The Quick and Easy Way to Assess Your Leadership Effectiveness

Support/Challenge Matrix (GiANT Worldwide)

Support/Challenge Matrix (GiANT Worldwide)

Tip: Draw this visual tool on a piece of napkin and you can immediately ignite a powerful conversation, assessing one’s leadership effectiveness practically with anyone and anywhere.

Forget servant leadership, transformational leadership, transactional leadership, stituational leadership. All had it’s heyday.

In the 21st century, a new style of leadership is emerging that will be a gamer changer: LIBERATING LEADERSHIP

Who is a Liberator?

Liberators have an uncanny ability to calibrate high support and high challenge. They continually reassess and recalibrate themselves in the five circles of influence, starting from self and extending into family, team, organization, and community. They are secure, confident, and smart leaders who operate with humility for the best of the greater good not for their personal gains. At GiANT Worldwide, we call liberators leaders worth following. 

To liberate means you must first be liberated. It means you need to break down your walls of self-preservation that might be hindering you to be released. Vladimir Putin is not a liberator, though he uses that language in Russia and Ukraine. In fact, he is a Dominator. ISIS is a Dominating movement using fear and power to control and dominate people to pursue their ideologies.

The fact is that none of us are natural liberators. None of us naturally create a culture of empowerment and opportunity for those we lead. By default, we tend to either become protectors, dominators, or abdicators.  Becoming a liberator is an intentional process.

Are You a Protector? Dominator? Abdicator?

Ask yourself these questions: Do you find it easy to bring high support? In other words, is it easy for you to praise others and encourage others? Expressing empathy and sympathy might come naturally to you. However, you might struggle saying “no” when someone makes a request or asks for help. Or you might not wrestle with how to best assert your ideas and sometimes tell people the unvarnished truth.  You might fear conflict as it may disrupt the harmony you long for. If you find yourself nodding as you read this, you might have a tendency of a Protector. Left without intentional improvement, a Protector creates a culture of entitlement and mistrust. Entitlement, because over time everyone on the team begins to assume that that’s the new normal, that they’re not going to be challenged, that they’re not going to be stretched, that you’re going to stay and do the extra work rather than asking them to do.

On the other hand, you might have no problem bringing high challenge. You don’t fear speaking up as “truth” is more important to you than simply pleasing the other person. You might have tendencies to micro-manage since you have important deadlines to meet. You’re not afraid to share your constructive feedback with others. The difficult aspect might be how you provide challenge. Do you often blurt out your thoughts so directly that it may cause deep offense to your followers? If you resonate with these tendencies you might be a Dominator. Left alone, Dominators create a culture of fear and manipulation. They fear the anger because you haven’t delivered the results that you said you’re going to do. That you’re often only as good as the last quarter’s numbers. That culture really starts to hinder and undermine those you lead.

And the last quadrant is where you have leaders that don’t bring support or challenge and we call that the Abdicator. Leaders in this area create a culture of apathy and a low expectation.

This is an essential tool for leaders who really want to have influence in the lives of those they lead. Learning how to calibrate support and challenge in an appropriate way and all have areas of growth. None of us are naturally good at both. Now, go be intentional and work on yourself to be liberated. We need a tribe of global liberators.

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  • Bradley Chilcote

    I do like your liberator concept. However, I suggest we don’t move too quickly to ignore past principles which still serve well for leaders to improve themselves. Each of the models you mention (situational, servant, transformational, transactional), among others, have their time and place. If I’m fighting a fire (literally), I want my on scene commander to be very transactional – at least for that period of time. I have and still do use each of these styles of leadership.

  • Bradley Chilcote said it all. Just to lend my voice to this, you have done well in postulating new terms, terminologies and perspectives in the area of leadership, and I agree you (and us leaders in daily lives) will do very well the more, combining the beauties of old and new knowledge like yours. But the truth remains that new knowledge is legless, almost abstract without the old that’s always timely and relevant. Weldone, Paul

  • Viki

    I agree with article. Here are some courses which I suggest to attend to enhance leadership skills: http://www.skillnatic.com/courses

  • Karel Sovak

    Remember, we still operate in a situational era – particularly as we are addressing this shared economy – where both consumers and employees have much more pull and authority than ever before in our history. I agree with Bradley, each of the models (styles) mentioned have their place in the organization. The approach that any one model (style) will meet the needs of our ever changing, dynamic workplaces is a negligent approach. Bringing in the virtues to assist with those situations is critical.