Introducing Lead with Equity’s Leader Assessment: A new way to analyze the behaviors of leaders & managers

In February, 2023, Lead with Equity launched the first version of our proprietary assessment that helps leaders identify the skills and behaviors they need to work on to build more inclusive & equitable teams and workplaces. 

Why did we create the leader assessment?

There are a lot of assessments out there for leaders: DiSC, Strengthsfinder, MBTI, and many more. All of these assessments aim to help leaders be more effective in their leadership practices. At Lead with Equity, we believe that inclusive leaders are the best leaders. We also believe that inclusive leaders have a specific skill set that other leaders – even those who are considered effective by other leadership measures – may not have. The leadership space has historically been dominated by older white men in corporate executive positions. While John Kotter, Jack Welch, and Dale Carnegie have plenty of lessons to teach us, we believe that the next generation of effective leaders must have an additional skill set that puts inclusion and equity top of mind, and we didn’t see anything out there that measured this specific skill set.

What exactly is Lead with Equity’s Leader Assessment? How is it different from other leader assessments out there?

Our Leader Assessment is a behavioral assessment that uses real work scenarios and associated actions and behaviors to assess leaders’ competencies. Past behavior is a good predictor of future behavior, so by focusing on scenarios and behaviors, we hope to give managers an insight into their strengths and weaknesses in this area. The Leader Assessment is competency based, which means there is a set of clear competencies that each of the scenarios is trying to measure. You can learn more about what these competencies are by looking in detail at the assessment rubric.

We decided that in order to create an assessment that tested inclusion, the questions within the assessment had to be inclusive. For this reason, we curated our scenarios to extend beyond just work duties to focus on workplace interactions. Discussions around current events, addressing

mental health, and disagreements between coworkers are a few scenarios that are included. The assessment focuses on scenarios in which the team was the focal point of conflict, and the manager/leader has to react. 

Each scenario was intentionally created to be relatable regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, ability, or industry. We wanted to ensure that a scenario was broad enough for most people to be familiar with, and at the same time have elements embedded that relate to underrepresented or minority populations in the workforce. In order to test inclusion, we have to test how leaders react in a situation they might not understand or relate to. 

How did we create the Leader Assessment?

We started with collecting and analyzing the research and data about inclusive and equitable leadership, and associated behaviors and skills. From this research, we narrowed down the competencies that we believed were most important to analyze with the assessment. We then worked with some of our clients and advisors in the field to create realistic work scenarios and associated answer choices to analyze these competencies and behaviors. We tested each question with a set of clients and users, and finally came up with a scoring rubric that we believed would fairly and clearly communicate to assessment takers what they needed to work on. You can learn more details about the research we consulted in our research disclosure.

What’s next?

The assessment has been almost a year in the making, and we’re excited to put this free resource into the world to help managers develop their inclusive leadership practices. As we start to collect data and see which competencies leaders need the most help with, we will start creating more free and paid resources to support leaders and managers on their journey to more inclusive and equitable practices. Sign up for our newsletter to receive ongoing updates about these resources and much more!

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