Leadership Assessment Tools: How To Measure Your Capabilities
Managers and companies can’t hang their laurels simply on the status quo in a dynamic business world. Successful businesses need leaders who are willing to embrace the company culture and mission statement and become transformational leaders. But therein lies the problem. What current manager, employee, or outside hire has the potential to become a great leader?
Unfortunately, the answer isn’t always in front of you. Yet that’s what makes leadership assessment tools so valuable to business owners. By analyzing current or future managers' leadership skills and potential, businesses can improve on individual weaknesses and build a foundation around strengths. It’s a win-win scenario that’s low-cost, highly effective, and works for businesses of many sizes.
So if you’re ready to embrace the next generation of managers at your business or transform one into a leader, find out how leadership assessment tools can help.
Why You Need Leadership Assessment
Leadership assessment may seem like it has little value. If you’re a business owner, your savviness in the hiring process can help you find the perfect candidate, right? In a perfect world, sure—but in most cases, unconscious bias and favoritism can obscure whether an applicant, candidate, or current employee is the perfect person for the job.
And that’s just what leadership assessment tools aim to fix. By eliminating bias and providing factual evidence on the leadership qualities of an individual, assessments can provide upper management with the potential of a particular applicant while also offering a number of other benefits to boot.
If you’re wondering if leadership assessment is the right move in your hiring process, here are some of the advantages it offers.
Leadership Development Plan
Driven individuals may devise a leadership development plan on their own, but in most cases, it rests on the shoulders of the company. At its root, a leadership development plan is a rubric that details how a company should create leaders every step of the way.
From hiring and recruiting to onboarding to grooming for the future, a leadership development program is the cornerstone of any company that wants to improve its culture from the top-down. The only barrier to entry is deciding who’s management material—something that leadership assessment tools can solve.
The quintessential manager and leader is self-aware. They understand their leadership competencies, weaknesses, and strengths. Through this combination of awareness, managers know areas that have room for improvement and how they can use their strengths to develop the ideal leadership style and skills within an organization.
Nevertheless, self-awareness isn’t an innate skill in most employees, regardless of whether they’re in a leadership role or not. But through a leadership or personality assessment test, both employee and employer can discover whether an individual has the leadership capabilities to succeed.
Develop Leadership Strengths and Improve Leadership Weaknesses
Every person has inherent strengths and weaknesses, but the ability to realize them through self-assessment isn’t easy. Managers can often suffer from “blinders,” rendering them incapable or unwilling to see faults.
Leadership assessments ask the right questions that can determine management and leadership effectiveness, strengths, and weaknesses. While the organization still has the duty to cultivate strengths and shore up weaknesses, the determination of each is the first step toward success and change.
Whether a business is weathering a storm or growing, the need for leadership and management is always on the front line. Recessions, cost-cutting measures, rapid expansion—all of these require different mindsets—yet not every manager is apt to handle every scenario.
If time is essential, you need the right person for the job. As such, a leadership assessment tool can shed light on potential candidates, especially in times of crises.
Grow a Career Advancement Program
If you have a leadership development plan in place, you’re already headed in the right direction. The only major issue is retaining leaders once you’ve administered a leadership assessment and invested time and money in their success and development.
A leadership assessment test can help you decide what managers are worth retaining in your leadership circle, as well as formulate the best type of leadership or management training programs that can help the individual(s) succeed.
The 7 Best Leadership Assessment Tools
The best leadership assessment tools have high standards of reliability, objectivity, and a lack of bias, but unfortunately, that doesn’t narrow the scope of how many options you have to choose from.
Despite the sheer number of options available, these leadership assessment tools have well-documented results and are industry-standard tests that many companies around the globe count on. But with a combination of accuracy, validity, scalability, and more, these tools should give you the results you need.
1. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
Price: $49.95 for lifetime access
Although not a specific leadership skills assessment, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) has been a preferred personality type assessment taken by managers, potential hires, and team members since 1962. The test assesses how a person interacts with others, rational vs. emotional decision-making, perception vs. judging, and sensing or intuition.
The 90-question test takes around 30 minutes, and once completed, it provides you with one of 16 letter combinations that determine your personality traits and type.
