Measuring Leaders

There are going to be a few posts from attending the Singularity University Global Summit that I recently attended in August.

I was listening to a Q & A panel with Charlene Li, Ricardo Vargas, and John Hagel.  At first I was surprised by some of the questions, “there are not many women talking about servant leadership, why?”  but then the gem came.  It wasn’t the question but during the answering they conversation moved into the topic of measuring leaders.

Traditionally, we measure leaders by performance goals associated with revenue, customer satisfaction, etc.  This led into a highlight of a recent experiment where people were polled with “When the sh*t hits the fan, who would you follow?”.  The interesting data results highlighted that many of the top answers were not in the succession plan for key leadership positions. Then the conversation explored the reality of leaders have to have followers, or are they leaders?  Now the poll idea was a gem in itself and something that I would absolutely ask within an organization for valuable information.

However, the statement that completely made me just smile and think – so simple, so right…

What if we measured a leader not by how many followers they have but how many leaders they create?”

There is nothing like having someone articulate what you have been thinking/doing in such a beautiful way.

How many leaders have you created?

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