Five Levels of Leadership by John C. Maxwell

In the past few weeks, I got excellent opportunity to go through lot of articles, books, audio tapes and videos related leadership topics. My whole September spent majority on Maxwell’s Leadership work. I can say, I got overview on “Maxwell-ism” of Leadership. There is a wonderful piece literature about leadership levels in “Developing Leader within You”. I thought it would be nice to provide my view about that here.

* As stated in one of my earlier post, Leadership is a journey & it does not end with an achievement of certain qualities.

* I view Maxwell’s five levels of leadership mainly within an organizational structure but it can be applied beyond that.

* There are 5Ps of leadership in the increasing order respectively – Position, Permission, Production, People Development, Personhood.

* Maxwell nicely put all the indicators starting with letter “R” so there will be 5Rs corresponding to each “P” levelRights, Relationships, Results, Reproduction, Respect.

* One of the “Maxwell-ism” says “Leadership is Influence. That’s it. Nothing more; nothing less.” & all these five levels are carefully built on this Influence factor.

* You are valued differently by each one in your group. So you stand at different levels of this ladder with each one. Each time you need to strive getting higher in the levels with each one.

* I got a position level leadership role few years back. I am having good relationship with few in the team and able to get extra effort from them through that. But I don’t know am I there in anyone’s book under Production or People Development levels. But after reading these levels I will surely go up in the ladder and attain higher leadership levels. I thank Maxwell for showing the path for all of us.

* To me, I can say “Gandhi” is in Personhood level.


Key Points from Maxwell’s text about climbing up in the ladder.


I encourage all of you to go through “Developing The Leader within You” to fulfill your leadership career.


1. John C. Maxwell, 2001. ‘Developing The Leader within You’, Injoy Inc., pp 5-13.

6 thoughts on “Five Levels of Leadership by John C. Maxwell

  1. Any chance the PowerPoint is available. I would like to add his leadership traits to this to make it a one page carry around resource. Would be glad to return the edited version to you for review and approval. Liked how you built it. Curious you changed Pinnacle to Personhood. Did you read an earlier draft or think this was a better description?

    • Hi Jim,

      Thanks for your mail. I have only the Key points picture slide (in PPT format). In case you want that I can share it will you. I suppose you are more interested in first one than 2nd. Is it possible for you to reconstruct again from the picture? or Do you want me to reconstruct & provide it you? Both choice is okay for me.

      I read 2001 version of the book. I think author enhanced the book after that release.

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