What makes a good leader?

 Startup Pulse

From Discover on Google https://blog.startuppulse.net/what-makes-a-good-leader-e4ef8f620fec

source: http://sxtxstate.com/2016/02/top-5-panels-on-leadership/

Leadership has become the center of attention for organizations after the global financial crisis in late 2007, highlighting the need for better leaders. However, choosing the right people to lead is not an easy process, even though there are lots of candidates with impressive credentials. Leaders possess significant impact on both their followers and the organizational outcomes. A successful leader will help his followers improve their skills and performance levels and therefore enhance productivity inside the company.

There is not a unique recipe for success when leadership is concerned. Different circumstances create different needs and therefore require different styles of leadership, a phenomenon called situational leadership. For instance, a company will require a different kind of leader on a period of growth, when it is hiring stuff, than a crisis period, when it is cutting down budgets and laying people off . Moreover, different cultures may show a preference to specific leadership characteristics. For example, people in the UK prefer leaders who seek to inspire them around a vision, care about their well-being and value their input. On the other hand, Islamic nations like Turkey and Qatar want their leaders to focus on procedures, status and safety of individuals and groups.

A very intriguing question regarding the concept of leadership is whether all those traits that distinguish leaders from other people are gentically inherited or can they be cultivated through experience and hard work. In other words: Leaders are born leaders or they become in the process? Recent studies indicate that only 30% of what makes a good leader depends on genetics, while the rest depends on skills which can be learned and improved through training and experience. Furthermore, according to Andersen’s observations, there is a 10–15% of the population that does not have what it takes to become leaders, no matter how hard they try and how well they train themselves. The remaining 85–90% can improve their leadership skills and become good leaders. Marshall Goldsmith and Howard Morgan conducted a research, in which 88,000 managers who attended a leadership development training were closely observed. Findings of the study suggested that those managers who reflected on their experience of the training program and tried to implement what they learned became more effective leaders. Therefore, leadership is not only a matter of good genes but it also requires a significant amount of training and hard work for potential leaders to exploit their full potential. The purpose of this article is to explore those characteristics a leader should have in order to be considered succesful.

Traits and attributes of a good leader

Asignificant aspect of a leader’s character is his personal values. To begin with, integrity can be viewed as the cornerstone of leadership, building strong relationships between leaders and employees which are based on mutual trust and collaboration. Leaders who possess integrity treat their followers with honesty and justice, by following up on their promises and not making discriminations in their judgments. Moreover, they are consistent on their core values, demonstrating them through their everyday actions. They also possess a strong ethical code, which helps them distinguish right from wrong on a moral perspective. A strong negative example is Jeff Skilling, the CEO of Enron, whose lack of integrity resulted in the collapse of his company and his imprisonment for mass fraud.

Another important characteristic of great leaders is humilityLeadership is an ongoing process of learning and experimenting. Therefore, leaders should be open-minded to reflect on their mistakes and learn from others in order to improve. They need to put their egos aside to admit their flaws and work on them. To achieve that, they should seek for feedback from their followers and fellow leaders. As Narayana Murthy, co-founder and executive chairman at Infosys, stated, in order for sustainable corporate success to be achieved leaders should recognize that there are smarter people who do things better, both within and outside the company and learn from them.

When it comes to leadership empathy can prove to be a significant asset. It is very important for a leader to understand what his followers are experiencing and share their feelings and emotions, especially when bad news is concerned. However, just being able to understand how someone is feeling may not be enough. Good leaders should act in a compassionate way to try to comfort their followers and reduce the pain they might be experiencing. Taking time to listen to their fears and concerns is a good step towards that direction. Being empathetic will make followers more loyal and trusting to you, since they will feel that you care for them and their interests.

As Ronald Reagan once stated, ‘’To grasp and hold a vision that is the very essence of successful leadership’’. Leaders should possess a vision, a destination which will give meaning to other people’s hard work and sacrifices. Everyone wants to have a purpose in their lives, which will keep them in line and motivate them. Equally important with having a vision, is the leader’s ability to communicate it effectively to his followers. An effective leader carefully explains the vision to his people and convince them for its importance, so that they become committed to it and work hard to reach it.

All successful leaders are passionate about achieving their personal and team goals. Passion relates to a person’s drives, motivating him to exert the necessary effort in order to be successful in his field. Without passion, a leader will not only fail to perform under the expected personal standards, but he will also fail to contribute to his team’s goals. How can a leader persuade his followers about a vision if he does not feel passionate about it in the first place?

For leaders to reach their vision they should be effective decision makers. Good judgment is the compass for leaders to reach their goals. They should assess different situations and decide the best course of action, while being under constant pressure and sometimes having to face tough decisions, especially in periods of crisis. It is crucial to be able to control their emotions and not let them interfere in the decision-making process. As far as decisions are concerned, stereotypes may be a dangerous trap, clouding the leader’s judgment and therefore need to be dealt with. Good judgment is often the difference between success and failure for a company.

