Victor Emmanuel: Reshaping The Enterprise Development Landscape In Africa

mrvictor2Victor Emmanuel is a Financial Services and Enterprise Development Consultant with over 12 years working experience as an accounts and relationship manager with two foremost Nigerian banks.
He is an ardent writer and connoisseur of books covering from personal development, financial management, motivationand enterprise development.
He has won international laurels for his short story publications namely: Best entry from Africa in the Commonwealth Short Story Writing Competitionin 2003 (The elders viewpoint) and best commended entry from Africa in the same competition in 2011 (The bride price).
He has published 2 novels: A Night Bus To Aba (2005) and Portrait of Papa Kante(2011) and a motivational masterpiece titled ‘Manage your time‘(2008) and several unpublished plays. The published materials are currently published online at
He is a lead partner in Victor Emmanuel & Associates and a founding partner ofVEENAP Consulting Limited, two upcoming firms with specialization in human capital and enterprise development with head offices in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state.
He runs the online blog African Story Tellers where he publishes short stories from upcoming writers in Nigeria and also runs a monthly online short story competition on Facebook/African Story Tellers.

He can be reached via Twitter handle @VicEmmanConsults or or 07066864594



We have been looking at the behavior of money. Understanding this enigmatic entity will help you master it and use it well, especially those who are in business. We said that the first behavior of money is that it is a reward for solving problems. When you find a need, there lies an opportunity. Wherever there are problems or crises, there are several opportunities to make money. Challenges are opportunities cleverly disguised. Do you think Nigeria has a lot of issues? If you think so then that means Nigeria is a great place to make money.

We also said that Money has feminine tendencies. That is ‘her’ second behavior. She acts like a woman. She is a hearing entity. Any one who cannot speak and sell cannot be rich. She loves to be wooed like any woman would. Note that some of the richest people in your area are amazing persuaders and negotiators. We also noted that she marries bright ideas. When a man of money meets a man of ideas, exchange invariably occurs.

Let’s look at the third behavior of money this week.


When money is given more room, she can be controlling. You used to seduce her, now she begins to seduce you. If you work hard, solve problems, use your creative ideas, money will eventually come to you. She can become so glamorous, you begin to worship her. She begins to tell you what to do, where to go, who to associate with. You used to have people around you, now she instills arrogance in you that makes you look down on people. After all, your queen (money) is more beautiful than theirs.


Money is an amplifier; she makes your life louder. Whatever you were before she came into your life becomes more prominent. If, for example, you weren’t a giver before she came in, your selfishness would be made prominent. If it is the other way around, that is, you are philanthropic; your benevolence will be more pronounced.

Money reveals character. You may not know a person when he doesn’t have so much; but when she walks in and takes over, the real person comes to light. John C. Maxwell once wrote: “Man has been known to survive the severest challenges, but if you want to test a person’s character, give him power”. Money is a form of power.

MONEYMoney can make you lose friends; yes, the company of very good friends and loved ones. That is why I would encourage you to first develop healthy character traits first before you become wealthy.

Money isn’t bad necessarily, I must add. Money is basically an inert material. She is neither moral nor immoral; she is amoral. That is, neither good nor bad; neither black nor white. If anything, she is grey.

We are the ones who give money the character she possesses. Money amplifies her possessor. Whatever you are becomes louder by the presence of money.


A lot of people bask in the euphoria of the rush and glory of money. Now because when money comes, she comes in an unprecedented rush and seemingly she lingers. It may be assumed that money would never leave. But she does. This is a fact you should never forget about money. She takes up wings. In place of money you have investments, create portfolios that allows money to keep coming again and again. Remember that money is liquid; it is designed to flow. That is why she is called ‘currency’

The other day my younger sister, after perusing these lines, said to me, “Money is such a prostitute. You must share her with others. That is the only way she can fall in love with you again and keep coming back”. I scowled, and then I laughed. I got her point. Do you?


Please note that if you are a motivational speaker and want your name listed, please send mail to or You should have a site or a blog that contains your brief profile.The following list is in no particular order.

