Even though it appears to be glamorous, being a leader is quite an intimidating role. It requires one to stay ahead of the pack and always be decisive and level-headed while being able to handle different types of people. Leaders are not born; they are made. And like everything else in life, leadership, too, can be learned. Dionne Van Zyl understands that this journey, although tedious, is extremely rewarding and cements one’s place in an organization as well as the heart of their colleagues.
There are five levels of leadership growth that one needs to progress through in order to become an effective leader. Each level of leadership growth builds upon the previous one. Let’s take a look at each level in detail.
5 Levels of Leadership Growth – Explained By Dionne Van Zyl
1. Position: People follow because they have to
This is the most basic level of leadership. Here, people follow because they have been assigned to do so or because it is part of their job description. There is no emotional attachment, loyalty, or a sense of understanding involved as workers are only concerned with finishing and finalizing the tasks at hand. The leader at this level is usually appointed by someone else and has very little influence over his or her followers.
2. Permission: People follow because they want to
At this level, Dionne Van Zyl explains that people follow the leader because they want to, not because they have to. They are attracted to the leader’s vision and are inspired by what he or she stands for. They are willing to go the extra mile as they now believe in the leader’s cause and have faith that with their guidance, the institute can reach new heights of success
3. Production: People follow because of what you have done for them
At this level, people follow the leader because of what he or she has done for them. They are loyal to the leader because they have seen firsthand the positive impact that he or she has had on their lives. It is this commitment that encourages them to give 110% because they know that it will result in personal growth and development.
4. People Development: People follow because of what you have done for others
This is the highest level of leadership. Here, people follow the leader because of what he or she has done for others. They are attracted to the leader’s vision of helping others reach their potential. Their leader’s commitment to making a difference in the lives of others and prioritizing team growth inspires them to work harder and put in more effort.
5. Pinnacle: People follow because you have become an icon
This is the final level of leadership growth. At this stage, people follow the leader because he or she has become an icon. They are attracted to the legend that the leader has become and are inspired by his or her achievements. They are willing to give 110% because they know that it will result in greatness for both themselves and the organization.
Dionne Van Zyl believes that mastering the art of leadership requires loads of dedication and patience. It cannot be achieved overnight. However, leaders who take their time and gradually progress through these levels demonstrate increasingly higher levels of influence and impact.