The Measure of Good Leadership Is Your Net Worth an Indication of Your Leadership?

How do we measure our ability to lead? Is it our net worth? Our high position? Or the number of people on our staff? What is the measure of good leadership?

Many times we look at money, status, and power as measures of our success as leaders. But is it? Let’s ask some more questions to discover what makes good leaders.

Who was the better leader?

There was a rich king who ruled a kingdom with an iron fist. He did not show mercy. He stole money from his people to build himself palaces and garner more riches. The people around him were not trusted and were regularly put down. A culture of fear pervaded the city. In his kingdom, a poor, but wise, farmer lived close to the city gates. The farmer was kind and generous to everyone. It was his goal to feed the hungry. People leaving and entering the city who did not have food would stop at his farm for whatever food he would give them. The farmer was so kind that many seeing what he was doing would come work his farm without charge. At any given time, he had ten people working his farm as volunteers, motivated only by the farmer’s mission to make a difference in the lives of those in need.

Who was a better leader?

What if in this same story the king was a kind, empowering leader? Would the farmer still be the better leader?

How should we measure our leadership capacity?

Your income or net worth is not a measure of your capacity to lead. If that were the case, then every rich person who has ever existed would be a great leader. And no leader who was poor would qualify. Our farmer would be disqualified.

Your high position is also not a measure of your capacity to lead. If that were true, then every person with a high position—a minister, a king, a president—would be considered a great leader. We know from history this is not the case.

Six Criteria for Great Leadership

Here are six ways to measure our capacity for great leadership.

  1. Our ability to galvanize people to work with a spirit of cooperation.
  2. Our capacity to grow in wisdom to deal with ourselves and others effectively.
  3. Our ability to maintain passion for the mission.
  4. Our sincere desire to honor and love people.
  5. Our impact on and inspiration of others.
  6. Our ability to make things happen.

When leaders do these disciplines well, sometimes they end up with money, high position, or external success.  Sometimes they do not. But what all leaders do have who practice these principles are visible fruits in themselves and in the people around them. The measure of our leadership must not be determined by external fruit.

We must be cognizant of how we measure our leadership to help us direct our focus on our growth journeys as leaders. Let’s challenge ourselves to be like the farmer whose motivations were pure and honorable, and whose leadership benefited others. If riches and high position come, great. If they don’t, that’s okay too.

Your Friend,
Wes Saade MD Signature

For Further Reading:

Measure Your Leadership
Transform Your Leadership with Love

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