There are many leadership gurus with thousands of books on the subject. For the purpose of this post and to keep things simple I'm using John C. Maxwell's five levels of leadership strucutre. I've been to his lecture and I like the simplicity of his approach. John's repertoire of books is significant (johnmaxwell.com), but at its core the following structure stands.
Level 1. People follow you because they have to.
Level 2. People follow you because they want to.
Level 3. People follow you because of what you have done for the organization.
Level 4. People follow you because of what they have done for them.
Level 5. People follow you because of who you are and what you represent.
The first level is self explanatory.
At the second level your leadership depends on the relationships you build with the people. At this level you're connected and engaged. As John Maxwell says: "you listen, learn, and lead - constantly."
At the third level you're clearly demonstrating how you improve the bottom line. People see the results and performance that's the result of your leadership. You add clear value.
At the fourth level you're developing other people to be as effective as you are in leading others. People are attracted, because they want to be like you. Loyalty becomes very strong.
The last level, achieved by few in life, is given by others as a result of your lifetime achievement as an effective leader (think Gandhi, Churchill).
What kind of leader are you?
Watch for future posts on how to grow your level of leadership.