From John C. Maxwell and the Foreword of
The Tenth Anniversary Edition of The Five Levels of Leadership
One of the things I love about books is one of the things I hate about books: they’re timeless. You can pick up a book today that was written decades ago, and barring a revision or the author making other serious changes, you’ll have essentially the same words that the first readers of the book encountered.
That’s fine and good for a work of fiction; but in my world, it drives me crazy.
You see, I’m a student of growth. I’ve made personal growth a cornerstone of my personal disciplines for decades now, and it’s allowed me to not only remain relevant as a communicator, but also outgrow things I once thought and wrote. I recently “revised” one of my older books and changed almost 80 percent of the material because I’d learned so much over the years since writing the first version! That’s why books can irritate me—I come back to a book five or ten years later and I can see so many changes that need to be made because I’ve learned so much since I wrote it!
When Hachette approached me about the ten year anniversary edition of The 5 Levels of Leadership, I expected the same. It’s been a decade since the book went to print, and while it’s become the framework for my company’s training and coaching strategies, I’ve still grown and learned so much in the intervening years that I expected to change a lot.
Turns out, I didn’t. Not that the book is perfect by any means, but it’s built on possibly the soundest of all my leadership philosophies: leadership is influence; nothing more, nothing less. This paradigm for increasing your influence with others is the paradigm for growing as a leader, and my team members and I have seen this paradigm work time and time again in companies of all sizes, industries, and states of disarray.
Once you give people the right framework for leadership, you provide them a common language for discussing leadership, which leads to the development of a culture of leadership that produces and reproduces leaders repeatedly.
We need leaders now more than ever in our history. But we need leaders rooted in good values, who value people and will add value to them. The 5 Levels of Leadership is your roadmap to becoming that kind of leader.