self assessment

Kouzes and Posner LPI Self-Assessment-Reviewing Your Scores

This celebrated instrument approaches leadership as a measurable, learnable, and teachable set of behaviors. The LPI Self helps individuals measure their leadership competencies, while guiding them through the process of applying Kouzes and Posner’s acclaimed Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership model to real-life organizational challenges.

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Make the Most of Your LPI Feedback

This probably doesn’t come as any surprise to you, but there’s no such thing as instant leadership-or instant expertise of any kind. Those who are the very best at anything become that because they had a strong desire to excel, a belief that new skills and abilities can be learned, and a willing devotion to deliberate practice and continuous learning. What truly differentiates the expert performers from the good performers is hours of practice. Deliberate practice. The best leaders work at becoming the best, and it doesn’t happen over a weekend.

Those who are the best at leading are also the best at learning. Exemplary leaders don’t rest on their laurels or rely on their natural talents; instead, they continually do more to improve themselves. So if you want to be the best you can be, you need to become a great learner.

Here are some tips on how you can get the most learning out of the LPI process:

  • Accept the feedback as a gift. Feedback may not come wrapped in a package with a bow, but it’s still one of the most valuable gifts you’ll ever receive. Why? Because we know from our research that leaders who are the most open to feedback are far more effective than leaders who resist hearing other people’s perspectives on their behaviors.
  • Take the feedback seriously. You might wonder, “Will it really make a difference if I increase the frequency of the behaviors measured by the LPI?” It will. Research consistently shows the same results: The more frequently you demonstrate the behaviors included in the LPI, the more likely you will be seen as an effective leader.
  • Value the difference in your observers’ perspectives. You’re a multi- dimensional person, and your feedback ought to be multi-dimensional as well. You work with people from a variety of backgrounds and from a variety of functions and organizations. Feedback from these multiple perspectives helps you see how you lead across groups and situations. The feedback from each observer helps you build a more complete picture of how effective you are a leader.
  • Plan now to retake the LPI. Great leaders continually set goals and seek feedback. The LPI gives you a snapshot in time. It is a beginning point from which to move forward. To heighten your focus and practice with great purpose, decide now that you will retake the instrument within a specific period of time-we recommend between six and nine months-to see how you are doing and identify new priorities for your practice.

Why You Can Trust the Feedback

When we developed the LPI, we conducted several tests to ensure that the instrument had sound psychometric properties. Our own, as well as independent studies, consistently confirm that the LPI has very strong reliability and validity. Reliability means that the six statement pertaining to each leadership practice are highly correlated with one another.

Test/re-test is also high. This means that scores from one administration of the LPI to another within a short time span (a few days or even months) and without any significant intervening event (such as a leadership training program) are consistent and stable.

The LPI has both face validity and predictive validity. “Face validity” means that the results make sense to people. “Predictive validity” means that the results are significantly correlated with various performance measures and can be used to make predictions about leadership effectiveness.

The Ten Commitments of Exemplary Leadership


  • Clarify values by finding your voice and affirming shared values.
  • Set the example by aligning actions with shared values.


  • Envision the future by imagining exciting and ennobling possibilities.
  • Enlist others in a common vision by appealing to shared aspirations.


  • Search for opportunities by seizing the initiative and by looking outward for innovative ways to improve.
  • Experiment and take risks by consistently generating small wins and learning from experience.


  • Foster collaboration by building trust and facilitating relationships.
  • Strengthen others by increasing self-determination and developing competence.


  • Recognize contributions by showing appreciation for individual excellence.
  • Celebrate values and victories by creating a spirit of community.

First Impressions


  • There is no such thing as a “bad” score, or even a “good” score. The LPI scores are a snapshot-an objective, current view of your leadership behaviors. They are not “grades” but opportunities for you to become more comfortable and skillful as a leader.
  • Look for messages in the data, not scores. You may be receiving feedback from your manager, your direct reports, your peers, and others with whom you interact. It’s easy to get lost in all the numbers. But don’t let the data overwhelm you. Ask yourself, “What are people trying to tell me about my leadership behaviors?” “Where do I see consistencies and inconsistencies?” “Where are the patterns that shape how others see my leadership?” Treat the LPI feedback not as a report card, but as valid and useful information that you can use to become a better leader.
  • Take personal ownership of the scores instead of thinking up excuses for your observers’ ratings. Remember that the purpose of this assessment is to identify what you can do to become a better leader.
  • Remember that the observers are referred to by letters and numbers instead of by name so they remain anonymous. Do not waste your time attempting to figure out who D1 or C3 might be. It does not matter, and you are likely to be incorrect anyway. Instead, concentrate on the messages.
  • Do not be surprised if one observer rates you significantly lower in most if not all of the practices. You do not interact with everyone equally; the lower rating usually indicates that that observer does not see you engaging in the practice behaviors very frequently. You might have to think about and create new ways to ensure your leadership is more visible.

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