1. Fela Durotoye (MOTIVATION)
2. Leke Alder (BRANDING)
3. Ubong Essien (PUBLIC SPEAKING)
4. Praise George(RELATIONSHIP)
5. Steve Harris (HUMAN RESOURCE)
6Adeolu Akinyemi (NETWORK MARKETING)
7. Damilola Oluwayinbo (MOTIVATION)
8. Niyi Adesanya www.(LEADERSHIP)
9. Uju Onyechere (MOTIVATION)
10 George Essien (PEAK PERFORMANCE)
11. Robert Boniface (MOTIVATION)
12 Emeka Obia(MOTIVATION)
13. Eno-obong George (MOTIVATION)
14. Solomon James (NETWORK MARKETING)
15 Jephter Akaehie (PEAK PERFORMANCE)
16. Usen James (MOTIVATION)
17Anthony B. Sam(MOTIVATION)
18.Ariel Greatness(MOTIVATION)
20. Mo Abudu (MOTIVATION)
21 Edwin King (MOTIVATION) +2348063672093
22 Emmanuel Mike (MOTIVATION) +2348163641798
23. Joseph Awatim (YOUTH DEVELOPMENT)+2348096400779
24.Nnene Odiraa Okeke (WOMEN DEVELOPMENT)+2348064296981
25.Paul Nwokocha(MOTIVATION) +2347023901907
26.Pete Boniface (YOUTH DEVELOPMENT)+2348061210334
27. Iyabo Oyawale(INTERNET BUSINESS)
28. Timothy Anietie (INTERNET BUSINESS)
29. Sunny Obazu-Ojegbase (BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT)
30. Kingsley Obiakor (NETWORK MARKETING)
31. Osiri Wisdom (MOTIVATION)
32. Victor Adeyemi (BRANDING)
33.AlexGreat Akhigbe (MOTIVATION)
35.Sanmi Akindipe (REAL ESTATE)
37.Sam Adeyemi (MOTIVATIONALS)
38Titilayo Ama Spread (ENTREPRENEURSHIP)
39.Angela Ihunweze (ENTREPRENEURSHIP)
40. Kakue Gbenegbara (IMPORTATIONS/BUSINESS) 08037630912.
41.Chinyere Anokwuru ( WOMEN EMPOWERMENT)
42.Vic Ways (MOTIVATION) +2348037679601
43.Treasure ‘teekay’ Kalu www.(MOTIVATION)
44Success Ekpenyong (YOUTH DEVELOPMENT) +2348032707580
45Nikky-baby Israel Eshiet (CHILDREN DEVELOPMENT) +2347030459215
46Kelechi Anyalechi(HUMAN RESOURCES)
47 Wale Akinyemi(HUMAN RESOURCE)
48.Akachi Nwoke (FINANCE)
49Peter ‘Humble’ Essien (BUSINESS)
50 Segun Alabi Pshegs (MOTIVATIONALS)

Well, the list is still building. We intend to increase the pile and put it together in a MOTIVATIONALSPEAKERS BUREAU. under construction) will begin to advertise it. Send your profile to It is not everyone. We will screen. It is free until the end of January, 2014

Linda Ikeji: Nigeria’s Richest Blogger


She has been called the “QUEEN OF BLOGGING” ; Others call her the “MOTHER OF BLOGGING” in Nigeria.

She earns more than N3 Million every month from her blog. Her office? A laptop and a modem.

Her blog talks about naija entertainment gist ,celebrity gossips ,fashion,news and events.

She is highest paid Nigerian blogger .

We talking about the popular LINDA IKEJI

Linda Ikeji was born September 19, 1980 . A native of Nkwerre LGA ,Imo State, Nigeria .She was born in to a struggling family, the second of seven children. She grew up in a Christian catholic home

At a tender age of 10 years , Linda started writing as a hobby .

The fiction she penned down were praised by her friends and family and over time she cultivated a passion for news.

Unlike many teenagers her age, Linda loved watching newscasters and interviews and by the time the opportunity presented to attend university in Lagos, her course choice was decided: Mass Communication.

She was admitted to study English Language in the university to her disappointment, but she decided to make the best of it.

To support herself and her family through school, Linda began working at the age of 17, doing everything from being a waitress and ushering to modelling and bar-tending, none of which paid a lot in the late 90′s.

She started modeling in 1998 and quit in 2005.linda-ikeji-pictures

She became a fashion columnist for a struggling celebrity magazine. After two years of toiling in the news room, she quit.

