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How Leadership Assessment Tools Help in Building Leaders of Tomorrow

Talent Assessment | 8 Min Read

How Leadership Assessment Tools Help in Building Leaders of Tomorrow


The continually evolving digital and technological landscape has blurred geographical boundaries, resulting in sporadic disruptions that have drastically affected businesses globally. The typical nine-to-five routine has given way to enhanced focus on virtual collaboration tools, four working days, remote work and flexible work schedule. Consequently, a leader’s role has assumed unprecedented significance in ensuring a successful business. However, organizations must first assess leaders’ skills gaps and hone them in the upcoming critical competencies to empower them to lead effectively and efficiently. 

Psychologist WCH Prentice, in an article written in 1961, defined leadership as “the accomplishment of a goal through the direction of human assistants.” He elucidated the qualities of a great leader, encompassing the understanding of a team’s key drivers and increasing employee engagement, aligned with the team’s and an individual’s best interests. 

A leader’s focus in the current milieu is toward internal and cross-functional collaboration. Leadership competencies such as empathy, internal stakeholder management, networking, developing teams, etc. have become pivotal to organizational success. What differentiates good leaders from great leaders is their ability to adapt while ensuring high-quality deliverables.

What it Means to Be a Great Leader

Management is about persuading people to do things they do not want to do, while leadership is about inspiring people to do things they never thought they could.

Steve Jobs

Leadership is the touchstone of honing talent.  Leaders test the waters, then lead their teams to follow suit. Great leadership enables individual team members to recognize their potential and pushes them to excellence even in unfavorable circumstances. Great leaders possess unique qualities that set them apart, allowing them to perform efficiently in any business environment.


A great leader can plan and implement changes effectively, maintain a competitive spirit in the organization, and lead their team through evolving workplace policies or the broader industry. We interviewed Elois Gagnon President and Executive Coach Eloïse Gagnon, Dude Disciple Founder Valentyn Svit and other leadership experts globally to identify the top four qualities of a great leader. Once organizations have recognized their leaders, they can zero in on the right leadership assessment tools for their development.

1. Leads by Example

The best way to lead is, by example. Leaders demonstrate the same behavior expected of their teams. Eloïse believes that leaders need to lead their teams by first establishing their leadership values. Leaders’ individuality, values and beliefs are integral to them. Real leadership is based on values, and the only way to authentically lead others is to put those values at the forefront of every managerial action, she adds.

Good leaders never tell people how to do things. They tell them what to do and surprise them with the results. Telling people how to do something is very disempowering while giving people freedom builds trust and brings long term value.

Sumit Gupta
Founder & Coach, Deploy Yourself

2. Builds High-Performing Teams

Emphasizing building high-performing teams, Elois stresses the need for leaders to trust their team members with accomplishing the task. Leaders’ role is to inspire, motivate and enable the potential of those working with them. She further adds, “ A leader’s contribution to a high-performing team is also to help develop a solution-oriented mindset, to see beyond the current circumstances and see what could be.”

Leaders can contribute to building a high-performance team by explaining the why behind their decisions. By taking this approach, they reinforce the purpose behind the decision, which helps team members move forward if something goes wrong.

Valentyn Svit
Founder, Dude Disciple

3. Accelerates Innovation and Change

According to Transformational Paradigms CEO Bina Patel, transformational leaders create structure, guidance and the way forward to ensure easier changes and lead the way to drive innovation. They help establish a safe environment for their teams to voice opinions, share ideas and accept constructive criticism. A manager’s role in facilitating innovation and change begins by creating a culture of safety, acceptance, vulnerability and failure. Reflecting on the subject, Elois says, “Innovation and change can only happen in a corporate culture that fosters trials and errors and human potential over hard numbers and definitive results.”

Managers play a pivotal role in facilitating change because they are often the gatekeepers from the higher-level executives to lower-level team members. This puts them in a position to see major problems that are often unseen by the executives and communicate those issues to bring change to the organization.

Valentyn Svit
Founder, Dude Disciple

4. Leads the Business

Great leaders ensure assimilating a broader point of view of all stakeholders before making decisions. As per Eloïse, Leaders’ greatest asset is their vision for the business and how they communicate that vision to those around them. Leaders must know what they intend to achieve within their business and their expectations from the people working in the business. That is how a leader builds an influential corporate culture and a sense of identity to lead the business successfully, she adds.

Leaders must possess flexibility, agility, adaptability and open-mindedness to not only grow the business but more importantly, keep the team’s morale high for them to deliver quality results in time.

Bina Patel
CEO, Transformational Paradigms

Impact of a Leader on Individuals and Organization

The present-day business environment mandates that leaders learn how to engender trust and catalyze it to inspire people. In an uncertain context, organizations and the workforce need trustworthy leaders who can navigate through crises. Leaders create far-reaching impacts on individuals and the organization. We interviewed some experts to understand how leaders create an impression on others. 

