Are You a Leader?

That’s a rather pointed question, isn’t it?

It can also be rather threatening, because, “what if you’re not?” Then what?

After a year of discussing various aspects of the High Points of Leadership Study, this one question, seems to be at the root of many of the issues raised in the survey. People want to know where they stand … and, if they measure up? They really don’t want the results broadcast to the rest of the world … but, just having the inner peace of knowing.

Since ‘measuring up’ is rather subjective – it greatly depends on how you define “leader.” Answering the question requires some metrics … you need to know what to measure.

Let me help.

I’d suggest some ‘mirror time’ – self reflection.

For the last 25 years, I’ve had a poster hanging over my desk that recalls some words written by Whit Hobbs, an old time advertising executive, that I read in an Adweek article, many years ago.

Look in the mirror. “What is success anyway? Have you ever given it any real thought? Maybe you’ve been too busy chasing after it to stop and ask yourself what it is you’re chasing. Or maybe you’ve just gone along with the popular and mistaken notion of the day that it’s something on which you hang a dollar sign. The bigger the dollar sign, the greater the success.”

“My definition of success hasn’t much to do with money, with power. Success is internal; what’s important isn’t how other people judge you – what matters is how happy and satisfied you are with yourself. It’s whether or not, way deep inside, you’re satisfied that you’re realizing your full potential – being the best you think you can be. That’s something about you that the people around you can guess at, but only you know for sure.”

“Success is waking up in the morning, whoever you are, wherever you are, however old or young, and bounding out of bed because there’s something out there that you love to do, that you believe in, that you’re good at – something that’s bigger than you are and you can hardly wait to get at it again today …”

Do you measure up?

When I’m at my best, I’m working most closely to the spirit of Whit Hobbs’ words. There’s no better time of the year to make an honest appraisal of yourself than right now. It’s a new year. Why not start anew?

Be a leader – and have a blessed New Year.

– Jerry Strom

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This article is based on *‘The High Points Survey: What Managers Most Want to Know about Leadership,’ copyright 2012, by Jerry Strom & Company, Inc. Download the White Paper at:


Coming in February! Fault Lines: Learning What Can Fracture a Leader’s Agenda.

Our newest leadership study, Fault Lines, has some very interesting insights that I can’t wait to share with you.

Since leadership is a complex combination of intellectual and interpersonal skills, being an effective leader is difficult enough without falling into the common faults which undermine a leader’s agenda – mistakes which fracture their working relationships, call their credibility into question, and impede their progress.

The Fault Lines Study looks at the leadership landscape by identifying the most significant mistakes a leader can make. Greater awareness of these dangers allows leaders to avoid self-defeating behaviors and mindsets, and work in new, more effective ways that inspire commitment and accomplishment.

Join us this February.

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