The Leadership Quotient: Measuring toward Improve

By Service, Robert W. | Business Renaissance Quarterly, Spring 2009 | Go to article overview

The Leadership Quotient: Measuring toward Improve

Service, Robert W., Business Renaissance Quarterly


A management and education truism is: if you "measure it, it will improve." The key is being sure what "it" is. Here, "it" is leadership. Leadership is not a position or a title but a living influence where a person or persons move others into the unknown. Acquiring facts or measuring against facts does not improve leadership in part because measuring often kills a living phenomenon: leadership shows living influence has occurred. Leadership in action contains many intangibles. Given a broad existence of need and understanding toward this topic, the research question becomes; "how can we measure leadership in manner that will help improve its effectiveness?" Measuring leadership with an eye toward improvement is a challenge. This paper helps meet that challenge through LQ©, the Leadership Quotient (multiple current Author citations). Read on to understand current and complete descriptions of leadership and associated metrics for its improvement.

Introduction to the LQ© Formula

Leadership was not leadership until observers defined it as such with measures that are dependent on vantage points, interpretations and purposes. The LQ©, Leadership Quotient, is a way to measure leadership for its understanding and improvement in a way that overcomes many of the past measurement problems. LQ© is a comprehensive tool that divides leadership into 12 measurable quotients. The new leadership formula (depicted in Exhibit 1) and connected measures overcome many of the ills of prior leadership developmental guides and measures. As the paper progresses, this formula combined with numerous models will explain the 'organically holistic human influence' that manifest itself as leadership.

Exhibit 1: LQ© Formula


LQ©=f (Leader Quotients + Follower Quotients + Environmental Quotients).


LQ©=f (AQ-App earance + BQ- Behavior +C Q- Communications + DQ- Desire + EQ-E motional + IQ- Intelligence + KQ- Knowledge + MQ-Management + PQ- People + RQ-Reality + SQ-Situation + XQ-eXperience)

Years of experience, researched based literature, empirical studies (Author and others), fads and popularisms all result in a measurable leadership guide for all interested in understanding, measuring and improving leadership. As shown in Exhibit 1, LCf encompasses 12 dimensions each denoted by an individual quotient. Compositely the 12 Quotients comprehensively measure leadership for developing understanding and improvement. LQ© goes beyond the media-genic pronouncements of the famous and infamous to proclaim guidelines for the rest of us. Much like the IQ which attempts to measure intelligence, the LQ© formula for measuring leadership is deep and simplifies complexity through understandable and usefulness. "[The one] with the most Advantage-Makers almost always wins (Feinberg, 2008: p. xvi)." Proper use of LQ© provides its users with an advantage maker.

It is possible to make progress on a seemingly impossible problem if one just ignores the skeptics and gets on with it (Smolin, 2001: p. 6).

Too many are looking for the magic bullet, key, top 5 secrets, pill, lucky break or quick fix related to leadership: practicing, measuring, learning, teaching, etc. The bad news is that the secret is there is no secret. Leadership is dedication, hard work and focus, not luck; and as such is difficult to measure. For, success is not a matter of mastering theory, but rather of understanding and embracing common sense variables with uncommon levels of discipline (Dungy, 2007; Lencioni, 2002; and Wooden and Jamison, 2005). For when you are dealing with people, an ounce of fact outweighs a pound of theory (Tobin, 2003). Researchers, social scientist and we academicians too often prefer the measurable to the meaningful. Often it is hard for us to accept, but in leadership research it is not who said it, but it is; does it work or is it being practiced effectively?

The Evolution of LQ©

A working MBA student with an engineering background grew tired of the "soft" side of leadership and demanded of his professor and current author, "Just give me a formula for leadership! …

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