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Do you think leadership is an attribute or consider it to be achieved by effort? This question has given rise to many debates surrounding the topic of leadership. There are various conceptual frameworks that look at leadership through a different lens, two of which are psychology-based and evolutionary-based.

A psychological model has depicted the five main personality traits: extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism, openness.

As the journey of evolution, we look at the group dynamics of human beings in hunter-gatherer societies to arrive at a unique perspective on leadership.

We always have more than one outlook to look at the matter. Deepak Kharbanda highlights five levels of leadership that have become accepted as key indicators of leadership as a whole.

Let us explore them in this blog.

Level 1 – Position

Level 1 is where most people aspire to be, not knowing it is only the first step to becoming a true leader.

It is reached when you attain a managerial position and become the head of a team. People follow you because the organization’s hierarchical structure dictates it.

This level of authority becomes the ultimate goal for many, but they don’t realize that people only follow such leaders because it is their job to do so.

Level 2 – Consent  

Level 2 is where people permit you to lead them.

This is because you might share core values or be knowledgeable in some aspects they hold in esteem. It may even be because you are admired.

Managers can reach this level by improving their interpersonal skills and thriving personal relationships with their team members.

Feeling needed and trusted as a team member is one reason people go beyond simply following orders.

Empathy is the main factor for mastering level 2.

Level 3 – Gaining Admiration

At this level, beyond attaining respect, people may start to admire you. Respect is earned through personality, but admiration comes from producing measurable results.

You attain a certain level of expertise to guide your team or followers, and they admire you for it.

Level 4 – Human Progress

A level 4 leader creates an image that is reflected in people who change their lives or progress in their careers.

There is a long-term effect that goes beyond the scope of work in mentored people or those whose talents are developed.

This leadership level is responsible for building future leaders, who take the initiative of improving the world in the right way.

Deepak Khabanda states that these leaders take coaching most of the time while others are raising their productivity.

Level 5 – Acme  

You can only achieve the final level if you have successfully bred future leaders to surpass you.

It is when the student becomes the master.

This level is achieved by selflessness for the greater good.

Final Thoughts

When trying to determine which level you are at, it is helpful to study these levels thoroughly and accept them as defined, and perhaps jump to the next stage of development.