Effective Leadership-How do you measure success?

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Effective LeadershipAs a leader how do you measure success? What are the most important values you demonstrate as a leader?  What is the difference between a leader and a boss?  How would you promote cohesion among teams who disagree? How do you motivate your team?  What leadership style do you use?  How do you resolve conflict?

Enjoy this leadership listicle from Villanova University around effective leadership.  How would you answer the aforementioned questions?  Your comments are valued and encouraged.  Please do not hesitate to share them on 3Q Leadership™ Blog


Skip Prichard

President & CEO, OCLC, Inc.
Leadership Insights blogger


What are the most important values you demonstrate as a leader?

It is always my goal to be seen first as a servant leader. Servant leaders think of others first. They encourage, they motivate and they are humble. I think they lead with others in mind.

What is the difference between a leader and a boss?

A boss manages through positional power, whereas a leader radiates personal power. Leaders can emerge from anywhere in an organization. They galvanize others with their ideas, energy and passion. People are swept into their vision and want to achieve results. A boss is a box on an organizational chart. With a position of power, the boss has an extraordinary opportunity to influence. That opportunity does not always equate to becoming a leader.

How would you promote cohesion among teams who disagree?

A team needs to align around a decision. You can and should disagree openly in a team meeting. Argue and debate within the team. Once the decision is made, then you need to align as a team publicly, or you will undermine the ability of the team to deliver. I think leaders often struggle with cohesion because they do not encourage debate and listen to the arguments on both sides. If people feel like they will be treated fairly, they may be more likely to support the final decision.

How do you motivate your team?

I hire motivated people. It’s very difficult to motivate someone to do something. I find it’s much easier to find people who are self-motivated. As a leader, my job is to provide an environment of encouragement mixed with challenge. After that, it’s up to the individual.

What leadership style do you use?

I’m a lifelong student of leadership. We all have preferred styles based on our personality and experience. However, successful leaders learn to adapt the style to the required situation. At times, a good leader needs to listen and influence in a subtle way. Other times, that same leader may be required to be on stage, up front and vocal. Still another time, the leader may be persuasive, influencing behind the scenes. The best leaders are constantly changing styles to serve others and to serve the intended goal.

As a leader, how do you measure success?

Through results – That usually implies financial results, but when I answer “results,” I think of them in a much broader way. It’s not only financial results or measureable metrics, but I make sure these questions are answered. Are we improving our skills? Are we better this year than last year? Are we influencing more people to take action? Jim Rohn said, “Success is something you attract by the person you become.” I’ve adopted his philosophy.

How do you resolve conflict?

It depends on the conflict. I never shy away from conflict because it can be a welcome learning experience. It can offer a window into an important issue, or it can provide an opportunity to develop personally and professionally. Francis Crick said, “The death knell to real collaboration is politeness.” In a civil, respectful way, encouraging conflict is important. It leads to better results. Hiding or avoiding conflict only pushes the real battles to the boundary.

Jon Mertz

Founder, Thin Difference
Speaker and Published Author


What are the most important values you demonstrate as a leader?

The most important value I try to demonstrate is empathy. Everyone experiences joy, ordeals and uncertainty within the workplace and within their families. Having open, honest and understanding conversations can help set the stage for determining the right steps forward. Demonstrating empathy is not being weak. It is just the opposite.

Empathy is about showing strength as a leader to solve problems and support team members and colleagues in good and challenging times. The other key values I try to demonstrate are a problem solving and growth-oriented mindset. Going into any situation with an attitude and belief of “this can be solved” sets the stage for everyone to apply their talents together.

Being growth-oriented means we must always keep learning and get better at what we do. If my team members do not see me demonstrating these mindset values, then I have failed. Each of these values must always be grounded in integrity.

What is the difference between a leader and a boss?

Simply stated, a leader raises others up while a boss holds people in their place. Leaders empower the best in others, and the best comes out by how they use their talents. A boss tells others what to do and may even tell them how to do it. A boss puts people in a box. A leader unboxes the gifts each individual has.

A leader holds people accountable while giving them the responsibility and authority to do the work. A boss just holds people accountable with little corresponding responsibility and authority.

How would you go about getting cohesion from a team who disagrees?

I think Dr. Henry Cloud said it best. “Go hard on the issue and soft on the person.” What this means is to keep the focus on the issue and process. We need to be relentless in this focus. By doing so, eventually the true cause or challenge will be discovered and then can be resolved. If we get distracted on the personal stuff, the relationship may fray, and no progress made.