Leaders will probably need to make tough decisions at some point in their careers, which may result in conflicts. They also need to take risks with a certain amount of personal cost and to stand up for their opinions even if everyone is trying to shut them down. This attitude of a leader standing up for what he belived is right, even though the vast majority is against him and his ideas can be seen in the ‘’12 Angry Men’’ movie, where a jury tries to prevent a miscarriage of justice by persuading his colleagues to reconsider the evidence and change their preliminay guilty vote. Making difficult decisions demand courage from the leader, as the case of Judith Mackay, world’s leading voice in the anti-smoking initiative, illustrates. Judith fought for what she believed and managed to create a generation of anti-smokers, even if she had to deal with death threats, friends turning their back on her, public humiliation and countries in the midst of civil war.

In addition, it is very important for leaders to demonstrate exceptional communication skills, which will help them build connections with their followers. Given that we spend around 80% of our work day involved in some form of communication, it would not make sense if we did not try to achieve the best outcomes from this. To do so, we need to start listening carefully to what other people are saying and try to open productive dialogue with them.

Leaders should lead by example. As role models for other people, leaders should jump into action, understand what is expected of them and live up to those expectations. Through this, not only they will inspire other people to participate actively in the process, but they will also show them the way to be successful. As John Furlong said: ‘’People will do anything for you if they see a good example to follow’’. A very strong example of leadership by example can be found in ‘’Endurance’’, a documentary movie about Sir Ernest Shackleton, the polar explorer who led three British expeditions to the Antarctic. In this move, we witness Shackleton’s struggle to lead his 28-man crew to safety, after his ship ‘’Endurance’’ was crushed in the park ice.

Leaders in start-ups and other innovative companies

First of all, the most crucial attribute a leader should possess in modern enterprises is the ability to think outside the box. Leaders often face situations which are not part of their standard routine and demand an alternative course of action. In cases like this, they will have a whole team waiting for them to take quick and effective decisions to solve the problem in hand. It is vital for them to be creative and come up with innovative ideas, since according to Aubrey Marcus founder of Onnit, innovation is our only chance to solve the challenges modern companies are facing.

An effective leader will also need to be patient to achieve his goals and reach his vision. ‘’If your vision is bold enough, there will be hundreds of reasons why it ‘can’t be done’ and plenty of doubters’’ stated Dan Brian, COO of Whip Clip. That is especially true with start-ups, which usually do not generate profits in their first years of operation and may also need a substantial funding from investors. Leaders should not be discouraged in case their companies demonstrate losses in the first years and should instead continue to work hard to turn things around. Moreover, they should be prepared to get refused by a lot of investors when they try to secure funding for their company. They should not give up and continue to pursue their goal. Patience also extends to their followers. It is common for leaders to get overwhelmed by their passion and expect immediate and top quality results from their team and, thus get frustrated when they realize that people in their team cannot live up to their expectations. Instead, they should take the necessary time to explain to their followers what is expected of them and provide them with the necessary guidance.

Furthermore, leaders create their followers and there is always a danger for them to become too focused on the presented task in expense of their team and individuals. As John Adair’s Action Centered Leadership Model states, equal attention should be given to the three circles (task, team, individual), although sometimes one of them may require our focus. Thus, in order to create exemplary followers, who will be ready to take initiatives and solve corporate problems, leaders should encourage them to express their opinions and show them that they value their input, even if it sometimes challenges them. Leaders should respect the contributions of their people and make them feel significant members of the organization. Exemplary followers are important assets for start-ups and innovative companies, as innovation is a democratic process and every member on a team should be able to contribute to it.

John Adair’s Action-Centered Leadership Model, source: https://culckrishnan.wordpress.com/2016/07/16/theme-3-most-effective-leadership-management-styles-and-approaches/

In challenging periods, when things are not going according to plan and the future of the company looks clouded, people tend to lose their faith in the vision and start to panic. It is a leader’s job to have confidence in his vision and his ability to turn things around and pass this confidence to other members of the team. As the captain of the ship, a leader should maintain the team’s morale and calmness and convince them that things are going to get better if they keep working hard. However, doing these things, he must first be confident himself that his plan will eventually work and that he has what it takes to succeed.

Finally, in start-ups and innovative companies there is a strong need of servant leadership, where leaders operate more as supporters instead of supervisors. Leaders should be ready to delegate responsibilities and give control to their followers, while at the same time providing them with help and guidance whenever needed. For this to happen, there should be a change in the traditional hierarchical way many leaders are thinking.

