How Should We Measure Leadership Performance?

October 10, 2011 Simon Leadership Development

The issue of how we should measure leadership performance is an interesting one. Historically, most leaders would have been judged purely on the results they deliver, that is, delivery against their goals, objectives and targets. But is this enough?

You only have to take a look through a selection of posts on my leadership blogroll to discover the prevalence of command skills among so called leaders. Most commentators agree that leadership is about much more than having great command skills. However, if we only measure leaders by the results they deliver, I believe we are encouraging command skills to the detriment of many of the other leadership skills sets.

One school of thought is to measure leadership performance through their employee engagement score. Used in isolation I believe this is flawed. Organizations pursuing this path could easily find themselves with fully engaged employees who were not delivering outstanding results. 

However, a hybrid model of measuring leadership performance would make more sense. Leadership performance could be measured against the results they deliver AND their employee engagement score. This would provide the impetus for leaders to develop and apply the full range of leadership skill sets.

Organizations would not only be measuring the WHAT of delivery (i.e. results) but also the HOW (i.e. engagement). Of course, leaders would also have to be rewarded in relation to both measures, that is, performance related pay would have to include delivery of results and employee engagement.  

As ever, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and in particular, I’d love to hear from any organizations who have tried applying this hybrid model. What has your experience been?

See you at the top :)

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