it’s easy to measure one’s proficiency in a technical skill (how many widgets you build, how many lines of code you’ve written), and it’s easy to count training courses and seminars to show how you’ve been ‘growing’ as a person and learning new things. we know how to find experts. we look for collegiate degrees. we look for years of experience in a given field. they may not exactly be great means of quantifying an ‘expert’ but they’re certainly given weight by many people.

but how do you measure leadership?

there’s no school, no collegiate program, no certifying authority that says you are a registered leader. there are no crash courses, no study guides, no ‘leadership for dummies’ book that has all the information needed to be a great leader. actually, there is a

leadership for dummies… but still!

some people measure a leader by their accomplishments, but is this really a good method? given unlimited resources, anyone can accomplish anything. success is as much a product of your people as it is your ability to lead them. it can come because of one’s leadership, or in spite of it.

other people measure a leader by the number of his or her followers, but surely this can’t be a good method – can it? people can be front-runners and only follow someone because it’s the popular choice. then what happens when things get tough and popular opinion changes?

some would put the onus of leadership on the shoulders of the old veterans; the ones who have been around a while. but certainly there has been no shortage ofsuccessfulenterprises led by young guns. you’d be wrong to immediately discount someone based on age alone.

so how do you measure leadership? maybe leadership, like some things, you just know when you see it.