Servant Leadership vs Hierachical Leadership, source: https://www.servantleadershipinstitute.com/what-is-servant-leadership-1/

To sum up, being a leader is a tough challenge, as it bears increased responsibilities and expectations. Leaders are supposed to make a difference in business environments, facing periods of crisis, inspiring their people to embrace their vision and helping them to achieve their potential. Their success is now measured not by how they perform individually, but mostly by how their people perform due to their presence. As Dennis Peer stated: “One measure of leadership is the caliber of the people who choose to follow you”.

For leaders to make a difference to their companies, they should first realize their own strengths and weaknesses and be ready to work hard to improve. Keeping an open mind to admit possbile mistakes, realizing that you are not the smartest person in the room and asking for feedback are necessary steps in the path of self-awareness, a path all leaders should cross. Since in leadership there is not a guaranteed recipe for success, a try and error process is required for leaders to find out which style is suitable in which occasion and they often need to change their leadership views in the process.

Finally, it is very important for leaders to discover their core values, as they are the driving forces which shape their behavior. Bearing in mind that their values are going to be tested and they may face decisions challenging them at some point in their career, they should decide if they are ready to make compromises on them. If that is not the case, then they should choose to join companies whose corporate values are on the same side with their own personal ones.


Emotional Intelligence Masterclass©

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Understand and Use Their Emotions in Life-Enriching Ways”


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About This Masterclass


The Emotional Intelligence Masterclass© is a complete, 6-module emotional intelligence training template for helping professionals.

Besides the masterclass for you, the practitioner, it also includes all the materials you need to deliver high-quality EQ training sessions that are science-based (meaning all claims are backed up by research and references).

With your purchase, you will gain the rights to use all of these materials (the client workbook, the exercises, the PowerPoints, etc.) under your own brand.

If you are passionate about helping others improve their lives in meaningful ways, this masterclass is for you. 

Because not only will you master the 6 most important pillars of emotional intelligence, but you’ll also learn to explain and implement them.

All the materials you need to confidently apply emotional intelligence in a 2019-proof-way are at your disposal. This makes the Emotional Intelligence Masterclass a practitioner’s ultimate shortcut.

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About the Instructor


Psychologist and researcher Dr. Hugo Alberts (Ph.D.) has been exploring the scientific side of positive psychology for the past 10 years, with 20+ academic publications on this topic, including emotions. As a practitioner, positive psychology is at the heart of his work with a diverse range of clients.

His aim is to give people both the psychological perspective and the hands-on tools that have proven to increase mental well-being through the practice of positive psychology.

Designed for Helping Professionals


The Emotional Intelligence Masterclass© is a complete emotional intelligence package for anyone who wants to deliver high-quality EQ training and coaching, including, but not limited to:

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What You Will Achieve


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MODULE 1  Emotions

In this module, you will learn what emotions are. Why and how do they seem to involve many different physical and mental processes at the same time?

MODULE 2  Emotional Intelligence

Over the past 20 years, emotional intelligence (EI) has become a popular construct in the field of psychology and beyond. But what is EI exactly? 

MODULE 3  Emotional Awareness

Emotional awareness is a fundamental skill to emotional intelligence. In short, it is the ability to answer the question: How am I feeling right now?

MODULE 4  Beliefs About Emotions

In this module, we will discuss the beliefs about emotions that operate outside conscious awareness, and strongly determine the relationship people have with their emotions.

MODULE 5  Emotional Knowledge

When emotions and rationality are combined, they start to function as data; they reveal information about two important motivators of behavior: needs and values.

MODULE 6  Emotional Expression

Emotional expression refers to the ability to name and express what is happening emotionally. Emotionally intelligent people are skilled at expressing their emotions.

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  The Emotional Intelligence Masterclass is just brilliant!  The course is very thorough with easy to digest video lessons alongside professionally developed supporting materials and resources which saves me time and money in my mentoring practice.  Positive Psychology Program is my trusted source for my own professional development in the discipline as well as tools and resources to use with my clients.

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Praestan Health
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Unlike so many other emotional intelligence resources, this EI Coaching Masterclass dives much deeper in the construct and provides excellent context.

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Catherine Twiss Consulting
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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Contents & Pricing


The Emotional Intelligence Masterclass© includes:

✓ Live recordings of the Emotional Intelligence Masterclass
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You will receive access to a module on Second Wave Positive Psychology complimentary with your purchase of the Emotional Intelligence Masterclass.

This module presents the most recent developments in the field of positive psychology to provide you with the skills and knowledge that will render you confident in teaching and applying positive psychology in your practice.

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This will save you hundreds of hours of work if you’re planning to incorporate emotional intelligence into your workshops, talks, or teachings.


  I love working with Positive Psychology Program’s products, whether it is something from the Positive Psychology Toolkit or an entire course such as Mindfulness X. So I was looking forward to diving into their new course on Emotional Intelligence. Just as with their other products, Emotional Intelligence is thoroughly researched, logically built, and easy for practitioners to tailor to their audience.

Pam Alfrey Hernandez | Psychologist 
The Right Reflection
Omaha, USA


  I’m delighted to now use the outstanding content in the Emotional Intelligence course to assist my clients, people recovering from tragic and/or traumatic experiences, to reawaken the power of positive emotion toward restoring emotional balance as they heal. I so appreciate the science behind Positive Psychology Program’s masterclasses. The science is presented through models that all people can understand and internalize! Great job! Thank you!

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Do I need experience in practicing positive psychology to follow this masterclass?

A formal or informal training background in positive psychology is not essential in order to follow this masterclass. We have a broad range of customers that include teachers, psychologists, life coaches, HR specialists, business leaders, and fitness coaches, etc.  Needless to say, the more experience you have in coaching or practicing positive psychology, the better the foundation you have to build on during and after this training.

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Contents & Pricing


The Emotional Intelligence Masterclass© includes:

✓ Live recordings of the Emotional Intelligence Masterclass
✓ Practitioner handbook (ebook in epub and PDF)
✓ Workbook including 17 exercises for your participants (PDF)
✓ Train-the-Trainer videos for each lesson (20 videos)
✓ Community-section to interact with fellow practitioners
✓ 20 PowerPoint presentations for teaching and workshops
✓ Recommended books, articles, movies, videos and quotes
✓ Lifetime updates, dedicated support

Bonus 1: Earn a Certificate of Completion
Bonus 2: Second Wave Positive Psychology Module
Bonus 3: Extended Usage Rights

Enrollment fee: $750


  I think this masterclass is useful for coaches who are working with “at-risk” people 
or folks that are trying to enhance personal development, but it can also be infused with psychotherapy, in working with people who are having mental health problems. This framework has helped to organize the field of positive psychology.

Michael Bloomquist, PhD, LP | Professor of Psychiatry
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA


  I’m very impressed with the layout and ease of how I could not only learn from but also utilize your content and adapt it to how I bring Positive Psychology and Emotional Intelligence to the financial industry. Thank you for creating such a wonderful tool to teach and help others bring psychological wellbeing into so many areas. I’ve enjoyed the feedback of others in the group and the diverse experience we all have in our respective fields. Great work Seph and Hugo!

Diana Frizell | Coast Capital Savings
Financial Planner, Author, Speaker, Workshop Facilitator
British Columbia, Canada



To promote good practice, please note that you are advised to use this training package within the boundaries of your professional expertise. For instance, if you are a certified clinician, you are advised to use the training within your field of expertise (clinical psychology).  Likewise, a school teacher may use the tools in the classroom but it would not be advisable to use the tools provided for clinical populations.

While the Emotional Intelligence Masterclass includes an emotional intelligence training template that provides you with the knowledge and tools you can use to give your own EI/EQ training, it is by no means a substitute for a coaching certification program. We recommend you attain a coaching certification before you call yourself an official coach or practitioner and before you see any clients or patients. If you are not already a licensed practitioner, this masterclass will still provide you with all the tools you need to sharpen your professional training skills and provides an invaluable starting point for designing your own training. Positive Psychology Products B.V. is not responsible for unauthorised usage of this training package.

What to Do When Your Best Employee Quits

Meredith Wood

Employee turnover has a huge impact on businesses around the world –– perhaps most strongly on small businesses and startups. In fact, this turnover can cost an organization as much as 213% of the lost employee’s salary. Small businesses could be at significant risk if even one strong employee quits.

Turnover will likely affect your small business at some point, but how should you handle it when your best employee tells you they are leaving for another job opportunity? Certain best practices, including conducting exit interviews and sending company-wide announcements, can help you effectively manage the loss of a star team player and learn from the experience in the process.

Of course, there are steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of your employees looking for outside opportunities. Keep in mind these things to minimize your chances of losing a great employee:

  • positive company culture plays a major role in the general happiness and job satisfaction of your team.
  • healthy work-life balance will keep your team’s stress levels low and will keep them from becoming burned out.
  • Show your team they are valued by offering additional benefits like learning opportunities, conferences, and team-building activities.

If your best employee tells you they are resigning, the first thing you should do is to stay calm. It’s crucial not to panic or react impulsively in any situation involving your employees. Use this moment as an opportunity to learn from your employee and improve your small business in the future to prevent other top employees from quitting.

If a top employee resigns, it’s not the end of the world for your small business. While you may experience a short dip in company morale or productivity, there are steps you can take to minimize a negative impact on your business. One of the best things you can do to increase morale and productivity is to find and hire a great replacement for the departing employee.

Remember to approach any interactions with your employees in a positive, upbeat way and use the opportunity to learn more about your team members, their satisfaction with your company, and your performance as a manager.


