Today we continue our look at how The 21 Laws of Leadership apply to the 5 Levels of Leadership. Today, Perry and Chris look at the Laws that apply to Level 4 and help you as you move toward Level 5.

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Perry Holley:    Welcome to the John Maxwell Executive Leadership Podcast, where our goal is to help you increase your reputation as a leader, increase your ability to influence others, and increase your ability to fully engage your team to deliver remarkable results. Hi, I’m Perry Holley a John Maxwell Facilitator and Coach.

Chris Goede:     And I’m Chris Goede, Vice President with the John Maxwell Company. Welcome, and thank you for joining us once again. Just as a quick reminder, before we get started, if you’ll visit, there you can leave us a comment if you have a question for us. We even had an in individual just recently submit a comment or a question that was so good that we are actually going to develop an entire lesson around it.

Perry Holley:     Perry’s going to develop it.

Chris Goede:     We’re going to talk about it. I am going to announce the title when the time is appropriate. That’s kind of my, that’s my spot here. Right? So let’s just make sure we know where all of the credit goes for that.

Perry Holley:     That’s right.

Chris Goede:     Perry is our content guy.

Perry Holley:    I wouldn’t have said anything except the way you just shoved it across the table a while ago.

Chris Goede:     Yeah. So go to the website and there you can also download the learner guide and learn just a little bit more about what we do or submit a form and we’ll be in touch with you. Well, today we’re going to talk about, we’re going to continue our series and we’re on level four. So the fourth part of our series, if you’ve missed the first three, I want to encourage you to go back and listen to them. And then we got one more after this week’s podcast. But today we’re going to talk about the laws of leadership for the level four leader.

John wrote a book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws 20 plus years ago. And what’s really impressive is the principles behind those laws still stand today. And cultures and organizations are changing drastically. They’re changing quickly, but those principles are still constant today. We have a lot of clients, both that request this in training, but also even from a coaching perspective, we hear a lot about how they actually lead their teams through conversations over some of these laws. And I know specifically today, we’re going to talk about tying level four, influence, increasing your level four influence on the five levels of leadership. We’re going to tie that to several of these laws, but I know that even in your coaching conversations, as we’ve talked about in the past, this is something that’s very relevant today, it’s the content to open up a dialogue that’s helping transform leaders inside organizations.

Perry Holley:    Yeah, that’s big. And it’s really hard to believe is 20 plus years old and just has such strength today. And so it’s really well done and it comes up in almost every coaching conversation. We can reference one of the 21.

Chris Goede:     Yeah.

Perry Holley:    Especially some of these today. So before you describe what level four is of the five level, I want to just tell you the three laws we’re going to look at today. First, the law of the inner circle, a leader’s potential is determined by those closest to them. That comes up a lot. The law of empowerment, only secure leaders give power to others. And the law of explosive growth, to add growth lead followers to multiply lead leaders.

Chris Goede:     Yeah.

Perry Holley:    Man, there’s a lesson there isn’t there?

Chris Goede:     Well, yeah, that is in essence level four leadership.

Perry Holley:    Yes.

Chris Goede:     And as we talk about level four of the five levels, this is the people development level that we talk about. And this is where you build your bench. This is where cultures become sustainable over time. And you really, as a leader, are focused on developing new leaders and people follow you and you increase your influence with them because of what you’ve done for them both personally and professionally, the value that you’ve added to their journey. And so we’re looking forward to diving in. Because I think if we go back to the law of the lid that we talked about at level one, this is an organizational work that we do around leadership cultures and working with leaders. I believe there’s a lid, right above level three, where people understand that I got a title, I got to connect with my people and we got to produce, but they don’t understand there’s a lid right there. And it just caps their leadership and caps the organization because they don’t understand the power of being able to then go to level four influence and develop people.

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Perry Holley:    John calls it the leader’s greatest return. He wrote an entire book on it.

Chris Goede:     Yeah.

Perry Holley:    About the leader’s greatest return is developing other leaders. And so level four is where you add to your focus of producing results. You add to that, looking for ways to develop your next generation of leaders. So it’s where leadership, multiplies and compounds. I believe he used that word.

Chris Goede:     Yeah.

Perry Holley:    The first of law I wanted to get you to comment on was the law of explosive growth. To add growth, lead followers, to multiply lead leaders. That’s a mouthful.

Chris Goede:     Yeah, that is. And I feel like that’s kind of our daily mantra around here. John is huge about explosive growth, both in adding value to people and developing leaders. And when I think about developing people and taking them on a journey to become more effective leaders, you gain their ability to help the organization go to a higher level. And so not only are you helping the individual, but you’re helping the organization and you’re also taking the opportunity to add value to people, to take them on a journey that maybe some people will have never gone on before of a development. And people ask us, they say, “oh, so am I supposed to develop everybody on my team?” And the answer to that is no. We want you to value to everybody in our team. We want you to make sure that they have the right skillset and the right training.

