Recently, my business colleague, Joda Coolidge, and I developed a workshop focused on helping individuals – from college undergrads to CEOs – think about how they assess their leadership impact. This is after all how you build your reputation.

Every day we have opportunities to lead; how we go about it determines our impact. We wanted to create a simple framework where people could easily assess how they show up as a leader, the impact they have on those they lead, and whether it’s the right leadership opportunity at the right time.

1. Be Aware and Intentional When Assessing Your Leadership Opportunities
Every day we are confronted with opportunities to lead – on a project, managing a team, expressing a point of view, managing one on one interactions, or joining a board just to name a few. For each leadership opportunity it is critical to pause, reflect, and ensure it aligns with your values, goals, and purpose. Let’s face it – there is never a shortage of requests for our time and resources.


a. Be clear about the expectations of the role you are taking

b. Ask yourself if this opportunity is really the right fit for you – will it help you grow and move you in the right direction personally and professionally

c. Ask yourself whether the timing is right. Do you have the bandwidth to show up and lead this opportunity effectively

d. If it is not a perfect fit, or even a good fit, but you still need to take it – then be clear on how you can leverage your strengths and make the most of the situation.

2. Where are you when it comes to YOUR Leadership & Impact
Although situations come with their own inherent complexity, we wanted to present an easy way to think about the relationship of leadership and impact. It’s a simple matrix to help you consider the leadership opportunity and impact of every situation. Of course, we believe the ultimate goal is to manage your way into the leadership Nirvana quadrant as frequently as possible.


Leadership Vacuum – in this bottom quadrant, if possible, you really want to escape and not be stuck in a place where you are unable to lead or have impact. It is just not a place that leverages your capabilities, or gives you an opportunity to learn and grow as a leader. Your goal is to avoid this quadrant as often as possible.

Double Down or Move On – in this quadrant it is really about deciding if you have the relationship capital and resources to make a difference. If you are in a role you love but you do not have the support of your leadership team, assess whether it is something you need to change and adjust. If that is just not possible, move on to another opportunity. This is a situation where you have to figure out if doubling down and continuing to try is worth it or not.

The “To Worker Bee or Not To Bee” – this is when you really are delivering value and impact but more in a performer role. You may really enjoy this space and that is great. That said, if you want more visibility and to be thought of as a leader, it is critical to identify opportunities to do so. You may need more training or coaching to be a leader. It is possible that talking with your manager or peers could create an opportunity to lead – sometimes you just need to ask.

Leadership Nirvana – In this case you really are firing on all cylinders. You are showing up in a powerful and consistent way, leveraging your strengths to drive change. You have the leadership support, resources, and platform to maximize your leadership opportunity.

3. Be Intentional and Be Present
This framework is really an easy way to think about how you are showing up and to remind you that for each opportunity you create or is presented to you to be intentional about how you show up. You are building your reputation every moment.


a. Set aside time at the beginning of the week and assess what the week looks like for you and what are your opportunities

b. Pick a time to look longer term and be intentional about creating opportunities looking out 6-12 months or even longer

Be your best self,
Jen Dalton

Is happiness a choice? Joda Coolidge believes it is. As a positive psychology coach, she helps people live with purpose according to their own personal definition of success. Integrating nearly 20 years of experience in marketing with her background in professional counseling and life and wellness coaching, Joda founded <strong “mso-bidi-font-weight:=”” normal”=””>Live Life Happy Coaching to help others embrace their choices and actions to build rich, full lives marked by joy, engagement, and alignment.