How to Assess Leadership Skills


The best way to lead is by example, and when it comes to leadership, it is behavior that comes first and skills second. Effective leadership requires developing human qualities that involve attitudes and behaviors and go beyond conventional notions of authority. It is essential that a good leader has a vision and keeps the big picture clearly in view at all times. A good leader is able to give orders, evaluate performance, resolve conflicts and set the pace. Followers are naturally drawn to leaders who inspire others, have integrity and can instill trust that they will do what is right.

  • Review the job description. Look at the duties and responsibilities of the position and what areas of leadership are identified.

  • Interview the person about what she considers her strengths. Ask her to identify areas where she would like to improve. Take notes during the meeting to refer to later.

  • Conduct a 360 degree review. Draw up an assessment tool that measures motivational skills, personal factors, organizational aptitude and technical abilities. Have everyone – supervisors, subordinates, back-office staff and clients – involved in assessing the person’s leadership skills.

  • Review all the collected data at one time. This will provide you with an overall picture of the person’s leadership profile. If some of the assessments were done on a 1 to 5 scale, do the required calculations.

  • Focus on identifiable behaviors. Select specific examples of intelligence, self-confidence, integrity, sociability and determination, as gathered in the 360 degree assessments.

  • Evaluate how well the person encourages team members to participate. A good leader will support other people when thy take the spotlight, as their success is a reflection on him. Further, he will encourage subordinates to be creative and to take some risks.

  • Decide if you will have the person take an in-house or an online leadership assessment. Juxtapose the data with the reviews received from people to give you a clearer idea of how to rank the person's leadership skill.


  • Photo Credit miniature model army image by Jon Barnes from
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