In 2004 , after she completed her university education, she worked hard to break into the journalism trade, launching her media company, Black dove Communications, a modelling agency and events management outfit.

The name Black dove was inspired by silverbird..a name and a bird. it so happens that her favourite colour is black and favourite bird is the dove.

She stayed within her comfort zone which was modeling so instead of being in front of the camera , went behind the camera by running an agency, recruiting models, training models, getting jobs for models.LINDA FASHION

” I still have the modeling agency but I am not running it anymore”, she once wrote .

She also started what she describes in her first ever blog post as her “true passion”, her magazine called, FM & B.

The first issue was released in 2006 and after discovering how capital-intensive and time-consuming magazine publishing was, only two more editions made it to print.

The blogging bug bit her in 2006.

Fortunately, in that same year, Bella Naija, another popular Nigerian blog, carried a story about Linda herself and for the first time, Linda began to see a new possibility to take her writing to the world.

Blogging had all the charm: it was free except for the cost of an internet connection, easy to do and gave you access to millions of readers instantly. From that first Bella Naija blog post, she was sold.

Linda Ikeji started blogging fully in 2007 to share things that she was interested in with her readers.

Five years later, has grown to be one of the most visited sites in the country.

As a regular source for news, entertainment, celebrity gist, gossip and many more, her blog continues to attract thousands of visitors

It took her four years to start making money from blogging.

She was patient enough

She once said:“I never even thought that I would make money from blogging. I didn’t start blogging with the mindset that one day I would make money from it. I didn’t even think that was a possibility, it never even crossed my mind. I didn’t say to myself that OK let me blog now and maybe in five years time, I will make money from it. I never imagined that it would ever happen. In fact, in 2008, 2009, I was putting free ads on my blog, I was telling my blog readers, please give me your ads and I will put them for free. But then in 2010, people started asking me for my advert rates and I was like ‘really?’ I didn’t even know what it was until I now asked a few people and they gave me their own advert rates so that is how it started.”

She has acquired two brand new cars, her dream car -a 2008 Toyota Camry which she bought two years ago a 2011

‘Been dreaming about this car since I first saw it two years ago, was finally able to afford it two days ago, after saving for almost four months. And the best part is, I have a blog to show it off, at least now some people go no say ‘levels don change’ lol.’, she wrote.

Recently acquired an Infinity FX 35 SUV worth about N8 million.CARS

Being a wonderful child to her parents , she bought a multi-million 5-bedroom duplex in Surulere for her parents.

Linda Ikeji has earned herself the title ‘Queen of Blogging’ .

Linda was persistent , focused on what she did even though there was no financial return but five years later it has yielded great profit , a talk of all.

She found a new path , Blogging .

But she persisted until 2010, when some of the stories posted on her blog began to ruffle feathers.

At a point, Linda averaged about 1 million unique visitors each month to her blog. And with that came the much-needed recognition and substantial earnings.

In August 2012, Forbes Africa described her as a success and a case study for the business of blogging.

Her blog gets over 50,000 visits daily and is a hot spot for online advertisers and people wishing to attract web traffic to their websites or blogs.

Comments on Linda’s blog can be revealing, interesting and more controversial than the post itself.LINDA LINDA

Linda’s blog reportedly rakes in an average of N3m a month from adverts from various brands and online ad networks, which makes her the highest earning blogger in Nigeria.

Blogging has brought her the fame , power and comfort ability she needed.

Her blog serves as a source of news, photos and information for most entertainment bloggers.

Most people have criticized linda saying her blog promote rumors but she decline such. Linda provides real entertainment on her blog and she will always make sure you come back for more.

Now sitting comfortably in the millionaires’ lounge , one of the youngest millionaires in Nigeria.

Want t learn and blogg like Linda Ikeji? Let me show you how to BLOG.

You will receive 3 e-books on Blogging
If you are in Uyo, you will receive hands-on training by me and other expert bloggers.

For ebooks only Pay the sum of N2000 to George Essien Fidelity Bank.6013498428. e-mail teller number and your email to 08187133153 and ebooks would be sent to you.

