Friday, August 31, 2012

Level 3 Leadership: Production Leadership

In Part 3 of the leadership series, John Maxwell calls this "Production" level of leadership. While the first level is positional leadership, deals more with rights and status in the hierarchy, and the second that works on a relationship level, and the motivation of followers to heed the leaders, this third level focuses on efficiency and efficacy. At this level, people follow the leader on the basis of what works, and what they have done or able to do for the group. It is a higher level mainly because of the credibility that comes with the leadership. After all, who wants to follow a leader who is good for nothing? Such leaders do the following:
  • They are effective in what they do
  • They deliver results
  • They set the standards for all to see
  • They bring clarity and reality to the vision setting process
  • They solve problems
  • They move the organization along instead of allowing it to stagnate
  • They build teams.
A) Disadvantages of Production Level Leadership

According to Maxwell, there are four dangers to such level of leadership. Firstly, not all producers are leaders. While production is good, sometimes, leadership requires more than mere results. For example, good technical skills may not necessarily mean good people skills. Secondly, production leaders may have an unhealthy sense of responsibility, when it is the team who is expected to perform, and not just the leader. This easily leads to overwork and an unbalanced shouldering of burdens. Sometimes at this level, it is tough to delegate. Thirdly, making decisions may be difficult. If leaders are unable to make tough decisions, the failure to make them is often more fatal. Perseverence and courage is essential to make tough decisions, and to be decisive in making them. Finally, it is tough to balance level 2 with level 3 leadership. When relationships and results clash, leaders are faced with a challenging situation.

B) Advantages of Production Level Leadership

Maxwell brings out 6 advantages.
  1. It gives leader the credibility he needs, when the results are obtained.
  2. It sets a clear standard for all to see
  3. It brings clarity and vision
  4. It solves problems
  5. It creates momentum for the whole team
  6. It is the foundation of team building.
C) Cultivating Level 3 Leadership

Maxwell describes 6 ways to develop and cultivate this production leadership.  Firstly, a leader grows in understanding how his gifts are linked to getting results. When a leader is more self-aware, he often becomes a better leader. Secondly, the vision casting establishes a clarity, which leads to a commitment toward a successful fulfillment of the vision. Thirdly, by developing people through teamwork, people will be better team players which usually mean better results. Fourthly, setting priorities enable the wise distribution of limited resources. Fifthly, one improves level 3 leadership through being change agents. Finally, the focus on the end goal enables one to be intentional and purposeful.

My Comments

In Christian organizations, sometimes we can commit one or two major errors. We tend to think that relationships are so important that we de-emphasize the importance of results. Or we can comfort one another by saying that the process is more important than the product. That is simply not true. Knowing the process is perhaps more applicable to classroom learning. In the school of hard knocks, results matter a lot. The second error is to become so fixated on results that we sacrifice relationships. The way forward is to remember to seek God for wisdom how to hold all three levels of leadership in tandem. We need to learn to use Level 1 leadership unashamedly. There is no need to be shy. We are called or appointed to that position, so behave accordingly but humbly. We need to adopt Level 2 leadership because relationships are important in a Christian organization. We need to have Level 3 leadership so that results are achieved. Above all, communications and constant relating is key to growing the leader and the team.

Next week, I will write on Level 4 leadership: People Development.


No comments:

Latest Posts