How do you measure leadership? It’s an odd question, isn’t it? Leadership is inherently challenging to even describe because it’s a quality of being human. Psychologists and Change Management Consultants find ways to measure everything and I’m sure they have some metrics for this. However, my Google research on this subject reinforced my experience that most people’s take on measuring leadership is really one of two things: 1) measuring management metrics (e.g., did revenue go up?) Or 2) measuring behaviors, absent their impact.
So here’s a little leadership coaching on how I think about measuring leadership. Leadership is the ability to get things done and change the world, i.e., leave the world better off than when you started. So it’s not enough to get stuff done, and it’s not enough to sit on a mountaintop sending out good vibes.
Here’s how you know you’re leading:
• Revenues go up, and so do employee and customer satisfaction numbers.
• Your team is more productive with less stress.
• Things don’t go as planned, but they go just fine and everyone’s happy with the results.
• You make both qualitative and quantitative impacts on people’s lives.
Get the point? Leaders accomplish both/and goals and intentions, not either/or. As a bonus, this is often the secret of innovation too!
If you work for a big company that measures stuff, make sure you’re measuring the both/and, and even more importantly, make sure you’re correlating the two. Make this part of your goals statement. Set your intention on both, and when you achieve it make sure everyone knows that it’s possible and who benefited. (If you make it a bragging all about you thing, they will discount the both/and as good luck and you want them to take on this challenge themselves, so make sure they believe it’s possible!)
Even if you work for a big company, but especially if you don’t, start keeping track of the both/ands that matter most to you, personally. Being self-aware is a critical leadership skill, so be it!
• Keep a little pad of paper by your desk and make a hash mark for your interactions with staff, vendors and customers that go well and poorly.
• Track improvement in staff productivity related to how you coached them.
• Track how many of your intentions you set and then achieved.
• Track your angry/frustrated moments and set your intention for them to go down.
• Track the favors you call in from your network and the ones you ask for.
Remember, your job isn’t to be pissed off, frustrated and angry. Your job is to get things done and change the world. The more energy you spend on being upset means you’re putting less energy into doing the job as leader. So above all else, make sure those pissed off, frustrated and angry hash marks go down!
How do you measure leadership?