on someone’s expertise in an area that you aren’t as well versed in. The end result of receiving that help would be that your team and organization will win faster.
Develop discipline. As a leader you will face many obstacles on your journey to realize your vision. No matter how difficult things get you must remain committed to the course you have set. When your heart is telling you that a certain path is the right one don’t become dissuaded and allow fear to become your driving motivator to change a decision.
Surround yourself with the right people, in the right jobs at the right time. Your team should compliment each others strengths and weaknesses as well as your own. Some people like to hire dumber than they are but the best practice is to hire smarter than you are. The benefits of hiring people smarter than yourself are that you, your team and the organization will achieve high performance. Strengths and weaknesses will be cohesive and there will be knowledge transfer occurring so that each team member grows.
You have to have passion for what you do and you have to show it. If you are able to demonstrate that you love and believe in what you are doing, your team will surely follow you towards your vision. If they don’t see that passion or feel you don’t believe in what you trying to accomplish they are likely to not work as hard to help you achieve it.
These are but a few of the ways that you can demonstrate and achieve level 5 leadership. Start working on mastering these traits right away. Soon you will look up and realize that you have made it to level 5.
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