Great leaders empower others
Prime the pump
November 7, 2023

Great leaders empower others

“The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” – Ralph Nader

Today I pause to recognize a man I consider a great leader and was privileged to have been impacted by his leadership.

He has left an indomitable mark on my life. He was respectful and earned the respect of the members of the team. He was unbiased and self-aware. If he had favourites, we did not know because he did not show it. No one behaved as though they were pulling his strings. He treated everyone the same. He did not entertain gossip. He was a great listener and a decisive leader. An introvert. When he spoke, he gave clear and sound advice. He was thoughtful and proactive and when a decision was made, he stood by it. A straight up gentleman who managed an organization for 40-plus years. The world needs more leaders like Brian John Alexander, former managing director of The Mustique Company Limited.

Welcome back to our series on ‘The 5 Levels of Leadership.’ Today, we are exploring Level 4, also known as People Development. “Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others.” John Maxwell said “Effective leaders understand that what got them to their current level of leadership won’t be enough to get them to the next one. They understand that if they want to keep getting better as leaders, they have to be willing to keep growing and changing and that each move up the 5 Levels of Leadership requires a paradigm shift and a change in the way a person leads.”

Maxwell said “good leaders on Level 4 invest their time, energy, money, and thinking into growing others as leaders. They look at every person and try to gauge his or her potential to grow and lead—regardless of the individual’s title, position, age, or experience. Every person is a potential candidate for development. This practice of identifying and developing people compounds the positives of their organization, because bringing out the best in a person is often a catalyst for bringing out the best in the team. Developing one person for leadership and success lays the foundation for developing others for success.)

Leaders at level 4 are confident in who they are and in their influence within the organization. They are not threatened by their followers’ growth. They are teachers, mentors, and builders. Multipliers of themselves. Level 4 leaders are not micro mangers. Their focus is not on maintaining control by ensuring that they are involved in the basic daily operations. Instead, they focus on developing and leading people. People who are led by level 4 leaders, are willing and keen followers. Followers recognize that because of these leaders’ abilities, they can influence, their professional careers and propel them forward.

Maxwell suggested seven strategies level 4 leaders use to developing people:

Recruiting. They do not hire or promote people into positions because they are looking for indebtedness. The emphasis is on team chemistry, character, capacity, and contribution.

Positioning: They focus on putting the right people into the right position to ensure efficiency.

Modelling: They give people the opportunity to lead in their leadership journey.

Equipping: They do everything in their power to ensure that their followers succeed in their role. Developing: They are concerned with people wholistic growth.

Empowering: They hold everyone accountable to their goals. Finally, measuring, they evaluate people for their greatest efforts and the highest performance.

Level 4 leaders are not afraid to step back and give the limelight to others. Seeing followers, they have mentored, coached, and developed thrive is one of their greatest personal fulfilments.


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