As an organizational leadership coach, I've performed a hundreds of leadership assessments.
Because leaders aren’t born, they're made. And often, they're promoted from within.
Many companies promote their best and brightest technical experts and project managers into leadership roles. Making the transition from managing projects to leadership, however, isn’t always a straight line. Leading requires a different skillset from managing and from technical work.
Those newly appointed to a leadership role don’t usually arrive with the leadership skills and abilities required to succeed and seldom know what they’re lacking.
Organizations that want to ensure their leaders are both impactful and successful conduct periodic leadership assessments on new and existing leaders.
These leadership assessment tools are designed to identify what each leader’s strengths and weaknesses are so that they can be offered appropriate feedback and supports to help them grow and succeed.
An Example Leadership Assessment
Our HTI Leadership Assessment interviews the leader’s direct reports and manager to identify how the leader’s current behaviors need to be adjusted in terms of either starting, stopping, or continuing.
Typically, we look at the following leadership skills and leadership qualities:
- Articulate and model their own and their company’s core values
- Model integrity and respect
- Adjust behavior when out of alignment.
- Navigate conflict to create positive outcomes
- Navigate obstacles and deliver results
- Navigate under pressure/stress.
- Take responsibility for their current situation and relationships and course-correct (if necessary)
- The high degree of self-awareness and situational awareness
- Allocate resources effectively
- Identify where support is needed and request or provide it (by self or other).
- Provide and receive meaningful and effective feedback
- Coach/mentor and develop others
- Create strong networks and relationships with others.
- Communicate a shared vision
- Create a culture of trust (among team members and within the organization)
- Champion change
- Exhibit expertise
- Actively listen
- Ask for help and expertise.
Creative and resourceful:
- Be transparent
- Be curious
- Exhibit a growth mindset
- Be adaptable and agile
- Accept the current reality
- Display grit, tolerance, and patience.
Impact and results:
- Create alignment and buy-in from team members and stakeholders to achieve specific goals
- Plan, set, and deliver attainable and measurable goals (strategic management)
- Create a high performing team and culture.
How To Use A Leadership Assessment
Once the assessors’ results are collated, we have a conversation with the leader to identify which areas were the leader’s blind spots and development areas they feel are best to focus on to net the greatest results.
Through an ongoing relationship, we then use our HTI Relationship Map and related tools to navigate a development plan that will grow their skills and abilities necessary for success.
It’s one thing to know good leadership skills, but it’s another thing to develop those skills—it’s important to make a plan to put the leadership assessment results to work.
Leadership Assessment Is Not A One-Time Deal
This process is iterative. Coaching and mentoring allows the leader to practice their newly acquired skills and abilities on the job while receiving feedback in real-time and through more formal mechanisms at pre-determined points.
Conducting ongoing leadership assessments provides the leader with a means to evaluate how quickly they're developing and the specific leadership competencies they're acquiring.
Our aim is to help people unlock their leadership potential through the strength of their relationships with those who work most closely with them.
How Do You Use Leadership Assessments?
What has worked for you? How do you identify and train new leaders in as part of your organizational development? Weigh in with your comments below.
Here's a list of tools that can help you out: 10 Best Leadership Development Programs For Online L&D 
Related Podcast: The Secret Code To Exceptional Leadership (with Ian Mills from Transform Performance International)