Navigating Leadership Levels and Embracing Positivity: Fueling Growth and Transformation – Your Champions Brew

Your conscious mind can hold only one thought at a time, positive or negative. 

Happy Friday, Brew Nation! 

Grab your favorite coffee cup, sit back, relax, and get ready to sip on some enriching and thought-provoking content that will equip you to thrive in all areas of your life:

  • Grow Champions – In the world of leadership, there are five distinct levels that individuals progress through on their journey towards becoming uncommon and impactful leaders. These levels provide a framework that helps us understand our growth as leaders and the impact we have on those around us. I found myself referencing these levels a few times the past week in my coaching and just felt the impulse to share them with all of Brew Nation:

Level 1: Position – Leading by Title At this initial level, leaders hold authority based on their position within an organization. People follow them because they have to, driven by the organization structure. While this level provides a starting point, great leaders understand the importance of not lingering here for too long. Positional leadership alone is not enough to inspire and empower others. 

Level 2: Permission – Building Relationships Moving beyond positional influence, leaders reach the permission level where followers choose to follow them because they want to. Building intentional relationships is crucial at this stage. Leaders demonstrate genuine care, invest time in understanding their team members’ aspirations, and show interest in their personal lives. This level fosters trust and establishes a solid foundation for growth.

Level 3: Production – Delivering Results Having established meaningful connections, leaders transition to the production level. Here, their effectiveness is measured by the results they achieve through their team. The ability to motivate and empower others to accomplish goals becomes paramount. Leaders at this level are respected not only for their care but also for their ability to drive outcomes through collaborative efforts.

Level 4: People Development – Growing Others Elevating leadership further, the focus shifts from personal achievements to developing others. Leaders who reach this level understand the importance of nurturing talent within their teams. They actively invest in the growth and success of their followers, fostering an environment of learning and development. Leaders become catalysts for their team members’ progress, resulting in a collective rise.

Level 5: Pinnacle – Leaving a Legacy The pinnacle of leadership is the rarest level to attain. At this stage, people follow you not only for what you’ve done but for who you are as a person. Your values, character, and integrity inspire others to emulate your example. It’s the level where your positive impact extends far beyond the immediate team, leaving a lasting impact. To reach this pinnacle, leaders must continuously grow themselves and stay committed to personal development.

As leaders, we navigate through these levels with different individuals within our organizations. Recognizing where we stand with each person and taking intentional steps to move them to the next level is crucial for our growth and the growth of our teams. The journey to becoming an exceptional leader requires self-awareness, empathy, and continuous personal development. By embracing these five levels of leadership, we can unlock our full potential, inspire others, and leave a lasting impact on the lives we touch.

Resource: “Developing the Leader Within You” by John C. Maxwell

Quality #13 – Positive Attitude

If You Believe You Can, You Can

Your attitude is not only a mindset; it is a powerful choice you make every day. I remember delivering this key message to a group of engineering students more than 20 years ago, and I still believe in its truth today.

No matter what challenges you faced yesterday, your attitude remains within your control. If you find it difficult to expect the best from yourself and others, don’t lose hope. The beauty of choosing your attitude is that you have the power to change it.

Reflect on the words of Martyn Lloyd-Jones: “Most of the unhappiness in your life stems from LISTENING to yourself rather than TALKING to yourself” (emphasis added by me). Take a moment to absorb the impact of that quote. If negative thoughts dominate your mind, it’s time to give yourself positive pep talks. To reshape your attitude, it’s crucial to steer clear of negative influences and stay on the path of positivity.

Improving your attitude begins with a careful examination of the content you allow into your mind. Consume information that fosters a positive mindset, like the Champions Brew! I can’t help but chuckle when I recall signing up for the original Injoy club, receiving audio cassette tapes every month. That was around the year 2000. Remarkably, I kept those tapes stored until just five years ago. I distinctly remember thinking to myself that I wanted to create something similar—a testament to my positive attitude! And now, here I am, over two decades later, bringing you the Champions Brew and hosting the Uncommon Leader Podcast each week!

Consider the remarkable career of Chris Evert, one of the most dominant female athletes of all time. With 18 grand slam titles and an overall Win-Loss record of 1,309-146, she consistently ranked among the top players for 17 years. Evert once highlighted the significance of a positive attitude: “The thing that separates good players from great ones is mental attitude. It might only make a difference of two or three points in an entire match, but how you play those key points often determines the outcome.” Lou Holtz, in his book Winning Every Day, echoes this sentiment as well, stating, “Your talent determines what you can do. Your motivation determines how much you are willing to do. Your attitude determines how well you do it.”

If you find yourself lacking a positive attitude, it’s time to take action and cultivate one. Choose positive thoughts. Surround yourself with positive people. Engage with uplifting and encouraging material through reading or listening. Every day, someone out there chooses a positive attitude and does something extraordinary. Today, could it be your turn?

Next week:  Problem Solving

Quote of the week:   “I should’ve been a cowboy.  I should’ve learned to rope and ride.  I’d be wearing my six-shooter riding my pony on a cattle drive.  Stealing a young girl’s heart.  Just like Gene & Roy.  Singing those campfire songs.  Oh, I should’ve been a cowboy.”  RIP Toby Keith!

What You Need to Do:

Call to Action:  Reflect on your own leadership journey and identify the level you currently operate at with each individual on your team or in your sphere of influence. Imagine what would be possible if you could move the score up one level with each of those individuals.  What would THAT be worth to the ROI for your organization? Consider one action you can take to help move someone to the next level.

It’s an honor to be your trusted “Friday Coffee Guy”.  Each week, I’m excited to provide yet another round of curated content that I’ve been reading, listening to, watching, or thinking over. The purpose of the Champions Brew is to inspire, equip and encourage you to become the uncommon leader you were designed to be. I am so grateful for your decision to invest a few moments with me! I hope you enjoyed this week’s edition of Champions Brew. If you did, I would appreciate it if you would share it with someone who might enjoy it as well and ask them to subscribe! I will make sure they automatically get this email every week.

Until next time, Go and Grow Champions and remember… Excellence Only Happens on Purpose!

P.S. – Are you a podcast fan?  Maybe the Uncommon Leader podcast is for you.    Are you interested in being a guest on the Uncommon Leader Podcast?  Do you have a story to tell?  Email me [email protected] and let’s have a chat and set something up!!


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To become Champion leader, we have to be on a continuous improvement journey for ourselves and others.  We have to be able to take advantage of the precious seconds that we have each day.  
There are things that I come across each week that help me, inspire me, relax me, motivate me, and are sometimes are just funny that I want to share with you so that you can smile more, build faith, think positively, network well, exercise often, eat healthy, and grow daily.

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