Axiom's Aaron Sorensen and Marc Timmerman make the case that because leadership is dynamic and complex, leadership assessment must include multiple methods. In the July 2012 issue of Chief Learning Officer magazine they write:
What can be done to improve accuracy of predicting future leadership success, especially for more complex senior-level roles where leadership behavior is a complex and dynamic phenomena? Some tools and techniques have proven superior like assessment and development centers, competency-based 360° surveys, and some personality questionnaires in their ability to reliably and accurately assess a leader’s strengths, weaknesses, values, and fatal flaws. Because of the complexity of leadership behavior, no one tool can be the silver bullet for leadership selection, high potential programs, development or succession planning. Rather, practitioners should strive for a holistic and integrated assessment approach that builds from four key principles:
- Leadership is a dynamic and complex behavior that requires agility and coordination of various competencies.
- Complimentary methods are needed for reliable and valid assessment of dynamic and complex phenomena.
- A leader’s motives, values, and psychological needs are paramount to assess role and organizational fit.
- Integration with a learning and development path is a critical component of the assessment process.