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A common question we encounter is the real value of assessments in Leadership Development. In practice ,our experience is that African leaders do not optimise assessments in their leadership journeys. Could this be one of the reasons why African leaders typically only rank in the bottom 3 ranking when compared to global leaders ?

In unpacking this challenge, here are some insights from our experience in working with senior executives:

  • Leadership Assessments are seen as being too costly. However , In research conducted by Aon ( ) a significant relationship exists between delivering assessments at the mid-leadership level and CAGR Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) with a high usage of assessments. ( see above) A 133% increase is shown !
  • There is a distinct difference between routine psychometric assessment testing versus Leadership Assessment . The difference is that Leadership Assessment seeks to understand Leadership Effectiveness and not only Leadership emergence.Organisation success is not dependant on what could have been achieved ….it is based on what has been achieved!
  • Leadership assessments are often seen as a routine “ tick box” exercise that needs to be done by HR practitioners.
  • The Feedback to the leader is often “ soft soaked” when providing feedback . This is often due to practitioner inexperience and a lack of business context.
  • Assessments do not really integrate and flow into real life business challenges faced by Executives. It is in the nuances of practical business that the value of assessments can be unlocked.
  • Leadership assessments are “isolated events” and are not integrated into Personal Development Planning. Leadership is a journey and unless seen within a longer development path, they lose their value.
  • Leadership assessments are positioned only to benefit the organisations requirements. The potential benefit should focus on both the Leaders ,as well as the organisations future growth.
  • The feedback process is often done with the Leaders only. It is a crucial opportunity missed by not actively including the Line Manager as part of improving Leadership results. Consequently, there is often a divide between the Leaders journey and day to day organisation effectiveness.
  • Leadership performance evaluation does often not include the actual progress in Leadership Development ….it remains a disjointed journey.


 In our view, Leadership Assessment is the key to allowing the leadership foundation to be set . Due to our innate brains being mostly on “autopilot”, it is crucial to allow Leaders to become the “ mechanics of their brains”. This can only be achieved through effective investment in organisational Leadership assessment