Not sure what Jim Collins would have to say about this, but here are my thoughts.

1.  The “personal humility” and “ambition for the organization” attributes don’t get the “attention” when you are working your way up the ladder or starting a business.  These are “long haul” skills, that people often have a the beginnings of their career.  But to get ahead, or get noticed, requires a lot of self promotion and standing out from the crowd. Higher ups instantly notice the shiny people in organization, the quick hit successes, overlooking the solid grind it out players who are producing good work with their Level Five Skills but aren’t promoting themselves.

2.  Eventually people with Level Five Attributes, eventually catch on and start self promoting and losing focus on the the way they have created successes.  They become impatient with not moving forward, let’s face it we all get impatient with this, when others not like themselves jump up the ladder.

3.  Finally, the media trains us to admire the big personality, the big idea, the quick success.  So it reinforces ignoring the up and coming leader with Level Five Attributes.

To change this, existing leaders need to look for the Level Five people within their organization, and recognize them and reinforce their behavior and results, holding them out for others to see.

Those wanting to grow and become Level Five Leaders have to be a bit patient, and master the other levels along the way.  And then start their own Level Five Lead departments and companies, delivering the long haul results that are truly amazing.