I was asked at a conference lately what, in my opinion, is the true measure of leadership. Great question and what ensued was a really interesting debate.
What is clear, and I still find it fascinating, is that many people, and I count really enlightened ones in that group, who still confuse managing and leading.
My simple differentiation is still the one I heard many years ago – that you manage things and lead people. Simple, but very clear!
I have done a lot of research in recent times about the subject of emotional intelligence, and it’s role in management and leadership and I have found it to be very thought provoking.
Without going into a lot of detail about emotional intelligence – a subject for another article – there is one interesting piece of research that is relevant to the subject we are talking about today.
The research has clearly shown that for managers and leaders, the split in development is 80% on emotional intelligence and 20% on IQ, which clearly indicates where managers and leaders need to develop most!
So, what is the true measure of leadership?
Assuming we accept that leadership is about people, and the focus has to be on the emotional intelligence side of the equation, it is clear that one true measure of leadership is how we have truly helped our people grow.
Now I am not talking about generalities here – I am talking specifically!
Right now, pick one of your direct reports and do a proper case study – a really honest one.
Remember, this is a case study about YOU, NOT THEM!
How did you set about helping this person grow? What results did you set out to achieve? What specifically did you do? How do you measure what your activity was? How many days did you spend with that person? Then, what were the results?
You see leadership is all about serving your people.
So, what have you done about serving your people today? If serving your people is a true measure of leadership, how did you fare today?
Remember, you serve your people, you provide a service and you are a servant. Notice the common theme? Yes, service! That is the true measure of leadership!
Share your thoughts with us on what you believe to be a true measure of leadership.
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