5 Reasons You Need An Executive Leadership Assessment

As a senior leader, you have probably taken some type of assessment during the course of your career. The results provided you with insight into your strengths and weaknesses and helped you become more self-aware. However, even at the most senior levels it is still critical to take some type of leadership assessment on a regular basis because you need to continue to improve your performance for maximum benefit regardless of how long you’ve been in your position. Here are 5 reasons you should take an executive leadership assessment.

1. THE HIGHER THE POSITION, THE LESS LIKELY YOU RECEIVE FEEDBACK

It’s easy to believe that you don’t need feedback at the most senior levels of management. You’ve made it to the top so you must know all that you need to know, right? Also, it’s harder for you as a senior leader to receive open and honest feedback even if you seek it from your peers, direct reports and other colleagues. A 360 degree assessment that is completely anonymous is an excellent way for you to receive the type of candid feedback necessary regarding your leadership, behavior, capabilities and performance from your team members who wouldn’t feel comfortable addressing these concerns with you in person.

2. LINK BUSINESS STRATEGIES WITH YOUR LEADERSHIP COMPETENCIES

Leadership assessments are an excellent way to determine if you have the essential skills to move your company in the direction needed. Your organization’s business strategies are vital to improving the bottom line and it’s critically important to link those strategies with the skills required for success today and in the future. Assessments will help you identify which competencies need further improvement so you can develop a long-term strategy that’s built to change and adapt as the business climate necessitates.

3. COMPARE YOUR SKILLS AGAINST INDUSTRY STANDARDS

Perhaps you have been in your position for several years. Are you keeping up with the ever changing business climate in your industry? It’s much too easy to become complacent with your capabilities when you’ve been in the same job for an extended period of time. By conducting a leadership assessment, you will be able to identify how your skills match up with what the industry standards are and whether they are the competencies necessary to stay ahead of the competition.

4. IDENTIFY KEY GAPS AND WORK TO RESOLVE ISSUES BEFORE THEY COST THE COMPANY MONEY

Derailing leaders cost companies millions of dollars through lost productivity decreased revenue due to poor performance. By taking an assessment on a yearly basis, you will be able to identify any key competency gaps or issues that could cause significant problems for the organization. Then you will be able to get the appropriate coaching and training needed to improve your skills and avoid a complete derailment. After all, just like in medicine, prevention is the best strategy for avoiding illness.

5. LEAD BY EXAMPLE TO IMPROVE THE COMPANY’S CULTURE

A leader who participates in assessments helps to set a positive tone for the team, department and company. This willingness to assess your leadership skills shows others at all levels what is expected and supported throughout the organization. It helps to create a culture of engagement, openness and validates the importance of continuous professional development.

When was the last time you took an assessment? Make sure you stay current on your leadership skills and help improve your company’s bottom line through regular assessment of your executive leadership performance.

Be A Great Leader – Save Feedback

 

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Are you a great leader? Would your peers, bosses and, most importantly, your subordinates say you are a great leader? Often times the view we have of ourselves is different from the way other people see us. You may think you’re strong, focused and determined. Others may see you as single-minded, unwavering and controlling.

Most leaders at every level know that feedback is an important part of the leadership development process. You learn what you do well and you identify the areas to focus on for improvement. Great leaders not only understand the importance of seeking feedback, but they also value implementing changes in their leadership style based on what they learn. The best way to think of this is by using the acronym SAVE: Seek, Apply, Verify, Exercise.

SEEK FEEDBACK

Maybe you do seek feedback from your boss, especially during yearly performance reviews. However, seeking feedback from your boss or one group of people does not provide the whole picture. One key to seeking feedback is to expand the pool from which you seek it. You have to be willing to seek feedback not only from your boss, but also your peers, employees, team members, and others across many department and levels to gain a true representation of your leadership style and performance.

APPLY FEEDBACK

What good is feedback if you don’t listen to the suggestions or make changes based on what is said? You might not agree with the feedback suggested (“Oh they simply don’t understand me”) but a great leader realizes he has to actually hear what is being said and apply the feedback to make changes for the better. Ask the feedback provider for specific suggestions (i.e. “How would you like to be recognized more often?”) and then make the commitment to incorporate it into your daily routine.

VERIFY FEEDBACK

Once you have implemented suggestions to make it part of your behavior or daily habit, verify with the person who made the recommendation that you’re doing what they suggested. This not only shows you want to improve your performance, but it also signals to the person who provided the feedback that you care about them. Once they see that you actually heard what they said and started applying it to your situation, they will realize that you are truly concerned about them as a person and value their feedback. This is a key step to improving trust with your team or department.

EXERCISE FEEDBACK

Asking for feedback is good. Applying and verifying it is even better. Best of all, is when you make this a customary practice. Seeking feedback once a year is simply not often enough to be effective. By exercising the feedback process on a consistent basis, you’re developing a life-changing habit to continuously improve. Consider seeking feedback at a minimum every week or better yet, every day. Choose a different person to approach and ask him/her a specific question such as: “What can I do better to communicate my ideas? How can I improve the morale in the office?” Your team may think it strange at first and be reluctant to participate, but once it is established as part of an open and caring environment, everyone will want to step up their performance.

Seeking, applying, verifying and exercising feedback consistently will impact you, your team and your organization in positive ways. Once you learn to SAVE Feedback as a normal process for you, you’ll be one step closer to being the great leader you want to be.

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