ChapterÂ Two.Â Best Practices in Leadership Assessment
Manuel LondonJames W. SmitherThomas Diamante
In this chapter, we examine best practices in leadership assessment, with a focus on chief executive officers (CEOs) and senior executives. These executives include heads of multinational corporations, business units, or large divisions in business, government, or not-for-profit organizations; entrepreneurs who started and grew their own businesses; and executives of large or medium-sized organizations who were promoted from within or hired from outside. Our goal is to understand methods for assessing executivesâ performance and potential to perform well at a more senior level of an organization.
Executive turnover poses major challenges for corporations. During the first 10 months of 2004, 516 major companies changed CEOs. In the airline industry alone, all seven of the major airlines in the United States changed CEOs since September 11, 2001. Surveys of management performance often find that as many as half or more leaders are not performing up to par in critical areas.
As a prelude, we emphasize that leadership assessment entails measuring process and outcomes. That is, measurements should capture not only the results of a leaderâs behavior and decisions but also how the leader accomplished those outcomes. Also, leadership assessment itself is a process. It can be used to track performance improvement and ongoing development. It is part of an ongoing, cyclical process ...