Another key element is empathy. Understanding another’s perspective may help begin to flesh out where the common ground is. Asking a lot of questions and getting confirmation on what we hear can also help determine how to collaborate together. One final point is to remember to lighten up the environment. A good laugh can help spark a refreshed perspective.

How do you motivate your team?

What I try to do is set the big goals each quarter and give people space to determine how to achieve them. Our goals align to our purpose. Staying focused on why our work is important will keep us motivated. Too often, the simplicity and power of these actions are missed.

I believe most teams are good, and they want to make the best decisions possible and put their best efforts forward as often as they can. Motivation springs from here.

What leadership style do you use?

My leadership style is designed around collaborative results. By working together with a focus on the higher purpose at hand and leveraging each other’s strengths, we can achieve many great things together.

As a leader, how is success measured?

Success is measured by how team members grow in the use of their talents and the new initiatives they undertake on their own. In our world today, there is more opportunity for horizontal growth than vertical. How team members gain new capabilities, take on new initiatives and demonstrate creativity in solving problems are how I measure success as a leader.

The added way is what we achieve as a department and a company. Within an organization, there is a higher purpose to realize. Success is measured in how well we perform in achieving that higher purpose.

How do you resolve conflict?

As difficult as it is, resolving conflict begins with an honest, open conversation. Staying focused on the issue and not the personality is vital, although not easy. Taking deep breathes and listening intently to what is being said – verbal and nonverbal – can also help a great deal.

I try to keep my emotions in check while remaining centered in calm resolution. In many ways, there is a sense of rising above the situation and observing how the conversation is unfolding. A new perspective is gained, and I stay focused on resolving the issue.

Irene Becker

Founder, Just Coach It – The 3Q Edge™
Leadership, Career and Communication Expert, Speaker and Writer
20+ years in Leadership and Executive Positions


What are the most important values you demonstrate as a leader?

The most important values I demonstrate as a leader are character, competency, integrity, humanity and courage. These values are the anchors for seven timeless commitments that build and sustain great leadership:

  • The commitment to lead and not follow
  • The commitment to the empowerment of self and others
  • The commitment to purpose and vision
  • The commitment to communicating the vision
  • The commitment to courage
  • The commitment to integrity
  • The commitment to action ability

What is the difference between a leader and a boss?

A boss is a person who is responsible for workplace objectives being met. They are the individual that employees report to, and the individual who will set objectives and is responsible for seeing that they are met. Leaders are responsible for inspiring, guiding and enabling potential, collaboration and results. They set the vision, inspire the mission and create new pathways that drive reach, resonance and results.

How do you get cohesion among a team who disagrees?

It is important that team members bring different skills, strengths and a diversity of thought to the table. What unites a team is a common purpose and common values that are the linchpin for team development, growth and cohesion. I would use disagreement as a positive. Disagreement is not necessarily negative. Different opinions are important.

How is disagreement transformed into consensus and collaboration? By refocusing on the common objectives, values and goals and determining how to find a balance, an answer that uses areas of disagreement to come up with a new and better solution(s). In transforming disagreement into new solutions, one is also modeling and teaching the ability to build respect, resiliency and integrative thought (the skill of holding two opposing thoughts in one’s mind in order to come up with the best solution). Respect, resiliency, integrative thought and collaboration are critical 21st century leadership and team strengths.

How do you motivate your team?

You should motivate your team by helping employees develop their professional abilities and personal strengths. Your commitment to your people, your ability to help them build upon their strengths, learn new skills and develop new habits of thinking, doing and communicating is critical. Teaching and helping team members to fail forward (to use failures in a positive way to generate new ideas and results), making sure that every effort is made to grow communication/collaboration, as well as highlighting accomplishments of individuals and the team as a whole, are important motivators.

The balance in motivating your team lies between knowing each team member and understanding how to communicate in a way that motivates them as well as the entire team. Motivation comes from respect, understanding, communication and the feeling that the work one is doing is valued. Team synergy comes from a team that communicates and collaborates together toward a common goal with shared values that hold them together.

What leadership style do you use?

My leadership style is collaborative, but I believe that it is critical to adapt one’s leadership style to fit the people you are leading. To me, leadership is about character, competence and integrity and the style one uses must reflect all three values. Different groups, sectors and demographics require different leadership styles because the litmus test of great leadership is being able to inspire, engage and enable people, potential and results.

