Leadership is the influence of others in a productive, vision-driven direction and is done through the example, conviction, and character of the leader. (pg 7 Launching a Leadership Revolution)
I just finished rereading Launching a Leadership Revolution by Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward. This is an amazing book written by two gentlemen who definitely have fruit on the tree in the Leadership Development arena.
INC Magazine does a survey in which they determine the top 50 leadership and management experts in the world. (This includes leadership giants who have passed away) Orrin was ranked #20, and Chris was #39.
I believe this is one of the most comprehensive manuals on leadership and personal development. After reading it, I feel a little beat up by the realization just how much development I lack in both of these areas.
That’s not a self-deprecating comment. I acknowledge that in many ways my personal and leadership growth over the last few years is phenomenal, but this book explains in detail the different levels of leadership, the skills and thought process needed to master each of them, and boy oh boy do I have a lot to work on.
It’s a bit daunting to try to summarize such a monumental book as this in a short article, so I’ll just quote the first paragraph of the book’s conclusion:
The concept of the Five Levels of Influence is especially helpful for many reasons. First, it helps an individual gauge his or her own ability and understand how and where to improve. Second, it helps a leader understand where people are in terms of ability and what to do to help them develop. Third it assists a leader in evaluating the Leadership Level that exists in any portion of his or her organization.
Why is it important to lead?
I believe that each one of us was born when and where we were, with our particular interests, dislikes, passions, and personalities for a reason. All of these together make us who we are and play a big role in guiding us to our personal mission. I believe we are called to do something great. We are each meant to change the world in a significant, far-reaching way – our destiny, if you will. If we truly seek to fulfill our purpose with all our “heart, might, mind, and strength” we will have a massive, positive impact on those around us and we will experience a personal satisfaction and joy that is inaccessible through any other means.
If we fully develop our leadership qualities – our ability to influence others – our fulfilment of our destiny will leave a legacy that reaches through time to affect generations after we leave our time on earth.
The Five Levels of Influence:
These are the five levels of influence, or leadership, that Orrin and Chris explain:
- Developing Leaders
- Developing Leaders Who Develop Leaders
I see myself fighting to learn and master the attitude, thought process, and habits of the first three levels. I can see level 4 on the horizon, but I really feel that I have a lot of growing to do before I am ready to play a significant role in level 4.
But I’m excited to get there! I truly believe that I will live up to my destiny and leave a legacy. I’m sure I’ll talk about that more here in the future. I also know that I will be able to bring a lot of people with me – meaning I will play a role in helping others fulfil their personal missions.
I plan to reread this book at least once a year as I believe it will play a major role in my progress as a purpose driven leader.