By far the most respected authority on corporate leadership development (and my personal hero) is Marshall Goldsmith. His exhaustive research on executive performance has generated essential information for companies interested in fostering genuine leadership. Among other important takeaways is evidence of the power of peer assessment vs. self-assessment. The truest measurement of a leader’s growth comes from those they lead.

Here are the results of Goldsmith’s exhaustive study on leadership programs involving more than 86,000 participants in eight major U.S. corporations.

“Our findings were so conclusive that they are almost impossible to dispute. Leaders who participated in a development program, received 360-degree feedback, selected important areas for improvement, discussed these with co-workers, and followed-up with them on a consistent basis (to check on progress) were rated as becoming dramatically better leaders—not in a self-assessment, but in appraisals from co-workers—6 to 18 months after the initial program.”

These companies varied in size and sector, including tech, media, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, and financial services. Six of the eight companies involved in the study were international, yet despite the cultural differences, these results are consistent across the board. (Check out the article linked to above for some great infographics on these results.)

The combination of assessment, executive coaching, and continuous co-worker appraisal is statistically the most effective leadership development and optimization technique there is. Building relationships between leaders and co-workers is key, and Goldsmith stresses that developing good leadership “involves a process that occurs over time, not an inspiration or transformation that occurs in a meeting.”

Which is why that is the core of Doubledare’s processes and programming and of Doubledare.Academy, our cloud-based LD system for emerging leaders (launching in 2017).

I’m happy to talk and brainstorm solutions to your performance and strategic issues.  Contact me at if you’d like to learn more about strategies for leadership development in your company, and let us know if you’re interested in learning more about Doubledare.Academy—we’re pretty excited about it.




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