There are many different thoughts or definitions of what a Next-Level Leader is or what pairing those two words together actually means. In this post, I will provide my personal definition of what a Next-Level Leader is, in addition to identifying 5 Distinctions of A Next-Level Leader.
The definition of a Next-Level Leader is this- A leader that not only elevates their personal leadership to the Next-Level but elevates the leadership of their team members, peers, their organization and competition to the Next-Level. They challenge the status quo and elevate the level of performance of those around them; both friends and foes.
Below are the 5 Distinctions of A Next-Level Leader, Next-Level Leaders always do these things:
1.) Challenge Things- Next-Level Leaders challenge things because they are supposed to be challenged. They not only challenge the thoughts/methods of their leaders, but they challenge their own methodology. They realize that their boss puts their pants on just like they do and embrace the fact that just because a person a supervisor doesn’t mean they are necessarily smarter or better leaders, or that they can’t add value to the conversation. Challenging things is not about being combative, but rather raising everyone’s leadership game to the Next-Level. It’s okay to respectfully disagree. Don’t get the willingness to challenge things confused with being obstinate.
2.) Ask The Right Questions- Next-Level Leaders always ask the right questions… They begin sentences with “What If?, Have You Ever Thought About?, This Might Sound Crazy, but do you think we can…” Anytime they have the opportunity to sit down with another Next-Level Leader that they desire to learn from, they come with a list of questions and not a list of answers. They take their leadership game to the Next-Level by asking the right questions.
3.) dream BIG- Next-Level Leaders are always dreaming and imagining. Some of these dreams may seem to be a fairy-tale to some, but not to a Next-Level Leader. A Next-Level Leader will schedule an appointment to dream, they go to Starbucks and dream, they close their office door and dream, they take a vacation alone to do nothing but dream. They take their leadership game to the Next-Level by dreaming BIG, encouraging those around them to dream BIG, writing their dreams down and making those dreams a reality. They dream BIG. think BIGGER.
4.) Learners- Next-lLevel leaders are always learning from: books, blogs, their industry, history, other industries, culture, failures, television, their followers, various industries and other Next-Level Leaders. They have a mantra something like Will Rogers’ Mantra “I never met a man I didn’t like.” The Next-Level Leaders mantra sounds a little something like this: “I Never Met a Man, Woman or Situation that I didn’t learn from.” They elevate their leadership game to the next-level by realizing that learning is fundamental.
5.) Produce Next-Level Leaders- Next-Level Leaders produce Next-Level Leaders, period the end. Next-Level Leaders contribute to the world of leadership by truly caring about those that they lead and always developing Next-Level Leaders. They never confuse Management with Leadership. They understand that managers manage people and things, while Next-Level Leaders produce other Next-Level Leaders. Simply put: “If You Are Not Developing and Producing Next-Level Leaders, You Are Not A Next Level Leader.” Next-Level leadership is not about how tall your tree can grow, but rather the type of fruit your tree can produce.
“I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.“~Ralph Nader
Scott Williams is a speaker, strategist, consultant and developer of leaders. He is an avid blogger at BigIsTheNewSmall.com, and leverages Social Media to make a Kingdom impact. Scott is passionate about leadership development, organizational growth, and diversity. He is the author of “Church Diversity – Sunday The Most Segregated Day of the Week.” Scott is married, a father of two, and lives in Oklahoma City, OK.