How to Gauge Your Current Level of Leadership


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This is a four-part questionnaire to help you understand where you are in the leadership journey related to the 5 Levels. 

I want to encourage you to stop moving forward in the book and immediately spend the time required to assess your current level. Completing parts 1 and 2 should not require a large investment of your time. 

Part 3 may take a bit longer, since it involves other people, but please get that started, too. Its main purpose is to verify whether your instincts and self-perception are correct in Part 2. 

Part 4 will give you insight into where you stand overall with your team and should be done after you’ve completed parts 1, 2, and 3. If you do this groundwork, you will be in a much better position to grow in your leadership as you read and work through the remainder of the book.


Part 1- Leadership Level Characteristics

This first section applies to your leadership in general. Please read the following ten statements. Place a check mark next to each one that you agree is true for you. 

Answer using your first instinct. Please do not skip any questions, and do not go back and change any of your responses.


Level 1

  • I don’t have to remind the people who work for me that I am the leader.
  • I think of each person who works for me as an individual person, not just in terms of his or her function or role.
  • Most days I look forward to going to work.
  • I recognize that the position I’ve been given is an opportunity to learn, not turf to be guarded.
  • The people who work for me are willing to do work above and beyond their job descriptions.
  • I know that dealing with people problems is a part of leading and have accepted that as part of the job.
  • I possess the desire to learn more about leadership and become a better leader.
  • I think of my job in terms of work to be accomplished and give very little focus to career path and the positions I desire to achieve along the way.
  • One of my primary objectives is to assist the people who work for me.
  • Most people find it easy to work with me. 

If you marked eight or more of the previous statements as true for you, then you have probably already established yourself as a leader on Level 1 and have begun to move to the higher levels. Move on to the next section of the test. 

However, if you checked fewer than eight, then you have probably not yet mastered Level 1, and this is where you will probably begin your work in personal leadership development. Why? Because you are only as good as the lowest level you’ve mastered.


Level 2

  • People outside of my department or area of responsibility respect my opinions and frequently seek me out for advice.
  • I know my strengths and weaknesses and rarely get blindsided in my work.
  • I genuinely like most people and want to help them.
  •  I am very consistent and even-tempered in my interaction with the people who work for me.
  • When I say something to the people on my team, they always know they can count on it because I am trustworthy.
  • I have developed solid  relationships with all of the people who work for me.
  • The people who work with me find me likable and pleasant nearly 100 percent of the time.
  • When I need to have a candid conversation with team members to correct errors or take care of problems, I follow through and don’t allow too much time to go by.
  • I believe that employees desire more than just a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work; most desire encouragement and I give it to them.
  • I have developed relationships with everyone who works for me. 

If you marked eight or more of the above statements as true for you, then move on to the next section. If not, you may want to save the rest of Part 1 of the test for later because your answers indicate that you’ve not yet mastered Level 2 and youdon’t yet think like a Level 2 leader.

If you do decide to complete Part 1 at this time, please be aware that even if you mark eight or more statements true in subsequent sections, you cannot be on the higher levels of leadership because you have not yet won Level 2. This also applies as you answer the questions in subsequent levels.


Level 3

  • I consistently hit targets and goals in my work. Good people always want to work with me and my team.
  • People see me as an expert in my field and seek me out to learn from me.
  • I am constantly setting and achieving higher goals for myself, even when my superiors don’t set them for me.
  • My performance in my work often carries the team to a higher level.
  • I give my best to whatever I do.
  • I am comfortable with the idea that others are watching how I perform and follow my example.
  • I am known as a problem solver, and I often get difficult tasks done.
  • My work is very consistent on a daily basis. I have systems and routines that help me perform at a very high level.   

If you marked eight or more of the above statements as true for you, then move on to the next section. If not, your answers indicate that you’ve not yet mastered Level 3 and you don’t yet think like a Level 3 leader.


Level 4

  • I schedule and follow through with training and development for all the members of my team on a regular, consistent basis.
  • When deadlines loom or work becomes urgent, we never cancel our training and development sessions. 
  • I consistently take risks by giving people responsibilities and authority that will stretch them.
  • I spend a significant amount of time every month mentoring up-and-coming leaders.
  • I know very thoroughly the strengths and weaknesses of all the people I lead.
  • I individualize the way I train, develop, and mentor my people.
  • I spend the most strategic and significant mentoring time with the people who have the highest capacity, talent, and potential.
  • I have a history of moving people from position to position to help find their fit.
  • I am continually giving people feedback, not just during formal reviews.
  • My team or department is considered by others to be the best trained (or one of the best) in the organization. 

If you marked eight or more of the above statements as true for you, then move on to the next section. If not, your answers indicate that you’ve not yet mastered Level 4 and you don’t yet think like a Level 4 leader. 


Level 5

  • I can name several specific people whom I have encouraged to speak hard truths to me, and they do so regularly.
  • I am using my influence to instill values in my organization. The course of my organization is set by me or by a team of which I am a part.
  • I have developed many leaders who are developers of leaders.
  • I enjoy the interaction and friendship of a small circle of leaders with whom I am taking the leadership journey.
  • I am still at the top of my game, and the positive impact I am making is strong.
  • I can name at least one person who would be ready to step in and take my place should I decide to leave my current position.
  • I have influence outside of my organization. People from outside of my specific industry seek me out for leadership advice.
  • I am using my influence and resources for causes greater than myself or my organization. 

In leadership, you are only as good as the lowest level you’ve mastered. So I just want to remind you that even if you scored highly in one of the higher levels, if you scored poorly on a lower level, your leadership is actually on that lower level.

That is where you will need to give your attention when working with people to improve your leadership ability.


The 5 Levels of Leadership, John Maxwell pg. 43-52

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