The Five Levels of Leadership

The Five Levels of Leadership

Oct 7, 2022 | Business, Startup

In order to be an effective leader, you need to understand the different levels of leadership and how to operate within each one.

There are five levels of leadership, each with its own set of characteristics and goals. Let’s take a look at the five levels of leadership and what sets them apart.

Level One: Position

The first level of leadership is position.

People follow you because in most cases they have to. That is, your position within the company or organization dictates that they do. This is the most basic level of leadership and is generally characterized by compliance rather than commitment. Your goal at this level is simply to get people to do what you ask them to do.

Level Two: Permission

The second level of leadership is permission.

People follow you because they want to. They have bought into your vision and trust you as a leader. This level is characterized by connection and mutual respect. Your goal at this level is to build relationships and earn trust.

Level Three: Production

The third level of leadership is production.

People follow you because of your results—specifically, what you have done for them. This level is all about proving yourself as a leader who can get things done. Your goal at this level is results-oriented; you need to produce results that benefit both the company or organization and the people you lead.

Level Four: People Development

The fourth level of leadership is people development—or, as some people call it, team development.

People follow you because of what you have done for them. They see you not only as a leader who gets things done but also as a leader who helps others reach their potential. Your goal at this level is to develop your team members so that they are able to reach their full potential and contribute to the success of the company or organization.

Level Five: Pinnacle

The fifth and final level of leadership is pinnacle.

People follow you because of who you are and what you represent. You are seen as a thought leader in your field and someone who consistently produces results. Your goal at this level is longevity—you want to be a leader for the long haul. You want to build a legacy that lasts beyond your tenure as a leader.


As a leader, it’s important to understand the different levels of leadership in order to be effective in each one.

By understanding the characteristics, goals, and objectives of each level, you can more effectively lead your team or organization to success!

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