Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Leadership Litmus Test


As a student of leadership, I am always looking for that simple introspective question or test to use to when assessing leadership skills. A LiaV reader contributed this litmus test.

“When I was in the Marine Corps in the late 60's and early 70's, we used one question to measure a man's leadership ability: Would I follow this man into combat?. As a sergeant in Vietnam, I am sure my men probably had to ask that question of me and decide, just like I pondered that question of my superiors. I don't remember ever saying no, which speaks a ton for the Marine Corps ability to develop leaders. I still catch myself asking the same question of superiors in my professional career. Unfortunately, there have been many "no's".”

Those of us in the business world think we have a leadership challenge. This puts it into a whole new category. Makes me think we need to remember to recruit these experienced leaders as they complete their military careers and are ready for their next experience.

Do you have leadership litmus tests you have used from outside the business environment that we can learn from?

5 comments:

Howard Richman said...

My leadership litmus tests - 1) Do they demonstrate a willingness to lead from the front, but know enough not to lead with their chin? Also, 2) Do they only ask and expect from you what they are willing to do (and have done) themselves?
howard@levelfieldenterprises.com

Rajat said...

I have a litmus test that I use... but its from the business world. When assessing talent - I ask, "Would I start a business with this person?" - I find deciding if I would invest my own money in this person is a great gut check.

Amer N. Raja said...

The litmus test is that how much a person is open to critcism and able to learn and amend.

Talent Scout said...

1). How do they respond to direct negative feedback.
2). How do they see the glass (1/2 empty or full)
3). Do they have passion, drive, and a moderate level of intelligence.

Tom Magness said...

I look for one thing -- energy! Do they have the sort of passion and drive that will attract winners to follow them, to keep moving forward despite challenges and setbacks, to be willing to try new things. Give me energy. Together...we'll figure out the rest!

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