The Three Categories of Personal Effectiveness


The Three Categories of Personal Effectiveness

In Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward’s New York Times best-selling book, Launching a Leadership Revolution, they introduce a concept called the Trilateral Leadership Ledger as a way to help leaders self-assess their effectiveness and track their progress. This excerpt below is taken directly from the book.

The Three Categories of Personal Effectiveness

On the left vertical scale of the chart below is the ranking of the effectiveness of the leader, with 10 being perfect and 0 being dismal. Across the bottom horizontal scale are the categories of leadership effectiveness. It should be the goal of a leader to grow in the mastery of each of these three areas. 


We can’t emphasize this too much: nobody lacking character will succeed in a meaningful way.

One of the first things a person on the leadership development journey should understand is that there is intrinsic value in developing character even if one never obtains external results from one’s endeavors. This is because who one becomes is much more important than what one accomplishes.

For the purpose of using the Trilateral Leadership Ledger and gauging personal growth, character in this case is considered to include:

  1. Honesty
    2. Integrity
    3. Courage
    4. Proper values based on absolute truths
    5. Faith
    6. A humble spirit
    7. Patience with others
    8. Discipline
    9. Self-mastery

In What to Say When You Talk to Your Self, Shad Helmstetter writes, “Mastering one’s future must surely start with managing one’s self.” John MacArthur observes, “Self-control is absolutely vital to lasting success in any endeavor of life. Many people do attain a degree of prominence on the strength of sheer natural talent alone. But the real, influential leaders are the ones who devote themselves to personal discipline and make the most of their gifts.” That is what this category of personal effectiveness is all about.


The Tasks category simply represents the ability to get things done. It comprehends all the concepts of “Work”. No leader can succeed without the ability to execute tasks. For assessing a leader’s effectiveness and monitoring growth, the Tasks category includes:

  1. Acceptance of responsibility
    2. Work ethic
    3. Availability
    4. Willingness to invest time
    5. Tenacity
    6. Perseverance
    7. Execution

Yitzhak Rabin, two-time prime minister of Israel and tireless worker for world peace, said of his boyhood, “Our home was permeated with a sense of mission. Work was considered a value in itself.” The Tasks category is the very embodiment of that statement.


The Relationships category measures the ability to get along with and form lasting bonds with people. No leader can experience success alone. Such a situation precludes the very concept of leadership. Leaders must accomplish things through, with, and for people, and that can happen only with the ability to build
relationships. The Relationships category includes:

  1. Accepting people
    2. Approving of people
    3. Appreciating people
    4. Seeing the good in people
    5. Encouraging people
    6. Caring for and about people
    7. Putting others first
    8. Seeking win-win arrangements
    9. Helping people accomplish tasks
    10. Living the “Golden Rule”

Henry J. Kaiser said, “You seldom accomplish very much by yourself. You must get the assistance of others.” That is the focus of the Relationships category.

Personal growth is not an option for a leader. The Bible says that we will never be given more than we can handle. Therefore, if we want more, we must develop the capacity to handle more. The Trilateral Leadership Ledger is both a tool for instruction on the great principles of self-improvement and a tracking device for actual application. As leaders understand that their conduct is up to them and the amplification of their natural gifts is their responsibility, they will have set out on the path of personal growth and increased effectiveness. As they take charge of improving personally, leaders can next begin embracing the idea of increasing their influence with others.

For more information on the Trilateral Leadership Ledger, be sure to pick up a copy of Launching a Leadership Revolution, by Brady and Woodward, and review Chapter 4 in its entirety.