The 7 Levels of Leadership

We can imagine the following characteristics as indispensable tools for defining an ideal profile of leader, with the hope that you can improve your communication techniques in the corporate environment and take a personal growth path. Do we proceed together? Well.

1) Level of the Environment: The leader exercises his profession and his influence in the context. If we think of an entrepreneur, the company represents the environment level, specifically by conferences and meetings held with employees or the board of directors. For a teacher the universities or cultural foundations represent it and for a politician it is represented by the headquarters of the parties or public meetings. Where do you exercise your leadership? Do you have a specific place of reference that best represents your role?

2) Level of Behavior: It refers to the operational aspect, i.e. to “what does” the leader in that particular environment. What are your actions / reactions? How do you talk? How does it move? Does it have a particularly engaging tone of voice or gestures in a particular way? Here the Language of the Body comes into play: the success of the leadership passes through a strong congruence between what is said and how it is said. Facial expressions, posture, small involuntary gestures, reveal all that words do not say and at times can reveal great inconsistencies. How do you behave with your employees? Is there a correspondence between saying and doing? Do you motivate them with emphasis only in words or even with your attitudes and behavior?

3) Capacity Level: Regards the technical, organizational and relational skills, the managerial skills of leadership can be those of preventive analysis, synthesis, diplomacy, flexibility and ability to create a relationship of dialogue with others. What tasks do you actually perform within your company? Have you already planned a strategy in detail?

4) Values: As we increase in level, we come to what concerns the ethical aspect of leadership, which is the motivations that drive those who hold the role of entrepreneur or manager to action. Values tell us what is important for us, what are the most relevant aspects that support our company mission. Among the most important leadership values, we find: freedom of expression, passion, transparency, spirit of collaboration, innovation and respect for the environment. By what moral principles are you guided in conducting your business?

5) Beliefs: If values indicate what is important to us, beliefs are something more rooted. They identify what is “right” or “wrong”, what is “true” or “false”, according to our past perceptions and experiences. The beliefs are distinguished in empowering. The former lead people to achieve their goals with tenacity, the latter are a source of demotivation and weakening. Just think of the phrase “Leader is born, not made”. For those who believe they have high leadership qualities, they will be perceived as a stimulus for continuous growth, for others less aware of their potential, it will be a reason for renunciation. But what are the origins of our beliefs? Well, surely the events of the past, the actions already taken and the relative results we have achieved or the type of society in which we have grown. What do you firmly believe in?

6) Identity: Here we are at the level of the “Chi” of leadership, that of the perception of oneself. Here you ask questions about your individual mission within the company. It is an abstract concept, I realize, for this reason many leaders describe their identity through the use of metaphors or symbolizes. For example, which animal do you feel most similar in professional terms? Lions, eagles or tigers?

7) Spirit: The highest level of leadership, finally, is represented by the spiritual aspect, which very often coincides with the entrepreneurial vision concept. The vision will make clear to employees the direction to follow, thanks to their direct involvement. In this future macro-goal, therefore, every entrepreneur finds a reason for strength and commitment. How do you imagine your business in ten years? Do you have clear ideas about this? After this careful analysis, it is likely that some of you are wondering: is there a link between the different levels of leadership? Obviously yes. The highest level has a strong influence on the underlying ones, so it is essential to work on all the aspects just described.

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