D'Onofrio Consulting Partners

High Resolution Leadership: A synthesis of 15,000 assessments into how leaders shape the business landscape

January 1, 2016 • Leadership DNA


DDI’s report, which you can download from the link below, examines assessment data from over 15,000 candidates for five leadership levels (frontline, mid-level, operational, strategic executive, and C-suite executive) from 300+ organizations; 20+ industries and 18 countries. Using evaluations from leadership simulations, personality and intelligence tests, DDI set out to define what competencies are driving performance and where the gaps are. The 48 page report includes 18 distinct analyses organized in to four categories. A sampling of key findings is included here.

Key Findings

  • Important Senior Executive Competencies. Organizations with leaders scoring higher in business management and leadership of people showed significantly greater net profit and return on assets.
  • Leadership Readiness Gaps. Executives today are better at focusing on immediate challenges such as improving quality, building relationships, and focusing on customers and efficiency. They are much less prepared to navigate the ambiguity arising from strategic challenges such as building or reinventing brands, markets, organizations, and cultures.
  • Industries Poised to Succeed. When analyzing results by industry, DDI assessed readiness to meet industry specific business challenges. They found wide variation in leadership readiness by industry. The report details the most and least prepared industries.
Enabling and derailing behaviors by leadership level

Development Dimensions International, Inc. 2016.

  • Personality Difference by Leadership Level. DDI identified hard-to-develop attributes or “enablers,” that contribute to leader success versus dysfunctional traits, or “derailers,” that trip them up. These differ across three leader levels of strategic executive, operational, and mid-level and are shown in the graphic above.
  • Empathy Matters. Overwhelmingly, empathy tops the list as the most critical driver of overall performance. Only 40 percent of the front-line leaders were proficient or strong in empathy however. This ranked as the second lowest skill in all “Effectiveness in Interaction” skills.

Two other noteworthy sections of this study explore gender differences and HR leadership competencies relative to its business partners.

Download the Full Report


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