Humility and Professional Will:
Characteristics of a Level 5 Leader
RaShanda Allen Chapman
5 Leadership: Personal Humility and Professional Will
A Level 5 leader must exhibit
certain qualities to move a school from good to great. This type of leader understands the need for
growing individuals, while moving toward success. A level 5 leader uses what is within to change
the atmosphere and the people around him or her. This paper will describe, in detail, two of
the most important qualities of a Level 5 leader and how these qualities are
shown throughout the culture of the school.
According to Good to Great, a true
leader does not allow his or her ego to get in the way of success. This leader understands the need for the team
and realizes that the goal can’t be reached alone. A true measure of success is the ability of
others to get the job done, even after the Level 5 leader is no longer
there. Level 5 leaders in schools must
think of the bigger picture-it is not about how the decision affects the
leader, but how it affects everyone. Personal humility means being humble, not
boastful. A humble leader does not want
to be praised or envied, they simply want to get the job done, by any means
necessary. In schools, it is important
that the leader build strong, lasting relationships where the teachers and
other staff members feel loved and appreciated.
The leader should greet his or her staff, make conversation, be an
active listener, work to meet the needs of every person, help when needed, and
show appreciation for a job well done. A
leader should show love at all times. Patterson
(2003) describes this love as agape love-meaning “to do the right thing at the
right time, and for the right reasons.” Level 5 leaders should always do the
right thing, even when no one is watching.
These leaders should make the right decisions for all who are involved-students,
teachers, other staff, parents, and the community. According to Shaw and Newton (2014), humility
also means that the leader is aware of their strengths and weaknesses. This
type of leader will take advice from others because they realize that they don’t
have all of the answers. This servant
leader who displays humility is able to influence the staff at students and
guide the school toward greatness.
A Level 5 leader must also have
professional will. This leader must
first have a vision about the direction of the school. This leader must then
take steps toward that vision. According
to Collins (2001), this leader must have “ferocious resolve.” This means doing whatever needs to be done
for the students and school to be successful.
This type of leader will do whatever is needed, mopping floors, teaching
a class, tutoring, etc. to ensure that the goals are being met. The leader of a school should have a vision,
mission, and goals set for the school.
Every person in the school building should be aware of the vision,
mission, and goals and work towards meeting those standards. A Level 5 leader should also be
knowledgeable. Professional development is important in education. The leader must know and understand what is
expected and be willing to help others to gain the knowledge needed to complete
all tasks. The leader should know what
type of professional learning opportunities are needed and ensure that the
professional learning is offered in many different ways to ensure all of the
learning styles are accommodated. A level 5 leader must also empower the people
around them. A true leader understands
when it is time to give others an opportunity to take charge and get things
done. Professional will allows
educational leaders to do what needs to be done, while ensuring that others are
gaining the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve the goals of the
According to an interview with Jim Collins
by Michael Brosnan (2015), a great organization has to meet three criteria to
be considered great: have superior results as related to its mission, have a
distinctive impact, and lasting endurance.
A Level 5 leader must exhibit humility and professional will in order to
be successful leaders. This leader is
one who builds trusting relationships, changes the school culture, has
measurable goals, encourages professional growth, and guides the school towards
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J., & Newton, J. (2014). Teacher Retention and Satisfaction with a Servant