As senior leaders, we are responsible for shepherding the overall health and wellbeing of our organizations and teams. To do so effectively, we must have access to good information. Without good information to guide our decisions, it’s easy to pursue priorities and projects that may actually be detrimental to the health and wellbeing of our organization.
At lower levels of leadership, this access to good information is often first-hand — it’s right there in front of us. If you lead a single team, you can assess fairly quickly how that team (and individual team members) are doing. But as you move up the leadership level, your access to first-hand information becomes less and less. You become more dependent on others to provide both the information itself and the interpretation of that information.
But all information and its subsequent interpretations aren’t equal. While the information may be accurate, how it is interpreted may be inaccurate, skewed, or even biased.
It is the responsibility of leadership to determine what information will be gathered and how it will be used. To this end, there are two important — but different — ways of utilizing information that every leader must understand. I’ll frame them as questions:
- What information do we need to count?
- How do we measure the impact of that information?
Counting. Counting is the process of gathering facts and figures, numbers, amounts, and other relevant statistics. For example, we count how many people signed up for an event or the number of people who receive our email newsletter. In general, counting is a straight-forward exercise. Counting allows us to see at-a-glance visible trends and trajectories.
Measuring. Measuring happens when you take the information you’ve counted and try to determine its impact. Counting says, “We had twelve people sign up for this event.” But counting alone doesn’t tell you if the event had any positive impact on those who attended. It might be that all twelve slept through the presentation (having given thousands of presentations, that’s not as far-fetched as it sounds!).
Sticking with our event as an example, counting answers the question of how many. How may signed up? How many actually attended? Measuring answers the question of how did … how did the event increase sales, improve retention, or add value to our employees? How did the event lead to greater engagement?
When you move up the leadership ladder, it becomes your responsibility to ensure the organization is counting and measuring the right things. Many leaders will be satisfied with just counting. But good leaders will dig deeper and look for ways to measure impact.
As the old saying goes, numbers don’t lie. But they also may not tell the entire story.
Experience and Background
- Professor at Warner University
- masters in business administration (mba)
- presenter at the WFX National Conference
- former president, Church Planters of the Rockies
- helped start 2 for-profit tech companies
To get a better feel for my style and personality, you can watch past sermons on our YouTube channel.
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I’ve written a few books that might help! You’ll find books on preaching, leadership, Ephesians, as well as my first novel. Follow this link to learn more.