Reflektive | Resourceful Manager | Inc. 12 | CoxBlue | Groove HQ | HBR | Glassdoor | Business News Daily | Recruitment Software | Work Institute | CMOE | Workforce | Gallup 12 | Jobvite | Medium | SHRM | Bureau of Labor Statistics | Center for American Progress

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Meredith Wood

Meredith Wood

Editor-in-Chief at Fundera
Meredith is Editor-in-Chief at Fundera. Specializing in financial advice for small business owners, Meredith is a current and past contributor to Yahoo!, Amex OPEN Forum, Fox Business, SCORE, AllBusiness and more.

How to Define and Track your KPIs

September 13, 2018

Key Performance Indicators are one of the most important tools a business has at its disposal. While the premise has existed for a long time, it is only with the advent of the Internet that its full potential has been realized. This is particularly the case in measuring online engagements, such as sales or customer acquisition. From free tools, such as Google Analytics, to highly complex software, there are many different types of KPIs measuring immensely diverse metrics.

What Are Key Performance Indicators (KPI)?

KPI, or Key Performance Indicators, are performance metrics that measure specific goals for businesses across all sectors. Sometimes referred to as KSI (Key Success Indicators), when designed and implemented properly they can define the direction of a business, provide essential feedback and help organize individuals, teams, projects or entire businesses to optimize performance.

KPI, or Key Performance Indicators, are performance metrics that measure specific goals for businesses across all sectors.

A common theme throughout this article will be pointing out how KPIs differ vastly in how they are designed and what they measure. This is crucial to understanding their effectiveness and how they should be implemented and read. For example, high indicators might measure the overall performance of an E-commerce business (profits), while low indicators might measure sales of a specific product or output of a specific department.

In other words, KPIs can be helpful for departments, employees, managers, processes and even customer support teams.

Common things Key Performance Indicators might track are:

  • Revenue (including average profits, total revenue, and new customers)
  • Employment statistics (Including employee turnover, employee performance, and vacancies)
  • Customer service (Including average call time, efficiency and customer satisfaction)
  • Marketing (Including sales generation and overall effectiveness)
  • Efficiency (Including overall efficiency, departmental processes and individual efficiency)

How Do You Calculate a KPI?

Knowing how to measure a KPI is a matter of defining specific goals from the outset. A startup is likely to be more interested in tracking how many new customers are being brought to the business than an established public company, who might be more focused on tracking share price and profit.

The most common tool for tracking KPIs is web analytics. Google Analytics is able to track a myriad of data, from website performance to new subscribers, to sales. The issue with such hard data, however, is that sometimes the metric that requires tracking is often somewhat intangible, or at least a lot more open to individual interpretation. This may also become harder to measure when dealing with aspects of customer satisfaction. Typically, these types of metrics will require more than one Key Performance Indicator, but it is important not to get carried away, as too much data can confuse things. As ever,focusing on the right KPI is vital, typically by designing them with a narrower scope.

One of the most important ways of tracking metrics through KPIs is related to presentation. Google Analytics is a perfect example of how to present, what can be quite complex data, in a clear way. Visualizations that can provide deep insights, for example, are a far better way of getting across the important data than dense presentations that provides no interactivity. This becomes particularly important when dealing with multiple KPIs.

Visualizations that can provide deep insights are a far better way of getting across the important data than dense presentations.

It should be noted that KPIs require constant evaluation to ensure they remain relevant and focused on the important parts of the business that need tracking.

How Do You Define a KPI?

So what makes a KPI effective? How do you define a KPI and cultivate metrics that provide insightful and easily acted upon information? While it is true that KPIs differ from sector to sector, in fact, competitors with many of the same needs might differ wildly in their use of KPIs depending on philosophy and strategy, a good place to start would be common use within a specific industry.

From here it is essential to define your goals, where you might need to increase efficiency for example, before delving into the specifics of a KPI. This may take some time, but the better the research, the more likely the KPI will harvest insightful results.

It is also very important to set goals that are achievable. KPIs are about focused data, not setting ambitious targets that can skew performance away from cohesive strategies.

One of the most effective ways of evaluating the effectiveness and appropriateness of a KPI is the SMART criteria. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Bound:

  • How SPECIFIC is the goal?
  • Is it clearly MEASURABLE?
  • How ATTAINABLE is it?>
  • Is it RELEVANT to the business?
  • What Is the TIME Frame to achieve the objective?
<img class="i-amphtml-intrinsic-sizer" style="max-width: 100%; display: block !important;" role="presentation" src="data:;base64,” alt=”” aria-hidden=”true” />Smartgoals

Once all these criteria have been met, a KPI can be properly designed and implemented with confidence. However, it will need monitoring and some tinkering may be necessary once the KPI has been fully integrated.

The Types Of KPI

As KPIs can be employed to measure deeply diverse metrics across a myriad of sectors and processes, types of KPI differ wildly in how they are designed and implemented. The core purpose might remain the same, to provide concise data on various aspects of a business, but the similarities often end there.

