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What is 5X5 Leadership?

Apr 19, 2021

Leadership is all about communication.

If the signal you’re sending isn’t coming through properly, you won’t get the results you want.

In the Marines, we used radio communications ranging from high frequency to satellite depending on whether we were on the ship, in a vehicle, or in the bush.

Any time I established contact with another unit, I asked how my signal was coming through.

The answer I always wanted to hear was:

“Five by five.”

This response is a rating of the STRENGTH and READABILITY of your signal.

If either quality is too low, your message won’t make it through.


Rate the STRENGTH and READABILITY of your current leadership technique.

What effect is your leadership having on others?

5 - Excellent | exudes confidence and certainty
4 - Good | generates a positive response
3 - Fair | checks the box
2 - Poor | creates hesitation and uncertainty
1 - Very Poor | undermines confidence and motivation

How clearly is your message being received?

5 - Perfect | full comprehension at all times
4 - Readable | basic comprehension in most situations
3 - With Difficulty | major clarifications required
2 - Now & Then | inconsistent and incomplete
1 - Unreadable | creates confusion and frustration