My 5 Levels of Leadership (as inspired by Jim Collins’s book From Good to Great)
As a high class Division I athlete I have had a lot of experience involving leadership throughout high school and college. With the changing environments between high school and college I have experienced different types of leadership between myself and others.
The first level is classified as being a Highly Capable Individual, which is someone who makes productive contributions through talent, knowledge, skills, and good work habits. As a top nationally ranked high school javelin thrower I feel I showed this quality throughout my career by always working hard and trying to be the best. I always wanted to get better and shared my knowledge of the event with my teammates who weren’t as talented and needed help. I tried to lead by example and hoped my teammates would follow me and try to put in the same amount of work as I would.
These traits can also be combined with the second level of being a Contributing Team Member by contributing my individual capabilities to help the team and to work well with them. I considered myself almost another coach to them because sometimes our coach had to work with other kids and felt I could help enough for where the kids were and they trusted me because they knew I was good.
Now with the third level being a Competent Manager it is kind of similar to the second level. A competent manager is described as someone who organizes people and resources toward the effective and efficient pursuit of predetermined objectives. I feel in college I showed more of this trait than I did in high school because there weren’t as many set team goals but in college our group of javelin throwers have very high expectations. Therefore as the oldest and most experienced thrower competing this year for us I feel I have to show the younger guys a better and more effective ways of doing things with training and also things not to do so we don’t get hurt.
The fourth level is also similar to the third level but just to a more intense pace. This level is called an Effective Leader which is someone who catalyzes commitments to and vigorous pursuit of a clear and compelling vision, stimulating higher performance standards. This I also feel I have shown through college and being one of the older guys. With being in the B1G conference now we are set to trying to be better athletes so we can compete with the higher athletics. I also try and set good examples because I am one of the few on our team to score at the conference meet and make regionals. With this I want our other athletes to strive to be better so they can make going to these big meets.
The fifth and final level is the Executive and they show someone trying to build enduring greatness through a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will. This I personally haven’t seen and think this would take a very special person to show, although I am very happy with myself being able to consider myself a level four leader.