There are hundreds of assessments for leaders. The content and quality of these assessments vary greatly. You can spend a lot of time and money taking surveys to tell you the quality of your leadership.
There are a few leading indicators that can be used to give a pretty good picture of the overall quality of your leadership. Here is one of my favorite measures.
Lowers Credibility Gap
In any organization there exist credibility gaps between layers. These gaps lower the trust within the organization and make good communication more difficult. Great leaders have a knack for lowering these gaps by filling in believable information in both directions: up and down.
When there is tension between one layer and another, great leaders work to find out the root cause of the disconnect.
It could be a nasty rumor, it could be based on a prior breach of trust, it might be an impending reorganization or merger, it could be due to an outside force like a new government restriction. Whatever the root cause will determine the key to elimination of the gap.
Use your nose
Excellent leaders have a nose for these problems and head them off while the gap is a small crack and before it becomes like the Grand Canyon. They help people breach the divide by getting the two levels to communicate and really negotiate a better position.
Weak leaders are more like victims who wait till the battle is raging and the chasm is too broad to cross without a major investment in a bridge.
Silo thinking vs. Team mates
The insight that usually helps is to remind the differing camps that they are really on the same team. Silo thinking leads to animosity between groups. Great leaders remind people that they share common goals at a higher level. There is no need for warfare.
A leader who has this skill is easy to spot because there are few paralyzing situations that have to be resolved. If you are one of those leaders, it will be evident. If you are not, it will also be evident. Seek to knit the organization together at every opportunity.
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.