I write in Working Toward Excellence about a concept called, “Your Leadership Spotlight.”  Let me explain.  As leaders, we all have a spotlight that we shine.    Some leaders shine the spotlight on themselves.  They say, “look at me and all I have accomplished.”  It’s all about them, they take the credit, and they want the spotlight.

Other leaders shine the spotlight on others, specifically those under their supervision.  They say, “look at my people and all they have accomplished while I wait over here.”  It’s not about them, they deflect the credit, and they refuse the spotlight.  They instead choose to inflate their team.

As a college professor, my job performance is evaluated not only by my professional accomplishments, but the quality of my leadership.  Here’s the key: the quality of my leadership is evaluated by my students’ performance!  Colin Powel stated, “The performance of an organization is the ultimate measure of its leader.”  So, if you want to evaluate your leadership skills, answer two questions: 1) How is your organization doing these days?  And 2) In which direction does your leadership spotlight shine?  Toward you, or toward your people?