Level 4 Leadership – Creating Leaders

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Level 3 – Maintaining Teams

Level 4 Leadership is Level 3 Leadership done effectively over time

  • If a group is managed with the correct culture, nobody has to enforce the rules because everyone tries to behave according to the principles of success
  • A Level 4 leader isn’t just a leader, they also inspire others under them to become leaders
    • The followers need to see the leader as someone they want to imitate
    • Keep growing and look for new challenging assignments
      • Lead a volunteer organization, a group of freelancers or find something else to lead in
      • Find ways to improve yourself and keep raising your own personal standards
        • As you start traveling more, find ways to work out on the road
        • Never sacrifice your own personal life, hand off more responsibilities instead
          • Build a stronger business by taking time away from it
          • Learn to live away from your phone sometimes
  • Hand off more and more responsibilities as your own responsibilities are added to
    • Change up management structure to a more free-form one
    • Empower workers to train each other
      • Make some of them “subject matter experts” so they can share their understanding with the rest of the group
      • Train and educate them on what it takes for the organization to be successful
    • Let them solve the toughest problems
      • They are more intimately connected to the problems, so it requires trusting them for the best results
    • Give young workers structure and channel their energy, engagement and desire to help solve problems
  • As you climb in an organization, it’s harder to find good criticism for your actions
    • Make sure you maintain good rapport with everyone in the organization
    • Enforce a culture of anonymous input to keep yourself and your peers accountable
      • Find trustworthy peers in other organizations that you can exchange approaches with
    • Get a coach/mentor to keep growing personally
    • Start measuring your actions more carefully to find ways to improve them
    • Get new ideas from the hourly workers consistently
      • Workers in sales and customer service have great ideas that come from their perspective and experience
  • Leaders are fostered and mentored over time
    • This means that it’s simply a matter of carrying out great leadership principles consistently over years
    • This requires constant dedicated input, feedback, encouragement and guidance
    • As a leader, you’re always training others in your day-to-day life
      • This transcends your workplace, so be ready to lead friends and complete strangers at times
  • Change is almost always good, but the limitation to it is based on its leaders
    • Write down a personal “leadership code” with 5-10 points that you always abide by
    • Keep taking risks
      • As you try bold new ventures with the workers, it inspires them

To create leaders, the group has to have the right culture

  • Keeps everyone focused on the group’s overall vision
    • Keep fighting against the inevitable crawl of bureaucracy by making sure every system is straightforward to work with
      • As the group scales, talk less about various work-related matters with everyone, since not everyone needs to know and it can be time-consuming
    • There are many signs a system is becoming bureaucratic
      • It’s written in abstract or hard-to-understand phrasing
      • The expectations in it are unrealistic, hard to measure or vague
      • The processes it uses have a slow response time
      • Anything in the system isn’t intuitive or logical
      • The information in it is obsolete
      • Readers feel insulted by the wording or they simply don’t want to be near it
      • It gives the same rewards for different levels of achievement
    • Avoid making the measurement of success the incentive
      • Goodhart’s Law: when a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure
      • The focus on achieving will create a society of people trying to manipulate the system to get ahead
      • Use multiple metrics if you’re only using one
      • The best answer ultimately is to cut out incentives, pay a going rate, hire good people and tell them to work to the best of their ability
  • Honesty and transparency must be group values
    • Use email systems where everyone can see everyone else’s email
    • Workers given the freedom to see any information up-front
    • Provide weekly office hours where superiors can have one-on-one meetings with subordinates
    • Everyone’s ideas are measured on the idea alone, not on who said it
  • Fosters thoroughness in creating new answers
    • Make every new idea have to be put in a specific length of written document, not just email
    • Mix everyone into different workgroups and across different departments to cross-pollinate ideas
  • Subordinates can freely work how they want as long as they produce results
    • Flexible hours if the work isn’t time-sensitive or needs the workers present
    • A trusting attitude that someone will do their assigned work without punishment
    • Dress codes that permit semi-casual or casual clothing
    • Mandatory non-email weekend days or evenings to force them towards personal time
  • Everyone should be permitted to make occasional mistakes, since everybody is human
    • Managers avoid micro-managing or forcing subordinates to be dependent on them
    • Everyone’s work is reviewed by peers to ensure higher quality and trust
  • Everyone has freedom to do what they feel like, assuming the work is done
    • Permitted access to social media through their work computer
    • Allowed to use their personal phones at work
    • Permission to bring toys or comfort items into the office if they want
    • There needs to be an openness inside the culture to new things
      • Embrace diversity and originality
  • Nobody should be over-worked
    • Efficiency should be valued more than perseverance
    • The brain can only concentrate for 13 hours after waking up, and anything after that is as effective as being drunk
    • Long workdays have many hidden costs
      • Decreased productivity
      • Increased costs from overtime
      • Tension in relationships within the team
    • By pushing exhausted workers harder from lost income, they work even less effectively, creating a vicious cycle

Smoothly improving an organization takes time

  1. Goals are set for everyone that are clear, reasonable and align with the vision
  2. The structure of the organization is analyzed for any gaps in the process
  3. A strategy is made to deal with the gaps and shortcomings of the organization
  4. The plan is executed by everyone, usually over weeks or months
  5. The scope of adoption is monitored and evaluated with an effective performance management system
Next: Level 5 Leadership – Leading Organizations