Transforming Leadership Series Part 1: The Levels

A couple of years ago I introduced you to the concept of the transforming levels of leadership based on a Harvard Business Review article.
I thought that I would re-visit them and offer you a series, using the Levels of Leadership according to Bill Torbert, author of Action Inquiry.

According to Torbert, there are seven levels that can be identified as leadership levels. I will try to simplify the levels to help you seek the behaviors and action inquiry that will help your transformation from one level to another as you evolve as leaders.

First, here are the levels of leadership:

  1. The Opportunist – driven to earn, to learn and to gain power
  2. The Diplomat – motivated to please the boss, reverts to technical skill and personal perspectives to define success
  3. The Expert – is aware of other perspectives, will test alternative strategies, still using own frame of reference
  4. The Achiever – sees broader systems in play, local and global, includes other’ ideas
  5. The Individualist – incorporates complex systems, excited by discoveries and insights
  6. The Strategist – has limitless boundaries of systems and interactions, sees unity of all things and systems on a molecular level
  7. The Alchemist – only 1% of leaders achieve this level of altruistic ability to transform conflicting entities into a cooperative whole

I improve leadership performance by simplifying complex systems and theory into practical approaches easily applied in daily leadership practices. Next week, I’ll discuss The Opportunist and The Diplomat levels of leadership.


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