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Resource Library

 The question is important, persistent and almost unanswerable – what is a good leader? We all struggle with the answer, and many times just acquiesce to the easy answer, it that it is situationally dependent. The right place, the right person, the right environment and the right situation make the good leader – and though that may be true in many aspects, and there certainly is no formula, or “how to” to good leadership – we believe there may be some standing principles– similar to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – that can guide us to where we may be on our leadership journey – and where we can strive to be in the future. The Prodromos Evolution of Leadership gives us this guide. 

The Prodromos Evolution of Leadership allows individuals to assess where they are in their leadership goals, and allows them objectives in order to develop a plan to attain better leadership. Though the model looks linear, it does not imply you need to reach each level sequentially. The goal of every leader is to attain the highest level of leadership – the fulfilment of others – at their appropriate time. There are many factors in leadership, and though the model is hierarchical, it allows for the situational and environmental aspects of leadership. For example, there may be times that a leader needs to be solely worried about the organization’s survival in order to ensure work for others in the future. That does not give the leader a pass to only worry about the organization, it just allows the leader to self-evaluate where they are on the scale, based on the situation, and work to attain a higher level as the situation and environment evolves.

The Prodromos Evolution of Leadership identifies the lowest form of leadership as that of only worrying about the success of oneself, and the highest level as the fulfilment of others, but how does the rest of the model translate.

  • Lowest level – My success – the leader is only worried about their own well being and success.
  • Level two – My organizations success – the leader is only worried about the success of the organization, even at the possible immediate expense of the employees or others associated with the organization.
  • Level three – The success of my subordinates – a usual stop for most leaders, the leader makes sure that their people are advancing and doing well in the organization.
  • Level four – The success of others – this takes a very confident leader, one that is willing to ensure that the success of their subordinates, superiors and even peers comes before their own – an incredibly selfless and true form of leadership, but still focused on the organization of the leader and others.
  • Highest level – The fulfilment of others – this is truly the most selfless and pure for of leadership in that the leader considers the needs of each individual over the needs of anything else, including the organization in which they are a part. For example, the fulfilment of others may encourage a standout employee to venture out of the organization for a better position for them, even though it may hurt the organization.The Prodromos Evolution of Leadership can assist leaders in defining where they are, and instead of placing a judgement on the position of the spectrum, allow them to self-assess and devise their own plan to move higher on the evolutionary model. The argument can be made, that if the highest level of the model is attained, all subordinate levels are attained as well.

J.C. Glick, LTC, U.S. Army (Ret.), Director, Leadership & Resiliency with 360 DEVELOPMENT™ part of Destination Athlete®