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Effective Leadership Includes Growth

Leaders are found in all areas of life: parent, teacher, soccer coach, volunteer coordinator, executive director or CEO.


Over the course of a decade, I transitioned from being a small cog of corporate machinery to taking on leadership roles. My leadership journey began as an engineering manager at The Eldred Company, and from there, my hats included marketing manager, general manager, and eventually became the president.


Along the way, I faced numerous challenges, built relationships,  learned from my mistakes, and sought guidance from wise mentors. Effective leadership is about growth; personal growth, growth of the people you lead and growth toward a common goal, vision or mission.


In The 5 Levels of Leadership, John Maxwell explains how a leader’s personal growth increases their effectiveness.


Level 1 – Position – is the entry level. Anyone can be appointed to the position. I was appointed to the position of engineering manager. The position does not result in influence. Volunteers know they don’t have to follow anyone. They only follow if they want to. This is the level a leader begins investing in their personal growth.


Level 2 – Permission – is relationship based. At this level, people choose to follow you because they want to. Permission leaders get to know their people and connect with them. By valuing individuals, you begin to develop influence over them. Trust grows.


Level 3 – Production – is getting things done. Leaders know how to motivate people to get things done. When you produce results, it builds your influence and credibility. More than your relationship, people follow you because of your track record.


Level 4 – People Development – is summed up as reproduction. You are identifying and developing other leaders by investing in them and helping them grow. With more leaders, more of the organization’s mission can be accomplished. People follow you because you invested in them.


Level 5 – Pinnacle – develop Level 5 organizations. Leaders invest in themselves and in the lives of others. They create Level 5 organizations by turning good organizations into great ones. They may transcend their position, organization and sometimes their industry. They are ambitious and their focus is for the cause, not themselves.


Effective leaders take a personal interest in the long-term development of their employees, and they use tact and other social skills to encourage employees to achieve their best. It isn’t about being “nice” or “understanding”—it’s about tapping into individual motivations in the interest of furthering an organization wide goal.     - W.C.H. Prentice


When I left Eldred, I was at Level 2, striving to attain Level 3. I've continued to learn and grow over the past 2 decades, focusing on developing others to increase their leadership effectiveness.


Leadership is about growth


your relationships,

your productivity,

your people and

the cause.


Reflect on your personal leadership growth.

What level have you attained?

How are you striving to reach the next level?

Wes Legg

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