Frequently Asked Questions

What is LEAP?

The Leadership Evaluation and Action Planning (LEAP) tool is a four-step process aimed at helping high-potential executives (1) gain insight on their leadership skills, (2) prioritize opportunities for further development, and (3) create an action plan that enables them to achieve important personal, career, and organizational goals.

The first step of the process is to conduct a self-assessment and collect constructive feedback from colleagues who can assess your behavior in the workplace. The second step is to make sense of the feedback that you receive so you can identify key priorities for your development. The third step is to set goals and develop a 100-day action plan that will help you create momentum to accomplish your personal goals and leave a lasting impact on the organizations you serve. The final step is to request additional feedback from your original evaluators so that you can evaluate the progress you have made and continue to outline your long-term action plan.

What makes LEAP different from other 360 assessments?

The LEAP is a unique leadership development opportunity. Unlike other tools, it doesn't end with feedback gathered from your colleagues. After receiving a summary of your feedback, you will hone in on a specific set of developmental goals that you'd like to achieve. Once you have settled on these goals, you will be guided through an action planning process that will help turn your goals into specific and concrete steps. At that point, you will have a period of 100 days to implement your action plan after which we'll follow up with you to ensure that the progress you hoped to achieve actually materialized. During each phase of the process, you will receive help and encouragement from our executive coaches in the form of video supplements. These coaching snippets offer advice on how to gather useful feedback, how to construct an effective action plan, and how to follow through on your good intentions.

We created LEAP because we recognize that many leadership development tools are frustrating and disappointing. LEAP is different from these other tools in that we incorporate the best insights from research on behavioral modification to design the experience and have used a rigorous psychometric evaluation process to develop the assessment itself. With all of this in mind, you can feel confident that you are investing your valuable time in a worthwhile endeavor.

What will I be requesting of colleagues who I ask to evaluate me?

You will be asking a set of colleagues to complete an initial assessment of you, which will be the same questionnaire as your self-assessment. Generally, it will take them between 20 and 30 minutes to complete, depending on the time they take to provide qualitative feedback. When you submit their name and email address in the 360-degree assessment form, they will receive a notification, requesting that they complete the assessment. You may therefore want to notify them before you submit their information.

Because the LEAP program concludes with a second assessment after your 100-day action plan, you should also include this information in your emails to your potential evaluators. The second assessment is exactly the same as the first one.

Who should I ask to participate in my 360 assessment?

To get a full picture of how you are perceived as a leader, you should try to identify a group of individuals that can provide a fairly comprehensive set of viewpoints. This would ideally include multiple supervisors or superiors, direct reports, and a representative sample of peers, customers or clients, and/or business partners. Take care to ask people who have had a chance to observe or work with you closely over the past couple years, as they will have the most informed perspective about your behaviors at work, your strengths, and opportunities to develop further.

Keep in mind that this assessment will not be shared with your organization. It is strictly for your own development. Consequently, it would not be advisable to only ask colleagues who you think would provide you with mostly positive feedback. Instead, ask those who you think can provide you with the most insightful perspective on your effectiveness as a manager and leader. That may include some people with whom you have not always had a strong rapport, and may include some individuals who have some critical feedback for you, or who have not provided you much feedback to date. You will be able to choose which feedback you judge to be most relevant, but since critical feedback is often not shared openly, you are encouraged to solicit the participation of people who you think might be constructively critical.

For more information on this topic, click here to view the video "Selecting Raters to Provide Input".

How much time will it take me to complete the Stanford LEAP?

The initial LEAP can be completed in 132 days: approximately 32 days to receive and evaluate your feedback and develop your action plan, and 100 days to implement your goals and track your progress. At the 132-day mark, you and your raters will complete a second evaluation to assess your progress since the initial evaluation.

How many colleagues should I ask to participate?

In order to receive a report, you will need to have at least five colleagues complete an assessment (to provide them with some anonymity). However, we recommend inviting AT LEAST EIGHT colleagues to respond, or more if you are able. If you work closely with more than eight people, you should try to invite more, recognizing that some may not complete the task.

When will I receive my 360-degree assessment report?

You will receive your 360-degree assessment report when all evaluators have submitted their input.

Who will see my assessment results?

The reports you receive are meant just for you. The only people that will see your results are yourself, and anybody with whom you choose to share the results. For example, if you work with an executive coach, you may choose to share this information with them and enlist their assistance in developing your action plan. We will not share the results with anybody back at your company, or with anybody else for that matter.

What do the evaluators need to know about me?

Your evaluators need to have an understanding of your strengths and areas for development as a leader. Optimally, your evaluators have direct experience with you in a leadership role, either as a peer, a superior, or a direct report, but that is not required. The most important characteristic of your evaluators is that they are able to provide you with objective and candid feedback about your performance in a work setting.

What information will I be asked to provide about my evaluators?

You will be asked to provide the first name, last name, and a working email address for each evaluator, which you will enter into the 360-Degree system. The 360-Degree system will send each evaluator an email message with a personalized link to your assessment.

Must my evaluators and I have online access?

Yes. The 360-Degree assessment is conducted entirely online. You and your evaluators must be able to receive email and must be able to complete the assessment on the 360-Degree website.

May I replace an evaluator after his or her name has been submitted?

Once a rater has completed the 360 questionnaire, that feedback cannot be removed from your 360 results. However, if an evaluator has not yet completed the questionnaire and you wish to replace that person, you may do so. Ask the evaluator to delete the email they received from the 360-Degree system to ensure that they do not complete the questionnaire, and then log into the 360-Degree website to submit the name of another evaluator.

How will I know if my evaluators have completed the assessment?

You are able to check the status of your raters' completion on your Manage Raters page. The system will send reminder emails about once a week to those who have not yet completed.

I am concerned that a former employer (or another potential evaluator) is unhappy with me and will not provide an objective assessment of my capabilities. What should I do?

If you have reason to believe that someone will not provide an objective assessment for any reason, you should not ask that person to be an evaluator.