For those who want hands on Training. Pay the Sum of N5000 to George Essien. Fidelity Bank.6013498428. Submit Teller toPowerMinds Corporate Office.63 Udotung Ubo Street. Off Oron Road. Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. 2nd Floor. Rm 1. Or call 08187133153


Talent2 power

You probably have read John Maxwell’s book: TALENT IS NOT ENOUGH. A truism in every sense of the title.

Talent must be converted skill for it to have market value.

Talent is common. Dedication is rare.It takes dedication to convert talent to skill.

There are 4 ways a talent can be expressed. First, there is the scientific expression of your talent. Second, the artistic expression of your talent. Third, the technological expression of your talent. Fourth, the business expression of your talent.

Let us focus on the business side.

There are 3 ways to commercialize your talent; 3 ways to make profit from your talent. Let us look at them quickly.

First, BRAND YOUR TALENT. What this simply means is what qualities of your talent differentiates, distinguishes your talent from others? What sets you apart from others? What is your USP -Unique Selling Point?

Branding also entails what dress style, slogan, colour, voice pitch, name  you have have that  makes your talent remain in the minds of people. A brand is that colour, logo, name, slogan, style that sets your talent apart from others, that make people quickly notice.

Your job is to accentuate it!

This is what makes you worth commercial value in the market place.

People pay more for brands than for products or services. That is why events organizers would pay Basket Mouth N2 Million for comedy and owe another comedian N30,000 after the same event.

Second, PACKAGE YOUR TALENT. Packaging attracts.

Packaging involves doing a complementary card, having a business manager, having a website, having your demos and profile brochures.

Packaging also means converting your talent to selleable and well packaged  products.For example, having a musical album, a show, a book, a magazine, a radio program etc.

Package products sell higher than unpackaged products.

Packaging is also a form of branding, just that it focuses on appeal and perception than distinguishing feautures of that talent.

Third, PROMOTE YOUR TALENT. Nothing succeeds until somebody sells. At the beginning of your carreer , you must promote your talents/ products. You must scout for jobs, look for them. You must accept every invitation and make sure that you have alot of visibility. Continous promotion would eventually pay off financially.


FAILUREMost of us are programmed to believe that failure – of any kind – is bad and wrong. We’re programmed by our parents, by the school systems, by society in general. The trouble is, failure is essential to the process of growth and change. Here are 5 reasons why I think it’s imperative to allow yourself permission to fail!

1) You Learn Who You Aren’t
By taking a risk and trying something new, you can learn a lot about what IS possible or what you CAN do; but you can also learn exactly the opposite. It can be just as important to learn what you can’t do, and by extension, who you are not. You never know until you try, right? Sometimes what you learn is that you should NEVER try it again, and that is extremely valuable information!
2) You Earn Freedom
Once you get comfortable with failure through your own experiences if it, you become less adverse to taking risks, which can pay off in big ways. You will be more willing to jump when an unexpected opportunity shows up in your life – because the threat of failure no longer looms so heavy and keeps you in the mindset of “staying safe.”
3) Failure Is Funny
Failure isn’t something to avoid, but something to embrace and get your sense of humor about! Think of all the sitcoms you’ve watched. Consider about all the stories your friends tell after that 3rd glass of wine at parties. Life is made up of rich, complex – and yes, hilarious – disasters. Pad your own storybook with a couple more “that time I…” stories and you’ll never be at a loss for an amusing story or anecdote to share with friends, family, and colleagues.

4) What Are You So Afraid Of?
Fear is the most paralyzing energy of all in our lives. Are you secretly so afraid to fail that you’ve never lived your own life, never made your own choices, never really reached for what you thought was possible for yourself? Most people rarely try anything outside the box simply because they are too afraid to be seen as failures. Chances are your friends, family, and colleagues will see you as a person willing to take risks – regardless of the outcome, and even if you fail. And while you might fail, you might just create the change you were looking to create in an unexpected way. Life, like failure itself, if funny like that.

5) Great Leaders Are Often Failures
Watch the embedded video to see just a couple of examples. Great leaders are often fearless risk takers who gamble it all and win big. They also tend to have a great grasp of who they are, and what kind of change is possible for them. There’s really only one way to have that knowledge of yourself!



