Know Thy Impact – 4 steps to great leadership.

What’s she like as a leader? Can he coach? Do you have a good teacher?

These are questions we ask all the time, yet rarely do we get a straight answer. It seems that assessing a person’s ability to lead, coach or teach can be difficult.

However, there is an easy way to determine a leader’s effectiveness. Just ask one simple question – what ‘impact’ are you having on the people you lead? A great leader will be able to detail the impact they are having, whereas a poor leader is likely to say ‘I’m not sure’.

If you’re in the latter group don’t worry, all is not lost, you just have some work to do.

Here are four steps that will help you become a leader with impact.Impact

  1. Know thy impact. What sort of a leader do you want to be? What impact do you want
    to have on people? Importantly, the impact must apply to all individuals in the team, not just the team as a whole. Concentrating solely on team outcomes is ‘leadership cheating’ as real improvement comes from developing each and every individual. Would you put your child in a class with a teacher who only pushes the smart kids whilst ignoring the others? I doubt you would. Great leaders have an impact on all the people in their care, not just the high achievers.
  2. Determine the success criteria? A kid who plays with his soccer ball each night will improve. However if you help and guide the child the improvement will be enhanced beyond organic levels. This is what having an impact means. Write down exactly what success looks like for the individuals and the group. These are your success criterias. Be as detailed as you can and include the end goal as well as the milestones along the way. If it all seems too hard, maybe rethink if you should be a leader. Great leaders can always be bothered.
  3. Measure and assess. A leader is able to say ‘I took this person/team from ‘here to here’ and was able to prove it with tangible evidence. Simply writing down success criteria’s isn’t good enough. You must assess your team’s current abilities and then continually reassess throughout the journey. Brave leaders are willing to be accountable for the results they achieve, good or bad. If you’re reluctant to measure performance ask yourself why? Is it because you don’t have faith in yourself to have an impact? Perhaps you’re scared that someone may hold you accountable for your lack of impact?
  4. All about actions. When it’s all said and done, you can have the greatest plans and intentions in the world, but if you don’t ‘act’ then nothing changes. Call it ‘walking the talk’ or ‘making things happen’, the fact is, great leaders live and die by their actions, and in the end, the impact their actions have on people. Make your actions easy to follow and do them every day until they become your leadership habits.

You may be concerned that you haven’t got time to work out answers to all these questions.

I’ll remind you that leadership is a big responsibility and whether it is one child, a team or hundreds of people, there is no greater privilege than being able to positively impact another person’s life.

Take it seriously, do it right and everyone, including you, will reap the rewards.

For more information on how to be a Leader with Impact contact Nathan at

AUTHOR: Nathan Burke is the founder of Nathan Burke Consulting – a Melbourne based firm that offers training and coaching solutions helping people and businesses achieve High Performance.

One thought on “Know Thy Impact – 4 steps to great leadership.

  1. It’s interesting that you talked about using evidence to measure the success you have made. I have been thinking about working in management in the future. It would be smart to learn how to assess your work because you can see how to improve.


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