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Assessing Leaders
As leaders, we often review and offer feedback to those in our organizations. This activity is a critical aspect of leadership. Such feedback provides a path for continuous improvement for an individual and assures that every person in your organization is aligned with the organization’s vision.

However, who provides you as a leader with a performance review? Maybe you are lucky enough (hah hah) to report to a board of directors or other oversight committee. Or maybe you are bold enough to invite your team members to make suggestions to you. But who wants to criticize the boss even if it is constructive?

Help is on the way if you want a dose of personal feedback and you sit at the top. I learned this as I participated in a leadership assessment for a former colleague over the weekend. I found it quite fascinating. It was all about measuring his leadership qualities and performance. He had retained a company, Telios Corporation, to undertake this assessment.  Telios believes that success in leadership development is founded on the disciplines of Assessment, Coaching and Training.

My part in the assessment was simple and easy. I was provided a link to a website and login. The entire process was conducted online and was very efficient. Over a series of about 70 questions, I was able to rate my colleague on several aspects of his leadership ability including his:

  • Ethics and character
  • Ability to define and execute strategy
  • Domain expertise and knowledge
  • Teamwork
  • Capability to lead during change
  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Communication skills

More importantly, before I finished, I was asked to rank the primary leadership characteristics that comprised the survey. I can only assume that my ratings will be weighted by how much I value each leadership characteristic. That makes good sense. If I give someone a high or low rating but I don’t value the characteristic, it should carry less weight.

I found that this was a valuable experience for me and I can only imagine how this feedback will help my colleague in his quest to become a better leader.

Not having seen the results of the survey and how it is presented and implemented, I can’t offer any additional insight into the value of this particular product. But I think the concept is important and if you are brave enough to face what your employees do on a regular basis, give it a try. By the way, the folks at Telios share this quote by famed Dallas Cowboy coach Tom Landry on their website,

“A coach is someone who tells you what you don’t want to hear, who has you see what you don’t want to see, so you can be who you have always known you could be.”

We could all use a little of that.

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