Leadership can sometimes be tricky; and by tricky I mean difficult to evaluate the true impact of one’s leadership. Some leaders push people really hard, create an environment where individuals can’t ask questions or challenge the king and results are more important than anything else.
These leaders and leadership environments may produce results for a season, but in the long-run, morale will be negatively affected. Those employees will do just enough to meet the performance expectations and they will begin to plan their exit from that environment when the 1st lateral or better opportunity comes available.
Don’t confuse great performance with great leadership. There are plenty of organizations, environments and teams that have great performance, while the implications of the leadership is devastating to the employees. These teams are generally over-worked, under-valued, under-appreciated, stressed out, carry their work problems home and are flat out unhealthy. Great leadership produces healthy teams.
The best way to evaluate the effectiveness of leadership is to get true and honest feedback from the team. If this feedback is filtered through an independent 3-party it’s even better.
Don’t measure success from performance alone… The best way to measure leadership success is to dig a little deeper and answer this question: “Are my team members happy, healthy, satisfied and excited to come to work everyday?”
Healthy teams are comprised of healthy people and teams of healthy people generally produce great results. Ultimately, it’s the responsibility of the leader to create an environment that fosters the type of health necessary for success.