Leadership & Work Ethics – Part 2


This is a continuation of my series on the topic “Leadership & Work Ethics“. In  part1, I defined what leadership is all about & started talking about the levels of leadership as taught by the world’s leading expert on the topic – John C. Maxwell. 

Just to briefly recap, John in basic terms defines leadership as “INFLUENCE”

INFLUENCE, is the ability to have an effect on the character, development or behaviour of someone or something & we looked at the 1st level of leadership which is positional. At this level, influence is zero as everything done by the leader is executed by rights & the followers have no option but to comply.

Today we will be looking at the second level which is PERMISSION

Levels of leadership – LEVEL 2 PERMISSION

At this level, people follow you because they WANT TO not because they HAVE TO. Irrespective of the situation either at work or play, things become fun as a willing student gives permission to a willing teacher to learn. They allow you to lead.

This level thrives on interpersonal relationship in which both parties are treated with dignity & respect. And I usually say that respect is a 2-way street in which you have to give to receive. If it’s demanded or forced then it reduces the level of influence back to zero which is compliance.


To ensure there is trust in the relationship, the leader must show care. The leader must be interested in the people’s backgrounds, desires, goals & aspirations, create an atmosphere in which people can express themselves freely. There is an expression that says “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”. You can like people without leading them, but you will not lead well if you don’t like them.

I have this practice with members of my team(either old or new). I usually ask them to conduct a SWOT analysis of themselves as well as provide me with their goals, desires & targets. We then discuss it one on one & I look at areas where I can help them get better & goals I can help achieve in the shortest possible time. I also empower them to do things in line with the expectation of their role, I make sure they have all the information required to get their job done. I usually learn from these interactions since I conduct a SWOT analysis on myself & have desires, goals & targets that I also track.

These actions ensure that we both move from just compliance ( the fact that they have to do what I say because I’m the manager) to permission ( in which there is an open channel of communication with permission to engage based on my willingness to ensure they are empowered to succeed) because their success is my success.

If you want people to come along with you, they must first get along with you!!

I’ve realised over the years that those I didn’t get to influence or lead effectively were those I didn’t get along with for one reason or the other.

This level of influence is great, but to reap the reward of true influence you must climb up to the next level which we will discuss in another post.


Are you a leader? What is the level of your influence? No matter where you are now, strive to move to the next level. There is much more to achieve!!

This is my snippet, I am SHALOMESQ!!!


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