Leadership Judgment Indicators

Leadership Judgement Indicators

You can now gain access to the LJI series of tests directly from the authors.  This will give you more choice - more choice of instruments and, very importantly, a greater variety of report options.

There are several versions of the LJI to choose from.  The LJI-2 benchmarks people against a broad leadership population. The other versions of the LJI gauge the test-taker against specific populations of leaders in:

  •     multi-national organisations - G-LJI;
  •     sales - S-LJI;
  •     local government - LG-LJI;
  •     fire and rescue services - FRS-LJI;
  •     schools - E-LJI.

Each version of the LJI describes 17 scored decision making situations. In each one, the test-taker has to adopt the position of leader and rate the appropriateness of four different ways of engaging with reporting colleagues.  After completion, various types of report can be generated that can help unravel how wisely the test-taker has used the four styles and how balanced they are in their use.  This will have implications for the way they maintain and grow the loyalty, motivation and productivity of their team.

The LJIs are situational judgement tests (SJTs), but with a difference! Each of their scenarios populate a coherent model of leadership. This model has been built upon a set of clear principles that should gear and guide a leader's behaviour in decision making situations. As these principles have been used to craft each scnerario in every version of the LJI, the internal consistencies of each test is far stronger than other SJTs. As one international psychometrician recently commented, 'The Alphas are very impressive, especially for this kind of situational method.'

Each of the LJIs is stimulating, interesting and engaging to complete.  Respondents generally need to set about 40 minutes aside to complete each test in a setting where they will not be interrupted.

Generic (LJI-2)

The LJI-2 is the generic, bedrock assessment tool from which all other versions originate.

The LJI-2 has been used globally on many thousands of occasions in very diverse settings in both selection and development. Knowing that the LJI-2 is reliable and robust can give considerable confidence in its use.  Using a paired comparison approach (fully described in the G-LJI and S-LJI Manual Supplements) Cronbach's Alpha for the LJI-2's overall judgement score os 0.83, so confirming leadership judgement as a unitary concept.  Alpha for each of the other main scores generated is as follows:

LJI-2 Internal Consistency

Directive 0.85 0.77
Consultative 0.82 0.70
Consensual 0.88 0.78
Delegative 0.89 0.80

The validity evidence for LJI-2 is equally impressive. For example, the judgement scores have no adverse impact on gender and confirm accumulated wisdom with age, experience and seniority, as would be reasonably expected.  The LJI-2 also has impressive face validity. Whether you intend to assess candidates for a Vice Chancellor position, or first line supervisors on a factory floor, nobody will baulk at completing the test. All will see the sense in its use and its appropriateness in all situations where power can be used and abused.

Test-takers are compared against a large and very diverse norm group from across the world of work. Some work at supervisory level whilst others are at the helm of very large organisations - the one common attribute is that they are all leaders.

EXAMPLE ASSIGNMENT - You are assessing Vice Chancellor candidates for a Russell Group university and wish to explore how each candidate will approach leadership decision making across a broad tapestry of situations.  You choose the Leadership Judgement Indicator to assist the Panel in exploring the merits of each candidate.

Download an example Technical Report for LJI-2 or the narrative LJI-2 Personal Insight Report.


Global (G-LJI)

The G-LJI is composed of 16 scored scenarios that have global resonance within large multi-national corporations.  The scenarios were developed in partnership with Ciba Specialty Chemicals, since acquired by BASF.  Subsequent development work of the instrument was undertaken with a number of large-scale global companies in a variety of business sectors.  It is aimed at higher-level leaders working in multi-national companies where typically US English is the language of communication.  It compares respondents with a database of managers all working in larger organisations.  The G-LJI addresses a trend towards the globalisation of assessment tools to assess key global managers who have to demonstrate cultural adaptability and the sort of social judgement necessary for success on a broad stage.

It is a very reliable instrument with an Alpha of 0.85 for overall leadership judgement. Moreover, G-LJI scores have been found to correlate strongly with Assessment Centre performance of senior site managers working on a global playing field in power supply. G-LJI scores have also been found to be significantly and positively correlated with future potential contribution in senior leadership for a global computer manufacturer. Moreover, as case study evidence confirms, the G-LJI has proved very effective in senior level recruitment and development settings.

EXAMPLE ASSIGNMENT - You are selecting a site leadership team for a multi-national chemicals company where the ability to flex style across a diverse site population is a critical competence for job success.  You choose the Global - Leadership Judgment Indicator as an adjuct to your personaility based assessment.

Download an example G-LJI Technical Report or the narrative G-LJI Personal Insight Report.


Sales (S-LJI)

To create the S-LJI, Rachel Debenham, a Sales Performance Association ‘Sales Trainer of the Year’, researched a wide spectrum of national and multi-national businesses, liaising closely with their top sales managers and directors.  In so doing, she recognised that there are specific challenges in leading sales people successfully – and specific benefits in getting it right.  The S-LJI has been written with those challenges in mind.

The S-LJI assesses current and potential sales leaders who have to ensure the motivation, effectiveness and success of sales teams.  The S-LJI aids those who select and develop sales managers or directors and those who wish to create high performing sales teams.  Importantly, the S-LJI provides an immediate, clear and telling picture of an individual’s strengths and weaknesses in terms of ability to lead a sales team.  It compares test-takers against a wide ranging norm-group including sales directors, sales vice-presidents, country managers and global account managers - there are 120 managerial job titles in total!

