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A recent executive briefing I wrote titled, “Six Traits of Effective Leadership,” elicited many responses. One response predominated and that went something like this, “Well Carl, those are great traits to aspire to and it’s easy to say, ‘Sure…that’s me.’ However, if I don’t want to fool myself is there a quick and dirty way I can assess myself?” The executives who made that request were not simply interested in judging themselves by using a purely financial scorecard. They were interested in the interpersonal side of the leadership equation. To help answer that question, I’ve prepared a self-evaluation questionnaire (see below).

You’ll quickly see that one theme this questionnaire attempts to evaluate is your EQ, or Emotional Intelligence. The late David McClelland, Ph.D., from Harvard, a leading researcher and expert regarding leadership effectiveness, conducted research that found that for executives who were rated high on six or more traits associated with emotional intelligence, their divisions, on average, out performed yearly revenue targets by 15 – 20%! In addition, 87% of those same executives placed in the top third for annual salary bonuses based on the performance of their businesses. Daniel Goleman, Ph.D., the author of the book “Working With Emotional Intelligence,” provides a more in-depth look at this subject for those of you who want more information (available through my website). Goleman draws heavily from McClelland’s research.

The following survey is a self-evaluation tool, so, it’s only as useful as you are insightful and honest about yourself. If you want to up the ante a bit, ask a couple of people who know you and trust will give you honest useful feedback to complete copies of the survey – turn it into a mini-non-validated, 360 multi-rater survey. It’s best not to ask subordinates to complete this mini-survey, because research on 360s indicate that people tend not to give honest critical feedback unless their anonymity is guaranteed and if you are the one tallying the results…there goes anonymity and reliable, useful feedback. The questions come from two sources: my own research and experience working with executives and from the Harvard online ManageMentor course, Leading and Motivating (permission to use was granted by Harvard Business Publishing).

The survey has 24 questions. To complete the survey, click the link below which will take you to its webpage where you can either download or print it out.

What’s Your EQ? – Assessing Characteristics of Leadership Effectiveness