But when it comes to developing, I would encourage you to identify the top 20% of your team and focus on developing them. And that will help you, as you begin to experience this explosive growth, that’ll come from that. And then a lot of people are like, well, we don’t have time to do that. And I get that. We hear that a lot. I would say sometimes I don’t have time to do it. But we got to remember as leaders that there’s no faster way to compound our time and our effort and our resources than to develop people. And so we got to kind of slow down to speed up. And when we do that, we will definitely see explosive growth. Now there’s three areas I just want to real quick talk a little bit about in areas of development. So you’re looking for your top 20%.

And again, we’re talking about the law of explosive growth and we’re tying it to increasing your level four influence. There’s really kind of three areas that I like to mention of development. You got your personal development. So how are you developing those individually. Then you got your team development, how am I modeling and how am I developing the team? And then how am I developing individuals as leaders or in their professional side? So you’re developing them personally, how are they becoming better? How am I developing the team? And then how am I developing those top 20% to be leaders? And in essence, help them with their professional development.

Perry Holley:    That’s really good. It does take an investment from you. I do this a lot in the classroom and I get three questions that come up, you just answered one.

Chris Goede:     Yeah.

Perry Holley:    About, do you go to level four with everyone on the team? And it’s not a magical 20%, but you’re going to… Really, the second question was how do you know who to develop on the team? And you think about that. And the third question was, doesn’t this take a lot of time? How do you determine who on the team to develop?

Chris Goede:     I think that’s a great question. And I think if I go back to, from an observation standpoint, I call it self-selecting process. It’s a self-selection process. And so there’s a couple things that I look for, which is when I provide opportunities for growth and for learning, who takes advantage of that, who steps up? When there’s a need inside the organization who raises their hand and says, this is not my area of expertise, but I’m in? And so you begin to look for this almost not attitude, but this kind of resolve they have to be a part of something bigger than themselves. And then you also… Who’s doing their job really well? Right? Because they could be doing those first two things and then not completing their KPIs. And then that’s not a good fit. So those are just a couple things off the top of my head that I look for in trying pick the top 20% of my team of who I’m developing for the next level.

Perry Holley:    Yeah. John calls it finding you your Eagles, but it is a lot of modeling. Are they modeling leadership? Are they adding to the bottom line? Are they exhibiting influence? Are they aggressive and eager and showing a desire? Not everybody wants to go to the next level, but…

Chris Goede:     No, and that’s okay.

Perry Holley:    And it does take a little time, but you can also find ways to work it into your calendar. The way what’s already on your calendar can be an invitation to leadership for others. The second law, empowerment is such a big word in leadership. It gets thrown around a lot days, but John calls it the law of empowerment. Only secure leaders will give power to others.

Chris Goede:     How many secure leaders are out there? There’s some, we may say that we’re secure, but I think that this is a challenge. And so we’ve got to think about what does this look like in the law of empowerment? So when you say this, what this means to me is that truly secure leaders will feel comfortable empowering others. And when they do that, when they empower others, I think they enhance the meaningfulness of the work that those members are actually getting to participate in and getting to work in. And when you empower them by enhancing the meaningfulness of that, that is just absolutely going to increase your influence with them in developing them. I think that you also, when you begin to empower them, you can let them be… You can let them participate in some of the decision making, not big decisions that you have to make as leader, but when you empower them, allow them to make some of the smaller decisions, watch their decision making process.

And then the other thing, when I think about law of empowerment is just being okay allocating more autonomy in their work environment, work projects. We around here call it the 10 80 10, which is we kind of cast the vision. That’s what we’re thinking about. That’s where we’re at, 10%, let the team run with 80% of it. They come back and we kind of put our final 10% on there. And so I think those are just some things when I think about the law of empowerment and one of the things I just want to mention, I think some leaders will hide their top talent from other leaders in organizations to kind of keep them close to the chest. Other leaders promote their top talent, which is really where you want to get as a leader. But it takes a secure leader with an abundance mindset. We talk a lot about abundance versus a scarcity mindset to make room for the next generational leaders and help develop and thrive. John says all the time, work yourself out of your job.

Perry Holley:    I was just thinking that I was just thinking, tell me what he told you that work yourself out of a job.

Chris Goede:     When I was really young, just gotten married. And I was like, yeah, no, I’m not doing that. I need a paycheck this Friday. Right? I was in it for the paycheck. And I didn’t really understand what he was talking about. And he, back then was even building a culture of explosive growth and of developing people by empowerment.

