Roger Fairhead Certificate JMT Certified

PRIZE Leadership Quotient

Benchmarking leadership effectiveness

Do some people come into this world equipped with a natural capacity to lead that other people will never possess? In other words, are leaders born or made? Well, looking at it practically I would say both are correct because we can know that these two things are undoubtedly true: 

Not everyone can become a great singer, painter or poet, and although we all start from a different starting point most people can improve with some intentional practice. In fact, the same is true with many other things too.

A BBC News article from 2015 includes a quote from Dr Nigel Knight, a leading academic at Cambridge University, saying: “‘Churchill was fundamentally flawed. This was shown in his military strategy: Gallipoli in World War 1 was replicated in the Norwegian and North African and ‘soft underbelly of Europe’ campaigns during World War Two.’ Nevertheless at the supreme moment, in May 1940, Churchill got it absolutely right.”

“In 2002 the BBC broadcast a series called 100 Greatest Britons. After each programme in which particular figures were proposed and examined – they were mostly but not exclusively the usual suspects, such as Darwin, Shakespeare and Elizabeth I – viewers were invited to vote. In the end, there was no doubt about their verdict – Sir Winston Churchill was the greatest Briton.”

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t deliver it.”  

When I was studying Project Management, one of the key lessons we learned was, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t deliver it.” Now that lesson wasn’t meant to be taken too literally since there are many things that can be delivered that can’t be measured such as love for a spouse, creating a beautiful piece of artwork or composing a stunning musical composition, but it’s nevertheless helpful in delivering a project on time, to the right specification and at the right cost.  

When learning a new skill it’s really helpful to have something against which to benchmark our performance to measure progress, such as taking a series of tests.  When I was studying violin then the benchmark was the ABRSM grade 8; when I was studying Engineering then the benchmark was an Engineering Degree; when I was studying Project Management the benchmark was the APMP qualification from the Association for Project Management, now known as the PMQ.   

As I write this we are in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic and we hear a lot about leadership, or should I say we hear a lot about lack of leadership.  However, we don’t hear many definitions of what leadership actually is, rather, we hear a lot of people pointing out where it is, in their view, missing.  

A musician, an engineer and a project manager can all work hard and progress in their chosen trade or profession and have their skills and expertise recognised and acknowledged using well-established benchmarks.  However, it seems that every leader, however well they perform, will be criticised for some major deficiency before they’ve finished.  

It seems sometimes that we can’t mention any well-known leader without an “ah but” being levelled at their track record that seemingly undermines their entire contribution to leadership.  Maybe that has something to do with the lack of a recognised and well-understood method of assessing leadership skills and ability.  

“Measuring leaders is not new but levels of objectivity and validity have to be significantly improved. This can only happen when a common scale for making meaningful comparisons is adopted.”

~ Paul Kearns

In the early 20th century a French psychologist named Alfred Binet was asked to identify a method to identify students who needed educational assistance, and the first intelligent quotient (IQ) test was established.  Some years later something called the Stanford-Binet intelligence test was developed, and this used a single number to represent their score as a ratio of a person’s mental age to their chronological age, and the numerical IQ was born.

This score was calculated by dividing the person’s mental age by their chronological age and then multiplying this number by 100.  So, for example, someone with a mental age of 11 and a chronological age of 10 would have an IQ of 110 (11/10 x 100), and although this Stanford-Binet test has gone through several revisions it remains a popular assessment tool today.

More recently we find that Emotional Intelligence and the associated Emotional Quotient, or EQ, has become one of the more popular measures to assess and forecast success in business.  It refers not only to the ability to identify and manage your own emotions but also to the ability to recognise and manage the emotions of others.  For example, a recent study by Johnson & Johnson has revealed that the highest performers in the workforce were also those that had a higher Emotional Quotient.

“EQ determines how well we operate on the other side of doors opened by our IQ.”

In my experience, in my career and in life generally, our IQ opens the doors to career progression through the qualifications we have obtained, and our IQ trajectory is largely fixed for us by the time we leave school, however, it’s our EQ that determines how well and how effectively we operate the other side of the door that was opened by our IQ.  

So, it would be really useful to have a way of measuring a person’s leadership intelligence and generate a Leadership Quotient as a benchmark for leadership effectiveness.

“Leadership Effectiveness is the product of our Leadership Ability and our Success Dedication.”

~ John C Maxwell

In Chapter 1 of 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, John C Maxwell writes about the Law of the Lid.  In this, he states that leadership ability determines a person’s level of effectiveness.  Using the picture below Maxwell suggests that our Leadership Effectiveness is the product of our Leadership Ability and our Success Dedication.  With a Leadership Ability of one and a Success Dedication of 8, we have a Leadership Effectiveness of 8 (the shaded area), and if we increase the Leadership Ability to a 7 we can obtain a Leadership Effectiveness of 56 (the area in yellow).   

The 3rd essential element of PRIZE Winning Leadership model is called Interact and uses various Identity Insights to help us to understand ourselves and those around us, and how to interact with other people most effectively.

The PRIZE Leadership Quotient (PLQ) is designed specifically to provide a baseline to help us understand and assess the leadership qualities we and others possess, and it offers a language to explore our leadership effectiveness and to monitor our progress in developing our expertise.  It looks at the six essential elements of the PRIZE Winning leadership model and allows us to score ourselves on six features of each essential element which provides us with a personal assessment result.  

The PLQ is something I can use to benchmark my leadership skills to see where my strengths and weaknesses lie so that I can capitalise on my strengths and deal with (mitigate) my weaknesses.  We can do what either by embarking on a period of self-development or by strengthening our team with suitable people who possess those strengths where I have weaknesses.  We can then repeat the assessment after a period of personal development and see how we have improved our scores.

You can find your PRIZE Leadership Quotient by following the link below and downloading the PLQ assessment you’ll find there:

PRIZE Leadership Quotient

Leadership is the art of making decisions in the dim light of incomplete information, and is measured with the brilliant illumination of hindsight.

We tend to judge ourselves on our intentions and other people on their actions, and this is nowhere more true than in delivering and assessing leadership. Leadership can be defined as the art of making decisions in the dim light of incomplete information, however, leadership is often measured with the brilliant illumination of hindsight. As a result, the gap between the leader’s intentions and the subsequent assessment of their actions is magnified by the quality of information against which to measure the initial intentions and resulting actions.

If we want to be sure to be as well equipped as possible when the time comes for those dimly lit decisions to be made, then we need to make sure that our leadership skills are as developed as possible in preparation, and the PLQ provides a helpful benchmark against which we can assess our progress.

If we can measure it, then we stand a chance of being able to deliver it.

About Roger Fairhead

Roger is a Leadership specialist and uses the PRIZE Winning Leadership model to help leaders improve their effectiveness and that of their teams, through remote and on-site delivery of keynotes, group training events and individual coaching sessions.

He is the author of several books including "PRIZE Winning Leadership" and “Personal Productivity Planner”, a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management and a Director of the Global Leadership Network UK with extensive experience in Project Management and Sales.

“He is articulate, tracks complex issues with ease and has an incredible gift for raising pearls of wisdom out of the murky depths of people and process.” His passion is to help people to learn effective leadership skills to lead their teams to capitalize on their strengths and passions to realize their dreams.

Roger also invests into the dreams of families in the world’s underserved communities to offer them small loans that empower them to invest in their future, to provide for their families and give back to their communities.