Three of the most common types of KPIs are for:

  • Companies
  • Teams
  • Projects


Although company KPIs might sound rather broad in its ambitions, they can be, and in fact typically should be, focused on specific areas of company performance. For customer metrics, these can be as diverse as acquisition, lifetime value of customers, retention and customer loyalty.

On the employee side, KPIs are often used to measure certain business goals, performance (including measuring the strengths of specific employees). Well-being is increasingly an important issue and is related employee retention rates, both of which can also be perfectly gauged with the right tools.



KPIs for marketing requires vastly different insights than KPIs for sales, as is the case for human resources, or any other department you can think. For this reason, Key Performance Indicators for teams are one of the most varied of all its types.

A financial team will likely be tracking revenue, expenses, profit, and cash flows. A sales team customer capture, average deal size or revenue targets. These two departments, of course, have some degree of crossover, but a customer support team, with its customer satisfaction focus, might want to measure the results of surveys or caller wait times, a very different set of metrics.

Marketing groups often require some of the most complex KPIs, with generated sales and brand awareness at the heart of their focus. This might include Google Analytic KPIs with its in-depth conversion rate data (the percentage of visitors who have taken the desired action, such as sales or subscriptions).

Human Resources (HR) teams again have a less easily defined set of metrics to measure, such as the previously mentioned employee happiness and turnover. They may also measure how long it takes to fill a position and the number of responses to a given vacancy.

<img class="i-amphtml-intrinsic-sizer" style="max-width: 100%; display: block !important;" role="presentation" src="data:;base64,” alt=”” aria-hidden=”true” />KPI Process


Measuring the value of a project is key to understanding how successful it is in a broad sense, which aspects are working well, which aspects are underperforming and how to cultivate fruitful and realistic goals. The first thing that needs to be defined for a project is its goals, and this will define the KPI from the outset.

An E-Commerce KPI might be employed to measure the success of a revamped website, for example, all well presented in a Google Analytics KPI control panel. KPIs for websites are, in fact, the most numerous, with lead generation, sessions, bounce rates, e-commerce conversion rates, and sales all concisely presented on the platform.

It should be noted that employing too many KPIs for any aspect of a business can dilute its focus and confuse matters greatly. This is where careful preplanning and clearly defined goals can help.

KPIs vs OKRs

A new variant on KPIs is OKRs (Objectives and Key Results). In recent years these have become increasingly popular, partly due to Google apparently using them to great effect. There is much overlap between the two, but the main difference is in their ambition. OKRs are not defined as obtainable goals based on previous data, rather they are ambitious goals with clearly defined steps outlined to achieve that goal. They should not be seen as unreachable targets, but motivational ones.

OKRs are not defined as obtainable goals based on previous data, rather they are ambitious goals with clearly defined steps outlined to achieve that goal. They should not be seen as unreachable targets, but motivational ones.

It would be wrong to compare the usefulness of KPIs and OKRs as they are designed with different outlooks on goals, but a good rule of thumb would be KPIs assess clear goals based on previous data. OKRs, on the other hand, are better implemented for entirely new goals that require a broader vision.

Some KPI Templates

KPIs are only as successful as the template and interface they present. As previously mentioned, these are typically unique to the types of data they are measuring.

Website KPI examples tend to be well encapsulated by Google Analytics, with its drill-down data on broad, but related, topics such as conversion rates and returning visitors. One of the traps that businesses often fall into is what is often referred to as vanity metrics. This is where a superficial reading of positive data, such as a growing number of visitors, is seen as success alone. As ever with Google KPI examples, it is essential to drill down further to fully ascertain what these numbers mean. For example, are these visitors the right type of visitor the business is looking for?

<img class="i-amphtml-intrinsic-sizer" style="max-width: 100%; display: block !important;" role="presentation" src="data:;base64,” alt=”” aria-hidden=”true” />GA

Social media KPI examples are also well designed and defined by in-depth on-site analytics. Twitter, for example, has a very effective template that offers the type of drill-down data that Google provides. Combined with other software, these can offer great insights regarding customer reach, acquisition and brand awareness.


AB Tasty

Book Review: The Art of Coaching: A Handbook of tips and tools

The Art of Coaching

The Art of Coaching: A Handbook of tips and tools: Book Review

How to get your hands on a free copy of this book – see the end of the article

Review of The Art Of Coaching.

Whilst we have been reviewing books for members we have decided to start public reviews of interesting and useful books in the organisational and human development arena.

In this first review we are looking at a recently published book about coaching by Jenny Bird and Sarah Gornall called “The Art of Coaching: A Handbook of tips and tools”, published by Routledge (229 pages) 

Both the authors are practising coaches and coaching supervisors, as well as being heavily involved in the training of coaches.


