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When leaders are provided with reliable, objective and valid feedback about the way they think, behave and the impact of their leadership styles on others (effective and ineffective) they can build strategies for improvement and overall effectiveness. We believe using a 360-degree feedback tool such as the Life Style Inventory (LSI) can increase self-awareness and help build constructive styles of leadership to achieve greater performance and positive work culture in the work place.

One of the things I learnt over the years working in the field of leadership development and with hundreds of leaders across many industries and organisations, is that skills development programs alone are not enough to build leadership excellence and effectiveness.

In fact, I believe that the key to professional development is self-awareness and the key to self-awareness is seeking frequent critical feedback from a number of sources (manager, peers, team, customers) through tools such as an objective 360-degree feedback process.

This view is also validated by leadership pioneers such as Peter Drucker who said, “You cannot manage other people unless you manage yourself first.” If this is true, the majority of leadership education and training programs have it backward. Most leadership education start with skills like strategy, people management, and finance.

However from Drucker’s point of view, this approach starts at the end and misses the beginning. It’s like building a house by starting with the roof.

You cannot manage other people unless you manage yourself first.

- Peter Drucker
Like Drucker, we argue that leadership starts with yourself. More specifically, it starts in your mind. By understanding how your mind works, you can lead yourself effectively. By understanding and leading yourself effectively, you can understand others and be able to lead them more effectively. By leading others more effectively, you can lead your organisation more effectively-and by “more effectively,” we mean in a way that’s going to tap into your own and your people’s intrinsic motivations and sense of purpose.

If you’re able to do that, (and we have witnessed that with practice and persistence, anyone can) you’ll have a more engaged and productive workforce. Perhaps more importantly, you’ll be part of creating more happiness, stronger human connectedness, and better social cohesion within and beyond your organisation.

We find using a 360-degree psychometric profiling tool such as the Life Style Inventory (LSI) allows leaders to validate their effective styles of behaviour and equally provoking a conscious awareness around ineffective styles of behaviour. Together with coaching, this process enables constructive and reflective discussions to take place, identifying styles of leadership that could benefit from change and developing strategies to make that change happen.

How it Works

The LSI is administered in two parts. LSI 1 is a self-assessment by the individual, where they assess their thinking style, personal effectiveness and satisfaction at work.

LSI 2 is completed by up to twenty selected peers, direct reports and immediate manager(s). They each provide their feedback of the individual’s strengths, unrecognised strengths, blind spots and stumbling blocks.

The results are compiled into a comprehensive, confidential report, which is provided to the individual by an accredited practitioner/coach. The practitioner discusses the findings, recommendations and strategies for change.

Unique Features

The LSI results are provided as a visual representation of the LSI 1 and LSI 2 on two separate circumplexes. The individual’s thinking and behavioural approaches are categorised according to twelve styles, which are grouped into three broader, colour-coded styles, as per below:

Blue: Constructive Styles (Achievement, Self-Actualising, Humanistic-Encouraging, Affiliative)

Green: Passive/Defensive Styles (Approval, Conventional, Dependent, Avoidant)

Red: Aggressive/Defensive (Oppositional, Power, Competitive, Perfectionistic)

LSI inventory guide 2

Why We Like It

wm consulting has observed strong results with this diagnostic tool. Some of the features that make it so successful include:

Ease of Use: The LSI surveys are available online and on almost any digital device

Versatility: The tool can be used at all levels within the organisation

Reliability and validity: The reliability and validity of the LSI have been thoroughly researched and established in a wide variety of populations – i.e. it consistently measures what it claims to measure

Tangible Results: Some of the longer term individual outcomes that can be expected following the implementation of LSI include:

  • improved effectiveness in role
  • improved capacity to cope with stress, pressure and change
  • improved capacity to achieve individual goals
  • increased flexible and creative thinking
  • improved interpersonal relationships
  • increased personal effectiveness
  • Improved work culture and increase in level of accountability and performance


The LSI helps leaders and employees to think and behave in optimal ways, allowing them to reach their full potential and thereby contributing to the overall success of the business. Also,consider the sister tools: the Group Styles Inventory™ and Organisational Culture Inventory® collectively these assessments offer an integrated approach to individual, group and organisational thinking and behavioural styles.

Contact wm consulting today