If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.— John Quincy Adams

I have recently been engaged in discussion around an important question. “How do I know that my leadership is valuable? What are my measures of success?”

During this discussion, I received a note from one of the people I worked with in South Africa.  This is work I did ten years ago.  The part of the note that stood out for me said, “I will never forget the positive impact you’ve had in my life.”

That note is the biggest part of the answer.

Good leaders are successful at ensuring projects are delivered, that services are provided, that people get their jobs done.

Better leaders deliver projects on-time and on-budget. They make sure that the services provided delight to the customers of those services. They inspire the people they lead to do their jobs with high quality.

Exceptional leaders have an even higher purpose. They help those they lead to make improvements in the context of their work. They work to recognize the individual gifts and talents of the people they lead. They aspire to help the people they lead to improve their mastery and confidence in those talents.  Exceptional leaders nurture the individuals they lead in order to make a positive impact on their lives.

So, how do you measure the value of your leadership?

  • Did you deliver to the commitments you made? 
  • Were the services and products delivered under your leadership valued and used?
  • Most of all, did your leadership uplift the skills, confidence, and abilities of those you lead? Those kinds of results are the true gold.

Yours in the calm pursuit of excellence,


Alan Willett

Photo by Jingming Pan on Unsplash

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