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Leadership Assessment Instrument

Purpose and Overview

The purpose of this Leadership Self-Assessment is to provide a leadership profile based on the competencies necessary for strong, superior leadership. The data that you provide will enable you to construct a profile, complete with areas of strength and areas for future development.

Leadership Assessment Instrument

 Please complete the instrument by assessing your own behaviors and skills according to the direction below. Be honest -the more rigorous you are, the better you can target your development needs. Remember, the instrument is meant to assess how you believe that you actually are; not how you think you should be.


Instructions:  For each of the 45 items listed on the following pages, consider how much the stated behavior characterizes you own behaviors, thoughts, intentions, or skills in on-the-job situations, and then rate yourself according to the following scale: 4 = I consistently demonstrate this behavior, 3 = I often demonstrate this behavior, 2 = I sometimes demonstrate this behavior, and 1 = I hardly ever demonstrate this behavior.






Hardly ever

Not rated

1.  I prioritize tasks when faced with limited time and/or resources.

2.  Once I make a suggestion about an issue, I don't think about it further.

3.  I follow through on every commitment I make.

4.  I steer through ambiguity and 'information clutter' to resolve complex problems.

5.  I ask questions to try to piece together 'unrelated' information, events. etc.

6.  I build momentum by spending 90 percent of my time on the top 10 percent of my priority list.

7.  I view my 'wins' with pride and humility.

8.  I sacrifice my principles if they are not working.

9.  I sort out alternatives by 'winging it'.

10.  I make connections that reveal key issues, problems, or opportunities.

11.  I direct my energy equally at all pending issues.

12.  I emphasize positive features of situations even after setbacks or when facing huge obstacles.

13.  I ignore requests from people below me, if I don't have time.

14.  I test ideas and assumptions by reviewing them first with leaders and critical thinkers.

15.  I accept a problem at face value, even though there may be less obvious underlying factors driving the problem.

16.  I find a way to 'get it done' and will sacrifice personally to achieve a goal.

17.  I understand my own emotions and feelings and how they impact a situation.

18.  I help individuals and teams reach higher levels of performance by displaying confidence in them at critical junctures.

19.  I am receptive to new ideas of others and try to improve or enhance them in a non-threatening manner.

20.  I take into account the potential implications of a decision, before moving forward.





Hardly ever

Not rated

21.  I keep my primary focus and avoid unnecessary distractions.

22.  I successfully channel my anger.

23.  I help build shared goals to reinforce individual commitment to the organization.

24.  I create new business ideas by thinking 'out of the box', as well as in a sound business fashion.

25.  I connect processes within my organization to assure that implementation remains constant and reliable.

26.  I communicate the critical nature of goals so that others also focus on those goals.

27.  My moods vary with the situation.

28.  I provide clear feedback on the issue (and not the person) so that the person will accept and consider feedback.

29.  I ask 'what if?' questions and play out scenarios to test new business ideas that challenge the status quo.

30.  I make sure that new ideas are integrated with established procedures/processes.

31.  I act decisively.

32.  I consider the feelings of others before taking action.

33.  I articulate a vision to motivate others to help reach that vision.

34.  I have the ability to create unorthodox or revolutionary concepts that growth or profit potential.

35.  I see my organization as a collection of of isolated processes and parts.

36.  I strive for ambitious goals, rather than for easy achievable results.

37.  I treat different people differently, with the appropriate amount of candor, depending on each individual's unique makeup.

