John C. Maxwell remains one of the most popular authors whose books have been summarized by Soundview Executive Book Summaries. When one considers the reasons why Maxwell strikes a resonant chord time and again, a trio of potential answers become readily apparent. Maxwell’s books include straightforward advice, a strong moral and philosophical underpinning, and a warmth in delivery that feels like personal coaching from an old friend. All of the above are present once more in Maxwell’s latest best-seller The 5 Levels of Leadership, now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary at Summary.com.
Maxwell takes readers on a journey through a career in leadership. His five levels (Position, Permission, Production, People Development and The Pinnacle) are a framework upon which a career in any industry can be constructed. Each level is supported by principles, rules or beliefs that instill capability and confidence in readers. Maxwell distinguishes his level system from other leadership books by establishing up front that being named to a leadership position, while an honor, does little more than provide an empty vessel. How and with what that vessel is filled forms the heart of the challenge of leadership.
Executives reading The 5 Levels of Leadership will want to pay particular attention to Maxwell’s fourth level (People Development). The ability to develop productive leaders from one’s own team is a difficult skill to master. It can also intimidate executives who fear that they are grooming their own replacements. Maxwell provides heartfelt council about the reasons why developing leaders is the single highest goal to which any executive can aspire. It is only through the multiplication of one’s own success in others that the fifth and final level (The Pinnacle) can be attained. The fact that Maxwell states that the fifth level is a rarity is a testament to the determination it takes to achieve this goal.