The ability to adapt one’s leadership style in terms of how one communicates is critical, especially in a new arena where diversity, generational and cultural differences demand a leadership style that can build bridges and drive consensus collaboration.

As a leader, how do you measure success?

As a leader, I measure success by my ability to not simply achieve objectives, but to champion and entrench the values, the mission, the organization as a whole and the importance of every individual who contributes to the greater goal. Success is measured not only by my ability to lead positive change, but to inspire, engage and enable others to optimize and engage their greatest potential and results in alignment with the objectives and common values that unite us all.

How do you resolve conflict?

The best way to resolve conflict to bring all parties to the center of the table. When conflict arises, even the best and brightest among us can get hijacked by emotions. It is imperative to pause and NOT react, but to respond. Focusing on the center of the table means focusing on the shared goals, objectives and values that tie everyone together.

It also means listening to another’s opinion without judgment and making sure the other party is heard and respected. It means reflecting back what they have said and using it to validate their opinion, so that everyone moves from conflict to connection.

Mark Fernandes

Chief Leadership Officer, Luck Companies
Keynote Speaker and Writer


What are the most important values you demonstrate as a leader?

My personal core values are responsibility, accountability, discipline, excellence and significance. These are the ones that I feel are important to live my life by. However, this does not necessarily make them right for everyone. Each of us has our own set of core values, and our deeply held beliefs about what is right and good. What’s most important is that we do the hard work of understanding and embracing what our own core values are, then live our lives in alignment with them as this would be our authentic best self.

I also believe trust building and relationships are exceptionally important as a leader, and doing what you say, saying what you mean, and being what you seem (my definition of integrity) go a long way toward building both. Trust building and relationships take time, however, they can be lost in an instant of untrustworthy behavior.

There is also something to be said about grace, an ethic of kindness. Grace is not only something we need to extend to others but also to ourselves. As Ian Maclaren said, “Be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” We could all benefit by giving each other and ourselves a break.

What is the difference between a leader and a boss?

Leaders serve others and often spend the majority of their time asking questions about how they can help or support those around them. Bosses are self-serving and spend most of their time telling others what to do.

How would you build cohesion among a team who disagrees?

Getting a team or group of people to agree on something can be a difficult task and generally divide team members even more. Oftentimes, alignment is a better desired state whereby team members agree to disagree, however move forward as one voice and/or in one direction. This is typically best accomplished through a collaborative approach to the solution, where everyone’s voice is heard, and a decision made through consensus building.

How do you motivate your team?

The best motivations are intrinsic or the self-desire to seek out new things and new challenges. It is driven by an interest or enjoyment in the task itself, and exists within the individual rather than relying on external pressures or a desire for reward. As a leader, I see it as our responsibility to create the environment and conditions for our employees and teams to be self-motivated and use the characteristics of organizational climate (clarity, standards, rewards, flexibility, responsibility and team commitment) to do so.

Along with these characteristics, it is also the responsibility of the leader to use the appropriate leadership style that is best suited for certain situations to ensure the best conditions for motivation exist.

What leadership style do you use?

Tough love is the leadership style that has been most influential and impactful for me throughout my life. This is the style that I have carried forward from mentors, coaches and my parents, but over time I have adapted my application of this practice to meet the specific needs of each person I engage with.

While the “one size fits all” principles of tough love worked well for its time, I felt the need to redefine this approach for both myself and a transforming world of work that is asking for a very different kind of leader – a truly human leader. I have chosen to lead by employing a greater balance between “tough” and “love,” seeking to meet people where they are in any given situation and providing them with exactly what they need to, in turn, be influential and impactful for others.

As a leader, how is success measured?

In the early stages of my career (and life), I defined success much like most other Baby Boomers. Success was more about the accomplishment of goals and attainment of things, positions, honors, wealth and the like. Today, it is so much less about what I “get” and so much more about what I “give.”

My personal mission statement is to inspire people to believe in themselves, and become everything they are capable of becoming. On any given day where I may have inspired just one person to wake up to the limitless possibilities of their life, that would be a really successful day.

How do you resolve conflict?

My personal preference for resolving conflict is to focus on the problem not the personalities and to not let it get personal. Conflict is a normal part of any healthy relationship and learning how to deal with conflict – rather than avoiding it – is crucial. It’s typically best when emotions are diffused, as calmer heads often prevail, and attention is paid to the rational facts versus obsessing on the feelings.

