Sunday, May 28th, 2017

Leadership Agility® 360: What It Measures


This innovative instrument assesses the leadership skill-sets needed for consistent effectiveness in today’s increasingly complex, fast-paced business environment.

Extremely High Correlation with Leadership Effectiveness

The research we have conducted on the Leadership Agility 360 shows that, as managers become more agile, they become more effective leaders in complex, rapidly changing environments. These findings confirm the original research upon which the instrument is based. The organizations and coaches who choose to utilize the Leadership Agility 360 can be confident it will focus feedback recipients on those behaviors that will reliably boost their leadership effectiveness, regardless of organizational or industry context.

Three Levels of Leadership Development

The research conducted in writing Leadership Agility found that, as managers become more effective leaders, they develop through identifiable “agility levels” that correspond to well-established stages of mental and emotional growth. Based on this research, the Leadership Agility 360 identifies where managers are in this three-step developmental process:

  • Expert: Individuals who operate primarily at this level of agility use their technical and functional expertise to make tactical organizational improvements, supervise teams, and identify and solve key problems, and sell their solutions to others.
  • Achiever: Managers who function primarily at this level of agility use their managerial skills to set clear organizational objectives, lead strategic change, motivate and orchestrate team performance, and engage in challenging cross-boundary conversations.
  • Catalyst: Managers who can lead at this level not only have the ability to address tactical and strategic issues, they can also inspire and lead transformative change, develop high participation teams, and collaborate with others to develop creative, high-leverage solutions to difficult business and organizational issues.

Managers develop through these agility levels in a sequential manner, retaining the capacities and skills they gained at previous levels. Strikingly, although research shows that Catalyst level leadership is generally the most effective in today’s very complex, rapidly changing environment, only about 5-10% of today’s managers have fully developed to this level. Thus, the Leadership Agility 360 is especially useful for executives and high potential managers, who often “max out” on traditional 360s, because it shows them, in specific behavioral terms, where they have room to grow.

Three Key Leadership Contexts

The Leadership Agility 360 assesses a manager’s level of agility in three distinct action contexts:

  • Leading organizational change
  • Improving team performance
  • Engaging in pivotal conversations

Four Kinds of Leadership Agility

Our research also identified four types of agility that are essential in making the most of any leadership initiative. The leadership practices assessed in the Leadership Agility 360 are organized into these four areas:

  • Context-setting agility: The extent to which the changes a leader undertakes are tactical and incremental versus strategic or even visionary
  • Stakeholder agility: How completely a leader can understand and create alignment with stakeholders whose views and objectives differ significantly from their own
  • Creative agility: How insightful and creative a leader is in assessing and solving the complex, novel problems generated in turbulent business environments
  • Self-leadership agility: How proactive a leader is in seeking feedback and in experimenting with new and more effective behaviors

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