2 tools to use when assessing your leadership potential

Steve Bax | 12 September 2019

What is your potential in leading others? How do you assess your leadership skills and understand the traits of others in your marketing team? Two of the Thomas International psychometric assessments, exclusively offered to our students for free, looks at the emotional and personality traits of individuals. 

There are numerous ways in which marketers can find out about their capacity to lead others. For some, this is being given responsibility for people and finding out the hard way. Increasingly though, organisations are far more aware of the risks of doing this and they will provide development.


Over the last 2 ½ years Cambridge Marketing College has offered two Thomas International psychometric assessments exclusively to its Marketing Leadership Programme students, as part of their course. This is a free service designed to help students better understand their capacity to lead others.


1. The Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire (TEIQue)


The TEIQue assessment measures 15 emotional traits. These are concerning:


Well-being – made up of happiness, optimism and self-esteem

Self-control – this is about how well you regulate external pressure, stress and impulses

Emotionality – your capacity to perceive and express emotions and how you use them to develop relationships with others

Sociability – your capacity to socialise, manage and communicate with others

Adaptability – how effective you are at adapting to new things

Self-motivation


Emotional Intelligence (EI) is very topical at the moment. It is often discussed as part of effective leadership but is equally important for interactions with all people at work. Understanding emotions can be very advantageous in helping you to realise your potential. 


The elements of EI include:


  • Self-awareness
  • The ability to perceive your own and others’ emotions
  • Self-motivation
  • Being able to control your impulses
  • Empathy
  • Ability to manage stress effectively
  • Being optimistic
  • Modifying your behaviour to suit a situation


2. High Potential Trait Indicator (HPTI)


What is potential?

“A person with potential is one who can grow to maximise or optimise their talent”


In the context of leadership we are looking at the factors that, when combined, give an individual a high probability of success in this role. 

Research has shown that personality traits predict approximately 20% of potential at work. Personality can be described as ‘the way we think’. Our personalities are largely shaped by our early twenties and become less variable as we get older.  

There is no simple or single measure of potential. As with all things, some are better suited to certain work situations than others. 

The HPTI assessment looks at six personality traits. It assumes that certain personality trait levels can indicate a high potential to succeed and be considered ‘optimal’ based on the requirements of a senior executive leadership in global organisations. Too much or too little of a trait can indicate characteristics that could ‘de-rail’ an otherwise successful person.


The six personality traits measured by the HPTI are as follows:


  1. Conscientiousness – combines self-discipline, an organised approach to work and ability to control impulses which others might give in to
  2. Adjustment – indicates how individuals react emotionally to stress, external events, pressures and relationships
  3. Curiosity (novelty) – how individuals approach novelty, innovation, change, new information and methods
  4. Risk Approach – how someone deals with challenging, difficult or threatening situations
  5. Ambiguity Acceptance (complexity) – an individual’s reaction to complexity and contradictory information
  6. Competitiveness – the relative desire to win, need for power and reaction to winning and losing


Our students get feedback on their assessments from Steve Bax, a certified practitioner for the assessments and one of the College’s senior tutors on the programme.


Outcomes of providing HPTI assessments to marketing students


Looking at the overall scores for HPTI gives us some interesting insight into the leadership capacity of students on this level 7 programme. 

The clear indication is that the leadership potential of our students on this programme is above average overall. 

Data from Thomas International indicates that 20% of their sample population have one trait in an optimal zone and just 5% have three. 

All of our MLP students have one or more traits in the optimal zone. Over 60% have two or more optimal traits and over 40% have three or more.


The top four personality traits with optimal scores for the student sample were:


  1. Competitiveness
  2. Risk Approach
  3. Adjustment
  4. Curiosity


Free service to our students


We offer Thomas International assessments, including TEIQue and HPTI, to all students on the Marketing Leadership programme included in the fees.

You can be sure that you will be in good company if you join the College’s Marketing Leadership Programme. To find out more about this course, visit our course page.


With thanks to Thomas International for some of the trait descriptors.

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