Finding the ideal leadership team is one of the most complex goals that any organization can undertake. In the best cases, each member serves as a leader in their own right, and is empowered to use their strengths both individually and together with the group. 

A properly functioning leadership team helps organizations of all sizes play to their strengths, dodge weaknesses, and remain nimble in their strategy, able to adapt to even the most unexpected of changes.

Pulling together a group that’s able to accomplish these lofty goals is no easy task, but that initial challenge makes it all the easier to forget the next step. It’s not enough to simply build the team; you must be willing to analyze successes and shortcomings, and adjust accordingly.

As you might expect, there’s no easy, one-size-fits-all approach to quantifying how excellent or poorly your group is performing. However, we’ve pinpointed three measures of an effective team that provide a good baseline for determining what needs to change and how.

External Output (Impact on the World)

Leadership teams are formed with specific goals in mind. Even if each member has their own objectives, as well as their own means and methods of achieving them, every element should feed into the group’s shared purpose

External output requires taking an honest look at how successful the team has been in accomplishing—or at least getting closer to—that overarching goal. Did your candidate win the election? Did you hit your fundraising target? And if the answer is no, what has held your leadership team back from realizing its purpose?

Internal Capacity (Impact on the Team)

“Leader” and “team” can be read as opposites; one of the primary jobs of a leadership team is to bridge the gap between those two by building an interdependent group where each individual’s contributions are both acknowledged and properly utilized. 

To measure your internal capacity, you should be looking at how each person helps form a part of the whole. Pay attention to team morale, whether members are leaving with regularity, how well members know each other, and how well they support each other.

Leadership Development (Impact on Individuals)

If internal capacity is more about the health of the team as a whole, leadership development is the best method for tracking how its members are doing. No one takes on the stresses of a leadership role just for fun. Members should feel like their time and effort are rewarded

Those rewards can come in many forms—from financial incentives to options for career growth to simple yet often overlooked recognition—or likely some combination of these. But whatever the reward, keeping everyone happy on the individual level is key to keeping them around and growing your team’s long-term triumphs.

Create Explicit Guidelines for Measuring Your Leadership Team’s Success

Different organizations will inevitably have distinct goals that determine the balance of importance between these three methods of judging the efficacy of a leadership team. Whether external or internal output are valued more highly, or if leadership development is your team’s current focus, each of these measures should be considered to some degree. 

By pinning down what success looks like for your organization through each of these lenses, you can craft a clear-cut set of guidelines for monitoring the group’s current level of success—and those guidelines can be easily communicated to the rest of the leadership team, ensuring that everyone has the same expectations.

Build Your Team

Attend a WiLD workshop to gain more insight into building and fostering growth for your leadership team.