Surprisingly there is still a debate over the impact of leadership on employee engagement. We continue to see the correlation between employee engagement and performance but often fail to make the connection between leadership behavior and the level of engagement within a team or organization.

My original mentor, Jim Brown, taught me to seek out the root cause when problem solving. Unfortunately, that's not what's happening as organizations attempt to address the employee engagement issues they're seeing. Conducting employee engagement surveys serves the purpose of confirming the existence of a problem. There's a huge difference between knowing you have a problem and working toward a solution. If communication continues to show up as an engagement factor why aren't leaders better at communicating? Seems simple, right?

We've known for years that there is a correlation between leadership behavior and capability, and employee engagement. Providing leadership skill training while a great idea, is still a shot in the dark if your front line leaders either lack leadership DNA or are unaware of the influence their behavior has on the relationships they cultivate with direct reports and peers. A solid leadership development plan factors behavioral self-awareness into the equation. If leadership DNA pushes someone to focus more on results than communication guess what? Communication will continue to be a problem.

Understanding your leadership DNA is a must in today's hyper-competitive economy. Psychometrics such as the McQuaig Self-Development behavioral assessment, the Wonderlic Cognitive abilities test and the emotional intelligence assessment EQ-i 2.0 provide the insights a leader needs to be aware of the effect they have on the people that report to them. Those psychometric tools should form the basis of any individual leadership development plan and the cornerstone for a leadership development program.

The McQuaig Institute conducted a survey of 1038 business leaders in 2011 using the McQuiag Word Survey behavioral assessment. The results confirmed what we've been seeing across organizational boundaries for years. The vast majority (80%) of leaders in this study shared the following behavioral traits:
  • Assertive
  • Goal oriented
  • Driving
  • Self directed
  • Had a high sense of urgency
  • Decisive

The one area that we saw a significant difference across the group was in how social they were. This one trait ended up in a balanced position. This meant that the study group was equally split between being social, engaging, collaborative leaders and being analytical, direct, commanding, task oriented leaders.

We have included a downloadable version of the leadership report that is based on the composite behaviors of the group that completed the McQuaig Word Survey bevavioral assessment. Give us a call or email us if you'd like to know what your leadership DNA is.
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