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Strategic methods for measuring effective leadership

Many organisations have difficulty assessing the effectiveness of a leader, which is because organisational politics prejudice most assessment measures, coupled with the absence of any verifiable standard. Also, the criteria for assessing a leader are sometimes undefined or unrealistic. This article presents strategic methods and approaches for measuring effective leadership.

The Essential Behavioural Leadership Qualities (EBLQ) approach

We have the “Essential Behavioural Leadership Qualities” (EBLQ) approach for assessing leadership effectiveness. This approach focuses on two things: the principles of leader behaviour theories and the competence model. Both elements indicate that a leader needs to excel at certain specific behaviours for leadership to be effective. Here there are 18 items for evaluating a leader, namely; excellent listening skills, good presentation skills, participative decision-making style, Motivation, honest and ethical, organisational knowledge, excellent interpersonal skills, fiscal efficiency, knowledge of policies, the vision of the future, delegating authority, providing support, fairness, courage and firmness, creativity, hardworking, good prioritizing skill, problem-solving skill.

Develop questionnaires based on employee participation

Creating a questionnaire based on the employees’ participation is a sound idea because frequently, employees have a lot of information and ideas that are beneficial at their disposal. As outsiders, so to speak, they often see things from a different angle from the leadership. They also get to observe the administration and have more ground-level insight into how the leaders are performing on many levels.

Use of leadership simulation tools.

Simulation tools offer organisations a quick, cost-effective, and risk-free way to train leaders. Leaders learn how to think and how to act when certain situations arise on the job. There are different types of simulation tools out there available to organisations. Like with every strategy and instrument, it is up to the organisation to choose the right fit for them and help their talents be productive. There are concept simulations that are appropriate for research-based organisations. There are also management game simulators that are perfect for senior management, and there are functional game simulators for line managers.

When it comes to using simulators, for it to be a useful tool, organisations can adopt a few strategies. These include focusing on the outcomes and not just the process, making the simulation exercise a group activity, and integrating the simulation exercises with the organisation’s core leadership training. To further ensure that you get most of the simulations, organisations need to make sure that the case studies used are grounded in real-life situations. The scenarios used during the simulations require a continuous upgrade as the organisations evolve. Lastly, the organisation must conduct formal review sessions after each simulation.

Leadership personality tests

There are many leadership tests out there, the top five, according to (Reynolds, 2017) are:

The Dominance Influence Steadiness Conscientiousness (DISC) Assessment. This tool is a self-assessment based on the four different personality types. It also provides a framework of understanding yourself as an individual (and as a leader) and understanding others.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. This tool measures psychological preference in terms of how individuals view the world around them and take in information and then make decisions. This test gives the users an understanding of the different ways people behave. While it is like the DISC assessment, it is a lot more complex to administer.

Multi-Source Assessment (360 Degree Feedback). Here, the leader’s colleagues, subordinates, and supervisors provide feedback alongside the leader’s self-evaluation. Giving the leader a more nuanced perspective of how they are performing in their job or role as a leader. This feedback is confidential and anonymous so that respondents can freely give their opinions. However, if you plan on using this tool, make sure you follow through and ensure it is carefully executed.

The StrengthFinders. This tool helps users figure out, identify, understand, and maximize their unique combinations of skills, knowledge, and talents. For them to do their work, achieve their goals, and interact successfully with others.

The Thomas- Kilman Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI). The TKI is a tool specifically designed for managing and building teamwork, and it deals with conflict.

Skill gap analysis.

On leadership effectiveness, the truth is that there is no company or organisation with perfect leaders. There is always going to be a gap between the ideal vision, skills you need to run an organisation, and the reality that’s on the ground. However, being an effective leader means taking steps to close those gaps in order to be more effective and efficient in leading the organisation so that it, with each member of staff, can successfully meet various goals and thrive.

The first step then is to carry out a skill gap analysis to find out what those gaps are. This analysis can be done on two levels: at the individual or team/organisational levels. Once you have decided which level to analyse, the next thing to do is identify the particular skills you desire and want your leadership team to possess. As an organisation, you need to ask two questions: what skills do we value as a company, and what skills do our leaders need to do their jobs currently and in the future?

The answers to these questions are in the organisation’s values, the organisation’s objectives, the job descriptions of your leaders, and the growth trend for the future. Another place to get insight into your organisation’s skills might need soon is to ask the leaders themselves and those they lead. Next, list all these skills and prioritize them in terms of importance and skill level required by using a scaling system. This scale, however, must be well defined. Once you have determined the ranges and dimensions and listed out the skills you want to test, you can measure and do the testing.

Use different assessment tools synthetically.

This strategy is probably the best one as it allows organisations to incorporate different approaches so that all the bases are covered when it comes to evaluating the effectiveness of leaders in the organisation. By using the various tools, leaders work with feedback and a fuller picture of where they need to work harder. But they also gain insight into a specific area of weakness and are equipped with tools on how to address issues and make changes.

In conclusion, effective leadership is very crucial to the success of any organisation. Finding a winning strategy will take time and effort from the top leadership roles to the HR department down to the employees. However, the organisation mustn’t lose sight of its core values and unique characteristics while designing and coming up with the organisation’s right assessment strategy. Also, organisations should always be on the lookout for new tools over time, as no organisation stays static; change is inevitable. An organisation with its eyes on the pulse can easily navigate these changes and remain productive when it comes to achieving their goals.

Beyond just using these tools, organisations must act on the data these assessments provide, either by training or hiring new leaders based on the values and skills they want to see in their organisation going forward. Yes, doing all these assessments can be draining when it comes to time and resources spent, however in the long run, when your organisation is being super productive and surpassing goals, it will be well worth the effort. What you don’t measure is difficult to improve. By continually assessing your leaders, you create room for data-backed adjustments that can lead to both the leaders and the organisation’s long-term growth.

Toye Sobande

Sobande is a Lawyer and Leadership Consultant. He is a Doctoral Candidate at Regent University, Virginia Beach, USA, for a Ph.D. in Strategic Leadership. He can be contacted by Email: contactme@toyesobande.com  

 

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