Rachel Sanders, who researched the scenarios of the S-LJIThe S-LJI has an Alpha of 0.87, so confirming its excellent reliability. Higher scores have been found to be related to seniority and global job grade.  Significantly higher team dollar sales have also been shown to be related to discerning use of the Consensual and Delegative leadership styles. As a result, the S-LJI has proved an excellent adjunct to the process of selecting senior sales managers.  It is especially effective in sales team leadership auditing and training needs analysis.

EXAMPLE ASSIGNMENT - You are a global computer manufacturer. The company is a direct sales organisation, selling computers to order by mail, website and phone. It provides solutions, services, systems, electronics and accessories to home uses, small businesses and enterprise IT organisations.  You choose the S-LJI as part of your sales leadership high-performance development programme and it is completed by over 100 sales managers of various levels of seniority based throughout EMEA. As well as providing targeted individual feedback it allows you to establish the distinctive profile of the highest dollar earning team leaders.

Download an example S-LJI Technical Report or the narrative S-LJI Personal Insight Report.


Local Government (LG-LJI)

The LG-LJI is composed of sixteen scored local government leadership scenarios.  In each one, a chief executive or other senior officer is leading a team within a public services organisation. 

Roger Latham (pictured), former chief executive officer of Nottinghamshire County Council helped develop the scenarios. He is also past president of his professional accountancy association, CIPFA.  Using his wealth of knowledge and experience, a diverse range of scenarios were written and honed to resonate closely with the experiences of leaders who work in such public services settings.

The LG-LJI a very reliable test with an Alpha of 0.79.  It will aid those who develop senior officers and those who wish to create high performing local government teams. The norm group, against whom test-takers are compared, are mostly CEOs, Principals, Directors and Assistant Directors across a range of functions.

The LG-LJI is currently recommended for use in leadership development settings. 

EXAMPLE ASSIGNMENT - You are a HR and OD professional working within the public sector.  You have a brief to raise the standards of people management and development within your organisation and choose the Local Government - Leadership Judgement Indicator to benchmark your progress against a national database.

Download the five report types to establish which best suits your purpose:


Education (E-LJI)

Tamba Roy, co-author of the E-LJIThe E-LJI aims to promote the development of high quality new teachers, to improve the quality of serving teachers and to develop the next generation of head teachers.  By completing it, the test-taker can be benchmarked against aspiring and very experienced leaders in education.  It will readily highlight areas of leadership decision making strength and clearly pinpoint areas in need of development.    

The E-LJI allows the assessment of a school leader’s judgement and preferred styles when dealing with a range of school management decision making situations; it benchmarks how accurately the teacher can discern the most appropriate way of engaging with colleagues, as well as the leadership strategies they are likely to employ.  The scenarios are written across the tapestry of school life, for example: 

  • The Headteacher of a newly amalgamated Primary School has to decide how to run an inset day focusing upon staff cohesion
  • The new Principal of a large Academy has to determine how to conduct an initial review of roles and effectiveness
  • The Headteacher of a Nursery School needs to establish whether assessments are disproportionately impacting upon teaching and learning time
  • The Headteacher of a Secondary School has to decide how to implement a new initiative across all curriculum areas.

It is a very reliable (Alpha 0.87) sister questionnaire to the Leadership Judgement Indicator (LJI-2).  Ex-head teacher, Tamba Roy (pictured), his ex-chair of governors and an educational psychologist, has written the E-LJI’s scenarios.  Tamba Roy’s perspective on school leadership is directly informed by working within education for 26 years, including two very successful headships when he received praise from the UK Government’s Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills for ‘outstanding leadership’.

The E-LJI has been developed for use in educational leadership development settings. Test-takers are compared against a large population of teachers with leadership responsibility including headteachers, principals, assistant/deputy headteachers and curriculum leaders.

EXAMPLE ASSIGNMENT - A school leadership team are preparing for an OFSTED inspection and they wish to demonstrate a pursuit of excellence in the quality of their leadership decision making.  Specifically, they wish to clarify how well they balance participation and control to promote healthy relationships at all levels within the school, so enabling the appropriate distribution of power to overcome barriers to learning.  The team quantitively benchmark their success by asking all members of the leadership team to complete the Education - Leadership Judgement Indicator.

Download the five report types to establish which might best suit your purpose:


Fire and Rescue Service LJI (FRS-LJI)

The FRS-LJI is an innovative test to support the assessment and development of leadership and management in Fire and Rescue Services.  Created in partnership with Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) the scenarios reflect the types of challenges which arise on a day-to-day basis in the Service.  In each scenario an officer is leading a team within a Fire Service context.  The test taker’s task is to put themselves in the position of the leader and decide upon the appropriateness of different ways of dealing with the people and the task.  It is taken online and takes on average 30 to 40 minutes to complete. 

The FRS-LJI is aimed at current or potential leaders in Fire and Rescue Services.  It is appropriate for people from the most senior levels within the Service to Firefighters who aspire to Crew Manager positions.  It will aid all those who select and develop Officers and those who wish to create high performing teams.  The FRS-LJI benchmarks how accurately the test taker can judge the most appropriate way of engaging with colleagues, as well as the leadership strategies they are likely to employ.

The FRS-LJI has been standardised against a Norm Group of 200 people from 18 Fire and Rescue Services across the country.  It represents people from the whole range of seniorities, from Firefighter to Brigade Manager.  Potential areas for using the FRS-LJI:

  • Leadership and Management Programmes.
  • Assessment and Development for Command.
  • Coaching.
  • Selection.
  • OD.

As a powerful psychometric instrument and one that works in a different way to traditional assessment tools, people who administer the FRS-LJI have to be appropriately trained both in how to interpret test taker’s performance and how to feedback the results most effectively.  Click here to learn more about the options for Accreditation Training.