While I was receiving love messages from friends on my birthday, I was on my way to Ikorodu, Lagos to reflect and rediscover what was responsible for my present drift to the area I am now popularly known for. Yes, I returned back to the ancient city of Ikorodu, my place of birth. A place where ORO festival used to be celebrated. At this festival women were not allowed out and men whipped themselves on the streets

Things had indeed changed when I arrived Ikorodu.Yes, Garrage was still the same, buzzling with  lousy sellers and buyers.The statue of OGA, the first hunter that arrived Ikorodu some 100 years ago was still there.

Coming back to Ikorodu brought back loads of memories to me: The people I met, the people I grew up with and loved, the people I schooled with, the people I  prayed with, shared my dreams with, and most of all: My mother(Her grave is in our property there).

The towering Methodist Church still loomed gloriously, a tower that I could see from where we lived when I was young. Ayangbure’s palace had been renovated and this was good to know.

First, I went to the house I was born and weaned at.It was actually old and delapidated. I couldn’t recognize any one there, save a very old woman who couldn’t see me enough to recognize me. Near by was the flat that my parents had rented for 16 years…It still looked very beautiful with of course new residents. Alhaji Lassissi had done a good work to keep the place neat. Obafemi Taiwo Street had now been tarred and new houses built.

I moved over to my nursey school, a place that I had studied between 1986 to 1991. The place now laid in ruins…The school had closed. Tears filled my eyes. I had attended St. George International School, one of the best schools at the time with about 600 students back then. And yes, you guessed right…My parents owned the school. Why it closed in 1999? Only my parents can tell.

Just across the road, a road called Igbogbo road, was the secondary school I attended between 1991 to 1994. It was  established in 1949. Its name? Oriwu Model College. I would later complete my secondary education at Goodwill Secondary School, the first private School in 1997.

Igbogbo road was still narrow…Police Barracks was now fenced…Anglican Church along Ireshe road was looking still beautiful. Anibaba street, where Segun Arinze used to live as a buding Nollywood star was still tattered. Later, when Segun Arinze would meet me doing my thing in a television studio in Akwa Ibom state, he simply said, “Go to Lagos”, he did not know that I was coming from Lagos

It was also good to return back LIFE CHAPEL at the LIFE THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, the place I was dedicated as a child, the place I learned about Jesus and got filled with the Holy Spirit, and learned to pray and study the bible. Most of who I am today stemmed back from the trainings of that place. It was there that I met people like Pst.Tolu Boluwatise,Tolu Meduna, Tolu Dee,  Tolulope Nwani, Philip Temi, Alex Adegoke Oyelade Tinuade,  Tosin Olateru,Isaiah Olateru,  Olufemi Lawani, Peter Lawani, Erick Boachie and many ,many friends who are today scattered all over the world.

As at the time I entered LIFE CHAPEL,I noticed that the place was under construction.The hall brought back memories upon memories.I walked around, looked at the buildings, the trees…some of them as old as 30 years.This is the same Bible Seminary  that Matthew Ashimolowo studied in the 1970s.

All in all, My going back to Ikorodu made me rediscover those things that made me me. Yes, I have lived in Uyo for more than 6 years straight….but all the people have seen these years are the manifestation of trainings I received in place called Ikorodu.

Yeah, it is true, I am still an Ikorodu boy.


skills 1


A local skill at best would make you a local champion; a global skill will give you 21st century relevance.

A skill is not a talent.

Talent is cheap; skill is rare.

Talent is just potential; skill is cultivated potential.

Skill is an  ability and capacity acquired through deliberate, systematic, and sustained effort to smoothly and adaptively carryout complex activities

Skill is processed talent.

No body pays you much for raw rice…but they pay alot for processed and cooked rice.

What gives you value is not really talent…what gives you value in the market place is skill.

Your CERTIFICATE or degree will give you accesss to that job interview; your KNOWLEDGE will give you the job ; but it is your SKILL that would give you a promotion.

So how do you develop GLOBAL SKILLS…What are they , in the first place?

A global skill is a skill  that can put you on the world stage. Yes, it is ok to start local…but hey you must grow national…and then GO GLOBAL.


Develop Global skills today.


