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While “leader level” is not equal across all capabilities and situations, most leaders settle into a particular level of behavior, or center of gravity, which most satisfies those needs and requirements present in their lives currently, even if they are transiting to more complex levels over time. The way people reveal CAPABILITY, BIAS, through STYLE is at or of a LEVEL in life, work, and play—each domain may be at a different level. In other words, the density and frequency of our behaviors can be assigned to leader levels, which can metaphorically be thought of as being a particular “size, scope, range or level of behavior.”

LeaderW@RE uses the following designations as Leader Levels:*

• Level 0—not yet a manager, but aspire to become a leader – Managing Self

• Level 1—pre-management (Team or Lead) – Managing Team

 • Level 2—supervisory management level – Managing Others

 • Level 3—mid management level – Managing Managers

 • Level 4—upper management level – Managing Functions

• Level 5—senior management level – Managing Business

• Level 6—top management level (small) – Managing Groups

• Level 7—top management level (large – Managing Enterprise

* Adapted from Lectica,org, The Leadership Pipeline, and Requisite Organization.)

Each level is indicative of the types of problems and challenges that are present at that level to be met by the leader, which require the leader to reason using specific algorithms, or concepts, which are particular to that level of life work and relationships. These levels are NEVER pure, and all leaders work across levels with simultaneous entering, nodal and exiting behaviors occurring intersubjectively. However, a center of gravity can be valid.

Complexity crisis: Levels & Tasks

“During the last 20 years, scholars and practitioners in many disciplines have identified a growing gap between the complexity of the workplace and the capabilities of leaders. This gap has contributed to what we refer to as a complexity crisis, in which leaders are forced repeatedly to make decisions without an adequate understanding of their ramifications.”

– Dr. Theo Dawson, Lectica.org

The following excerpted material provides another opportunity to look at how the need for Level DYNAMICS can be positioned. It’s a valuable read.

Individual Differences in Strategic Leadership Capacity:
A Constructive/Developmental View

“…the skills required for effective performance are different at different organizational levels. The higher one goes in most organizations, the more complex the thinking skills need to be. Executives must be able to deal with abstract constructs that do not concern lower levels, and they need to be more integrative in their thinking.

The personal demands of strategic leadership are enormous

…the strategic leader operates in a highly faceted, changing, probabilistic environment where the consequences of strategic decisions will often not be known for several years.

To operate effectively in such an environment requires the vision, perspective, and strength of character that are thought to come only from years of experience in the real world. Yet, as the growing literature on managerial “derailment,” experience [KSEs as horizontal capability] alone does not seem to impart strategic leadership capacity.

What, then, does distinguish effective strategic leaders from ineffective ones, if not experience and skill levels?

…what most often distinguishes between effective and ineffective strategic leaders is their level of conceptual capacity.

Simply stated, leaders who lack the conceptual capacity to construct an understanding that match: or exceeds the complexity of their work will be unable to carry out their most critical tasks effectively.”

Philip Lewis and T. Owen Jacobs, STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP: A Multiorganizatonal-Level Perspective

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    You, Me, and We @F-L-O-W

    Mike R. Jay is a developmentalist utilizing consulting, coaching, mentoring and advising as methods to offer developmental scaffolding for aspiring leaders who are interested in being, doing, having, becoming, and contributing… to helping people have lives.

    Mike R. Jay
    Leadership University

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