We have been asked on many occasions “is there a simple test that can quickly determine an executive’s leadership ability?” The short answer is yes, but keep in mind, simple and fast aren’t always the same thing as effective.
There are a plethora of diagnostic tests, profiles, evaluations, and assessments that offer insights into leadership ability, or a lack thereof. The problem with these efforts is they are overly analytical, very theoretical, and subject to bias. That said, they are fast, easy, and relatively inexpensive. The good news is, there is a better way. If you really want to determine someone’s leadership ability, give them some responsibility and see what they do with it. Leaders produce results. It’s not always pretty, especially in the case of inexperienced leaders, but good leaders will find a way to get the job done.
One of the primary responsibilities of leadership is to create more and better leaders. John Maxwell said, “There is no success without a successor.”
It’s important to realise that just because someone is in a leadership position, doesn’t necessarily mean they should be. Put another way, not all leaders are created equal. The problem many organisations are suffering from is a recognition problem – they can’t seem to recognise good leaders from bad ones. Here’s how to spot ineffective leaders pointing out a few things that should be obvious, but apparently aren’t:
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