Leader Assessment from Donkeys to Thoroughbreds

Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, Cast Away. What do all these movies have in common? Tom Hanks is arguably one of the most talented actors of our time. I’m amazed each time I see him perform, drawing me into his latest character as if I had never seen him in any previous role.

What movie you’ve watched spurred you to emotion and maybe even led you to action or, possibly worse, living in fear? Isn’t it intriguing how some individuals can persuade others to a different course of action simply because they are good actors?

I recently heard of a technology executive painting a bleak picture to his team about the consequences of them leaving to accept a better role with another company offering better pay and title. Add a few sniffles and a crocodile tear or two, and you have the makings of a cheesy movie or a desperate leader suddenly realizing, “Oh crap, I better figure out a way to keep these people before they all leave on my watch.”

We are in an extraordinary time in history as droves of people resign from jobs to move into new roles and opportunities. Yes, in some cases, it’s simply a matter of the grass seeming greener somewhere else. Still, in other cases, the grass might actually be greener, and a new opportunity out of an existing company might be just the right move.

Actions speak louder than words, and in times like these, leaders can get desperate, trying to persuade others from leaving using all types of measures. Honestly, “Leaders” are not that hard to come by, but authentic leaders who lead by example and are interested in their teams are rare. Once you work for a great leader, the imposters stand out like a jackass masquerading as a thoroughbred.

Consider taking a moment to assess your leaders. Are they the right leader for you and the success of your company? Is their leader competent and trustworthy, or are they simply out to promote themselves at any cost.

Answer on a 1 to 5 scale for the questions below.

Scale = (1) Not even close – (2) Not really – (3) Enough to be dangerous – (4) Oh yeah – (5) Killing it

The Leader Assessment

(___) Are my leaders knowledgeable in the trade and craft they oversee?
(___) My leaders make a point to acknowledge my skills and craft?
(___) Do my leaders know how to market and promote my team’s capabilities?
(___) Do my leaders acknowledge my contributions to our success?
(___) Do my leaders seek ways to promote and release me in my talent and passion?
(___) Are my leaders present and interested in my work?
(___) My leader is not locked away in their office, off-limits to their team?
(___) My leaders give me the benefit of the doubt and are my advocate?
(___) My leaders are wise about when to buy vs. build something?
(___) My leaders know me by name and are engaging?
(___) My leaders are consistent, sincere, and genuine?
(___) I trust my direct leader?
(___) I trust my leaders, leader?

Reflection and Sharing

Take a moment to share what you learned through this leader assessment. What question would you have added, and how would you have scored it for your leaders?

Greg Paskal