Ambitious Book

It is an ambitious book that aims to cover a wide range of practice and tools in a non-formal and accessible way. It deals with the methods and tools most coaches will be familiar with, from the basics of coaching through to useful and practical tools for more experienced coaches.  

The book covers a lot of ground:


  1. Introduction
  2. Coaching
  3. Relationships and Communication
  4. Learning and Personal Growth
  5. Leading, Influencing and Motivating
  6. Analysis Choice and Change
  7. Supervision and Team Facilitation
  8. Developing Creativity 
  9. References and Further Reading


Rather than being a text heavy academic book about coaching, this is firmly aimed at practitioners and is essentially a collection of coaching models, practices and tools for use during coaching sessions. It is not text heavy and comprises a mixture of nicely hand drawn diagrams, illustrations, charts and models that lighten the tone of the book, making it easy to grasp and very user friendly. 


Tools example


The issue with many books that try to cover a wide range of topics and tools is that either they go on forever and become an encyclopaedia or that, in order to contain the size of the book, they end up dealing with the topics in a more superficial manner.


Too superficial?

This leads to the question, is The Art of Coaching too superficial?

Well, that depends. Clearly no book can be everything to everyone.

However as an executive coach myself, I found that this is a very useful and practical guide to the many tools and techniques of coaching. The format for each of the tools is to describe the tool with a brief ‘what it is’ section followed by a section on ‘how we use it’ and then a useful set of tips about how to put the tool into action in a coaching setting.  I have found myself dipping into it to find new ideas for my own coaching sessions.


Not only can I imagine this book being a very useful aide to new and developing coaches, but also to supervisors and experienced coaches. It contains a handy set of references and further reading if you want to delve deeper. It is not an in depth book of coaching theory, but it is a reference that every coach should have around to dip into. The coaches I have shown it to have all found something of use for their practice.


Model example


If I have a criticism, it is that experienced coaches may find some of the book rather basic however that is going to be unavoidable for any book as far as experienced coaches are concerned. However that does not mean that they will not find anything of use. Because the book is essentially a ‘how to’ catalogue of models, tools and techniques it acts as a handy aide memoir and I suspect almost all coaches will find something new and useful in its pages.


Having said that I can really see this book being used in the many corporate coaching courses as a useful aide memoir and practical handbook for new and developing coaches. It will be especially useful for the many schemes that are developing ’the manager as coach’ for example,  where the individuals concerned won’t be employed primarily as a coach.


The Art of Coaching is more like a practical dictionary/encyclopaedia and guide to the theories, tools and methods of coaching. It is well sourced and reference.



Who is it recommend this for?

All coaches, coaching supervisors and anyone in an organisational role that involves elements of coaching and even mentoring will find The Art of Coaching a useful addition to their resource library.

Get the book

Get The Art of Coaching Here

Get a Free Copy of The Art of Coaching

I have a copy of the Art of Coaching to give away. Share this article on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn and then leave your details in the comments section below. (Your email is secure and can’t be read by anyone else) and I will choose a winner on 1st June 2017.



Bird J. & Gornall S. (2016) The Art of Coaching: A Handbook of tips and tools. Routledge: New York


Statement of ethics and transparency. 

The reviewer has no connection either professionally, financially or commercially with the publishers or authors. We have not been paid for this review nor has there been any transaction of any type involved. The book was provided free by the publishers.  


How to deal with the negative side effects of coaching


Disclaimer: This is a research review, expert interpretation and briefing. As such it contains other studies, expert comment and practitioner advice. It is not a copy of the original study – which is referenced. The original study should be consulted and referenced in all cases. This research briefing is for informational and educational purposes only. We do not accept any liability for the use to which this review and briefing is put or for it or the research accuracy, reliability or validity. This briefing as an original work in its own right and is copyright © Oxford Review Enterprises Ltd 2016-2019. Any use made of this briefing is entirely at your own risk.

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David Wilkinson

David Wilkinson is the Editor-in-Chief of the Oxford Review. He is also acknowledged to be one of the world’s leading experts in dealing with ambiguity and uncertainty and developing emotional resilience. David teaches and conducts research at a number of universities including the University of Oxford, Medical Sciences Division, Cardiff University, Oxford Brookes University School of Business and many more. He has worked with many organisations as a consultant and executive coach including Schroders, where he coaches and runs their leadership and management programmes, Royal Mail, Aimia, Hyundai, The RAF, The Pentagon, the governments of the UK, US, Saudi, Oman and the Yemen for example. In 2010 he developed the world’s first and only model and programme for developing emotional resilience across entire populations and organisations which has since become known as the Fear to Flow model which is the subject of his next book. In 2012 he drove a 1973 VW across six countries in Southern Africa whilst collecting money for charity and conducting on the ground charity work including developing emotional literature in children and orphans in Africa and a number of other activities. He is the author of The Ambiguity Advanatage: What great leaders are great at, published by Palgrave Macmillian. See more: About: About DavidWikipedia: David’s Wikipedia Page


by Justin Reynolds on Dec 6, 2016 5:00:00 AM


Years ago, the human resources department — often referred to simply as “personnel” — was primarily charged with keeping records; ensuring companies followed regulations and were in compliance with laws; and determining wages, compensation packages, and other benefits.

