In his book Good to Great, Jim Collins concluded that every company capable of achieving sustained greatness had a Level 5 leader at the helm. Unlike many of the flashy CEOs that think they are God's gift to the world of business, Level 5 leaders have a unique blend of personal humility and a fierce resolve when it comes to the success of their company. Here are a few more characteristics of Level 5 leaders:
1)They all follow the "window and the mirror" technique. This means that they looked out the window and gave any credit that was due to their people. But, when there was any blame placed on the company they looked right in the mirror and took it all themselves.
2)Their personal humility comes from their growth mindset. Growth minded people are naturally humble and dedicated to learning because they are acutely aware that they don't know it all. But, they have the resolve to keep learning and pushing themselves and the company to get where they need to be.
3)They are great listeners. They spend much of their time on the front lines talking to their employees and their customers. That is the information that drives their decisions, not their personal genius.
Jack Welch is a great example of a Level 5 leader. In his twenty years as CEO of General Electric, the value of the company jumped from 14 billion to 490 billion, making GE the most valuable company in the world. In his autobiography, he opens with these words "I hate having to use the first person. Nearly everything I've done in my life has been accomplished with other people... Please remember that every time you see the word "I" in these pages, it refers to all those colleagues and friends and some I might have missed. They often make me look better than I am." Next time you think about leadership, think Level 5.