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The Characteristics Of Level 5 Leaders

Duncan Brodie

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Level 5 leaders are often described as those that have the right mix of personal attributes and professional desire to achieve greatness. So what characteristics do these Level 5 leaders have?

Characteristic 1: Drive for sustained results

Most leaders are driven to achieve results. The difference between the Level 5 and other leaders is that they are driven to produce sustainable results for their organizations. There are many examples of leaders who come in and do a quick fix, move on and the company is back at square one a few years later. There are fewer examples of those Level 5 leaders who have created long term sustainable change.

Characteristic 2: Set up successors for success

As Level 5 leaders are interested in the long term sustained success of the organization, they look to set up their successors for success. This mindset arises because Level 5 leaders are generally more interested in the success of the organization than there own personal success. They want to leave a lasting legacy of an organization that continues to prosper.

Characteristic 3: Modesty

While many think that leaders need to be extroverts, many Level 5 leaders are introverts preferring to quietly get on with delivering results. They let the results do the talking.

Characteristic 4: Take responsibility

Level 5 leaders stand out because they take responsibility when things go wrong. They do not look to blame others when things do not work out as expected. In addition, they rarely seek to take credit for things that go right, generally seeking to attribute the success to other factors.

Characteristic 5: Organization focus

The ambition of the Level 5 leader is first and foremost on the organization. Their desire for success for the organization that they lead far outweighs their drive for personal rewards.

Great leaders are often hard to find but good leaders can become great Level 5 leaders. So what could you do differently to move you towards being a great Level 5 leader?

Duncan Brodie of Goals and Achievements (G&A) works with individuals, teams and organizations to develop their management and leadership capability.

With 25 years business experience in a range of sectors, he understands first hand the real challenges of managing and leading in the demanding business world.

Sign up for his free e-course and newsletter at


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