Perry Holley:    Say the statement that he told you. Work yourself out a job, or…

Chris Goede:     Oh, yeah, sorry. You gave me a great lead in there. And I completely missed it. Right?

Perry Holley: [crosstalk 00:11:58].

Chris Goede:     So work yourself out of a job and I’ll find another job for you. Or if you don’t, you might not have your job anymore.

Perry Holley:    I’ll take you out of your job.

Chris Goede:     And I was like, what? And so I’ve seen that happen multiple times over since I’ve been here for so long, I started when I was 10. And so, yeah, I think that’s just key. So many of us don’t want to do that.

Perry Holley:    Yeah.

Chris Goede:     And here’s what I want to tell you. You empower others and you create a culture, developing people and an empowerment. You are not going to have a problem finding a job.

Perry Holley:    Yeah. And a scarcity minded leader is not going to properly empower the leaders to grow and go. And I just, I use that story all the time when I’m talking succession planning to leaders and they go, yeah, no, I don’t think… I’ve got plenty. It’s a security issue that they… Don’t want to develop you. What if you’re better than me? Yeah. And I think it’s an opportunity for you to develop people who are better than you.

Chris Goede:     I think when you just talk about succession planning, one of the things I think about is the empowerment that John’s modeling right now with the transition of leadership to Mark our CEO. And I think about John says, I want to hand the Baton off. I want to empower Mark while I’m running full speed with him. Why would I want to hand the baton off and then fall down you? And so you can’t empower somebody while you’re leaving, unless you have that mindset.

Perry Holley:    Right. The third law and the last one we’ll cover today is the law of the inner circle. A leader’s potential is determined by those closest to them.

Chris Goede:     Yeah, this is… I use this. I’m going to talk about it from a personal standpoint. I use this with my family all the time with my children. And I’m like, “Hey, you understand that you are the average of the five closest people to you.” That means financially, that means competence wise, that means athletically, that means spiritually. Whatever circle. And so when you think about that, you go, “man. So if I think about the five closest people to me in regards to leadership, what does that look like? And am I being challenged?”

And then John also says, “Hey, if you’re the smartest one in the class, you’re in the wrong class.” Because you need to be challenging yourself to make sure that you are continuing to put yourself in the inner circle of people that are smarter than you, that are bigger than you, that are playing faster than you. And so when you think about this in the law of the inner circle, I want to make sure that you are surrounding yourself with people that are of higher caliber, that have great integrity and are making you better and not holding you back.

Perry Holley:    Yeah. It’s a huge concept. I wish I’d had known this much earlier in my leadership journey. Because you can design your inner circle. I think for so much of my life, I let just whoever showed up….

Chris Goede:     Yeah.

Perry Holley:    … Be near me and be those five people. But everyone… And what I’ve learned now is I need a small close group, maybe two to three, four that can tell me anything, see my blind spots, not hold back, hold me accountable, listen, and tell me when I’m not making sense. Tell me when I’m harsh. Tell me when I’m good. But I tell me the things that others won’t tell me.

Chris Goede:     Yeah.

Perry Holley:    The things I need to hear. And I just think that inner circle starts with, like you said, the family, my wife is in the center of that. A couple of men who tell me that, you’re in that for me, that people that can tell me anything.

Chris Goede:     Yeah.

Perry Holley:    And I think it’s overlooked a lot. And so it’s a great law and one that I think you should take seriously.

Chris Goede:     Well, as we wrap up and remember, we’re talking about the laws of leadership that can help you increase your level four influence with people. And remember, okay, the levels of influence the team and the people that you’re influenced with, they get to determine what level of influence with you that you have with them. You don’t get to determine that. So these are laws that you always ought to be working on as we’ve broken it down over the last couple of weeks and we’ll do one more on level five next week in the podcast. But as I wrap up, here’s a couple things for you. What are you doing to discover potential leaders? Perry asked me that question. What do I do? And I just gave a couple things right off the top of my head. What are you doing? What are you looking for? What are you thinking?

What is that decision making filter? And then make sure that you’re giving your leaders freedom and resources to succeed. Allow them to kind of use their wings, fly a little bit and watch them through that process. And so again, I’m going to refer you back to the learner guide at, the website where Perry has a self-assessment on these three that we talked about today, the law of inner circle, the law of empowerment, and the law of explosive growth is a great place to start analyzing where you’re at in regards to improving your ability to influence people at level four.

Perry Holley:    And that website is, where you can get that learner guide, leave a comment, leave a question, or learn more about the five levels of leadership and the 360° Leader. We really enjoy hearing from you. So thank you for doing that and thank you for joining us this week and every week on the John Maxwell Executive Leadership Podcast.

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