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The 5 Levels of Leadership Bliss

        posted by , April 09, 2013

What does it mean to be a great leader?

You might be surprised that many of the great leaders of history, such as Napoleon, weren't actually very sophisticated leaders. Sure they got results in the situation. However, they did it with primitive leadership techniques that wouldn't work in an advanced modern society.

The 5 point leadership scale defines the fundamental rules of teamwork. Most modern leaders never get beyond level 2.

0. Paper Leadership

Your job title says that you're the leader but you don't have the social influence that's characteristic of leadership.

Your team lives in a state of anarchy — drifting in fun filled confusion.

1. Mushroom Leadership (Fear and Loathing)

You're a mushroom manager. You keep your team in the dark and throw manure on them.

You can control people by manipulating their fears. Your team intensely dislike you, they dislike each other and they dislike everything. They're completely disengaged.

You run the risk of being dramatically overthrown. Your team isn't productive. They're prone to passive aggressive behavior (they secretly sabotage your best laid plans).

2. Empowered Team (I'm Smart, You're Dumb)

You lead by example and your team fully respects you. They follow you because they buy in to your leadership and vision. You support your team members to become leaders themselves.

Everyone on your team is empowered but they don't cooperate with each other. In other words, your fail to create a culture of teamwork.

Your team all go off in their own individual directions. Productivity happens but office politics is a major distraction.

3. Pride Team (We're Smart, You're Dumb)

Your team fully cooperate with each other. Office politics aren't a distraction. Your team is happy, engaged, creative and productive.

Your team spirit is high but you lack a culture of community or global cooperation.

Your team refuses to cooperate with other teams. Anyone who isn't in the team is an idiot. Customers are also treated with contempt.

Although your team is productive you have a combative relationship with virtually everyone including your own customers.

4. Globally Engaged (Worthy Ideas Get Respect)

Your team fully cooperates with each other and other teams. They value customer input. They seek knowledge and productivity anywhere they can find it.

It's not a dreamy paradise where everyone always gets along. However, there is basic respect for worthy ideas. Office politics and diplomatic barriers are low. Customers are enchanted.

This article is an installment in the series of posts called how to win at leadership.

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