While it may not have the same insight as leadership-specific tests, the MBTI provides the taker and administrator with vital information on the strengths, weaknesses, and characteristics of prospective leaders. From there, companies can turn their findings into action.
2. Saville Assessment
Price: $39.95 for lifetime access
Also known as the Saville Wave, the Saville Assessment has gained traction as one of the top leadership assessments in the industry. The two-part assessment is split into two sections: a personality test and an aptitude test.
Built on 15 years of research, the Saville questionnaire has a multipronged approach that can help companies decide whether to hire an individual or if they’re a strong candidate for management.
While the personality test focuses on a person’s shortcomings, strengths, and cultural fit, the aptitude portion tests the spatial, linguistic, problem-solving numerical, error-correction, and mechanical skills necessary for leadership or a specific job.
3. Unicorn Labs Leadership Effectiveness 360 Report
If you need a bit of constructive criticism to lay the pathway to improvement, the Unicorn Labs Leadership Effectiveness 360 Report is a gateway to improve leadership abilities.
The report features questionnaires for each of the eight core leadership comepentencies that can help you see how others view you, build upon your weaknesses, and guide you toward your personal leadership development plan. The areas that the test assesses include:
- Visualization of the future
- Goal-setting and standards
- Change management
- Emotional intelligence
- Duty delegation
- Communication skills
By defining your strengths, weaknesses, and outside views of you as a person and your management style, the report serves to give you a holistic roadmap to improvement.
4. DISC Assessment (Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, Conscientiousness)
Price: Free at Unicorn Labs
Similar to the Myers-Briggs test, the DISC assessment is a popular personality and leadership assessment test, but with one major change. The DISC assessment assumes that different environments can bring out varying personality traits within an individual.
This psychometric-based test studies each individual to determine their dominance, influence, steadiness, and conscientiousness in the workplace. This enables the test taker to ascertain how they approach leadership by determining your motivators, personality type, and how you interact with others.
Price: $19.99 to $49.99
Originally known as the Gallup StrengthsFinder, CliftonStrengths is perhaps the most comprehensive of all personality and leadership assessment tools. Comprised of 34 themes divided into four categories, the test enables individuals to learn their strengths, how to cultivate them, and how to maximize their potential as a leader or manager. The four sections of CliftonStrengths include execution, influence, relationship-building, and strategic thinking.
While organizations can use the test for external hires, it’s typically more useful for internal promotions due to the subject matter of the test—but feel free to make your own decisions.
6. SurveySparrow 360 Degree Feedback
Price: Free with 14-day trial
If you want to stray from the traditional route, SurveySparrow’s 360 Degree Feedback software is an interesting option. Intended to provide companies with insight based on employee responses and feedback to questions, the 360 Degree Feedback software discovers strengths and weaknesses—but it also adds hidden strengths and blind spots—two features routinely overlooked by other assessments.
With these results, companies can determine who’s a great fit for a managerial promotion, as well as a determination for a manager’s view of themselves—whether for better or worse. If other leadership assessments aren’t providing the information you need, this one is a viable alternative.
Price: Free on several websites
Comprised of nine personality types divided into nine subtypes each, Enneagram gives you 81 different categories to discern a person’s personality traits, behavior, and as a result, their ability to lead.
Compared to other leadership assessments, Enneagram is rather complex—81 different personality types may require managers and business owners to dive deeper to interpret the results. However, if you need a little extra insight into a person’s leadership ability, Enneagram is the great equalizer.
The Human Touch
Leadership assessment tools provide a base-level idea of capabilities of an individual. But beyond that, the human touch is what separates managers from future leaders—especially in terms of company culture, morale, and employee engagement.
Intuition or that certain “feeling” or “inkling” is tantamount to success when you’re a business owner appointing your next leader. Yet this alone doesn’t always equate to success. Beyond internal mechanism, leadership training is an ideal method to support and build your leaders for tomorrow.
If you can find the right leadership, investing that person is just providing the final push in the right direction. Perhaps leaders aren’t born everyday, but with the right skills and training, they can surely be forged.