At TMCA, our success is defined by our Client’s success. There are two areas of measurement we focus on in our work. One is the individual and the other is the organization.
- Action Plans. During each skill-building session, we ask participants to create a Personal Action Plan. From suggestions from the session, participants choose leadership elements they want to practice.
- Coaching Calls. Approximately four weeks after the learning session, participants receive a telephone call from an TMCA coach to measure progress on their work since the session and provide help as needed. At this time, participants can recalibrate and/or add new practice to their plans.
- Session Accountability. At the beginning of each skill building session (starting with Session 2), participants report on their successes and lessons learned from their Personal Action Plans. One of the goals of servant leadership is to create a learning organization where leaders teach each other through their own workplace and home life experiences.
- Session Measurement Tools. In most skill building sessions, there is a personal assessment to identify gaps in the leadership skill being taught. Examples include hemispericity preferences, collaboration skills, delegation and coaching skills, conflict resolution skills, paradigm flexibility, and energy/stress management awareness. Areas are targeted for improvement and then noted on Personal Action Plans.
- Formal Feedback Surveys. We encourage Clients to use a servant leadership survey to measure improvements in leadership behaviors.
- Existing Measurement Tools. We partner with our Clients to interpret data from existing organizational measures in the context of applied servant leadership. We find that Employee Opinion Surveys, Customer Feedback Surveys, Safety Surveys, Leadership 360’s, and Performance Feedback tools provide insight into both gaps and progress in servant leadership goals.
- Strategic Goals. The final measure of organizational success is if the organization is achieving its identified targets. We work with leadership to check progress against these targets.
Counter Cultural Thoughts About Measurement
One important factor we have learned through thirty years of doing executive development is that there are tangible and intangible approaches and results. Many focus primarily on only what can be measured. This leaves out some of the important intangibles of leadership. For example, while you can assess, prescribe and measure some aspects of being a good listener, it is difficult to measure empathy and the spirit in which a leader listens to an Employee. While you can observe and measure the tactical skills of communication, it is difficult to measure the integrity and whether or not leaders truly believe in what they are saying.
In our executive development skill building and coaching, we delve into some of these intangible areas through dialogue and personal work, even though at times, it is inappropriate to have formal measures on them. It is a complicated paradox; sometimes, if leaders feel they are being “graded or watched” on matters of “the heart,” it defeats the purpose. These skills of leadership you want to possess because they are about developing moral fiber, rather than because you are being measured on them. We offer this perspective, because we have seen programs that tout “tough, tangible measurement” that leaders can creatively skew to “look good” but miss the goal of extraordinary leadership performance. Herb Kelleher said it best:
“Everyone is looking for a formula in business like E=MC². But it’s not a formula. It’s got to be emotional, spontaneous, and from the heart. And a lot of people’s reaction to that, and I’m not criticizing, is, ‘Well, that’s not precise enough, that’s not quantitative enough to be of value to us.’ “But, basically, we’ve said there are some things that you can’t quantify – intangible things that are exceedingly valuable and that are, in some cases, more valuable than the tangibles. The difference being you can’t buy the intangibles.”
– Herb Kelleher, Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Southwest Airlines