In many ways, good leadership is hard to define. It can't be directly measured. There's no leadership "score" or report card. In fact often the measure of leadership is qualitative rather than quantitative - although quantitative results always follow. So, the questions remains, how can you tell if your leadership skills are effective?

Plain and simple, leadership is about getting others to take action. If leadership effectiveness is lacking, less than best effort is put forth. The better the leadership, the better the effort.

Exceptional leadership inspires the best effort in others.

Effective leadership is a function of both individual competencies and organizational culture. What are some signs that leadership isn’t as effective as it could be? There are a number of them. They are indications that something is missing in the leadership equation.

• Inability to Motivate People
• Difficulty Attracting/Retaining the Right People
• Low Productivity
• Poor Customer Orientation
• High Stress
• Isolation
• Declining Profits
• Ineffective Delegation
• Lack of Creativity
• Lack of Initiative
• Ineffective Teams
• Poor Communications
• Lack of Vision
• Diminishing Revenues
• High Turnover

What can be done to improve leadership effectiveness? The answer is simple to understand and yet not so simple to implement. It starts with understanding the foundations of what makes someone an effective leader and what kind of organizational culture is most effective.

Effective personal leadership can be summarized as being competent in these skill sets:

1. Becoming Influential
2. Facilitating Teamwork & Collaboration
3. Being a Catalyst for Change
4. Managing Conflict
5. Developing Others
6. Having & Communicating a Compelling Vision

The foundations of a strong organization are:
1. Developing a clear and compelling Purpose
2. Identifying the organization's Mission to achieve the Purpose
3. Agreeing on a set of Values by which to carry out the Mission
4. Adopting a Servant Leader attitude throughout the organization

In summary, when we combine personal competency in all areas of leadership skills with an organizational culture which supports people, their development, and their success, we end up with exceptional leadership which, in turn, inspires the best effort in others.

Author's Bio: 

Written by Michael Beck, “Head Zookeeper” at, a marketing strategies website dedicated to getting more clients, making more money, and having more fun! Receive a FREE program on recruiting & prospecting success at:
Permission to reprint with full attribution. © 2008 Exceptional Leadership, Inc.