According to GetVoIP Founder and CEO Reuben Yonatan, trust is earned, and leaders who follow through with their actions by preserving jobs and forgoing profit, for instance, will cultivate the confidence needed to inspire people to fight their way through a crisis. Meanwhile, What Works Consultants President Diane Dye Hansen believes that leaders utilize their strengths to unite a team and guide them toward accomplishing a mission, which can be done in numerous ways. But it is done with respect for and service to the team, and being an example.

A strong leader can make the most of the resources they have, and this benefits every aspect of a company. Teams with great leaders are both more motivated and more productive because they trust their management to give them the resources they need and provide them with a good work environment. A great leader is also able to effectively plan and implement changes, keeping the organization competitive and leading their team through shifts in workplace policies or the industry at large.

Jon Hill
Chairman and CEO, The Energists

An excellent leader involves identifying others’ potential and challenging them to achieve it. It involves a balance between encouragement and pushing people outside of their comfort zones.

Great leadership gives people permission to fail and to get better the next time. It involves providing tough feedback and then seeing if people can improve and learn from their mistakes.

Susan Power
CEO, PowerUp Leadership

Great leaders can effectively manage their teams for day-to-day tasks while still having the vision to prepare for future opportunities and challenges. In many ways, it is about balance. Leaders are willing to take risks, but are never reckless; they are confident about their decisions but flexible enough to change course after gaining new information.

Leadership in the Current World

In a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world, leaders must realize their weaknesses and remain open to imbibing new and critical competencies required to lead successfully. The readiness and agility to manage and navigate ambiguity are valued skills set in the VUCA world. Additionally, today’s leader must possess interpersonal, emotional and mental readiness toward uncertainty. They must possess the zeal to develop potential leaders, work on improving themselves and encouraging the team to do the same. It is critical to assess these traits via leadership assessment tools.

The responsibility of successfully leading a business is vested with the leaders. Therefore, organizations must identify the existing gaps and employ means to hone those desired competencies. Leadership style assessment tools play a crucial role in leadership assessment.

Best Leadership Assessment Tools


1. Personality Tool

Personality tool is a contemporary, evidence-based leadership style assessment tool that seeks an in-depth measurement of critical, work-relevant personality traits and behavioral tendencies. It covers contemporary work-relevant personality traits found useful by industry experts and practitioners for a more comprehensive understanding of personality at work, notably more relevant at the mid and senior level. The tool offers:

New-Age Industry Relevant Traits

One of the most preferred leadership style assessment tools – the personality tool includes new-age industry-relevant traits to help organizations better navigate their leader’s workplace behavior. These traits have been found extremely relevant in predicting employee behavior. Hence, these new-age traits, incorporated in the personality tool, make it relevant to this day.  

In-Depth and Comprehensive Insights

By combining traditional and contemporary work-related traits, personality tools create a profound understanding of human personality by providing a comprehensive narrative of employees’ required personality, especially at senior levels of employment. It is one of the best leadership style assessment tools offered in the HR tech ecosystem.

Stronger Shield Against Response Styles and Impression Management

This executive assessment tool has multiple checks to deal with situations such as manipulating one’s responses or presenting oneself in a positive light to get a particular job. The leadership measurement tool has layers of validity scales to analyze and highlight a person’s distorted response pattern in terms of extreme responding, social desirability or underplaying oneself by choosing more neutral responses. Hence, the tool provides a stronger shield against faking and impression management.

2. Behavioral Assessment

A behavioral assessment measures the behavioral competencies of individuals in a simulated work environment. These assessments require individuals to demonstrate behavioral competencies in one or more activities relevant to their job roles and resemble actual organizational situations. Candidates are presented with a series of real work-related scenarios with possible courses of action. They have to select either the best option or rank the possible actions based on their effectiveness. Behavioral assessment tools are validated and reliable. They can be easily customized for all job levels and use cases. Behavioral assessment tools are incredibly effective leadership measurement tools for businesses.

To Know More, Read Behavior Assessment Tools: The Secret Sauce for Better Talent Decisions

3. Assessment and Development Center

Assessment and development centers (ADCs) are used globally by organizations as one of the most efficient leadership assessment tools. The leadership style assessment tools are designed to fulfill organizational leadership assessment goals:

Blended Assessment Center

The blended approach is a mix of physical and online tools. In a blended assessment center, few competencies are mapped using online tools with life-like simulations while the rest are assessed on physical exercises. Mercer | Mettl’s The State of Workplace Learning and Development 2020 report indicates that companies that use ADCs as leadership assessment tools experience the highest training effectiveness of 45%. Corporations are gradually shifting to blended assessment centers, an effective leadership measurement tool, as they entail the benefits of both physical and virtual, thus gaining a data-backed and insightful outcome.


