When To Measure Leadership Effectiveness

When To Measure Leadership Effectiveness

Chris McChesney, the co-author of The 4 Disciplines of Execution, popularized the concepts of lag and lead measures. The differentiation between the two indicates exactly when to measure leadership effectiveness. Lag measures are the metric that indicates ultimate success or failure – the achievement or miss of a goal.

The scoreboard at the end of a football game is the perfect example of lag measures. The scoreboard indicates the game is over and identifies the game-winner with a display of total points scored by each team. Obviously, the team with the most points is the winner – that team achieved their team goal of winning the game.

Most are doing it wrong

Unfortunately, too many organizations use these types of lagging metrics to measure their leadership effectiveness. We see goal achievement, employee engagement, and team member retention used to measure leadership effectiveness. There is one major problem with using these metrics. It’s too late to improve leadership effectiveness. 

Like the football team that can’t change the outcome of the score after the game, the leader can’t solve leadership issues after team members have left. Increased leadership effectiveness after the annual revenue goal has been missed is simply too late.

How to do it right

Luckily, McChesney does a wonderful job explaining leading measures. Leading metrics are those actions the team believes executed consistently will result in the achievement of the goal – the lag measure. Do it right by measuring leadership leading metrics. For the football team in our example, the number of yards per down and time of possession is great lead measures that, when executed correctly, would likely result in winning the game. 

Notice that yards per down and time of possession aren’t measured at the end of the game. The number of yards gained can be measure immediately after each play. Time of possession can be measured immediately after the offense scores or turns the ball over to the opponent. Do you see the immediacy of these lead measures?

Throughout the course of the game, this football team can measure their likelihood of winning the game. If their yards per down average is greater than their defined objective and their time of possession exceeds their needed time, this team should be on course for the win. If either of these metrics is lacking, they have the data needed to make adjustments. 

When to measure leadership effectiveness

Right now! Now is the only correct answer to when you need to measure leadership effectiveness. By focusing on the leading metrics of leadership effectiveness, you can take action immediately to measure it. You don’t have to wait for a survey to indicate your team is disengaged. Why wait until a great team member (or several of them) leaves before attempting to measure leadership? Remember, people don’t leave bad companies, they leave bad bosses. 

Additionally, you should not wait for your annual performance review that indicates you missed your annual goal to measure your leadership effectiveness. And keep in mind, a team may actually achieve a goal, in spite of poor leadership. Occasionally, the least bad football team wins the game. If your team achieved their annual goal, it may have more to do with the legitimacy of the goal than with your leadership.

Leading metrics of effective leadership

So what are the leading metrics you should focus on to measure leadership effectiveness? This is an excellent question. At the Credible Leadership Group, we focus on four leading metrics of leadership effectiveness. Those four leading metrics are credibility, competence, motive, and relationships. 

These four leading metrics make up our leadership equation that is used to provide a leadership quotient and identify your leadership level. Like a football team increases their yards per down, the leader that increases these four leading metrics will improve their leadership effectiveness and their team’s chances of winning.

You can measure your leadership effectiveness with our Leadership Calculator. The calculator will utilize a survey to assess the four leading metrics of your leadership. The result you receive is a leadership quotient, identified leadership level, and clear, customized instructions on how to increase your leadership effectiveness. “What gets measured, gets improved.” -Chris Ducker

How do you measure leadership effectiveness? You don’t have to wait until you lose team members to attrition to measure leadership effectiveness. Use our Leadership Calculator to determine your leadership effectiveness.

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