The 5 Levels of Leadership

I was always obsessed about leadership, listening to two opposite quotes, the first one says “Leaders are born not made” and on the opposite side says “Leaders are made not born”.

I was with (Leaders are made not born)’s side, cause I believe that any human being has the ability to acquire any skill in our world by practice and practice, but I realized something very important here, I realized the real meaning of (Leaders are born), it was been misunderstood because leader will be born once a new attitude is born, all that you need is to fortify yourself with the right frame of thinking.


In this article, I have summarized the book by John Maxwell (The 5 levels of leadership) in a simple way to facilitate the philosophies used and the level of engagement.


The 5 levels of leadership (5Ps)

  1. Position
  2. Permission
  3. Production
  4. People’s Development
  5. Pinnacle


1. Position (First level of Leadership)

This is the first level of leadership where we all start with a position or a title and the keyword used here is the (Rights).


At this stage “People will follow you because they have to because you are the boss as you have authoritative characteristics over them.

This level doesn’t make you a leader at all, sometimes there are a lot of people are in high positions but they are not good leaders.

The downside of this level that the people that follow you will give the least amount of energy, effort, mind, and work.

2. Permission (Second Level of Leadership)

The keyword for this level is (Relationship).

At this stage “people will follow you because they want to”, and there is a big difference between people they follow you because they have to (They are forced) and people follow because they want to (Their personal choice).

At this level, people will follow because they like you, its more into building a good relationship with them, related to social intelligence.

Relationship with people are the foundations of leadership, where there are three things that these leaders will do to be relational leaders:

(a) They Listen

These leaders listen very well to their people and understand their needs.

(b) They Observe

They are conscious of where people are and what their people are doing and they constantly observing them.

(c) They Learn

They are always learning and are not ashamed to ask their people to teach them in case.

3. Production (Third Level of Leadership)

The Keyword for this stage is (Results).

At this stage “People will follow you because of what you have done for the organization.”

At this level, leaders will be contributing to the company’s bottom-line growth as they are productive, where your leadership starts to gain credibility and you begin to shine your organization because of the glory you made.

And once you begin to be productive, you all attract more people to be more productive also.

4. People’s Development

At this stage “People will follow you because what you have done for them.”

This stage, the leader begins to commit to developing his people to increase their capacities.

Leaders at this stage, they discover what people’s are good at and they equip them with the below 5 steps to gain the skill that they lack:

Step 1: I do it, “where the leader will do this skill by his own and show his people”

Step 2: I do it + you are with me.

Step 3: You do it +I am with you (This step is acting like a coaching style and being a mentor).

Step 4: You do it Alone without me.

Step 5You do it +someone else (The aim from this stage is to create more leaders that can convey the knowledge and teach more people).

5. Pinnacle (Fifth Level of Leadership)

The keyword used here is (Respect).

At this stage “People will follow you because of who you are and the quality you have”.

It takes a long time and effort for the leader to reach this level, all of us want to be there but it’s a real-life journey.

Now it’s your turn to know which level you want to take and what skills required at this time in order to move forward.

I wish that you enjoyed this article and you can make use of it.