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Leadership and Management

Leadership Competencies and Diagnostics


Leadership and Management are continuing Hot Topics for 2012

The ReadyToManage web store survey conducted in 2011 reported that the most sought-after training content area was in the Management and Leadership Skills areas. This finding underscores the continuing need of organizations for strong leadership skills.

What is Leadership?

But what is leadership, really? It is just a higher-level of management ability, or is it something else altogether? Certainly leadership sits on a bedrock of sound management principles and practices – how can someone become a great leader if he or she has not mastered the art of managing people and projects? While generally true, this assumption is not absolute in the sense that research shows that leadership is generally quite a different set of core competencies. A great manager can become a great leader, but not necessarily … some great leaders were only mediocre managers but for some reason, were able to climb far enough fast enough to find their true calling as organizational leaders.

Leadership Diagnostic Tools

One leadership assessment tool, the Leadership Effectiveness Profile (LEP), was developed by Dr. Jon Warner and is based on extensive research conducted in the UK, US and Australia. The LEP is an “out-of-the box” online assessment that measures behaviors in eight core competencies:

  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Directional Clarity
  • Change Orchestration
  • Reciprocal Communication
  • Contextual Thinking
  • Creative Assimilation
  • People Enablement
  • Driving Persistence

Each of these competencies is carefully defined in the LEP.


Here’s an example of how one competency is defined and measured in the LEP.


Directional Clarity looks at the ability to identify a credible destination and indicate how to get there in a straightforward and simple way. This category asks the question, “How clearly, credibly and unequivocally do you point the way for people to want to travel with you and to stay on track?”

Each competency is supported by concrete behaviors that are rated by the person him or herself (and that person’s manager and up to 10 others peers or direct reports, if the 180° or 360° feedback version is selected).

Behaviors for Directional Clarity:

  • Believes that people’s energy needs a clear direction in which to flow;
  • Generates a clear personal vision of what the future could be;
  • Can explain a mission or purpose in the most basic or simple terms;
  • Believes that every goal needs a measure system …
  • And so on (there are 12 underpinning behaviors for each competency).

Insights Gained

By participating in the LEP (self-rating, 180° or 360° versions) individuals gain clear insight into how they stack up against the 8 competencies and each of the behaviors associated with a given competency and they know where improvement is needed. Detailed interpretative text is provided in the color report. These assessments are great for development planning or as a pre-training activity to get participants thinking about their skills and skill gaps.

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About Anne Valenzuela-Smith

Anne Valenzuela-Smith has spent over 25 years in public sector management. She has led successful project teams in large IT implementations, work process re-engineering, organizational design, human resources, financial management and change management. Anne is VP Operations at ReadyToManage, Inc. and can be contacted at

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About the Editor and Primary Author

Jon Warner

Jon Warner is an executive coach and management consultant and in the past has been a CEO in three very different companies. Read more

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