Letters to my child. Leadership, Business and Kaizen.

80 Awareness: Video Games and Leadership (5 Levels)

There is a 80s Awareness Kevin Bacon video that went viral last week. It is a funny video but there are some good points there. The main idea is that anyone born after 1985 has no idea how hard life was for people living in the 80s in terms of technology.

Here is the video:

I recently quit video games but they were a big part of my childhood. Back then you could not save your progress in games. The technology did not exist. To finish a game you had to play it non-stop for several hours. It took a lot of effort, skill and determination – it really did.

Some games even required you to play through twice. There were no shortcuts.

"The princess is in another castle."

“The princess is in another castle.”

Eventually save games were introduced but games became even more difficult. One of my favourite games growing up was a dungeon type game called “Shinning in Darkness” with knights, monsters and puzzles. It was an extremely difficult game and at some point everyone in my school got stuck. We could not Google the answer to the puzzle.

We actually sat in a group to figure out the puzzle.

Here is a quick summary so far of my experience playing video games in the 80s:

1- No shortcuts;

2- Play all the way through every time;

3- You can’t save your progress and continue later.

Tip for success: when you get stuck, discuss in a group.

Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 4.54.27 PM

Kevin Bacon’s 80s Awareness video reminded me of a discussion that came up in one of my university classes two weeks ago. We were talking about People Development.

Nowadays “People Development” has become a catch phrase. Something we see in mission statements, core values or individual performance goals. Most business leaders agree that developing others is essential to success and as such it should to be part of everyone’s action plan.

Two weeks ago in class someone raised a hand and explained how difficult it is to even get the other person to accept your attempt at developing them. In that particular case we brainstormed the reason and one explanation boiled down to Maxwell’s 5 Levels.

The 5 Levels of Leadership

The 5 Levels of Leadership

You can’t take a shortcut to Level 4. 

According to Maxwell, to reach level four you need to apply several techniques related to position, permission and production.

Once you look at it, it borders on common sense. Let’s say you are climbing a mountain with several people. If someone offers you a hand to help you climb faster, it should matter to you whether that person is a good climber and on solid ground.

Unless you are falling, it really matters who you attach to in your professional life. Some may even argue that it matters specially if you are falling, or failing.

In other words, before you offer your hand to help someone develop their skills at work you have to get that person’s trust (level 2, permission) and show you stand on solid ground (level 3, production).

You need to climb your way up with every single person.

A level 4 manager/leader has to keep one thing in mind: every time someone new joins your team, with that person you are back to level 1. You are only leading by position, until you incite his/her trust to follow.

Unless you are a level 5 leader and your reputation precedes you in such a way that you can incite blind following, you need to climb your way up the levels every single time you meet someone new.

On the bright side, someone that has reached level 4 with other people will know how to successfully recreate the process and do so much faster.

You cannot save your progress and continue when you feel like it.

This is also an important aspect. There is no save game when it comes to the first four levels. Let’s say you are comfortable leading “Bob” at work. He has been with you for several years and you think you have reached people development with him.

Unless you keep working on permission and production… unless you keep constantly connecting, you will lose your progress. For example, let’s say Bob loses a family member… failing to acknowledge that can send you back to level 1 with him.

On a final note… when all else fails, discussing people development in a small group will often lead to a solution.

The 80s… Ever wish you could go back?

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Categorised in: Sports and Leadership, Video

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