5 Levels of Leadership by John C. Maxwell [Book Review]

Last week I asked for your help!

I needed to find a new book to read and on Facebook Live I took viewers down to my personal library to help chose one…

The results were clear…John C. Maxwell’s 5 Levels of Leadership would be the next book I would read and review!

Talk about twisting my arm right?

The pain it must have been for me to read ANOTHER John C. Maxwell book 🙂

As you must be aware by now, I’m a fan of his…So diving into this highly recommended book was easy for me.

John breaks down leadership into 5 levels. And as we progress through each stage, we start to grow in our abilities, influence and leadership skills.


The first level is ‘Position‘ which could be literally ‘given’ to us. John argues this is the most basic level of leadership and we MUST grow from it. Lots of lessons are to be learned here but he suggests that we don’t spend too much time on ‘Position’.

Next up John talks about the ‘Permission‘ level which is getting people to trust you, like you and follow you. While ‘Position’ made people follow us because they had to, ‘Permission’ is the key to progressing through the leadership levels. It’s all about the relationships here! Getting people to FOLLOW you by choice is the main take away.

The 3rd level is ‘Production‘ which is pretty straight forward…Quality leaders…Produce! They get their hands dirty, they lead by example and they get the job done.

Next we have ‘People Development‘ which teaches us that we need to build others up and develop them. Most would be leaders never reach this level simply because they are more concerned with production rather than development of others. The key as John says to grow in your leadership skills is to always think of the future and develop leaders that potentially can take your place.

That might sound weird to some folks…But that’s the ultimate goal of strong leadership. Having others, take the reigns! The more amazing people you help grow and develop, the more of a chance you get to reach….

The Pinnacle!

I loved that John’s example of a pinnacle leader was John Wooden. This legendary man embodied everything great about leadership. John showed how Coach Wooden progressed through each level of leadership without forgetting to practice the skills needed on each level.

This was the big message I got from this book. You need each ‘skill set’ to progress. And when you do progress through position to permission to production to people development and ultimately to pinnacle…You never forget what got you there!

7 thoughts to “5 Levels of Leadership by John C. Maxwell [Book Review]”

  1. Really appreciate the review and will put it on my list.

    Definite share out to the twitter world. And might even throw a straight like on the youtuber thing lol.

    Only question is are you going to give that copy away and just print yourself the book?? 🙂

    1. lol Gave away a book last month but the guy that won never sent me his address. Might have to do two giveaways this month then lol

      1. Well if he didn’t send you the address you can send it to mine. LOL

        I agree with you it was not one of his easiest books for me to read but was good food for thought. After reading this one I would probably have preferred to spend the time reading “25 Ways To Win With People” again.

  2. Hi Jon

    Good review once again. It seems I always have a John C Maxwell on the shelf to read. The thing I really like about Maxwell is the great stories he tells to illustrate his points. He does this better than anyone else I know.


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