In his 2011 bestseller, “The 5 Levels of Leadership,” John C. Maxwell suggests that there is a five-tiered progression of leadership development:
- Positional Leadership: People follow you because they have to
- Permission Leadership: People follow because they want to
- Production Leadership: People follow you because you make them more productive
- People Leadership: People follow because you help them to become better
- Peak Leadership: People follow because you help them become better leaders
There are similar models of leadership development elsewhere (eg. Leading Self, Leading Others, Leading Organizations); however, Maxwell’s “5 Levels” are useful in leadership development particularly due to their detail and insight. As a key point of this model, Maxwell argues that the leader becomes the “lid” for their team; that employees cannot usually develop beyond the level of their leader.
There is great wisdom and logic to this point. It helps explain a new challenge that is now emerging. More agile and accessible performance management tools are allowing teams to advance at unprecedented rates, and these employees are now challenging their supervisors, managers, directors, and executive to constantly raise the bar in their own skill and capabilities. They are like Olympic sprinters trying to run underwater in a swimming pool.
Performance Management in Action
I am reminded of Toby, a vice president of a large engineering firm in the UK. Toby was promoted from middle to senior management based on his courage, decisiveness and strong opinions. He had a habit of dominating team meeting conversations, and due to his excellent powers of persuasion, Toby usually got his way. That is, until his company adopted Reflektive as their new performance management platform.
Soon, Toby’s staff were setting personal development goals like “speak up in meetings,” “be more innovative,” and “contribute more.” Toby’s employees were not only setting their sights on becoming better contributors, but Toby started to see that his habit of dominating meetings was getting in the way of his team’s progression.
That’s when Toby hired me as his executive coach. In our first meeting, he explained that he wanted to become more developmental, improve his listening skills, and trust his team more. Within a few short weeks, Toby was no longer getting in the way of his team and he learned techniques to co-create their development far more effectively. Now, Toby’s team is excelling with new processes, better customer engagement and a stronger, more engaged culture. Toby is happier as well, feeling less like a ball and chain and more like a high-performance facilitator.
Impact of Knowledge Work
It goes without saying that knowledge has become far more accessible in recent years, allowing us to access needed information from virtually anywhere. If you are curious about almost anything the answers are out there available to you in real-time.
Correspondingly, many organizations have found that their value proposition has become less about what they know and more about how they do it. Customers and clients can find answers to their problems quickly. What they need is a service provider who has skill and expertise to deliver better than the next guy.
For this reason, organizational development and learning has increasingly become a key differentiator in the fast moving world of organizational success. If you invest in the growth and development of your people, they are more likely to be motivated, communicate and cooperate more, innovate faster, provide greater customer service and enjoy coming to work.
Tools to Invest in People
Within the last few years, talent management tools like Reflektive have revolutionized people development, making it more streamlined, accessible, user friendly, and enjoyable. This is a completely new concept for companies that slogged though painful performance review processes in years gone by. Now, staff feel like they matter and that they are heard. Companies that adopt solutions like Reflektive’s agile performance management system are gaining a significant advantage in their industries. This has become an undeniable game-changer.
As Reflektive has changed the way performance management is conducted, employees are setting more clear and aligned goals and they are progressing towards mastery and advancement at impressive rates.
Organizations that enjoy this accelerated skill growth are now starting to see a whole new need emerge, something that was not even apparent just a few short years ago. As frontline employees become even better, they are raising the bar of expectations for their bosses. Performance improvement at the front lines is now putting pressure on management teams to keep pace and keep improving.Growing and developing one part of an organization can put pressure on other parts. Click To Tweet
The new, innovative ways that Reflektive is helping organizations hear, guide, and develop their people is an irrefutable game changer. To compliment these gains, remember that organizations are ecosystems. Growing and developing one part of an organization can put pressure on other parts, and when your leadership team becomes the bottleneck to transformational organizational growth, then it becomes time to offer one-to-one, personalized support to your managers, directors, and executives.
The ROI for executive coaching has never been greater, but then again, neither has the opportunity for organizational growth and market dominance.The ROI for executive coaching has never been greater. Click To Tweet
Terry Lipovski is an Executive Coach that works with Reflektive clients and other organizations. Through online executive coaching, he supports leaders in over 20 countries on six continents, leveraging the Reflektive performance management platform for transformational growth and improvement.