In Jim Dornan’s book “It’s Simple, Not Obvious” he describes four (4) levels of leadership.  When comparing each level to a leadership style, it reveals the leader position as an individual.  Any leader can be an asset or a liability to an organization.  As a leader develops so does the organization.   Reaching what Jim defines as the “fourth level of leadership,” will expand the leader’s potential and improve the leader’s effectiveness, influence and character:

  • Position Based Leadership – this is the type of leadership most people think of.  It is based on position and title and these leaders seek to control through their position or chain of command.  Leadership is more responsibility not reward.
  • Personality Based Leadership – a positive, attractive personality can be very effective but often this type of leader is superficial and even manipulative in nature.  Sometimes we think of this type of person as a smooth talker armed with a smile and a hand shake, providing well timed complements that appeal to the ego.
  • Performance Based Leadership – based on your track record of achievement and on positive reputations.  People like to follow these leaders who have demonstrated competence in the field and have shown by their example and performance they know what they are doing.
  • Principle Based Leadership – the foundation of influence is in the character of the leader and his or her attitude about their role and purpose with those they lead.  Decisions and strategies are developed with certain principles and behaviors that can be trusted and people feel that in following these leaders, ultimately they will be better off, more productive, happier and more satisfied.

A principle based leader is a servant leader:

  •  They are good listeners
  • They empower, equip and encourage others
  • They are good stewards of resources
  • They use their persuasive skills rather than just give orders
  • They put others’ needs first
  • They seek to cast vision and inspire rather than dictate

Action Steps – 
Think of your leadership style and the skills you employ in your business dealings. Most successful businesses grow when staff members capture the leader’s vision and make it their own.  Staff that incorporate the leader’s vision and dreams are happier and more productive.


It's Simple, Not Obvious