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 Level 5 - Leadership at Work

Level 5 - Leadership at Work

Understanding Leadership as a Group Process, Not a Lone Hero Journey


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264 6 x 9 in.

ISBN: 9780983874157



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About this title

James Emery continues his Heroic Change journey in this second installment of the Heroic Change series. Due to his staggering success in improving the Modern Products Manufacturing Atlanta site, James has recently been promoted to Reliability Champion at its corporate offices. James has specifically been tasked with improving each of the Modern Products Manufacturing sites.

Throughout the journey, James faces site managers who resent his interference in managing their own sites, site managers who appreciate the help but lack the skills of leadership, and other obstacles that threaten to derail his hopes of a successful company-wide change effort in which his own career success is depending upon. James faces conflicting emotions, seemingly insurmountable obstacles, and the impossible challenges of balancing family and work, managers versus leaders, and profitability versus safety in both his personal and professional journey.

Will the Atlanta site continue to improve and sustain the change? Or will Atlanta regress while James’ attention is focused on the other sites? Will James be successful in his company-wide change effort? All of these questions and more will be revealed in this heartfelt journey to discovering how Level 5 Leadership at Work can guide an entire organization into truly lasting Heroic Change.

A Hero’s Journey guide to building a Level 5 leadership process for organizational change

  • Learn how to create a Level 5 leadership process
  • Learn how defects affect bottom line results
  • Learn how to use the Hero’s Journey to build a learning organization
  • And much, much more!

“George, you’ve done such a great job improving maintenance in Factory 12 that we want you to lead this effort across the rest of the site." As these words were coming from my boss’s mouth, all I could think was "piece of cake." I had already created a recipe for success, so implementing this in other areas was going to be simple. Besides, my team had achieved such huge gains, I couldn’t imagine how anyone else would not want to copy exactly what we did. Within two weeks, I realized I could not have been more wrong. Not only were my colleagues unreceptive to our program, many were taking my "Call to Change" as a personal insult. I did not know it then, but I was in true need of a book that had the solutions to my problems - Level 5 Leadership At Work.

Level 5 Leadership At Work is the second installment of the Heroic Change series created by Winston Ledet, Michelle Ledet Henley, and Sherri M. Abshire. The book is written in a novel format that easy to read and impossible to put down. While the story takes place in a fictitious manufacturing company, everyone who reads the book can make a direct connection to the obstacles they are currently facing in their own organization.

In the first installment, Don’t Just Fix It, Improve It, plant manager James Emery had incredible success changing the quality, safety, and culture of his plant by empowering the workforce to focus on Defect Elimination. He did such a good job, that he was promoted to the role of Corporate Reliability Champion. In his new role, he was to take what he learned at his site and use it to gain the same success at every other site in the company.

Just as I had learned the hard way, James also finds out that people are not very receptive to a "Call for Change." Not only did he have to deal with egotistical plant managers, he had to go against competing initiatives, such as Six Sigma and Standardized Operations. In a few instances, he actually had sites that were willing to change. Unfortunately, they either lacked the leadership skills or the business urgency to make it happen.

James comes to realize that there is no cookie-cutter approach to implementation. Given the different financial and cultural situations at each site, there is no way for him to dictate the details of the Don’t Just Fix, Improve It mentality. Rather, he needs to develop a set of non-negotiable principles that each site can leverage and at the same time, maintain its sense of ownership.

As James moves forward on this journey, he discovers the most important element needed for change is “Level 5 Leadership.” As you read this book, I challenge you to find out if you have the qualities of a Level 5 Leader. Are you willing to empower your employees? Do you have no fear of losing power and authority? Are you willing to put the success of the site in front of your own glory? In other words, are you willing to “check your ego at the door?”

Level 5 Leadership At Work and the first book in the series: Don’t Just Fix It, Impove It!

Winston and his co-authors are currently hard at work on the next book in the Heroic Change series.


"I read this book over the long weekend and found it to be an excellent companion to Don't Just Fix It, Improve It. The book continues James Emery's hero's journey as he works to implement change across his company. Along the way, many new lessons are learned, including the concept of Level 5 Leadership and how to unlock it to enable change under various scenarios. I found the story to be very credible and the lessons practical for everyday use. A must-read for those dealing with culture change and reliability improvements across any manufacturing platform."

Doug Parish from Lima, OH


Chapter 1: Looking Back

Chapter 2: The Dilemma Of Diversity

Chapter 3: Seeing The System

Chapter 4: On The Edge Of Chaos

Chapter 5: Chaos Ensues

Chapter 7: A Troubling Setback

Chapter 8: Catalyzing Change

Chapter 9 : A Surprising Example Of A Level 5 Leader

Chapter 10: Stumbling Blocks, Road Blocks And Writer’s Block

Chapter 11: I Have To Do It Myself, But I Can’t Do It Alone

Chapter 12: Check Your Egos At The Door

Chapter 13: If You Come To A Fork in the Road, Take It

Chapter 14: Reflections

Chapter 15: Building A Level 5 Leadership Process

Chapter 16: New Beginnings


MPM Plant Learning History Summaries

Key Lessons Learned From The MPM Plants

Principles Of Success Learned From The Defect Elimination Game


Chapter 6: Making Progress

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