Establishing Leadership Assessments: 3 to Try Today

Business owners and entrepreneurs should have a strong understanding of their own leadership skills and the ability to recognize leadership within their employees. Leadership assessments are essential tools for growing talent and skills within your company. Since leadership is a complex skill that applies to every aspect of a business, the most useful leadership assessments rate and describe a variety of elements. It is important to stay up to date on the best leadership assessments available in order to provide high-quality leadership in the workplace.

Related: 7 Effective Skills to Help You Become a Better Leader


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What are leadership assessments?

Leadership assessments are tests that identify the unique leadership skills and abilities of an individual. They measure different aspects of leadership, such as aptitude for specific skills and general disposition, which can improve the understanding and development of a team’s natural talents and skills. Each leadership assessment focuses on different leadership skills, but some of the most common elements include:

  • Motivation
  • Positivity
  • Empathy
  • Integrity
  • Creativity
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Responsibility
  • Determination

Many leadership assessments are self-assessments, meaning that they provide results based on the person’s perception of themselves. They ask questions that encourage the test-taker to think deeply about their values and characteristics, allowing them to become more self-aware and recognize their strengths and weaknesses more easily in the workplace. Leadership assessments often use growth-based results, so even people who have a low aptitude for leadership can identify ways to make improvements based on their personality and work style.


Benefits of leadership assessments

Whether you’re looking for a leadership assessment to improve your own managerial skills or are hoping to establish leadership assessments as a regular part of your training and employee evaluations, leadership assessments offer convenient guidelines for understanding how you and others view leadership. Other benefits include:

  • Recognizing talent
  • Creating a culture of growth
  • Improving business development efforts
  • Fostering self-awareness


Recognizing talent

Employers who administer leadership assessments company-wide have the opportunity to recognize which employees have the greatest potential for growth. Results also help employers and small business owners place employees where they can use their skills most effectively, improving the overall efficiency and health of the business.


Creating a culture of growth

Most leadership assessments identify both positive and negative aspects of common personality profiles and skill sets. Regardless of how advanced your leadership skills may be, leadership assessments still provide insight into where you can improve. Likewise, people with underdeveloped leadership skills can use leadership assessments to recognize their strengths and increase their overall skill level.


Improving business development efforts

The results of your leadership assessments are valuable data for determining how leadership factors into your specific company culture. Understanding the leadership styles of the people you employ and work with improves your ability to make decisions about the direction of leadership in your business.


Fostering self-awareness

Leadership assessments can help put the information you already know about yourself into the context of leadership in the workplace. They have many thought-provoking questions that could uncover new insights about your leadership abilities and possible places for improvement.

Related: How to Manage Employees


3 popular leadership assessments

There are many leadership assessments easily accessible online, each of which targets different qualities. Consider starting with leadership assessments that have a large scope, then look for other tests to learn more about a particular area. Here are three of the best leadership assessments to try today:


Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

The MBTI or Myers-Briggs is a personality test that divides people into 16 distinct personality types based on the psychological tendencies of introversion or extroversion, sensation or intuition, thinking or feeling and perceiving or judging. This assessment helps you understand how different personality types interact and how your natural tendencies influence workplace behavior.


Leadership Blind Spot Assessment

As one of many management resources from the Princeton Management Consulting Group, this assessment helps you become more self-aware through a series of questions about how you receive and give feedback. This assessment finds "blind spots" or areas of improvement, on an individual level and within a team, company or market. It rates self-awareness based on the resources available for honest, holistic feedback and personal attitude.



CliftonStrengths focuses on your natural aptitude for leadership skills and teaches you how to grow your strengths. After you rank the accuracy of 177 statements in relation to your characteristics, CliftonStrengths analyzes your answers based on 34 common themes. These themes are spread across four categories of influencing, executing, relationship-building and strategic thinking to assess your most prominent talents in different areas.


Tips on establishing leadership assessments

Use these tips to make sure you’re getting the most out of these assessments and can apply them to your company’s mission/vision:

  • Incorporate leadership assessments into orientation and onboarding to get a baseline of everyone’s skills.
  • Create a leadership profile to compare employees’ leadership assessment results and  choose the most applicable assessments that measure the qualities you’re looking for in yourself and your team.
  • Retake leadership assessments periodically to track your progress, note any changes and help you focus your efforts on areas that still need improvement to become a better leader.


Leadership assessments FAQs

Here are some of the frequently asked questions about leadership assessments in a small business:


What is the difference between a personality test and a leadership assessment?

While some leadership assessments have a personality test format, leadership assessments specifically aim to improve and analyze your capacity to lead others. Some more advanced, research-based personality tests like the Myers-Briggs can be used as leadership assessments in the correct context.


Can I improve my scores on a leadership assessment?

Some leadership assessments test skills directly, but they usually focus on providing a holistic view of your behavior and personality instead of giving a grade. You can work to improve your overall leadership skills, which will likely change your results.


When should I take a leadership assessment?

Take leadership assessments when starting a new job or project so that you can track how your skills develop over time. Consider taking a leadership assessment during annual performance reviews to add an additional perspective on your success in the workplace. Choose a time when you feel relaxed and focused so that you can offer the most insightful answers in each assessment.


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