For years, leaders and aspiring leaders have been told that the way to become a better leader is to accumulate a certain amount of “leadership” skills. Unfortunately, that is not how the top academic organizational leadership programs have approached teaching leadership for decades. It is taught as a leadership improvement journey where aspiring leaders discover themselves as they develop their personal leadership philosophy and are provided ongoing mentoring throughout the program. We sought to apply a similar approach using tools to measure leadership progress over time and produce measurable results.
In an ongoing leadership development training program, we conducted 3 cohorts of the Elite Leadership Training (ELT) program at a hospital in Chicago. The second cohort included leaders who reported directly or indirectly to the organization’s C-Level and other top executives to the leaders, who participated in the first cohort. The second cohort was the largest and the one which yielded the most data to analyze, which is the subject of this case study.
The proprietary Leadership Impact Assessment (LIA) was used to quantify and monitor the results of the leadership improvement training, with the survey taken before the course and at 3-month, 6-month and 12-month increments after the course completion. The pre-course average LIA (below) for the cohort indicated they were below (red boxes) the population average across seven of the nine dimensions and only slightly above average for two dimensions, assessing and reflecting.
When the cohort was reassessed 3-months after the Elite Leadership Training course, they showed improvement across all nine dimensions. Leadership improvement ranged from 3% to 22%, with an overall average improvement of 10% and median of 8%. Even though risk-taking was still below the population average, it represents a 3% improvement from the pre-course survey. This dimension is expected to improve slowly over time as the participants become more confident in their leadership abilities.
A bar chart provides a better visualization for displaying the leadership growth than the box and whisker diagram.
Leadership monitoring can also be visualized using a radar chart (below). Each band represents the assessment timeframe which easily illuminates areas for further leadership growth. The blue band represents the cohort average for the pre-course LIA. The orange band represents the cohort average for the 3-month post-course LIA. Even though there was improvement in several of the dimensions, the radar chart better visualizes the need for continued improvement in the Risk-Taking, Reflecting and Coaching dimensions. The radar chart can be used to monitor improvement for groups as well as individuals as it easily displays the changes from one assessment to another.
The LIA enables assessment of where participants are before a leadership program and tracks their improvement after the conclusion of the program. To assessment can be utilized to monitor and track individual progress, group/cohort progress and position-level progress. When used in conjunction with our database of all past participants, it can also be utilized to compare individuals or groups to the population averages. By documenting the improvement results, organizations can quantify leadership development progress as well as measure their return on investment.
Measuring leadership progress is essential to demonstrate aa leadership program’s effectiveness. As William Edwards Deming, the leading management thinker in the field of quality, once said, “Without data you’re just another person with an opinion.” That is where most organizations currently are in determining their leadership program effectiveness. Let’s change the narrative!
002 - Leadership IMPACT Assessment
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We have developed an instrument to better measure and monitor the results of leadership improvement training called the Leadership IMPACT Assessment (LIA). It was developed from the key concepts from the books, The Path to Elite Level Leadership (PTELL) and Prescribing Leadership in Healthcare (PLIH). The assessment examines leadership along 9 dimensions summarized into two categories: the Potential for leadership and the Practice of leadership. When used in conjunction with the Professional Leadership Training course, it enables individuals to assess where they are before the course and tracks their improvement progress after the conclusion of the course. By quantifying the improvement results, it helps measure the return on investment of the leadership improvement program.
The 19-page report with your results will be emailed to you usually within 1 business day.