1. WRITING: Yes, that can put on world stage. J.K.Rowlings was that divorced school teacher that wrote HARRY PORTER and became a billionaire from selling her novels..and the movies,toys and games that have resulted from it. Chimaammanda Adichie is that Nigerian novelist whose books have not only brought fame but has also made her rich. How much was she paid when her book HALF A YELLOW SUN was made a movie by HOLLY WOOD producers? Figures have been hidden but it surely runs into millions of DOLLARS! Chinua Achebe sold more than 30 million copies of THINGS FALL APART, a book that has also been translated into several world languages.

Write a book. A novel. Look for a foreign publisher to publish you. More easily run a global blog and tag. Easy? Yes very easy. I could show you how. Just call 2347010656135

2. MODELLING AND FASHION: Are you creative? Very creative with cloth designs then take it global. With modelling you can become as successful as Noami Campell or the highest paid African Model Alek Wek.

3. SPORTS: Whether it is football, lawn tennis or golf or even boxing you can become global if you can take you skill to the world market.

4. ACTING: Last year, Genievive Nnaji was interviewed  by Oprah Winferey and was refered to as Africa’s Julia Roberts. Last week, TIMES magazine named OMOTOLA among the 100 most influencial people in the world. Recently, CNN show cased JETA AMATA’s new movie BLACK NOVEMBER  featuring Akon and Wycliffe. These Nigerian artiste and producers have made their names global by focusing on acting

5. MUSIC: DBANJ made several millions from his OLIVER TWIST hit. What kind of music would more likely take you global? Of course, HIP HOP and R and B. Other genres are behind in era. Focus on hip hop and Rand B or mix other genres with these two.

6. ICT SKILLS: Important. Know something about the ICT world. We are all on facebook. Mark Zuckerberg’s site . Isn’t that amazing? We know him because he developed ICT skills. That includes the yahoo boys and google boys.

7.PUBLIC SPEAKING: Perhaps you may become a politician tomorrow…public speaking will just be it. That is what will distinguish from the entire lot.Learn how to speak well. The orator is king. Public speaking is not just for politics…it is for every aspect of life: business, acting, ministry.

And there are many more. But focus on these 7.

See you at the top.


Your life is a story.

Some of us have dramas and some of us have comedies.

Others may feel their life story is more of a horror film.

What matters though is that we all have a story. Someone somewhere out there is going through the same situation as you and they could really benefit from your story.

Every single day I want to quit. Every single day I will go through struggles that will make me question what it is that I am doing here and why. Yesterday, after feeling extremely frustrated, I realized something. I am just creating my story. Most people who are successful today, have some story of struggle or adversity beforehand. Don’t let that adversity scare you, but embrace it. Adversity makes you authentic and it makes you easier to relate with.

You are creating your story every single day.

Usually when you watch a sales presentation or a sales funnel from someone doing internet marketing, they tell you some sort of story.

So right now you may be going through a rough situation where you don’t have money or success or even your own house and that’s okay. Who you are today is creating your story for tomorrow.

adversityWhere are you in your business right now? Have you reached that goal of success yet? The worst thing you could do is reach a place of success and not remember the fine details that brought you there. Write down your problems. Write down every time you feel like quitting. This serves two purposes. One, your getting your emotions out on paper which is a very powerful way to relieve stress and you’ve created your story at the same time.

Reveal yourself to the world!

Don’t be a mystery, be yourself. Don’t be undefined. Define yourself to the world. Let everyone know who you are. Some people may join your business just because they like you or just because they trust you. If people don’t like or trust you, they will never get into your business. Gain others trust through real conversations with people and real stories. Nothing converts sales better.

So are you going to do what other successful people are doing or continue with those old methods?

Jesus used stories or metaphors to give people a greater understanding of what factual information that he was trying to convey. Most people buy based on emotion and not on logic. Stories build emotion, while facts just get absorbed as facts. Embrace your struggles from today and know that they are not negatives in your life. The struggles of today will soon become the source of your income in the future.

The 4 Levels of Leadership – John C Maxwell

john_c_maxwell_mainWhat’s the fastest way to understand how leadership works and to learn how to lead others? What’s the fastest way to teach it to others? Those are questions I’ve been asking myself for over 40 years. Maybe you’ve been asking yourself those kinds of questions, too.