Over the years, the HR department has evolved tremendously. In fact, the HR department has gone through drastic changes in the last 10 years alone. Thanks to the emergence of a slew of technologies that automate much of the work traditionally done by HR professionals, the HR department that exists today looks almost nothing like the ones that existed before. In addition to programs that can automate payroll and streamline the onboarding process, there are also platforms that simplify the recruiting process and talent management systems that enable companies to quickly determine whether their employees are getting the right training opportunities, among other things.

Instead of focusing on personnel management and administrative tasks, today’s HR departments — at least the ones that are forward-thinking — spend their energies managing employee engagement and strengthening culture. They’re also charged with managing the employees themselves to increase the odds they’re happy at work and will continue to stick around for the foreseeable future.

Despite the progress and evolution that’s occurred in the HR sector over the last decade, 80% of respondents indicated they believe their company’s HR skills are lacking, as reported by Deloitte. A major reason for that, it would seem, stems from the fact that companies are generally wary of change. And HR leaders, for example, may be hesitant to embrace new HR technologies simply because they fear they will ultimately be putting themselves out of work.

By investing in new HR technologies and platforms, however, HR professionals can provide even more valuable services to their companies while improving team morale and, by extension, productivity.

HR skills


Engaging Employees

The vast majority of employees today are not engaged at work. In fact, Gallup reported that 31.7% of employees are engaged — which means nearly 7 out of 10 workers don’t love their jobs and aren’t willing to go above and beyond ever.

Engaged employees are happier at work. They’re also more productive than their disengaged peers. When HR departments focus on increasing engagement, not only does the quality of the work improve on a company-wide basis, employees are more likely to get along with one another. They’ll be in positive, helpful moods — compared to disengaged employees who might have a hard time even cracking a smile.

As our Engagement Report revealed, coworkers are the number one thing employees like about their jobs. The happier and more engaged workers are, the more likely their peers will be to enjoy their company. In other words, strong engagement helps build a more connected team that has each other’s backs.


Strengthening Culture

A company’s culture describes its mission, beliefs, values, ethics, and more. Cultures define what is expected out of employees.

Culture is one of the top correlated factors to employee happiness, as noted in our Engagement Report. The stronger a culture is, the more likely a staff is to be happy. Because happiness is directly related to productivity, managers would be wise to focus enough resources on improving culture however they can. Not only are employees who fit in with an organization’s culture more motivated to do their best work, they’re also more likely to believe in the work your company is doing and treat customers with a serious level of respect. Further, they’ll evangelize on your company’s behalf — even when they’re not in the office.

HR technologies make it very easy to gauge whether employees are happy with company culture and believe that things are working as they should be. For example, the results from a pulse survey will make it very clear whether a certain new program or initiative is successful or if it’s making employees feel overworked and stressed. Armed with that data, managers can then opt to continue business as usual (when the results are good) or to abandon an idea and steer the company in a different direction (when the results are bad). It sure beats waiting six months to find out that a new program is really hurting culture and employee morale.


Managing Talent

Despite the fact that many of today’s employees are extremely interested in having opportunities to develop and grow at their companies, only 25% of workers believe their organizations offer ample opportunities for career development, our Engagement Report revealed.

If you want to keep the best employees around, it is imperative that you offer them the ability to acquire new skills and learn new things. You can’t take them for granted and just assume they’ll stick around forever.

Even if you think your employees are all replaceable, you should still be concerned with how much it costs to replace workers who take jobs elsewhere. According to the Center for American Progress, businesses can expect to pay up to $15,000 to replace departing employees. That’s quite the chunk of change for any company.

employee turnover

Thanks to new HR technologies, it’s easier than ever to manage talent and make sure employees are reaching their goals and getting what they want to out of work. Talent management systems, for example, enable HR workers to easily keep track of everything from recruiting and performance management to learning and development and compensation management. All of the critical data needed to make sure employees are improving and reaching the next level can be accessed from one central interface — streamlining the process significantly.

HR has evolved quite remarkably over the last decade. Instead of being fearful of what the changes mean for the HR department or the professionals working in it, companies would be wise to embrace the modern tools and technologies that enable them to build even stronger companies.

Rather than focusing on records management and compliance-related issues, for example, strong HR departments spend their time focusing on improving employee engagement, building an even stronger and more attractive company culture and managing talent from the recruitment process to the exit interview. Organizations that embrace this modern approach to HR will have happier workforces and happier customers — which all translates into a healthier bottom line.