What Makes a Legendary Leader? The 3 Levels of Leadership

Episode 2 : What Makes a Legendary Leader? The 3 Levels of Leadership

On this episode of the Inspirational Motivational Leadership podcast host, Scott DiGiammarino shares about the Three Levels of Leadership. Scott found it interesting, over his career that he has been asked on a consistent basis, “What’s the number one characteristic that a legendary leader needs to have to make a difference on an ongoing basis?” Scott was asked, “that if you would put together the perfect leader?” “And you would say, here’s the number one thing that you need in order to walk the party on a consistent basis?” “What would that be?” He shared that his answer has been consistent over the years, because they’ve done a lot of research on this. And what they found out is, to truly make a difference in people’s lives, to truly get consistent results. According to Scott, what leaders should do is to genuinely care about their people. And on this episode, Scott underline the word “genuinely”.


Scott walked his listeners through the three levels of leadership. Scott DiGiammarino shared that in their studies, they found that there are people out there that truly genuinely care about their people, their employees, their students, their team members. Second, is there are people that just care and then there are people who just don’t.

Scott started discussing from bottom up. Scott shared about the people that don’t necessarily care upfront. Those who sometimes get into leadership positions because they’ve hung tough long enough and they’ve gotten good results. Those who are unconsciously competent, they do what they’re doing but they don’t really know how they did it. And it’s hard for them to transfer that knowledge to somebody else, and what will happen to those kind of leaders as Scott called them as the “Road Runner Effect” leaders. He describes Road Runners as those who are running so fast on what they’re doing. Road Runner leave everybody else in the dust, and people are constantly asking them to slow down. But Road Runners want their subordinates to pick up their pace and catch up. And over time, the people that Road Runners are trying to lead will go from following them to tolerating them to despising them. Scott pointed out the no one wants to be that type of leader.

He then shared about the next type of leader. The ones that truly cares about their people. And this is the majority of type of leaders. Whether you’re a corporate leader on any level. Professor, teacher, trainer, coach, etc. and these are folks who do the right things on a consistent basis. Scott gave an example of the Second Type of Leader, those leaders who show inspirational movies, those who’ll share inspirational quotes, those who are incredibly positive, they’ll bring in motivational speakers, the ones who will take you up to lunch in your birthday, the leaders who do all the right things. And the team will actually do okay on a consistent basis, because people like and respect them. And this is the group of people that are always part of the 80% of leaders that consistently get a great job.

The Empowering Leaders: what they try to do and what they’ve learned over time

Scott then mentions that there’s also a group of people that separate themselves from everybody else. This is the group of leaders that do things differently. And they’re unique, and they’re special. And they’re the ones that are constantly getting incredible results. And these are the folks who genuinely care about people. And what Scott meant by genuinely care is they go above and beyond to get to know their employees or get to know their students both on a personal and a professional standpoint. Scott gave an example that this kind of leader probably would ask all the right questions. They will ask their employees or student to share to them about their background. Tell them a little bit about what decisions and what they did when they were four years old that made them, them today. These leaders will ask  a little bit about what their dreams and aspirations are, both professionally and personally. And the stories they’ll receive from their employees or students is on a personal note. These leaders would know that maybe they) want to lose weight this year, maybe their goals are to be a great mom or dad, maybe they want to pick up a skill like they want to learn how to play a piano, play the guitar, maybe they want to travel a couple times a year and also they’ll learn about what their leader wants professionally. What are their leader’s goals? Scott shares that the leader will then share his personal views and goals whether to go on the east coast or west coast. So what’s interesting about this is the leader will be able to learn about their people’s why. Great leaders take the time to understand the what, the why and the how of their employees or students. What they’re looking to achieve both personally and professionally. Why is it important to them? He emphasizes, it is not what leaders can do to get them there, it is how leaders can help them to get there. Scott calls them, the Empowering Leaders. What the Empowering Leaders try to do and what they’ve learned over time is that if this leader can help people get what they want, they as the leader might have a better chance of getting what they want. 


It’s all about being real and taking time on understanding people.

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