Spead the Word


I recently shared five different quotes from leadership guru John Maxwell with you.  In his book, “The Five Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential,” he discusses the five levels of leadership including:

1. Position – People follow because they have to.
2. Permission – People follow because they want to.
3. Production – People follow because of what you have done for the organization.
4. Person Development – People follow because of what you have done for them personally.
5. Pinnacle – People follow because of who you are and what you represent.

Level 1 – Your Values are the soul of your leadership, and they drive your behavior.
As a college coach and professor, my players and students followed because they had to.  They were on the team or in the class so by default they followed.  The key in developing successful players and students was to show my passion in coaching and teaching.  My passion showed what I valued.  I believed that if my players and students saw my values and saw that my behaviors matched my values, they would be influenced to accept the same values.

Level 2 – Leaders who move up to Level 2 shift their focus from me to we.
I recently was named the head coach for three youth soccer teams, ages 13-18.  The first talk I had was with the parents.  I needed the parents on board with my values if we were going to be successful.  Parents influence their kids daily.  I asked the parents to no longer think about just what was best for their son or daughter, but to think about what was best for the team.  I asked them to change from “me” to “we.”  If all the parents believe in me to we,  then the each individual will reach a new level because the environment is healthy for growth.

Level 3 – Some leaders make the same mistake as some parents. They expect people to do as they say, not as they do.
I love to get out on the field and play with the team.  When I step on the field, I make sure I perform in the same manner I ask of the players.  I might not be as quick as I was 25 years ago, but the principles of playing are the same and I follow those principles.  How can I ask my players to perform a certain task if I don’t make the effort to do the same thing?

Level 4 – Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others.
The greatest joy as a coach I have had is not in winning all the championships, those are fun but short-lived.  Instead, I love seeing the successes of former players that have become moms and dads, teachers, coaches, artists, doctors, firefighters, business executives and much more.  Seeing the multitudes of players graduate, and eager to change the world is what made my job as a coach and professor worthwhile.  Tears came to my eyes when I stepped down from my most current position as I read all the Facebook posts.  Many of my former players, player’s parents and associates affirmed the impact I had made in the many facets of their lives.  A true blessing.

Level 5 – If you’re through learning, then you’re through.
As I started my new chapter in my life,  I knew I must continue to invest in myself so that I could invest more in others.  Becoming a Certified Independent John Maxwell Coach, Speaker and Instructor was an investment.

Where are you on the Leadership Scale?  Are you ready to invest in yourself so you can punch through to the next level of life?  We all have the potential to influence, drive behavior and empower others.  VOLTA can help you, your team or your business close the gap between good and great.

About the Author Christian DeVries

As the founder and CEO of VOLTA Sports and Leadership, DeVries has developed the premier coaching, recruiting and sports leadership program called, AOS – The Athlete of Significance. The AOS Platform is a comprehensive eLearning platform for coaches, student-athletes, and parents who are engaged in, or are getting ready to start, the college recruiting process. The AOS Program is not your standard college advisory program. AOS will go beyond just placing a student-athlete in front of college coaches. AOS will help the student-athletes prepare for the ultimate goal of presenting their significance to the coaches.