Leadership: Evaluating Effectiveness

Evaluating your leadership skills is an important part of achieving effectiveness.

Unfortunately, good intentions are not enough for effective leadership.  We have worked with an organization that had a change in leadership.  The leadership has good heart, good intentions, but the organization has suffered decline under their guidance. 

Why good intentions are not enough? 

I recently came across a brief, but well-detailed article on leadership skills by Dr. John Maxwell called, “Momentum Breakers Vs. Momentum Makers.”  Links to the full online article are below.  While reading it, I was able to glean good insight for my own life and abilities as well as see more clearly why all the good intentions in the world are not enough to help eager leadership to be successful in their goals.  In discussing needed leadership skills, Maxwell categories them into 10 qualities that will either make or break your leadership momentum, momentum being what Maxwell describes as the key.  Here is a quote from his opening explanation of momentum:

It is never the size of your problem – or your opponent — that matters…Without momentum, even the puniest of opponents can seem intimidating…As a leader, your responsibility is to understand momentum, get your organization motivated, and sustain its energy over time…My goal is to coach you to recognize what mindsets add to momentum and which ones oppose it.” (1)

In the online version of the article, Maxwell gives the illustration of a train.  While a train at 55 mph can crash through the obstacle of a 5 foot thick steal and concrete wall, the same train starting from a stationary position cannot go through an inch thick block in front of the driving wheel.

Dr. Maxwell challenges us to focus on 1 or 2 of these momentum-building mindsets at a time to improve your leadership skills.  Here are some paraphrased excerpts; use the link (2) below to read the full article:

1.  Double-mindedness vs. FocusAttempting everything drains momentum as much as aiming at nothing.  Develop a clear vision statement.

2.  The Past vs. the FutureMomentum is lost by focusing on the past; practice now what you want the future to be.

3.  Individualism vs. TeamworkMomentum is killed by insisting on doing things yourself; momentum grows when the team takes part in victories.

4.  Critical Attitude vs. Constructive AttitudeThe difference between good and great, winning and losing, is determined by mental attitude.

5. Tradition vs. CreativityDon’t tear down elements from past until you know why they are there, then evaluate they are holding you back or not.  It could be outdated.

6.  Apathy vs. PassionYour lack of passion/courage keeps people in a comfort zone. Passion and courage energizes your own talents and that of those around you.

7. Dishonesty vs. CharacterCharacter is the sum total of daily choices.  A trustworthy leader more easily build momentum.

8. Conformity vs. ChangeChange is necessary for momentum.

9.  Ingratitude vs. GratitudeGratitude toward your colleagues will encourage future help.

10.  Indecision vs. ActionToo much analysis can paralyze you. Sometimes you must just inspire others by believing in your idea and going for it.

 John C. Maxwell is an internationally respected leadership expert, speaker, and author and founder of EQUIP.  His blog can be read at JohnMaxwellOnLeadership.com

 1.  Quote from Momentum Breakers Vs. Momentum Makers, pg. 6, Enjoying Everyday Life, February 2010.

2.  Online sources for Momentum article:

 http://www.giantimpact.com/articles/read/article_momentum_breakers_vs_momentum_makers/

 http://www.gsuccess.org/?p=121

 http://business.inquirer.net/money/columns/view/20090801-218299/Momentum-breakers-vs-momentum-makers

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