How do leaders use, but don’t abuse, metrics?: 5 factors

After more than four decades of involvement in nearly every aspect of leadership, from identifying and qualifying, to training, developing, and mentoring thousands of actual and/or potential leaders, I have often observed/witnessed what others, they tend to emphasize, when they do leadership training! While some of their efforts are valuable and focused, it sometimes seems like they tend to overemphasize, use metrics to make decisions and measure if/when their actions are working and/or effective. ! Although, I believe in data usage, sometimes there’s a fine line between doing it wisely and overusing it. It seems that sometimes some people fall in love with metrics and seem to believe that one should base their approaches almost entirely on them. With that in mind, this article will briefly attempt to consider, examine, review, and discuss 5 factors related to evaluation and consideration of whether or not metrics are valuable.

1. Data Counts/Guidelines: In Di-s we trust. All others bring data. One of the most successful people and leaders in the United States, Mike Bloomberg, proclaims that it is his focus/emphasis because, he affirms, he eliminates, using instinct, in matters, when science and data are needed, and informative! However, one must know how to use this data, and what it means, represents and how to use it effectively and appropriately. Unfortunately, when used by uninformed and/or less trained people, it risks being misinterpreted, etc.

2. How am I doing?: If you lived in New York in the late 1970s and 1980s, you may remember that Mayor Ed Koch often asked his crowds: How am I doing? Rather than simply assuming they know/have all the answers, a great leader realizes that they must be ready, willing, and able to effectively listen and learn from every conversation and experience, and proceed consistently. , with the highest degree of genuine empathy! Doing so is helpful in getting the numbers in line with actual and perceived results/impacts!

3. What adjustments are necessary?: Effective leadership demands constant review and adjustment to maintain a focus on relevant and sustainable solutions. Data evaluation, when done correctly, helps in this process!

4. Best strategic approach: There are usually a variety of possibilities, and only when carefully determined do strategic planning and strategies direct the course of action, form groups, move in the most effective way! Obviously, data can be useful in determining paths forward, and options and alternatives, using the risk/reward approach, but when numbers are misused, misinterpreted, or manipulated, using metrics (incorrectly) can Be dangerous. etc!

5. Specific action plan: Perhaps one of the best examples of understanding when data helps, rather than misusing it, is the budgeting/using process. True leaders often have to make key decisions, based on a financial, risk/reward basis, because it helps, when they get the most, to explode for the money! Unfortunately, budgets are only rarely used properly and/or effectively. When they are, it’s a valuable way to determine a well-considered, specific plan of action.

Leaders must understand and appreciate the value of metrics and avoid taking shortcuts along the way. Are you up to the task of being a quality and effective leader?