Life-long learners constantly cycle through a developmental process to sharpen their leadership skills. It may be intuitive or it may be intentional. But the 6 steps are real: LEARN-EMPOWER-ASSESS-DECIDE-EVALUATE-REVIEW.  The fourth step in the leadership developmental process is DECIDE: know how and what to measure to ensure the vision, the goals and the team member’s contributions are on track.

Goals can be measured in four key areas:

  1. Quality
  2. Quantity
  3. Cost
  4. Timeliness

I’ve had very similar conversations in both the business and ministry context. It seems to come down to this – You measure, what matters!  Quantitative data are easier to come by.  For instance, the number of widgets made and sold OR the number of bodies in seats.  Cost and time are concrete.  Qualitative measure are a bit more complicated to track; but can be done.  Bottom line, effective leaders track the measures that are the best indicators of, or lack of, progress against the goal.

In their book “The 4 Disciplines of Execution” the authors introduce Wildly Important Goals (WIGs). From their experience, the challenge comes not to create the goal; but when the team executes the plan to reach the goa! To support leaders, the authors break down Wildly Important Goals (WIGS) into Lead and Lag Measures.

Lead Measures are focused on the outcomes you are aiming for in the WIG – these are:

  • Predictable – if you accomplish this, then you can expect certain results (“this” then “that”). 
  • Influenceable – something you can influence. 
  • A good Lead Measure might be: Double the revenue of our organization.

Lag Measures are focused on one of the following:

  • the goal OR
  • measures a result.
  • A good Lag Measure might be: Quarterly Participator Report.

I’ve found it extremely helpful to distinguish between Lead and Lag Measures when coaching leaders.  The exercise helps clarify what they are aiming at in their WIG and understand the strategic activities a team must execute to reach their goal.  Here are five questions for you to use as you coach and empower the leaders around you!

5 Questions for Your Reflection:

  1. What is your WIG?
  2. Which are Lead Measures? 
  3. Which are Lag Measures?
  4. How will you gather the data?
  5. When was the last time you assessed your team’s Wildly Important Goals (WIGS)?

Deciding is an important step in the Leadership Development Process. But Deciding in itself is not enough. In fact, going to a workshop, listening to a podcast or even receiving a degree in leadership does not guarantee a person can lead. I’ve found that many people have knowledge but lack the experience of actually leading a team. Applying the knowledge and learning from success, as well as failure is critical in the developmental process.

InFocus is responding to the need to help leaders empower their team through Live Courses called Collectives.  These “just in time” courses are designed for leaders who are in the trenches of developing the leaders around them.  Each course will engage participants in the 6 Step Leadership Development process above through a combination of group interaction and 1-1 coaching.  Learn more about the 2019 Collectives

The next step in the journey to develop as a leader is – Evaluate.  Evaluation occurs on the team as well as the individual performances of it’s members.  This is where we will pick-up next week.

Related Leadership Development Resource:

Effective Leadership Storyboard




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