August 16, 2017

Measuring Leadership

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Let’s talk about leadership. It’s one of those topics that seem to be all the rage.

On today’s Whiteboard Wednesday, we have Dan Ackerman from Zeeland Classis answer a very important question on the topic of leadership: “How can we measure leadership?”

Oftentimes, we use characteristics and skill sets to measure what makes a leader. But is there a another way of measuring leadership? We commonly measure ourselves as leaders, or the progress of an organization that we are leading.

Instead, what if we began to measure the relationship between leader and follower?

Let’s refer to LMX Theory to see how this works:

The LMX Theory or Leadership Exchange Theory states that there are leaders and followers. And what defines a leader/follower relationship most effectively is the relationship between these two variables. If the relationship is strong, the follower is more likely to believe that the leader cares about him or her. They believe that the leader will ‘go the distance’, and takes risks for the follower.
On the other hand, if the follower doesn’t believe in the leader, tension develops within the relationship. The follower will most likely feel that the leader doesn’t care about their best interests.

So, instead of only focusing on measuring whether you are building a certain characteristic or skill set, it may be worthwhile to begin evaluating your relationships with your followers. Do you know the strength of your relationships with them? If not, I encourage you to take the LMX 7 questionnaire to help you get a deep understanding of your relationships with others, and understand the LMX Theory more fully.

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