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  • Visceral, emotional “hit” of how the leader’s behaviors affect other people from the raw, real language that people actually use
  • Rather than a 360 summary that presents leadership concepts like “ineffective communication of disagreement,” the leader instantly feels her emotional impact on others
    • “If she disagrees, she will come right out and say “you’re wrong, the world does not work that way,” instead of something more gentle. And she does it often. I don’t think she realizes how she can make other people feel stupid. It is belittling.”
  •  Instant call to action: the leader cannot help but feel driven to change certain aspects
  • Powerful confidence-booster from positive feedback:
    • “From an integrity perspective, he has the highest integrity and ethics. I can just tell in meetings, in discussions, that he’s always trying to do the right things. He’s just a man of principle, he’s just a good guy.”
    • “You feel he genuinely feels he wants to do something for the benefit of something larger than himself.”
    • “He’s positive on people and positive on possibilities. He’s like, ‘Ok, we’re in a situation, let’s find a way.’ People follow that. They like that.”
  • The leader learns about the organizational culture and his constituents: their expectations and the lens through which they view leadership. In turn he knows what he needs to do to be successful in the culture or to re-shape the culture.
  • It’s unforgettable & life-changing ~ hugely motivating


  • 12-20 confidential phone interviews (30 minutes each)
  • Simple, structured, probing interview; take verbatim notes
  • Content analysis
  • Anonymize & aggregate verbatim statements, organizing them into leadership competency categories
  • 30-45-page report of statements organized around competency model
  • With sufficient sample size, color-coding of statements according to group (directs, peers, superiors, externals, etc)