Written by Phil on April 25, 2011
As a leader how well do you do? Easy ask your workforce and generally if you, the leader, ask they will tell you the good bits that you do well. But how often do people tell their bosses their weaknesses? It is not generally a career enhancing move and if it does happen it happens because of high emotion or alcohol when it is delivered in its least effective way.
So how can a leader measure their effectiveness? Leadership cannot be easily quantified as there are so many variables that need to be brought into the equation and as leadership is about motivating and inspiring many of the calls are qualitative rather than quantifiable in their measurement.
As leaders generally have some form of control over those they lead few people are rarely honest about their boss. I think David Ogilvy’s quote on market research is never more true than when asking about someone’s boss.
“The trouble ………….is that people don’t think how they feel, they don’t say what they think and they don’t do what they say.”
People seem to develop an allegiance to their leader and this allegiance is often achieved in the early days of a leadership relationship when a group accepts a leader. However, once the leader is established the group begins to follow the leader unquestioningly and that is why so many strong and good intentioned leaders so often inadvertently stray from the path of righteousness.
Leaders need challenge if they are to be at the peak of their game and that challenge has to test their mettle. The problem is most of us find challenge uncomfortable and we normally rid ourselves of those who challenge us for fear of being usurped.
So leaders have difficulty with challenge from within the team; therefore perhaps self challenge is the answer? Well it is if you are able to keep it up, but we all know from our physical training that we are generally much more effective when we are encouraged and cajoled to greater effort. So perhaps a challenging mentor is the answer, but a mentor can be expensive and some are better than others. They also need to really understand the issues if they are to challenge effectively.
Leaders need to be able to be challenged and the safest challenge is an inanimate challenge that can be achieved through an effective means of measuring leadership efficacy. A measurement that includes objective and subjective data and one that assesses a leader and their effect.
We at Sampson Hall have developed such a tool that is non-judgemental, a tool that identifies opportunities within an organisation, a tool that measures and tracks progress, a tool that enables the diagnoses of the causes of a situation rather that just treating the symptoms that manifest themselves.