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Why Leadership is Important in the Workplace

Leadership ability is essential for employees who are responsible for overseeing and managing other employees. Good leadership skills are difficult to define because they are associated with a wide variety of abilities in the workplace, and can differ significantly from one organizational culture to another. But in general there are certain things that correlate with success in leadership positions in a wide range of organizational contexts: strong leaders are skilled at communicating with employees, delegating tasks, working in groups, and motivating the employees they oversee. Managers who exhibit excellent leadership skills can increase the company's overall productivity, improve employee morale, and reduce turnover by inspiring loyalty. Managers who lack leadership abilities can potentially do the exact opposite. As a result, managers with solid leadership skills can have far-reaching effects on an entire organization.

While leadership skills are often difficult to assess through interviews or resumes, personality tests can drill down to the traits most associated with leadership ability. For instance, these tests can measure traits such as self-confidence and assertiveness, both integral to leadership abilities. The tests can also measure cooperativeness, a trait which, for managers, should fall somewhere in the middle of the range so that the individual is not too aggressively independent but also not overly accommodating.

Employers seeking to test applicants for leadership skills can use the Employee Personality Profile (EPP), a general personality inventory that measures twelve personality traits that provide valuable insights into a person's work styles and how they are likely to interact with co-workers, management and customers. The EPP measures leadership, or suitability for managerial roles through a "Managerial" trait, and also includes a specific benchmark for managerial roles. The EPP also measures Achievement, Assertiveness, Competitiveness, Conscientiousness, Cooperativeness, Extroversion, Managerial, Motivation, Openness, Patience, Self-Confidence, and Stress Tolerance.

Of course, for higher-level leadership roles, there is no substitute for critical thinking and problem solving ability, which are not measured by personality tests. This is why aptitude tests such as the Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT) are great predictors for success in managerial roles.

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