BACKGROUND TO THE STORY
For those of you who are not familiar with John C. Maxwell, he is a well known speaker, trainer, and expert on the subject of leadership and self growth. I have recently joined his team and certification program. Those of us on the team, or have read many of his 70 plus books, know that much of John's leadership principles and concepts come from the Bible. Oh, by the way, John was also a pastor.
I, personally have connected with John's writings and teachings, because I see a great similarity in the leadership traits and principles of the Untied States Marine Corps. So, those traits and principles of the Corps have lineage to the Bible as well.
My favorite book of John's is The 5 Levels of Leadership. In that book John outlines what the five levels are and what a leader must do to move up through the levels. Level 1. Position - People follow a leader because they have to, Level 2. Permission - People follow a leader because they trust them, Level 3. Productivity - People follow a leader because of what they do for the organization, or in other words their track record of victories, Level 4. People Development - People follow a leader because of what that leader does for them, they mentor and develop people into the best they can be, Level 5. Pinnacle - People follow a leader because of who they are and what they represent (Nelson Mandela is an example).
All of this information along with the story below triggered a higher level of understanding for me this morning.
Now, I am a man of faith. I am not a missionary, nor a preacher, nor a religious scholar. I make my own interpretations. I leave people to their own path when it comes to God or religion. This story is not intended to try to convert anyone, just enlighten them.
As I was running this morning, I was listening to a podcast about Jesus. It was a back-dated Christmas sermon talking about the birth of Jesus. As I was running, listening to the podcast, allowing my mind to flow, the connection of the Bible and John's principles of The 5 Levels of Leadership connected! The entire story of Jesus is The 5 Levels of Leadership.
In the days of His birth
Before Jesus was born there were kings. In those days, the kings (people of power and Level 1. POSITION) felt threatened by this prophecy of a Great King to be born. In their minds, this was to be a great threat to their POSITIONS. They led from their POSITION of power, and had little to no true influence over their people, because if you removed them of their titles as kings, no one would follow them. Their titles were all they had to lead from.
Level 1. When Jesus was born, the prophecy of the Great King came to be. Jesus was given a title of King a POSITION of leadership, even if it was only a title in prophecy alone.
Level 2. Throughout his growth in life, people of faith or great trust (PERMISSION) began to follow him. His character and connection with those he interacted with created his following.
Level 3. As his following grew, so did his reputation. We all know the stories of the miracles Jesus performed. Jesus was creating victories. He was winning people over. He brought people back from the dead, He walked on water, He made water out of wine, He fed people when there was not enough to feed everyone. His (PRODUCTIVITY) was winning people over. He was a champion of the people.
Level 4. Jesus was a teacher and a communicator. Jesus was a PEOPLE DEVELOPER, a leadership developer. Through His Teachings, He developed the Apostles, who would go forth after his death to spread his Word and Teachings to all nations. Those Apostles became leaders who then spoke, taught, and developed more people. They created a multiplication of the leadership Jesus lived and demonstrated.
Level 5. Upon His death and resurrection, Jesus had spent his whole life gracing the world with His Word, His Leadership, His uplifting of people, and ultimately, His sacrifice for people's sins, He rose to the PINNACLE of all leadership. Because of who He is, what He represents, hundreds of millions of people today follow Him. A Leader of the Greatest Example.
How high we ascend is up to us.
To John C. Maxwell, if you ever read this, thank you. I have been listening and reading your works for years now. I heard you this morning.
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