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One of the things you will discover while studying the book, 5 Levels of Leadership, by John C. Maxwell, is that there are different leadership levels anyone can attain. And just like every other concept or phenomenon that has different stages or levels, the 5 levels of leadership are open to anyone interested in doing what it takes to attain the highest level.

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There is a process one must pass through in order for him or her to move from level one to level two then to level three and so on. The interesting thing about this is that the process has no definite time allowed, it all depends on the individual involved and how willing he or she is to do what it takes to move through the levels. While the process is longer for some, it is shorter for others. How long it will take you to effectively master each level of leadership development and move on to the next will depend on some important factors.

Your Mindset

Your mindset plays the most important role in determining how long you are at any level of your leadership development. This is because your mindset is the beliefs you hold about your abilities. In a previous article, I wrote on the two major types of mindset – fixed and growth mindsets. When you hold a limiting or fixed mindset in your leadership, you will never bring yourself to develop your leadership while if you possess a growth mindset, you will be more open to doing what it takes to develop your leadership. So what kind of mindset to possess about leadership?

Your Attitudes

Your attitudes refer to your disposition at any given time. With a wrong attitude, you will never be able to develop your leadership. This is because leadership is about the people and no one will stick around you if your attitudes are unwelcoming. In his book, Attitude is Everything, Keith Harrell pointed out that both good and bad attitudes are able to affect people. The difference between the two is seen in the results attained.

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As one looking to develop your leadership, you must avoid at all costs such attitudes as rudeness, pessimism, unkindness, lack of patience, and so on. Work to develop more positive and empowering attitudes such as respect, optimism, kindness and empathy, patience, and so on.

Your Personal Growth And Readiness To Learn

To continue to grow as a leader, you must take your personal growth journey serious. This is because you are only as effective in your leadership as you have grown yourself to become. Oftentimes, individuals as soon as they get started in one leadership position, settle down at the level, thinking they have arrived. They stop improving and growing themselves.

John C. Maxwell summarizes the need for continuous personal growth as a leader when he posited that,

If you want to lead, you must grow. The only way to improve an organization is to grow and improve the leaders. If you want to make an impact, start with yourself. The leaders who do the greatest harm to an organization are the ones who think they have arrived.

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Once they receive the title or position they desire, they stop growing. They stop innovating. They stop improving. They rest on their entitlements and clog up everything…. To be an effective leader, you must believe that the leadership position you receive is merely an invitation to grow. If you do that and become a lifetime learner, you will continually increase your influence over time. And you will make the most of your leadership potential, no matter how great or small it might be.

Check out these posts for tips on how to begin improving your leadership today

Concluding Thoughts

Leadership development is a journey. When you get started on it, you do not continue automatically. You need to choose to continue and you need to choose to do the right things that will make you improve your leadership. The three factors outlined in this post will always play great roles in your leadership journey, so always keep them in mind.

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This article was first published on 12th May 2022


Ifegwu-Mbonu Victor is a Personal Growth and Leadership Trainer who provides training and coaching to individuals and organizations.

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