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Leading Indicators™ from Fidello, Inc. is a research-based, on-line multi-rater tool designed for leaders and organizations to assess both present and future leadership capacity.

Leading Indicators™ is the solution for Leadership Management What is the origin of Leading Indicators™?

Leading Indicators arises out of extensive research conducted by Fidello that stems from:
  • Review of Competency Models: Literally hundreds of leadership models and assessment tools have been synthesized to bring together the leadership factors most pertinent to today’s organizations.
  • Literature Review. Insights from prominent books and articles—both recent and classic—have been gleaned and incorporated into Leading Indicators.
  • Data Analysis. Aggregate findings of more than 33,000 open-ended responses to questions such as, “What do you consider to be the top three characteristics of an effective leader?” “What are your present leader’s greatest strengths?” and “What would you most like your present leader to do differently?” are reflected in the Leading Indicators survey and database of “best practices.”

What are the most prominent uses for Leading Indicators™?

 Leading Indicators is more frequently implemented in one or more of the following ways:
  • Self Development. Leaders may use Leading Indicators as a self-paced development tool to identify gaps between where they are and where they need to be, and to access the database of best practices and resource offerings.
  • 360 Assessment. State-of-the-art on-line assessment software allows leaders to quickly disseminate feedback surveys to leaders, peers, and direct reports. Confidential summary reports are then generated along with guidance for action planning.
Other uses may be adapted to include:
  • Needs Assessment. Organizations can aggregate assessment data from Leading Indicators to identify general leadership development needs and thereby focus training options and budgets.
  • Performance Management. Organizations wishing to track the performance and progress of leaders can use Leading Indicators in support of performance management efforts, either directly or indirectly.
  • Selection. Leading Indicators provides a framework around which organizations can review potential leadership candidates, including generating criteria to be addressed in selection interviews.
  • Succession Planning. Leading Indicators can be customized to identify the factors most vital for individuals to progress to the next level. Indicators are identified for each role and leaders can then match their skills against those criteria.
  • Research. Leading Indicators can be utilized, for example, to identify and prioritized the top handful of factors that distinguish between top- and lesser-performing leaders, or other important research questions.

From where does the name Leading Indicators™ derive its roots?

Other than being a common phrase (particularly in economic circles), the name Leading Indicators is significant for two reasons:
  1. Most leadership assessment tools on the market today appear under the label of “competency” models. But effective leadership is a function of both competency and character. In fact, in FTT’s research, character issues emerge to the top of people’s ratings of leaders and represent nearly 50% of the database. Thus, the term “Indicator” is used to encompass both character and competency factors.
  2. Many leadership assessment tools simply measure a leader’s present (or past) effectiveness. But the Leading Indicators system as a whole enhances an organization’s ability to predict future potential for specific leadership roles. In such a way it becomes a “leading” indicator.
What are some of the more common indicators according to research?

Leading Indicators comprises 53 indicators categorized into eight clusters:
  • People Orientation
  • Vision
  • Communication
  • Talent Engagement
  • Team Development
  • Problem Solving
  • Job Mastery
  • Results Orientation
According to Fidello’s research, the most often identified indicators of effective leaders include:"Leading Indicators
combines the strengths
of both customized and
generic offerings."
  • Demonstrates honesty and integrity
  • Motivates people to higher levels of performance
  • Shows care and respect for people
  • Leads by example
  • Exhibits energy and commitment
  • Is open to input and feedback
  • Trusts people to do their jobs
  • Communicates openly; keeps people informed
  • Provides vision and direction
  • Mentors and trains
Note, however, that each organization and role may have a unique set of top indicators.

Which is best, a generic or customized leadership assessment tool?
Nothing quite compares with the value of a fully customized product designed to meet an organization’s unique needs and language. Sometimes, however, generic offerings are understandably substituted in the interest of budget constraints, time, and research validity. Leading Indicators combines the strengths of both customized and generic offerings. Its tested contents is supported by software specifically designed to make customization easy. From minor wordsmithing to a full revamping of categories and indicators, the options are available.
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