38.  I emphasize individual responsibility rather than building teams.

39.  I proceed with a new idea before taking time to check on its feasibility.

40.  I pull together different concepts to create clear themes and pathways.

41.  I find difficult and creative solutions to obstacles that block the path toward achieving goals.

42.  If a team rejects one of my suggestions, I consider it their problem.

43.  I trust others to get the job done.

44.  I seek solutions to problems instead of falling back on established protocol.

45.  I try to make sure that my organization does not 'reinvent the wheel'.

Leadership Self-Assessment Answer Sheet

1. Fill in the numbers from your responses - place scores for asterisked questions on the left side of the '/'
2. Change the asterisk question scores using the scoring system below
3. Add up the columns - making sure to use the changed asterisk numbers on the right hand side of the '/'
4. For all questions with an asterisk (2, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15, 27, 35, 38, 39, and 42), change the scores as follows:


Focused Drive

Emotional Intelligence

Building Trust/Enabling Others

Conceptual Thinking

Systems Thinking

1. ________

*2. _______

3. ________

4. ________

5. ________

6. ________

7. ________

*8. _______

*9. _______

10. ________

*11. ________

12. ________

*13. _______

14. ________

*15. _______

16. ________

17. ________

18. ________

19. ________

20. ________

21. ________

22. ________

23. ________

24. ________

25. ________

26. ________

*27. _______

28. ________

29. ________

30. ________

31. ________

32. ________

33. ________

34. ________

*35. _______

36. ________

37. ________

*38. _______

*39. _______

40. ________

41. ________

*42. _______

43. ________

44. ________

45. ________







Leadership Development Planning

1. Transfer the overall competency scores from the answer sheet to the corresponding boxes below.
2. Plot points on the graph using the scale on the left.
3. Connect the dots to see your overall compentency profile


Absolute Strength - 36






Relative Strength - 30






Possible Development Area - 24






Development Area - 18






Possible Block - 12







Focused Drive

Emotional Intelligence

Building Trust/Enabling Others

Conceptual Thinking

Systems Thinking

Competency Scores






About the Leadership Assessment Instrument

This instrument focuses on five personal characteristics, or competencies, essential to effective leadership. Knowing your strengths and opportunities for development may help your future training and career choices.

The five categories the instrument assesses are:
1. Focused drive
2. Emotional intelligence
3. Building trust/enabling others
4. Conceptual thinking
5. Systems thinking

Focused Drive

The competency of focusing on a goal and harnessing your energy in order to meet that goal -a balance between the components of:
Focus: the ability to identify an important goal or vision and to channel efforts at specific targets that support that goal or vision.
Drive: the ability to persevere, sacrifice (when necessary), and expend high degrees of energy to reach high levels of performance.

Emotional Intelligence

The competency of understanding and mastering your emotions (and those of others) in a way that instills confidence, motivates, inspires, and enhances group effectiveness -a balance between the components of:
Perception: the ability to read emotions and thoughts of others through the use of insight and analytic skills
Emotional Maturity: the ability to master emotions and cope with stress in a way that instills confidence, motivates, and enhances group effectiveness.

Trusted Influence

The competency of evoking trust from others and placing trust in others to enable them to succeed -a balance between components of:
Commitment: the ability to evoke trust from others by keeping committments, adhering to high ethical standards and principals, and building shared goals or values.
Empowerment: the ability to help others reach higher levels of performance through trust, delegation, participation, and coaching.

Conceptual Thinking

The competency of conceiving and selecting innovative strategies and ideas for your organization -a balance of the components of:
Innovation: the ability to create/enhance ideas, products, and services that lead to bottom-line success.
Big-Picture Thinking: the ability to see all of the forces, events, entities, and people that are affecting (or are being affected by) the situation at hand.

Systems Thinking

The competency of rigorously and systematically connecting processes, events and systems -a balance between the components of:
Mental Discipline: the ability to sort through ambiguity and alternatives in a way that crystallizes and puts ideas into action.
Process Orientation: the ability to increase overall learning and performance by designing, implementing, and/or connecting processes.

Acknowledgements: This instrument is excerpted from the The Leadership Assessment Instrument and Development Guide, 1999 Linkage, Inc. The original version of this instrument was researched and developed by Linkage, Inc., in partnership with Dr. Warren Bennis. Frank Clearfield, NRCS, Social Sciences Institute, significantly modified this version of the instrument.