Here is a good barometer to test the quality of your leadership.
Leaders Create Winners
On this dimension it is easy to see the difference between a good leader and a poor one. Just look at the faces of people in the organization as they go about their daily tasks. Do they look like winners or losers? This is the easiest and quickest way to measure the caliber of a leader.
Great leaders find a way to create a whole society of winners in their organization. Oh sure, not 100% of the people are going to feel great 100% of the time.
That would be impossible, but the overarching mood is one of turned on people who are really in control of their fate as much as society will allow them to be.
They feel good, and people who feel good work well. Also winners tend to have high trust in their leaders and their peers. That is a significant advantage in any culture.
They are what Ken Blanchard refers to as “gung ho.” Coming to work is exciting and rewarding because they are making a better world for themselves.
That is the true definition of success as coined by Earl Nightingale. He said, “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.” People under a great leader are successful according to this definition because they are realizing their worthy ideal on a daily basis.
The contrast here is pretty stark, because people who work for poor leaders feel trapped.
They need a job in order to eat and support their family, but they are far more turned on by organizing a Cub Scout picnic than by making cars or airplanes at work.
They live for the things they get outside work and tolerate the abuse on a daily basis to fund the next mortgage payment and buy the meat.
If you want to measure how good a leader is, just talk to the people and find out where on this spectrum most people live.
If it is toward the empowered side and people feel like winners, their leader is a good one. If they feel like victims and work simply to get by, chances are their leader is not a very good one.
We do have to be careful in these comparisons to take into account the time a leader has been around.
You cannot expect a sick culture to be turned around in a couple weeks. But my contention is that it does not take years for a really good leader to turn around a tough situation.
In my experience a great leader can make a huge impact in even the most challenging organization within a year, often within 6 months.
Bob Whipple is CEO of Leadergrow Inc., a company dedicated to growing leaders. He speaks and conducts seminars on building trust in organizations. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 585-392-7763.