Talent Talk: What Makes A Level Five Leader

A few months ago, I was a guest on Chris Dyer’s Talent Talk, a radio/podcast series. Our discussion covered a bit of my history in the military, and an overview of The Big 6 Leadership Principles®.

There was an interesting question that came up:

We’ve talked about The Big 6 Leadership Principles®. (We’ve also talked before about how to define what a Level Five culture is)


How do we begin to define what a Level Five leader is? What Makes A Level Five Leader ?

An example I gave to illustrate a Level Five leader: the recently departed Colin Powell (who was still with us at the time this conversation was recorded.)

A Level Five leader has what John C. Maxwell refers to as ‘personhood: people follow you because of who you are and what you represent.

By working and living the The Big 6 Leadership Principles®, a leader can implement their personhood – and influence your team.

Leadership at a Level Five level is also about humility. Colin Powell was a humble leader – it wasn’t about him, it was about the team and the mission. Level Five leadership is about recognizing the power of servant leadership.

Talent Talk host Chris Dyer pointed out – these aren’t easy things to do! They will take practice. That’s true. It takes time, effort and self-discipline to truly rise up the ladder to Level Five leadership.

Here’s a slightly edited audio of my conversation on Talent Talk:

The full episode is available here.

Enjoy the journey!

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