Measuring Leadership

measuringleadershipIn our measurement obsessed culture, the words of Simon Sinek are a breath of fresh air. This from The 21st Century Workplace podcast – Your Leadership Echo – with Simon Sinek and David Marquet:

Leadership, like parenting, is like exercise. It cannot be measured on a daily basis. You can go to the gym and work out, and come back and look in the mirror. You’ll see nothing. You go the next day, you come back and look in the mirror, and you see nothing. Leadership and parenting are exactly the same thing. We don’t always see daily results. But if you looked at a photograph of yourself from three months prior, the results are stark. The problem is that good leadership takes patience, it takes belief and it takes commitment. Bad leadership may look good on a daily basis, but over the course of time we might find that the organization, and more important, the will of the people, is being destroyed.

Processing these words reminds me of the importance of daily reflection. But every so often it is important for us to reflect on larger increments than our daily work. What are the resulting changes over three months, six months, years? In our data obsessed profession, the cycle of analyzing and judging with immediacy needs to be broken. I’m still processing the meaning of the last sentence.


2 comments on “Measuring Leadership

  1. Good Day Randy,
    First let me congratulate you on your new position. I’m certain you will continue to lead your district on it’s progressive and impressive path!

    Leadership: Can it really be measure in real-time? Should it be? I tend to believe that leadership can’t really be measured in a traditional sense and certainly not in “real time”. “Great leadership” is an elusive prey. Sometimes it is like a powerful heartbeat, palpable the moment you enter an organization. Other times it is very subtle, yet no less effective. I think the exercise analogy in the quote is a bit off for organizational leadership because often the “results” aren’t directly visible in the work of the leader. Rather, we see the work of those in the organization shining because of the quality of the leadership. It may be the result of motivational ability, the ability to open a locked door for someone, or even the ability to get out of the way. I don’t even know if “great” is a proper adjective for a leader. I think more in terms of wise, crafty, adaptable. Why? Because organizations that get results have leaders who are knowledgable and experienced, they know how to read and motivate very different personalities toward a common purpose and they reign supreme in the ability to look change in the eye and make it palatable to those who must implement the change….AGAIN! Finally, successful leaders know when to get off of the stage and allow the light to shine upon the organization.

    Merry Christmas and a happy and successful new year!
    Rock On,

  2. Thanks for your reply, Charlie! I appreciate the insight and wisdom you share on this blog as you comment on many of the posts. You always get me thinking further!

    You should revive your blog… have a lot to contribute and share.

    Happy new year!

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