Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Five Levels of Leadership Revisited

John C. Maxwell – How Successful People Lead (Center Street)

With more than 21 million books sold and 6 million participants in his leadership training programs in 177 countries around the globe, John C. Maxwell is arguably one of the world’s leading experts on what makes leaders and what makes them tick.

Along the way, Maxwell has identified the traits, tendencies, actions and levels of leadership. His bestselling 2011 book The Five Levels of Leadership set forth a yardstick by which leaders can measure where they are on the evolutionary scale of leadership.
The 5 Levels of Leadership are:
1. Position - People follow because they have to.
2. Permission - People follow because they want to.
3. Production - People follow because of what you have done for the organization.
4. People Development - People follow because of what you have done for them personally.
5. Pinnacle - People follow because of who you are and what you represent.

In his new book, How Successful People Lead, Maxwell revisits the five levels and makes the case that leadership is truly a life long journey were true leaders “learn, earn and return.” As always, Maxwell makes the case that true leaders are always seeking to develop, train and grow the next generation of leaders.

Maxwell is exactly on point with this thought process. It echoes one of my all-time favorite leadership quotes, from the equally legendary leadership guru, Tom Peters who said, “leaders don’t create followers, they create new leaders.” The five levels should be viewed by true leaders as a road map for that leadership journey. That journey never truly reaches a conclusion; leaders at the pinnacle are always up to the challenge of developing the next generation of leaders.  

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Idris Mootee – 60 Minute Brand Strategist (Wiley Publishing)

How do you want your business to be known?

A seemingly simple question…that has caused business nightmares and cost them millions of dollars in the pursuit of a legitimate answer. With his self-described “essential brand book for marketing professionals” 60 Minute Brand Strategist Idris Mootee, chief executive officer of Idea Couture, seeks a simple answer to answer the question. He even goes so far as claiming that this 60 minute read should help marketers answer the question for their companies/clients.

I’m not certain Mootee lays claim to doing what so many have who have laid claim to in the past; to have the magic plan or strategy to deliver the branding goods. The simple fact is; there is a reason why so much has been written and claimed about this process, everyone thinks they have the answer or the perfect plan, when in reality, there is no perfect plan that fits every business. What I think Mootee does successfully is offer up a comprehensive breakdown of what successful brands have done well in an effort to road map methods of brand development.

Having been through the dynamic process of mission-ing and vision-ing strategy sessions that for a variety of businesses, the section on the strategic branding process was of particular interest.  The role of brand identity, brand personality and how it plays into the customer experience are key steps that many businesses forget or forgo in the branding process. Mootee boils the process down to ten step steps to pull together a disparate array of strategic and business information.

While 60 Minute Brand Strategist makes for a good refresher course for marketers, it may prove to be a useful tool to encourage buy in from C-Suite and other players in the business development and branding process.