Moving beyond position

I love it when I find books that capture ideas that have been swirling around for me, but that I haven’t put into some kind of order or framework. How Successful People Lead by John Maxwell is a recent find that does just that. It is an informative read, with tons of great insight and practical tips about how leaders can continue to develop. Key insights for me from Maxwell:

  • He challenges people who only view themselves as positional leaders to move beyond that.
  • He does a nice job of blending the age old productivity/people dilemma.
  • He provides some great insight around delegation and developing your people.
  • He addresses the idea of one’s legacy as a leader.

He suggests we develop our leadership through progressing through 5 stages:

  1. Position
  2. Permission
  3. Productivity
  4. People Development
  5. Pinnacle

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Are you burdened?

I have the honour of working with many talented leaders, and I am struck by how often I say in response to angst ridden questions of what to do about something related to their people, “Why don’t you ask them?” I think the skills of analysis, innovation, risk taking, and execution lead many individual contributors to get promoted to leadership positions and those same skills need to be tamed in order to lead a team. It can be a tough transition to put those skills in the background and bring forward collaboration, reflection, empowerment, and inquiry. I have learned much about this myself this past year in that regard!

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