Journaling Series - Who Do You Need to Become

Leaders Lead Leaders


Hey hey, bold leaders, it’s Tara Newman, your host of the Bold Leadership Revolution podcast and I could not be more excited to be here with you today talking about one of my favorite topics, leaders leading leaders. Today we’re talking about being at the pinnacle of leadership and our greatest unifying mission as leaders, which is to develop more leaders in the world. Leaders follow a common trajectory and it’s mapped out very well in John Maxwell’s book, The Five Principles of Leadership, which I’ll be sharing with you here today.

If you have ever wondered how to up your leadership game and have researched all the different strategies to develop yourself, this is your episode. We’re breaking it down, lifting you up, and validating your path because even the boldest leaders need a little validation sometimes. In John Maxwell’s The Five Principles of Leadership, he talks about them in five different levels and I’m just going to quickly move through them. It is a very long book. I am not going into all of his teachings, I’m just basically touching on the levels of leadership. 


They have a position. They tend to focus on control instead of contribution. You’re going to listen to me because I said so, right? You’re going to listen to me because I’m your boss. You’re going to listen to me because I have a title. You’re going to listen to me maybe even because I have a degree, right? So maybe some of your credentials come in in positional leadership and we all … Here’s the thing with the levels, we all travel through these different levels and depending on where we are with a person, we can be on level one even if we’re a level five leader.

It’s important to note level one is about position. Now if you have somebody who we all know them who’s like right, this is my job, I say do this because I’m the boss, they tend to focus on control instead of contribution. These are the folks who constantly throw their credentials or title around to have influence. There are a lot of inherent flaws in positional leadership but this is where we all start. Those of us who have a true sense of leadership skills move beyond positional leadership into something that is more relationship based, inclusive, cooperative, and value adding. 


I think people move beyond positional leadership when they believe that people are important. These are also the people that know it’s not advantageous to be the smartest person in the room, right? Positional leadership comes with a lot of ego so people who are stuck in that level one leadership are really leading from a lot of ego. However, if you recognize that this is not a place you want to hang out, you move up to level two leadership and it’s based on relationships.

John Maxwell calls this level permission and says, “You can’t lead people until you like people. When you build a relationship with someone, they give you permission to lead them.” This is what makes work more enjoyable, when you actually have an intimate relationship with your team. Communication increases, which always brings stress down and this is really the level where we start talking about influence. This is where people follow a leader because they want to, not because they have to. 


Now, level three leadership is called production or what I like to call getting shit done. Leaders at level three get things done for themselves, personal results and for the organization. The work that’s being done is one of the highest priority, makes the greatest impact, solves the organization’s most pressing issues. This is not doing for doing sake. This is about real, tangible, and intangible results. These leaders have systems, structures, routines, habits, for consistent performance and have replicated their results over and over again. 


These people are respected for the results they get, which allows them to step up to the next level, which is level four, right? Because level four is people development and you need something really important to develop other people. You need to be a high trust leader and when you are at level two developing relationships and then you get results for yourself and others, that goes a long way to building trust. Level four, people development.

John Maxwell says, “Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others.” This is where leaders use their position, relationship, and productivity to invest in their people. He further states that level four leaders reproduce themselves. Now, I need to jump in here because some of you have already said to me, “But I don’t have a team.” And that is a common misconception. All around you are people who desire to be developed and who you can play an integral role in their leadership journey. This can be your children, your family, your community, your peers, the list is really endless. Everywhere I go I lead, coach, develop, mentor, train, but more on that in a minute.

Here’s another way to look at the difference between level three and level four leadership. John Maxwell says, “Production may win games, but people development wins championships, and when people hire me to call them up into a higher level of leadership, they are saying make me a champion. They inherently know that if they want to take their businesses to another level, it’s their leadership that will get them there.” Now I started talking about the pinnacle of leadership. 


The way John Maxwell describes level five is like this, level five is the pinnacle of leadership and this is what he has to say, “Level five leaders develop people to become level four leaders, which requires a tremendous amount of effort, skill, intentionality, and talent.” This is the concept of leaders leading leaders. This is where the high achievers must become high performers to progress through levels two through five. 