Scott Mabry

Senior Operations Leader in Financial Services
Leadership Author and Blogger


What are the most important values you demonstrate as a leader?

To me, the most important values are empathy, honesty, competence, inclusion and vulnerability. All of these values relate to building trust, and trust is at the heart of leadership.

What is the difference between a leader and a boss?

A manager is focused on doing things right. A leader is focused on doing the right things.

How do you improve cohesion among team members who disagree?

Listen carefully to the stories and pay attention to the underlying emotions. Is this really about the issue or about something hiding behind the issue? Refocus on the outcome both parties want to achieve and search for common ground. Find a path that best serves the needs of the team and work with them to build an agreement on the work load and how they will work together. Create opportunities to build informal relationships that break down barriers.

How do you motivate your team?

I don’t spend a lot of time directly trying to motivate the team. I focus on creating an environment where people will find their own internal motivations. People are motivated when they feel cared for. Care about your team members, get to know what inspires them on a personal level and create a culture designed to encourage both individual and team success.

What leadership style do you use?

I focus on an inclusive, connected and confident leadership style. I feel it is very important to bring others into the leadership process and to lead together, but I understand that I must also be decisive and directive at times when that is what the team needs from me. I seek to build positive relationships with each person in my direct team.

As a leader, how is success measured to you?

Success is measured by the degree to which I am able to lead the team to reach the objectives we set out to achieve. It is also the degree to which each person on my team grew as a person and a leader through our shared experiences. My goal is to help each person realize their potential and feel appreciated, supported and rewarded by their work. This isn’t the same as trying to make people happy. Sometimes, it means tough conversations and pushing people beyond their comfort zone.

How do you resolve conflict?

I help people work through their differences with a focus on finding common ground, and I help each person recognize how they can contribute to a better situation. I set the expectation that if the conflict is hurting the team, a way through it must be found. Disagreement and debate are acceptable, and even healthy as long as the discussion is over a common goal and the team is passionate about the best way to accomplish the mission. Conflict for the sake of individual pride, accomplishment and reward or professional dislike is not acceptable.

Dennis and Michelle Reina

Co-Founders of Reina, A Trust Building® Consultancy
Best-selling authors with nearly 25 years of experience strengthening workplace trust


What are the most important values you demonstrate as leaders?

As leaders in workplace trust building, we know we have a responsibility not only to what we do, but how we do it. This means committing to do what we say we are going to do and working hard to deepen our own trustworthiness. This critical inner work is guided by demonstrating four core values:

  • Do the right thing and do it right
  • Push boundaries to learn and grow
  • Co-create for the greater good
  • Honor the mind, body and spirit

We find these values fuel us – daily – to give our best. Time and again, we attract colleagues and clients who’re willing to give us their best.

What is the difference between a leader and a boss?

People follow bosses out of obligation. They follow leaders out of inspiration. We’ve found that worldwide, across all industries and levels of responsibility, the key difference between bosses and leaders is their trustworthiness. People trust leaders to do what’s right, particularly in tough situations. Leaders build trust through focusing more on the people they’re supposed to be leading than the things they’re supposed to be doing. As a result, people can:

  • Feel confident in the direction they’ve set for the organization
  • Strive to produce extraordinary results, even in challenging circumstances
  • Support and nurture their leader’s growth – both as a leader, and as a human being

How would you get cohesion from a team who disagrees?

We’ve found the most effective method to forge consensus is to uncover the disagreement’s ‘why.’ Why are people divided within an issue? How are they seeing the future unfold differently if certain decisions are made? What impacts are some people anticipating that others may not have considered? The only real way to get at these insights is to create a safe container for people to talk candidly with one another in focused pursuit of the ‘why.’

In this space, people can unearth and test assumptions, pinpoint risks and opportunities and develop a clear path forward together. We find that through this process, team members begin to engage with one another. This engagement not only strengthens trust, it fuels optimal performance.

How do you motivate your team?

As team leaders, it’s our job to give people permission to slow down and pinpoint what’s holding them back. Could they use additional training, an outside perspective or a subtle shift in environment? Do they need time to rest and reboot? Or, are there dynamics that are diminishing the trust they have in themselves – or in other members of the team? In our experience, a breakdown in motivation can be a red flag for a breakdown in trust. Even in the highest performing teams, people practice behaviors that make trust vulnerable. Broken trust is the outcome of people doing business together.

