Good To Great - Level 5 Leadership


Chapter 2 – Level 5 Leadership

Are you or do you aspire to be a Level 5 Leader?

Have you worked with other Level 5 leaders? 

This chapter outlines a hierarchy of leadership found in business. The leadership hierarchy is broken up into five levels; Level 5 leadership represents the best leaders who can take an organization from Good to Great.

Level 1 lays the foundation for the hierarchy with a highly capable individual; a contributing team member makes up Level 2; Level 3 evolves into a competent manager; Level 4 is classified as an effective leader; and a Level 5 executive completes the hierarchy.

Who is a level 5 Leader?

A Level 5 leader channels their egoistic desires and ambition into the pursuit of developing a great organization. Collins explains, “…their ambition is first and foremost for the institution, not themselves.”

Level 5 leaders are fanatically driven, infected with an incurable need to produce sustained results. They are resolved to do whatever it takes to make the company great, no matter how big or hard the decisions may be. Level 5 leaders are extremely diligent to their work.

Level 5 leaders also look out the window to attribute success to factors other than themselves. In instances when there was no particular person or event to credit, they frequently attribute success to luck and good fortune, rather than personal greatness. Alternatively, Level 5 leaders assume responsibility when things go poorly, maintaining accountability by metaphorically looking into the mirror.

Level 5 leaders have high standards and a strong unwavering determination to do what must be done to propel their company’s vision forward. They encourage a climate of high performance that in turn helps generate long-term results. A genuine modesty is exhibited by these leaders.  Level 5 leaders set their successors up for greater success. Contrarily, self-centered Level 4 leaders often set their successors up to fail. 

While Collins book Good to Great does not provide steps to help leaders evolve into a Level 5 executive, Chapter 2 explains who they are. 

People who have become Level 5 leaders believe that there are potential Level 5 leaders all around us and that many people have the potential to evolve into becoming a Level 5 leader.  In alignment with this New Year’s resolutions, let us work towards becoming or being better level 5 leaders.




Meet me on March 15th for a discussion of the book  'Good to Great'

Pick up a copy of February’s book  'The Goal: A process of Ongoing Improvement