March 05, 2020
Level 2 – Permission
Book take aways
Leading by permission is all about building strong relationships. Once that is established, people shift from being managed by you because you have the job title to being lead by you because they trust that you have their best interests at heart.


Leading by permission can alter the team’s attitude from begrudging subordinates following orders to enthusiastic followers working toward shared goals.

Leading at the permission level is about serving your team and building strong relationships rather than advancing yourself. Listening and being open is a big part of this level and helps build respect and psychological safety with the team.

If you want the cooperation of human beings around you, make them feel that they are important. And you do that by being humble.

– Nelson Mandela


For some people, this level of leadership is too soft. Those who prize high performance might value raw output over conversations that build long-term relationships.

The trick is to balance caring for people with frank conversations when they aren’t living up to your expectations. In a statement mirrored in Radical Candor’s well-known 2x2, Maxwell writes, "Care without candor creates dysfunctional relationships. Candor without care creates distant relationships."

Growth from here

Building relationships with others starts with knowing yourself well. Take time to examine your strengths, weaknesses, and personality type. Work on being open to accepting feedback even if it’s painful to hear. Take ownership of your actions without blaming others.

Identify positives for each person on your team along with something outside of work that you know about them. Set aside time to meet with people when you don't know these details. When you meet, give them your full attention.

Practice saying something encouraging to someone on your team every day. Make sure to spread this around and not focus too much on one person.


Level 3 – Production
Matt from encoro

I’m Matt ⚡, making encoro for 360° feedback. Want to help your team hear how they’re progressing? Give it a try for free.