Ladders to Leadership

Introduction | Leadership and Vision | Leadership Traits | Annotated Bibliography | Survey Responses | Self-Assessment




Leadership Self-Assessment

The following list of traits and self-assessment questions is provided for the reader to use in a self-assessment of his or her own leadership traits. These include personal and organizational traits.

Personal traits

Leaders need to be able to identify, define, and articulate a vision. This can be done through a variety of means, but the leader must be able to sell the vision as a collective vision in the organization. The following traits have been identified as necessary to sell the vision:

  • Personal sense of direction (vision)
    • Are you aware of, and can you articulate, the desired progression of your career?
    • If so, how does that vision fit within the framework your current organization?
    • How does that vision coincide with the desires of your colleagues?
    • Can you articulate a vision for the organization?
    • Will that vision be shared?
  • The passion and energy to achieve the vision
    • Do you make tangible efforts to achieve that vision?
    • Have you created, or are in the process of creating, a method to achieve that vision?
    • Do you believe in that vision? Is your “heart” in to what you do as you strive to achieve that vision?
  • Optimism
    • Do you believe that your vision is achievable?
    • Can you overcome setbacks in the progress towards the achievement of that vision?
    • Do you view every day as one step closer to achieving that vision?
  • Capacity to motivate others
    • Are you able to devise and articulate a vision for the organization?
    • Have you, or do you have the ability to, make that vision a shared vision?
    • Do you have the capacity to focus the energies of other members of the organization to coordinate their efforts in attempts to achieve that vision?
  • Self confidence
    • Do you believe that you have the ability to achieve the vision?
    • Do you believe that you have the ability to motivate others to achieve the vision?
  • Social perceptiveness
    • Can you identify trends in organizational behavior and social structure?
    • Can you work within or manipulate those trends and forces in order to keep them focused on the vision?
  • Emotional intelligence
    • Do you have the ability to determine or empathize with an individual’s specific needs and desires?
    • Do you have the ability to assess an individual’s talents, abilities, and desires in attempts to achieve the vision?
  • Personal integrity
    • Do other members of the organization believe that your efforts are honest and sincere?
    • Do other members of the organization believe that you can be trusted to make the best decisions, not only for yourself, but also for the good of all involved?
    • Have your past actions defined you as a person who is trustworthy? Do people believe that the trend of those actions will continue, for good or bad?
  • Consensus builder
    • Have you listened to, and synthesized, the needs and concerns of the members of the organization?
    • During the process of articulating the vision, have others been consulted?
    • Through your actions, are members of the organization satisfied and in general agreement with the vision?
  • Risk taker
    • To what degree are you prepared to risk failure to achieve the vision?
    • Do you feel comfortable traveling down paths not previously traveled before?
    • Would you seek innovative ways to address problems as they occur, or if they are foreseen? Or will you constantly rely on the tried and true methods?

Organization traits

These are some questions to consider when you are trying to determine if the organization in question is well led.

  • Is the vision and mission for the organization well articulated?
  • Is the vision for the organization shared among its members?
  • Do the members of the organization understand the vision and mission, and their roles in attempting to achieve/fulfill them?
  • Do the members of the organization feel empowered? Do they perceive that their efforts will help achieve the vision?
  • Are decisions, both near and far term, made to promote the vision and mission?
  • Is there a demonstration of progress towards the vision?