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The Leadership Inspection Checklist

When I saw a letter from the Registry of Motor Vehicles in my mailbox, I knew it wasn’t a holiday greeting. They had sent me a notice stating that my vehicle inspection sticker was about to expire. I needed to visit a local inspection station to verify that my zippy SUV met their established standards.

This got me thinking…

I’ve been leading people in organizations large and small for some 30 years. Not once has anybody inspected my leadership abilities using a formalized checklist. What would such a checklist even measure?

I decided to consult two authorities for inspiration. The first was a website that detailed the current items on my state’s vehicle inspection checklist. The second was my followers on LinkedIn, who collectively know a great deal about leadership.

I had fun combining both inputs into a handy “Leadership Inspection Checklist” worksheet, which you can download below.

Whether on the roads or in our organizations, improper operation creates hazards for ourselves and those around us. While I can’t help you with whatever is parked in your driveway, I’ll bet you’ll learn a thing or two when you complete my checklist.

Better yet, don’t just keep the learning to yourself. Share it with your teammates, and get together to compare your results as a group. Offer one another examples of times you demonstrated the required leadership ability, and hold one another accountable to pass your respective inspections with flying colors!

Special thanks to Kit Campoy, Dean Boswell, and Tom Stewart for your contributions in response to my LinkedIn post asking for input on this worksheet!


Matt Poepsel, PhD is the author of Expand the Circle: Enlightened Leadership for Our New World of Work and host of the Lead the People podcast. He serves as Vice President & Godfather of Talent Optimization at The Predictive Index. He holds a PhD in Psychology, an MBA, and a Harvard Business School Certificate of Management Excellence. Matt has more than 25 years of leadership experience as a software executive and consultant. He’s also a US Marine, an Ironman triathlon finisher, and a student of Buddhist philosophy.

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