In our team, when we notice energy levels declining, we give people room and space to pinpoint behaviors that may be breaking trust and clarify what’s needed to get back on track. This isn’t always easy – especially when our team needs to be firing on all cylinders. Yet, the time we invest in this process is always rewarded. Our relationships improve, our effectiveness increases and – most importantly – our ability to teach trust deepens because we’re living it, authentically.

What leadership style do you use?

Both with clients and in our team, our leadership style is highly collaborative. We believe the most effective, sustainable solutions are co-created, not dictated.

As leaders, how do you measure success?

Our clients refer to us as pioneering leaders in workplace trust building. For nearly 25 years, we’ve supported people at all levels of responsibility to shift behavior, optimize relationships and perform exceptionally, both as professionals and as human beings. Because trust work lives at the core of the human experience, we measure our work’s success in terms of impact. Other questions we ask include:

  • Has our approach to trust building supported people to transform their workplaces and lives?
  • Have the business results our clients achieved increased public awareness around the value of workplace trust?
  • Have we built a method to build trust that stands the test of time?

We’re thankful and proud that we’re enjoying success by these measures. Yet we’re more proud that our clients are enjoying success from trust building.

How do you resolve conflict?

In our work with thousands of leaders worldwide, we’ve found that conflict is rooted in compromised trust. We’ve developed a proven seven-step formula that supports people to resolve conflict, restore trust and work together again effectively.

  • Observe and acknowledge what’s happened. Recognize the impact of the conflict on both work and life outside of work.
  • Allow feelings to surface. Is there confusion, anger, hurt or shock?
  • Get support. Seek objective counsel to gain greater perspective.
  • Reframe the experience. Get curious. Consider the bigger picture, opportunities that may now be open, options that can be considered. Reflect upon what the experience may teach about personal development, relationships and life.
  • Take responsibility for moving through the conflict and restoring trust, even if not at fault. Learn the behaviors to practice that can keep the situation from happening again.
  • Forgive others. Release the weight of bitterness and resentment and approach others with compassion and understanding.
  • Let go and move on. Disengage from the grip of conflict and move forward.

Gail Angelo

Coaching and Consulting
26 years of Leadership Experience


What are the most important values you demonstrate as a leader?

The most important values for me as a leader include service, compassion and supporting the greatest potential of those I interact with and lead.

What is the difference between a leader and a boss?

A leader inspires people to action regardless of position and/or subject matter expertise. They are strategic in their thinking. They are Agile in their approach to getting things done. Leaders create followership. They are self-aware people with integrity and character, and they actively influence cultures of the same characteristics. A leader is someone you ARE. A boss is something you DO. Bosses are often more about position than about character, and not all bosses are leaders.

How do you build cohesion among teams who disagree?

I start with what is working and where teams do agree. I look for common ground, which is typically around purpose. There will never be a team without disagreement. Consequently, I promote a culture of respectful disagreement. Oftentimes, it is out of disagreement that some of the most creative and best solutions arise.

How do you motivate your team?

I start by engaging them by explaining the purpose of the team. Why does the team exist? What can they connect with? I see them for who they are as people as well as professionals. I support them in seeing the value of each other. I play to their strengths. I ask what they like to do and what they do best. I maximize opportunities for leveraging their strengths. I thank them publicly. I provide balanced, clear, actionable and timely feedback. I communicate with transparency. I trust them.

What leadership style do you use?

My leadership style is inclusive and collaborative. I thrive on collective ideas and input. Ideas and input help make us better and more Agile in times of rapid and complex change.

As a leader, how do you measure success?

Bottom line results The team’s sense and/or feeling of fulfillment Engagement Serving as a model to/for other teams as to how to get things done well

How do you resolve conflict?

  • Get the facts
  • Encourage open dialogue directly with the person
  • Set an expectation that conflict is not always bad if dealt with constructively
  • Model what you want, and set the expectation that there will be no gossip, no rumor mill
  • Listen well, and encourage others to do the same!

Extending a big thanks to Villanova University for their commitment to leadership, education and for inviting me to participate in this leadership listicle.

Do you want to learn more about leading through change, effective facilitation or communicating for impact? Join me for three powerful workshops at Project Management and Business Analyst World, Toronto May 9-12

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