Virtual Assessment Centers

Virtual Assessment and Development Centers (VADCs) can help businesses identify effective future leaders amid the digital transformation. Leadership style assessment tools such as inbox exercises, situational judgment questions and case study simulators provide a more comprehensive understanding of leaders’ role fitment by assessing them on required competencies. The inclusion of behavioral simulations in assessment centers also allow for evaluating the readiness for future roles. VADCs capture behaviors in a simulated environment, adding to the relatability and predictability. They are a potent leadership measurement tool that assists in leadership assessment and development by identifying the gaps. 

Click Here to Know More About Virtual Assessment Center Tools

4. 360-Degree Feedback

A 360-degree leadership assessment tool increases self-awareness among leaders, which can be used to compare the different aspects required for stellar leadership. Feedback is intended to provide insights on managers’ blind spots. Also known as multi-rater feedback, 360-degree feedback involves multiple stakeholders in the feedback process – supervisor, peers, subordinates, clients, etc. Hence, the generated report provides a summary of the opinions of those working with the leader. Since the responses from leadership style assessment tools are collected anonymously, multi-rater feedback is a reliable and safe means for companies to analyze the existing leaders’ capabilities.


The 360 assessment process helps leaders increase their awareness of their leadership strengths and development opportunities and forms the foundation for their leadership development plans. When the results of a function or team are consolidated, it provides invaluable input about organizational opportunities to build leadership capability, enhance employee engagement and improve business results.

Joan Hill
President at CORE Consulting Inc

The 360-degree leadership measurement tool is one of the first few opportunities to understand the critical skills needed for leadership success. The feedback gives impetus to set up personal development goals against a benchmark to track the progress. The manager is one of the chief reasons for job satisfaction. Hence 360-degree surveys become crucial in ensuring employees remain content working with their leaders.


A leader’s success during times of crisis is based on accurate data, analysis and application in devising an action plan, which is paramount for the decisions’ efficacy. Leaders must decide expeditiously on COVID-like situations. Therefore, it is critical to have a leadership assessment that assesses whether leaders possess problem-solving abilities that can be tapped into on-demand. Organizations must invest in leadership assessments to hone the leaders of tomorrow.

How Can Mercer | Mettl Help ?

Mercer | Mettl’s Personality Map is the newest and most extensive personality tool for leadership assessment in our inventory.

USPs of Mercer | Mettl Personality Map

  •    New-age and Industry-relevant Traits: Contemporary traits such as the propensity for risks, taking charge, growth mindset etc. that have been found extremely relevant in predicting employee behavior have been included in the new assessment.
  •    In-Depth and Comprehensive Assessment of Personality: Mercer | Mettl’s flagship product provides a comprehensive narrative of employees’ personality on the required 28 personality facets, especially at senior levels of employment.
  •   Strong Psychometric Properties: It features robust and significant psychometric properties with excellent reliability, validity and resistance to adverse impact, tested globally to find stable results across gender, age, language and ethnicity.

Mercer | Mettl’s Online Behavioral Assessment Tools

  • Situational Judgment Tests are used to analyze rate, rank, or select the most effective response in role-specific scenarios.
  • In-box Exercises are employed to choose the best possible response to issues presented in the mails.
  • Caselets Sets are used to solve the problems highlighted in the backdrop of a business scenario.
  • Case Study Simulators are employed to find relevant information, diagnose issues, and recommend actions.

Mercer | Mettl’s Offline Behavioral Assessment Tools

  • Group Discussion is used to assess the ability to influence, communicate and work in a team.
  • Group Activities are used to determine the ability to handle and solve a problem as part of a group.
  • Behavioral Event Interviews are used to draw out a detailed description of a candidate’s understanding of a given business situation.
  • In-tray Exercises are employed to assess the ability to prioritize, gather information, and call meetings when faced with an influx of tasks.
  • Role-Plays put the candidates within a business constraint where they are asked to play a specific role.
  • Case Presentations help assess a candidate’s confidence and communication skills in front of an audience.

We Offer Blended and Online Solutions, Customized To Your Requirements Of Scale and Role

Blended Assessment & Development Center

A mix of virtual and human intervention to accurately analyze and deliver on organizational needs

Virtual Assessment & Development Center

A fully online, location-agnostic tool to quickly and accurately assess your employess





Originally published August 4 2020, Updated December 16 2020

Megha Singh

Written by

A writer at heart, Megha has been in the content industry for 4 years. Starting her career from print, her journey spans across IT, legal and consulting industries. She has been associated with Mercer | Mettl as Assistant Manager, Content Marketing for 2 years.

About This Topic

A leadership assessment is a type of personality test used to identify and develop the competencies required in a good leader - decision-making, empathy, communication, inspiring others, etc. A leadership test can contribute to organizational planning initiatives, such as promotion decisions, succession planning, etc.

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