Search how can you tell if you’re a good leader and you’ll get a lot of answers, nearly all vague, like you are approachable or you’re comfortable reflecting on your strengths and weaknesses. Lots of non-leaders reflect on their strengths and weaknesses.
Here’s how you can measure your effectiveness as a leader:
People thank you for getting them to work hard
Someone thanking you when you get them to work? For people who don’t get leadership, it sounds backward. If they do something for me, shouldn’t I thank them?
On the contrary, when you see leadership as helping others do what they want but haven’t figured out how, you see that leadership means helping people find meaning and purpose in what they do.
Meaning and purpose mean more than calories burned or time spent. It’s what you burn calories and spend time for. Effective leadership enables you to do that for people.
(It’s also what unit 4, Leading Others, of Leadership Step by Step teaches experientially.)
Your followers’ dedication
How much effort do people put into working on projects you inspire them to? The more meaningful you make their projects—that is, how well you connect their motivations to their work—the harder they work, because you led them to work for themselves.
The deeper their motivation, the more they protect it. Effective leadership means listening. Before listening, it means behaving so they feel comfortable sharing what would otherwise make them feel vulnerable, which means supporting them on what they consider valuable (not necessarily what you consider valuable).
Leadership is a performance art from this perspective, which is most effectively learned step by step, like any other performance art.
How many people follow your lead
I didn’t write how many people follow your social media page. Clicking a like button is more than nothing, but did they get up? Did they move away from what they were doing? Did they risk anything personal?
Show that following your lead will help them achieve their goals because they know you know their goals and expect you will keep supporting them is more than just entertaining them or transacting with them.
It takes practice.
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