The effectiveness of any leader is never the result of one factor. Education, experience, awareness, and passion each contribute to the quality of a person’s leadership. Despite what many of the online gurus might want to sell us, there simply is no “10 steps to greatness” when it comes to leadership. High quality effectiveness in leadership is always a complex cocktail of what you bring to the table, what your organization is experiencing, what the people you are leading need from now, and what is happening in the world around you.
The world we live in is increasingly being described through the acronym of VUCA – volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (Hughes et al., 2014) – and effective leadership in such an environment is one which, rather than compete with VUCA, will bring peace and clarity. When leaders are able to simplify and clarify the issues being navigated, it builds confidence in those they lead and generates results which inspire and motivate people to participate.
As such, it’s important for leaders to measure what we refer to as your Peace Index. Peace Index is the result of your own self-assessment in five key areas which contribute together to your overall peace. When your Peace Index is high, you think clearly, you inspire people, and you are able to bring your best. When your Peace Index is low, you are distracted, people will question your effectiveness, and too much of your own focus will be directed toward the challenges you are facing personally rather than serving and motivating those you lead.
Think of your Peace Index as a quick snapshot to the “How are you doing?” question. When you answer this question you demonstrate a level of awareness of your own personal successes and struggles at this current moment in time. And since Peace Index is a self-assessed aggregation of five different areas, the right person can help you explore and navigate what is going on in those areas of your life to help you become the most effective leader possible.
Here’s the other beautiful aspect of a tool like Peace Index. Remember I said this is a snapshot of what’s happening right now in your life? Think of the Peace Index as a mirror, showing you what’s real today. Through self-reflection, coaching, and execution of an action plan, the next time you hold up the mirror and ask yourself what your Peace Index is, you can see where you have grown, what challenges you have overcome, what situations around you have changed, and how your overall Peace Index is contributing to your leadership effectiveness.
So what goes in to measuring your Peace Index? If you want to do a very quick self-assessment to benchmark your current reality, think of these five areas contributing to your overall peace: People, Purpose, Place, Provision, and Physical Health. You can rate yourself on a scale of 1-100 in each of those five areas, add the scores together and divide by five to give you your overall Peace Index.
To get a rating in each of the five areas, here are a couple key questions you might want to ask yourself in each one:
- People: How are your relationships? Are the important people in each circle of influence of your life contributing or taking away from your Peace Index?
- Purpose: How strong is your sense of meaning and fulfillment in life right now? Do you see your current state of life part of the overall trajectory to your greater purpose?
- Place: How is the physical location where you live, work, and play? Life-giving or draining, convenient or inconvenient, healthy or unhealthy?
- Provision: Are you happy with your income level and finances? Do you see results in the lives of others as the outcome of your influence and leadership in their life?
- Physical Health: Are you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually healthy? Are there areas of pain which are impacting your overall Peace Index?
Score each of those five areas on that 1-100 scale, add them together and divide by five to get your overall Peace Index. As you work with a team member or coach to help reflect and grow as a leader, here are a couple questions you want to consider:
- Is there one or more of the five areas which is disproportionately affecting your overall Peace Index?
- What is one or two action steps you can take in the next 30 days to make a real difference in that one area?
- Can you describe what your life looks like if your Peace Index is 95-100? What action steps can you take in the next 30 days to begin moving in the direction of the life you imagine?
Hughes, R. L., Beatty, K. C., & Dinwoodie, D. L. (2014). Becoming a strategic leader your role in your organizations enduring success. Jossey-Bass.