leadership potential

Leadership Potential – How Important is it to use both Subjective & Objective Measures

I agree that leadership skills can be taught and learnt, but there is no doubt that if an individual has the hard-wired attributes that underpin great leadership their journey will be so much easier. It is for this reason that it is important to use both objective and subjective measures to fully ascertain an individual's leadership capability and how they can achieve this capability.

Perhaps I should first explain the difference between subjective and objective leadership measures.

Subjective Measures

The most common, and effective subjective measures are 360 degree leadership surveys. These surveys are designed to gather the subjective views of the individual, their manager/s, their peers and their direct reports (plus other groups as required) to paint a picture of how the individual displays leadership capability. The Multirater 360 surveys measure the perceptions of the respondents, not necessarily the reality. In other words, they measure the individual's displayed leadership skills and capability, which is very important. But these subjective measures do not allow a reliable measure of leadership potential, which is also crucial to understand to ensure that expectations are managed.

Objective Measures

When we talk about measuring objective leadership capability, we are now in the realm of predictive-normative, multi-construct psychometric assessments. These instruments possess the highest level of psychometric science (Coefficient Alpha Scores > .70) and measure an individual's core hard-wired abilities and behavioural traits; they go far deeper and are substantially more accurate than the more simplistic ipsative personality assessments. By being able to accurately measure the abilities/behaviours that underpin an individual's leadership capability, you are able to provide coaching and mentoring that will assist the individual to modify their behaviours during the workday to better achieve the desired outcomes. The key abilities and behaviours are learning index, assertiveness, manageability, accommodating and independence.

When both subjective and objective measures are used, the process is logical and the outcomes are exceptional: 

leadership potential                                                                                         


Written by Mark Purbrick

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *