Key Metrics of Leadership Success
Leaders are the backbone of any successful organization. They have the vision and the innovative mind, they inspire the workforce, and they create the benchmark for professionalism and excellence. But, if leaders review their employees and determine their adequacy to the organization, who reviews the leaders?
This is murky territory because not all companies have a rigorous system for determining the success of their leadership body. The “larger-than-life” leaders are still around and they are allowed to continue in their positions precisely because of a lack of benchmark for leadership.
However, there must be a way in which every CEO and every team leader needs to be held accountable, if nothing else, for the sake of creating a democratic corporate system in which everyone is answerable for their actions. So, what are the key metrics companies should employ in determining leadership success?
1. Clarity in Communication
There is an old military joke about a message concerning a solar eclipse being distorted as it goes from higher ranks to lower rank. As funny as it is, the joke underlies a core issue in leadership: the lack of clarity in communicating with the rest of the organization.
It is not enough for a leader to have breakthrough ideas — they need to be able to communicate them to the rest of the team in order to be enacted. From this point of view, one can measure the success of a leader by the number of memos, emails and internal notes they need to send to clarify their ideas and decisions to the rest of the workforce.
2. People Skills
A leader can spot a “bad apple”, a troublemaker, as well as the quiet talent who never has a voice in meetings and whose ideas are never taken into account. Being able to read people is a core leadership skill. Successful corporations are not made up of stars competing against each other, but a star team working together.
If you want to create a star team, you need to be able to identify and remove toxic employees, and reward dedicated and loyal ones. Moreover, you can find a talented person who barely meets the basic requirements in a role, but would be a top performer in another. When you take an in-depth look at an organization and everyone is happy and performing exceptionally in their position, then you can be sure that its leadership scores an A+ in people skills.
3. Employee Engagement
How much are your employees engaged in the business vision and how much do they share it? Are they brand ambassadors on the social media? Do they bring their contribution beyond their job description? Will they resist the temptation of a job offer from one of your competitors?
While it is true that good employees leave bad managers, not the job itself, it is also true that good employees will stick around good managers who empower them. They will look at the broader image of their employment benefits and count inspiring managers among them. Thus, the more solid and active the workforce in promoting a company’s interests, the better their managers are at engaging them.
4. Personal and Professional Integrity
At a certain leadership level, the lines between the private and the professional life become blurred. One cannot be a brilliant leader and a less-than-desirable person in human interactions outside the office.
Successful leaders also have successful personal lives, free of doubts, rumors and scandals. Integrity at the job is complemented by integrity in life in general. Great leaders not only know this, but they also believe it and hold integrity high among their personal values.
It takes a great man to admit doing wrong, and this is the kind of people who should fill leadership positions. If you want to promote a culture of honesty and accountability in your organization, you should be the first one demonstrating these qualities.
Being willing to admit a mistake and working to correct it will inspire your employees to do the same. Thus, you will build a problem-solving corporate culture, instead of one where everyone is focused on placing the blame.