The leaders of great companies are not high profile or celebrities. Instead, the CEOs of great companies are most likely to have come from somewhere inside the company and will have personalities that are a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will. And most often, they will attribute their success to good luck rather than personal greatness.
In all, Level 5 Leaders have an impressive and ferocious resolve to do whatever needs to be done to make the company great. To that end, these business leaders will do anything and everything that’s needed to generate tangible results. And that clarity of purpose is highly infectious for everyone else. So how can an organization encourage the growth of Level 5 Leaders? Keeping in mind Level 5 Leaders are characterized more by what they are than what they do, organizations can:
1: Look for situations where extraordinary results have been achieved without an individual coming forward to claim credit – because that’s where a potential Level 5 Leader is probably already quietly at work.
2: Begin practicing the other good-to-great concepts – because putting these concepts into action encourages the development process for Level 5 Leaders.
3: Avoid the temptation to look outside the organization for future leaders – and instead promote from within religiously.
4: Proceed on the basis that potential Level 5 Leaders already exist throughout the entire organization – so you should encourage personal development, mentoring, teaching opportunities and so forth.
“For your own development, I would love to be able to give you a list of steps for becoming Level 5, but we have no solid research data that would support a credible list. Our research exposed Level 5 as a key component inside the black box of what it takes to shift a company from good to great. Yet inside that black box is another black box – namely, the inner development of a person to Level 5. We could speculate on what might be inside that inner black box, but it would mostly be just that – speculation. So, in short, Level 5 is a very satisfying idea, a powerful idea, and, to produce the transition from good to great, perhaps an essential idea. A ‘Ten-Step List to Level 5’ would trivialize the concept.”
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