To some people, leadership is intuitive. It comes fairly easily. They act on instinct; what they do works and they can’t easily explain it. To other people, leadership is a mystery. They have no idea what dynamics are at play. All they know is that sometimes people listen to what they have to say and work with them, and other times they’re alone scratching their heads.

Leadership is dynamic. It’s fluid. It changes from person to person, from moment to moment. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t follow a pattern. And it doesn’t mean you can’t develop a level of mastery, even if you don’t possess abundant natural leadership gifts.

I want to acquaint you with a way of looking at and teaching leadership that I’ve used to train leaders for nearly 30 years. It’s called The Five Levels of Leadership. It is by far the most requested topic people want me to speak about—from small teams to huge corporations like Delta Airlines. And I’ve finally written a book about it that teaches a potential leader how to move from an entry-level position to the pinnacle of leadership.

Here’s how it works. Influence is gained with people in levels—five levels to be exact. Every person who leads others has to start at the bottom level with another person and work his or her way up to higher levels one at a time.
Level 1—Position

Position is the lowest level of leadership—the entry level. The only influence a positional leader has is that which comes with the job title. People follow because they have to. Positional leadership is based on the rights granted by the position and title. Nothing is wrong with having a leadership position. Everything is wrong with using position to get people to follow. Position is a poor substitute for influence.

People who make it only to Level 1 may be bosses, but they are never leaders. They have subordinates, not team members. They rely on rules, regulations, policies and organizational charts to control their people. Their people will only follow them within the stated boundaries of their authority. And their people will usually do only what is required of them. When positional leaders ask for extra effort or time, they rarely get it.

Positional leaders usually have difficulty working with volunteers, younger people and the highly educated. Why? Because positional leaders have no influence, and these types of people tend to be more independent.

Position is the only level that does not require ability and effort to achieve. Anyone can be appointed to a position.
Level 2—Permission

Level 2 is based entirely on relationships. On the permission level, people follow because they want to. When you like people and treat them like individuals who have value, you begin to develop influence with them. You develop trust. The environment becomes much more positive—whether at home, on the job, at play or while volunteering.

The agenda for leaders on Level 2 isn’t preserving their position. It’s getting to know their people and figuring out how to get along with them. Leaders find out who their people are. Followers find out who their leaders are. People build solid, lasting relationships.

You can like people without leading them, but you cannot lead people well without liking them. That’s what Level 2 is about.
Level 3—Production

One of the dangers of getting to the permission level is that a leader will stop there. But good leaders don’t just create a pleasant working environment. They get things done! That’s why they must move up to Level 3, which is based on results. On the production level leaders gain influence and credibility, and people begin to follow them because of what they have done for the organization.

Many positive things begin happening when leaders get to Level 3. Work gets done, morale improves, profits go up, turnover goes down and goals are achieved. It is also on Level 3 that momentum kicks in.

Leading and influencing others becomes fun on this level. Success and productivity have been known to solve a lot of problems.
Level 4—People Development

Leaders become great not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others. That is what leaders do on Level 4. They use their position, relationships and productivity to invest in their followers and develop them until those followers become leaders in their own right. The result is reproduction; Level 4 leaders reproduce themselves.Leadership-Ladder-lg

Production may win games, but people development wins championships. Two things always happen on Level 4. First, teamwork goes to a very high level. Why? Because the high investment in people deepens relationships, helps people to know one another better and strengthens loyalty. Second, performance increases. Why? Because there are more leaders on the team, and they help to improve everybody’s performance.

Level 4 leaders change the lives of the people they lead. Accordingly, their people follow them because of what their leaders have done for them personally. And their relationships are often lifelong.
Level 5—Pinnacle

The highest and most difficult level of leadership is the pinnacle. While most people can learn to climb to Levels 1 through 4, Level 5 requires not only effort, skill and intentionality, but also a high level of talent. Only naturally gifted leaders ever make it to this highest level. What do leaders do on Level 5? They develop people to become Level 4 leaders.

Developing leaders to the point where they are able and willing to develop other leaders is the most difficult leadership task of all. But here are the payoffs: Level 5 leaders develop Level 5 organizations. They create opportunities that other leaders don’t. They create legacy in what they do. People follow them because of who they are and what they represent. In other words, their leadership gains a positive reputation. As a result, Level 5 leaders often transcend their position, their organization and sometimes their industry.