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Friday, July 4, 2008

How to Know If You're a Successful Leader Using the Leader Scorecard

By Sam Miller

Being a good leader does not happen by accident, nor does it happen overnight. It is a series of concerted efforts on your art and the cooperation of the people working with you. How sure are you of your abilities to lead your organization or company? How will you know how effective you are as a leader without resorting to the awkward task of asking your colleagues' opinions? You can create your own leader scorecard for this endeavor.

This type of scorecard is not your ordinary scorecard at all. It zeroes in on certain areas that would measure your performance. And everything is done step by step. It is important that you observe closely your ability to affect changes. You have to start with small scale changes then go up to large-scale improvement in your organization. Rate yourself from a scale of 1 to 10 for this.

First, observe how effective you are in convincing a certain subordinate to do new things that would improve the organization. Second, try influencing a colleague to act or think differently. You can do experimentation with at least three subordinates and another three colleagues. Then, rate your success and make notes. Then, you can proceed to the next step, albeit a bigger one.

Now, try experimenting with someone who holds a higher position than you. Your boss would make a good choice here. You can try selling a new idea to him perhaps. Observe how he reacts and try to convince him that your idea is beneficial to your company or organization. Then, score your success and take note of how fast you are at convincing your boss.

After experimenting with your subordinates, colleagues, and your boss, it is time to see how well you are with convincing your whole department to affect changes. This time, you will be convincing a considerably larger number of people. Initiate a change in one small but significant procedure in the department. And if they agree, see if you can convince them to do some changes in a larger scale. Again, make notes and rate yourself.

Now, for the ultimate test in your scorecard, convince the whole organization to undergo a major shift in direction. But first, you have to do a lot of consulting and brainstorming before you propose such change. If you can get through this test in a breeze, then you are a very effective leader. Evaluate the whole process you went through and browse over your notes. It is time to identify your weak points and decide on how you could improve your leadership. Remember, the scorecard is not merely intended for checking your performance, but for improving it as well. And besides, your bosses could be creating their own scorecard and evaluating you, too.

There has been enough evidence to show that people tend to change easily if they measure their own success. This is one of the most important purposes of the leader scorecard: changing the leader so he could lead the organization towards a better direction over a period of time.

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