Bosses are judged on all sorts of metrics, from the financial performance of the divisions or organizations they lead,
to the attrition and retention rates of the employees who report to them.
To truly understand your impact as an organizational leader, you need to step beyond these metrics without completely losing sight of them. Here are six non-traditional ways to tell whether you are a good boss.
1. You Inspire Others to Do Great Things
In a 1975 interview with Mike Wallace, then host of 60 Minutes, future U.S. President Ronald Reagan said: “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.”
This is a powerful reminder that great leaders must be influential. A subject matter expert who rises to the top of his organization might deserve praise for his expertise and diligence, but he will only be remembered as a great leader when he inspires those who report to him to become subject matter experts as well.
2. You Run Complex Organizations With Ease
Leaders who effectively run complex organizations must possess broad, deep skill sets and demonstrate unusual facility with each facet of their operation.
“Running a multifaceted company has undoubtedly made me a better leader,” says Miami entrepreneur George Otte, whose Otte Polo Group owns several distinct businesses that operate in the United States and abroad. “When I first started out, my operation was much simpler, and I definitely have learned more throughout the growing pains.”
3. You Know That You Do Not Have All the Answers
Great leaders are humble. They know that they cannot possibly have all the answers to every question that will arise, nor know precisely what to do in unanticipated situations. Rather, they rely on quality of their own judgment and those around them.
4. You Own Your Mistakes
Another great U.S. President, John F. Kennedy, once said: “Victory has a hundred fathers and defeat is an orphan.”
In other words, few people are willing to step up and admit that they made a mistake. Even fewer are willing to admit that the failure of a project over which they claimed ownership is attributable to their own actions. Truly inspirational leaders do not pin blame on others: they accept that they can do better next time and move on.
5. They Attract Great Employees
Great leaders tend to attract great employees. If your organization or division is struggling to attract quality individuals, seek honest feedback from your subordinates to determine what you can do better to boost internal morale and external perceptions. Your organization’s performance, and your future as a leader, depend on it.
6. You Take Measured Risks
Motivational speaker Nancy Solomon coined the maxim, “You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.” Put another way, you are likely to get more out of your life — and your people — when you take measured risks and work toward ambitious goals.