Management Teams can achieve Level 5 Leadership!

“Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great.” These are the opening words of Jim Collins in his 2001 bestseller Good to Great. The words remain true even today; too often, we settle for good and fail to determinedly strive towards great.

A Level 5 leader gives their all to the organisation’s goals

In his book, Collins launched five levels of leadership based on the skills and characteristics of leaders. According to his research, a Level 5 leader, the most productive of all leadership levels, has always been involved in major transitions from a good company to a great one. A Level 5 leader is extremely ambitious and gives their all to the goals set for their institution. These goals are always more important to the leader than personal achievements. As a person, a Level 5 leader is modest, self-effacing and humble but also incredibly determined and fearless – never arrogant or distant.

How do the levels of leadership manifest themselves in Management Teams?

Collins’ levels of leadership are quite applicable to the functions of Management Teams. Everyone wants Level 5 leaders for their company, and especially for their Management Team. An excellent leader is committed to the goals of the company, promotes them in a determined manner and achieves great results. They transform the best practices into the company’s ways of working, which enables results that are lasting and not dependent on the leader’s individual performance or presence.

Everyone wants Level 5 leaders for their company, and especially for their Management Team.

Arrogance and a distant mindset are the enemies of an effective Management Team. If the Management Team is considered superior to all others, its actions are not questioned in a healthy manner. At the worst, the Management Team distances itself from the organisation and its operations, functional challenges and the opportunities created by the competence of the organisation. Such a Management Team may be a tight-knit group and even productive in the short run, but the results may be temporary or nominal.

From basics to better

What, then, are the differences between a good and a great Management Team? Even though it might sound tedious, great leadership does not overlook the importance of the basics. Only by ensuring that the company’s necessities are in order can the Management Team set up a determined path towards greatness. A good Management Team understands its role and purpose (inside and outside the Management Team), consists of people with sufficiently diverse skills, has purposeful discussion forums, conducts efficient meetings that focus on the right things, makes decisions and realises those decisions… And so on.

This leads to the Management Team’s development measures that are required by the business situation, corporate strategy, personnel and today’s working life and used to develop the Management Team towards greatness. It is rare to see effective leadership, productive Management Team work or a functional leadership structure as part of strategic measures, as stepping stones towards strategic goals.

How can we implement the expectations and needs of  today’s working life in the more traditional forms of leadership?

What are the requirements set by the changing working life and new types of work? Could the entire system of leadership be in need of renewal? How can we implement the expectations and needs of today’s working life in the more traditional forms of leadership? What about the new types of work? What sort of leadership does the personnel need? Leaderless management, self-direction, Teal and the changing motivational drivers are all playing their role in creating new leadership needs. Leadership must answer the needs of the modern organisation to ensure that the employees are motivated and committed to the best possible performance. When planning or experimenting a leadership system or philosophy, these factors are extremely important.

Organisation’s trust enables a great Management Team

Consequently, a Management Team cannot develop towards greatness on its own; it needs the support of the organisation. To make this support available, the management must be able to incite enthusiasm, motivation and confidence in the organisation. When the organisation trusts in the management and is ready to do its best for the goals, the Management Team is able to rise into greatness. A Management Team can never possess all the information, skills and resources to carry the company towards success; it needs the organisation’s experts to help create results. How often does the Management Team ask the organisation for feedback on its own actions? Employee surveys often answer this question, and the management should pay particular attention to this feedback in developing its operations.

In fact, Jim Collins arrives at the following conclusion: nearly any organisation can considerably improve its position and results and even become the best. Why not the Management Team as well?