3 Tests of a Leader

1. Are they attracting leaders? A great leader surrounds herself with other talented leaders. Other leaders make sacrifices to work for her. A leader doesn’t just attract talented leaders, she keeps them. Established leaders pop in to hang out with her. She raises up leaders from within. She creates a culture of education and mentorship. If you are new to organization– you don’t have to be an insider to see this happening, it’s obvious.

2. Is the vision happening? Lots of people call themselves leaders. And lots of leaders say they are visionaries. But I measure a leader by their fulfillment of the vision. Is it really happening or are they always one thing away from it really taking off or always starting something new and changing courses without admitting that they failed? Is the company, church, or organization funding their vision to rally behind the leader? Does the vision show measurable results in the last 30, 60, 90, 180, 365 days? (More income, more people helped, better customer satisfaction, etc.)

3. Do they stick around? This is a little tricky for emerging leaders as they have a tendency to try a lot of things out until they find the right fit. But by the time they reach the highest levels of leadership they should be steady. If they have a tendency to get big jobs and stay for 2-3 years before moving on… chances are they will do that to you, as well. There’s nothing wrong with that type of person… you just need to know that they are like that and you’ll soon be a part of something without them. When I think of powerful leaders I think of people who have lead an organization successfully for a long time.

There are so many other tests I use to know if someone is a leader I want to follow… but those are my top 3. They are big, obvious, and universal. I can see them on the surface. From there I need to know core stuff like, “Are they open/honest with me or do they hide stuff?” “Are they a leaders outside of their job or is it just a work hat they wear?” “Are they fun to be around?” “Is their leadership about them or is it about the good of the organization?” “Do they flee notoriety?”  Things like that are obviously super important, as well.

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in the San Diego neighborhood of Rolando with their three children.

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