Do you ever wonder if your leadership is effective? This is not a question of asking if there is a direct correlation between everything, and everyone working correctly and together. I am asking you to think about the effectiveness of your leadership.


Many times we try to define what effectiveness is, and it remains ambiguous. Does effectiveness equal the successful result or bottom line? Is that where we should immediately look? General society would probably say yes. While both the result and bottom line can give us an answer, does it tell the story of how? The how of the story is the process of your effectiveness, and I believe that is what we must consider in our leadership.

“Effectivelessness” (not sure if that is a word or not, but I like it) leaders fail to be able to define their effectiveness because they have misconceptions of their own making. As long as their status of popularity, power, and the bottom line of results are where they need to be, then the misconception stays true for them.

On the contrast, the effective leader’s effectiveness is seen and felt through the heart they have for others. They do not flaunt, threaten or remind you of their power, for their power is a by-product of their effectiveness. Their understanding of others creates an achievement level (bottom line) rooted in the foundational belief that an effective process equals effective results.

Take a football or basketball play… the result is to score, per se. Everyone has a job to do that contributes to a successful outcome. If the score happens then, the play was effective, and success was achieved. But what about the process and the why of how did it happen? Are the members of the team threatened not to execute properly? Or, do they score because it means something, not so much for them individually but as a group? Yes, both are effective, but over time, one will stay the course, and the other will lose its effectiveness. As a leader do you want to be known for the result only or the process of the results? (This whole idea can be found in Todd Gongwer’s book “Lead For God’s Sake!)

Effective leaders make an intentional attempt to connect to the process of the journey of all, encouraging to the point that motivation becomes intrinsic, and achievement of the goal equals success for the right reasons.  They understand both the goals, the purpose and most of all the process. Leadership should not be a position where a person does nothing more than satisfying their own actions. The effective leader is for others first and is consistent with their leadership. We may and often do fool ourselves, but we cannot fool others who know how effective our effectiveness really is.

Be an effective leader. Everyone around will be better for it, including you.

©2019 J Clay Norton


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