I don’t think that there are any words to describe my passion for leadership and developing leaders who develop more leaders. I’ve dedicated my entire life to developing high performing leaders starting with myself. Everything I do, every dollar invested in me, every book I read, every conference I attend, every relationship I build, every second of mental strength I cultivate, every weight I lift in the gym, comes from this intention to develop leaders who develop other leaders. It’s my obsession and that feels so vulnerable to admit to all of you that I am manically obsessed with developing leaders, but I did.


I used to get really frustrated when people asked me my why. Maybe you can relate. I would get so frustrated because leadership is so embodied for me that my only answer for a long time was, “Because I can.” Or, “Because I don’t know how to do anything else.” Ultimately, when I left my corporate job, it was because I couldn’t be confined to only develop the people who were inhabiting the four walls of the company. I knew I was born for more and it took me a ridiculously long time to own my gifts and to be able to claim my calling. It feels so uncomfortable at times to say that I was born to stand toe to toe with everyday legends and have the courage to ask the tough questions to create the intimate space for badasses to break down, break through, and become even more badass. 

I know some of you are listening and have immediately tuned me out because you’re counting yourself out, because you’re thinking, “I’m not an everyday legend. I’m not a badass. I’m not a leader.” But you are. Each one of us has that innate potential within us and that’s where the other part of my innate skill comes in. I see your potential and I believe in you until you believe in yourself, and I understand two things with certainty. Your big fear is never reaching that potential. I hear this time and time again from my community, from colleagues, from peers, from potential clients, from clients, your biggest fear is never reaching that potential. 

Two, the other thing I know with certainty, your potential is bullshit and it is a giant distraction until you’re able to show up every day and perform your best. This is where our work begins as leaders. If we want to become leaders who lead leaders, we must equip ourselves with the tools and resources to make the unending journey from today to our potential by holding ourselves to a standard of performance that will build the character of a champion and it is an unending journey. There is no there. The goal post moves because just when you achieve the thing that you thought impossible, the next impossible thing emerges and along the way, on your journey, you inspire others. You mentor, you coach, and you develop leaders who hopefully go on to develop more leaders.


It starts with you regardless if you have people working for you, because we all have a team. Many times I hear leaders talk about not having a seat at the table, not feeling like a leader, but so often it’s that we aren’t claiming our seat at the table. We don’t think we are good enough or have enough to offer. This comes up a lot in mastermind situations where people fail to invest in a mastermind because they don’t believe in their ability to show up and be of tremendous value to others. They don’t trust their ability to show up, sit in a mastermind with other leaders, and be a leader to lead the leaders.

I understand this. That’s why I was saying ‘we’ before. I’m creating a powerful program called The B.R.A.V.E. Society to help connect leaders with resources they need to grow their businesses. I’m connecting them with the character traits they need to develop, I’m connecting them to other leaders, I’m giving them the opportunity to hire each other and promote their work, and I’m connecting them with the tools and resources to develop themselves so they can go on to develop other leaders. 

As I’ve been inviting and founding members because I’ve decided that I’m going to have founding members standing shoulder to shoulder with me, that The B.R.A.V.E Society is not about Tara Newman. The Bold Leadership Revolution is not about Tara Newman. I am here as a facilitator of leadership and so I need to have other people standing shoulder to shoulder with me. I’ve had to find my courage and bravery to take a seat at my own damn table.

I’ve been questioning everything from my why to my worth and maybe you can relate when you’re about to step out and do these really big things. I walked my walk and I shared how I was feeling with these amazing founding members and I asked them to call me up into my highest level of leadership. I asked these leaders to lead me. I asked them to help me rise. I asked them to lift me up and remind me of my why. Why am I doing this? I’m doing this to train the best of the best so they can go to train the best to be the best. To be brave, to be bold, resilient, abundant, value driven, and endurable leaders and thank goodness I had this collective courage that I can call upon when I’m doing these big things, the power of leading leaders, the power of being led by other leaders.

The doors for The B.R.A.V.E Society are officially open and if you want to stand shoulder to shoulder with us, claim your seat at the table. I want you to head over to the show notes and check it out, and I don’t want you to wait until you’re ready because I know you are more ready than you think. You are ready now.

Important links to share:

The B.R.A.V.E Society

Follow Tara over on Instagram

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