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4 Ways to Measure Your Leadership

Written by Chuck Olson

It was Tuesday. Pattie was calendared to spend the day with the grandkids.

Up early. Check. Grab some breakfast. Check. Hop in the car. Check.

So far, so good.

Start the engine. Nothing. Try again. Nothing. Once more. Nothing.

With the clock ticking (and rush hour traffic mounting), we opted to swap cars. Easier said than done. All the items packed into one car the night before had to be transferred to the other car. This included 1 folding table, 15 folding chairs, and a bunch of Trader Joe bags. With the precision of an Indy 500 pit crew, we unloaded and reloaded. It was quite a scene. (Note: Pattie and I often compliment ourselves about the considerable entertainment value that we add to our neighborhood!).

Time to divide and conquer. She barreled down the street and I waited for AAA. Twenty-six minutes later the mobile repairman rolled up the driveway, popped the hood, hooked up the battery tester, and ceremoniously pronounced the verdict of a dead battery.

As the serviceman headed out, I was reminded about how helpful an accurate diagnosis is. Within minutes, I knew exactly what my problem was…and what I needed to do to fix it.

Don’t you wish that assessing your leadership was that easy?

So how do you know that you are being effective as a leader? How do you know that you are leading with your life—leading from the inside out? Are there any diagnostics that you can plug in to render a reading of whether or not you are leading from the core of who you are? NTF: Too many leaders presume they are leading well simply based on the fact that they occupy the top box on the org chart or they have a diploma on the wall that advertises that back in the day they were once numbered with the summa cum laude of their graduating class.

Admittedly, such measurements are more subjective than objective, but for a moment allow me to shove on to center stage a few TESTS for your consideration.

Test #1: An undeniable mark. If polled, what would the people in your charge say is the most distinguishable mark of your leadership? Would they say that they see an evident, unmistakable presence of God in how you go about your role as leader? Because of the fullness and intimacy of your relationship with Christ, when others seek your counsel, do they find something beyond day-old platitudes, something that resounds with hope and wisdom and truth?

Test #2: An observable integrity. When the curtain is pulled back, especially in times of challenge, do people see a person of consistency? Is there alignment between how you live your life and how you call others to live theirs? Would the ever-presence surveillance cameras reveal a life worth imitating?

Test #3: An acknowledged stewardship. When it’s all said and done, do you embrace your leadership role as a stewardship to be faithfully discharged or as an entitlement to be selfishly exploited? Propped up on the various platforms of recognition, far too many leaders lose their bearings and fall victim to an ever-expanding ego. Who do you have in your life to whom you have granted full permission to remind you that your leadership position is not owned by you, but entrusted to you?

Test #4: An uncompromising focus. What’s more important to you—your position in the organization or your influence in the organization? There’s a Grand Canyon-sized difference between the two. Do you desire the corner office more than you desire to have impact in the lives of others? The trappings and temptations of leadership can subtly steal your true focus, leaving you with a large platform but very little influence.

So what do you think? How do you measure up? What’s your reading on the ‘leadership tester’?

It’s an important question.

Those who live downstream from your leadership need you to score well.

How do you measure your leadership effectiveness?



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  • Lee Sebastiany says:

    Spot on brother Chuck! Spot on! Now I have some evaluating to do.

  • John says:

    seeking to live as Paul
    Reading from I Tim 4 where Paul exhorted Timothy:
    “be an example in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity”
    This is being a person of consistency.

  • Matthew says:

    Truly desiring to have an imprint on our church leadership to be one who has a heart strong for Him. And that requires me to give daily time just being in His presence. So grateful for your steady influence in my life Chuck.

  • Rob says:

    Thank you for the update. God has blessed you and is using you to make His Kingdom a better place for everyone because the leaders you counsel will go into the community better equipped to do His work. He has given you a great responsibility and an assignment which is very critical to establishing His Kingdom on earth.

    May God continue to bless you and your work for Him.

  • Steve says:

    Thanks Chuck!

  • Gary says:

    Thanks for the constant reminder of what matters most in a leader’s life is the internal world.

  • Tony Collier says:

    Thank you Chuck for always telling the truth, whether I want hear it or not. You are so positive with how you state this important challenge to leaders. Thank you for your encouraging message.

  • Janna Howe says:

    As always Chuck, such encouraging words of wisdom that you live so well and evidenced by all you do!

    Thanks setting some goals for me to achieve in my everyday life…


  • Daniel Hardy Jr says:

    I am so grateful for your wisdom and inclusivity. You are such an amazing man brother Chuck!

  • Brandon says:

    Wow – so good; and spot on! An uncompromising focus! Our motivations as leaders is what steers the ship of our actions & decisions, and Chuck, your affirmations and mid-course corrections always lead me deeper into Christ’s heart for kingdom leadership. Thank you brother.

  • Steve says:

    You lead so well by example Chuck. Your influence in my life is a steady source of encouragement to keep at it, no matter how difficult it may get.

  • Greg says:

    Your life consistently reflects what you champion and call out for each of us.
    Thank you!

  • Jon says:

    So true! Each one.
    Authentic Christ follower
    Integrity in lifestyle
    Open handed position
    Influencing for good
    Thank you for such sound reminders Chuck.

Chuck Olson

As founder and president of Lead With Your Life, Dr. Chuck Olson is passionate about inspiring, resourcing and equipping Kingdom leaders to lead from the inside out.  To lead, not with the external shell of positions, achievements or titles, but from an internal commitment to a deep, abiding and transparent relationship with Jesus. Serving as a pastor and leadership coach for over forty years, Chuck has a track record of building these truths deep into the lives of both ministry and marketplace leaders.

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