Leadership Simplified: Doug Van Dyke


Leadership Scorecard

Volume: September 2014

By Doug Van Dyke, Leadership Simplified, www.leadershipsimplified.com

I play golf. Well, perhaps a more honest statement is “I own golf clubs.” Golf for me is more like a nature expedition: Walks in the woods, undersea exploration, discoveries at the beach. I can hook and slice with equal precision. Pool screens fear me. At the end of the day though, I have a scorecard that tallies just how well, or badly, I played during the round. 


If only there was a scorecard pertaining to leadership! Well search no more, because here it is. Why attempt to keep a leadership scorecard? Well, as Peter Drucker put it: “We can only manage what we can measure.” Therefore, even if the measure is subjective, why not attempt to assess key leadership traits. Without further ado, here are nine nifty categories to consider for your leadership scorecard. 


  1. Communicate Top Priorities. If you have one set of priorities and your team members have a different set, how can you maximize productivity? Worse yet, what if your priorities are not aligned with your boss or the overall organization? What to do? The answer is to use Leadership Simplified’s Priority Communication Tool or another priority system that helps you communicate in a manner that gets everyone rowing in the same direction.  


  1. Delegate. Chances are good that you have a LOT on your plate right now. This is an indication that you need to delegate.  How well are you utilizing internal and external resources to move smaller items off your plate so you can focus on the big rocks in your world? Squeamish about delegating? Take a leap of faith – delegate all you can and give your people a developmental opportunity that can help them soar. 


  1. Negotiate. Whether it is the ability to de-escalate a heated verbal exchange or to communicate during a complex financial transaction, your ability to negotiate is critical to your team’s success. Make certain you continually expand your repertoire of verbal and non-verbal communication techniques in order to maximize your impact during negotiations.


  1. Courage. Often times the difference between success and mediocrity is ten seconds of guts. Courage comes in many forms: Making tough decisions, asking for business, choosing which sacrifices to make. Whatever the challenge, look it in the eyes and get gutsy.


  1. Move Groups of People. This means that you are comfortable addressing a group of people, and that you are confident in your ability to have them embrace your message. Many people are intimidated by public speaking. If you fall into that category, remember that most great speakers are made, not born. Given proper coaching on presentation skills and armed with proven best practices, anyone can become an impactful public speaker.  


  1. Provide Feedback. Whether you are sharing positive or constructive feedback, seek to be consistent with your methodology and frequent with your praise. My favorite feedback mechanism is a technique calledPlus/Deltas. Something else to consider is to be open to receiving constructive feedback. As leaders we often give constructive feedback, but our reaction to receiving constructive feedback sets the tone for the entire team. 


  1. Conduct Effective Meetings. This means that the meetings you lead will be focused and efficientIn other words, you will only hold meetings that are necessary. You will start meetings on time, and at the end of your meetings, participants will think, “Wow, that was actually a good use of time!” Many leaders fall short here. Do not be one of them.


  1. Lead Change. The pace and array of change we are facing continues to escalate. This is challenging for all leaders because they must grasp change themselves, and they must lead a team populated with people who all embrace change differently. To make matters more challenging, leaders must appear consistent in their leadership approach while they lead change. All while adapting to new environments. Whew, leading change is tough. Only the savviest of leaders do it well. Realize that there is a strategy to driving change that will require you to be an excellent communicator.   


  1. Celebrate. Many effective leaders take time to focus and celebrate team success. Furthermore, they recognize individuals who excel. Your organization probably has an array of top performing talent. Be positive, rejoice, have fun. It is the leader’s choice on how much or little to celebrate. Choose wisely and inspire in the process.  


With these nine categories simply stated, let’s take a look at a sample scorecard. Keep in mind that in order to gather as much feedback as possible, your scorecard should be completed by you, your peers, your boss, and the team members you lead. In other words, the leadership scorecard can function as a quick Peer 360 Review. Warning: The scoring is cheesy – indulge me. 


Leadership Scorecard


            Eagle = Outstanding

            Birdie = Very Good

            Par = Good

            Bogie = Improvement needed

            Double-Bogie = Hit the showers and take up badminton 







1. Communicates Top Priorities






2. Delegates






3. Negotiates Effectively






4. Strategically Courageous






5. Moves Groups of People






6. Provides Meaningful Feedback






7. Conducts Focused Meetings






8. Drives Change






9. Celebrates






So leaders, how do you score? Ready for the pro tour? If you would like a few tips on how to improve your game, pick up my favorite leadership book: Leadership Simplified or attend one of our leadership boot camps. They both contain an abundance of resources that will have you turning bogies into birdies in no time. 


Now, where did I put those golf clubs? Oh, that’s right – the lake!      


Doug Van Dyke is a Tampa Bay based executive coach, leadership expert, and strategic planner. He is also a tournament-winning racquetball player. To learn more about leadership development programscoaching,strategic planning, and consulting services, visit www.leadershipsimplified.com or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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