Unlocking Leadership Potential Through Self-Awareness: The Leading Dimensions Profile

Leading Dimensions LeaderSurf Session

LeaderSurf is billed as leadership development done differently.  As the program was being built, we were looking for the right set of tools and activities to include that would differentiate LeaderSurf from traditional leadership development programs.  By combining leadership development, executive coaching, business challenges, humanitarian aid and surfing lessons during a week-long program in Nicaragua, Central America, the program takes a unique approach to developing leaders.  Participants gain a new perspective on the world, practice servant leadership, become more self-aware, learn a new model for seeking help and helping others and gain personal insights into their own leadership strengths.

While the program is built around providing new experiences for a group of leaders from various companies and industries, we felt that it was important that we utilize a psychometric assessment tool that could provide greater personal insights.  Having worked with Myers Briggs, Birkman, FIRO, Situational Leadership, DISC and other tools we determined that this new program required a new tool as well.  In exploring the biggest barriers to leadership success we have found that individuals with a high achievement drive struggle making the transition from “doer” to “leader”.  We wanted an assessment tool that could capture the motivational factors and behaviors required for leadership success and making that transition.

Our research led us to the Leading Dimensions Profile.  The Leading Dimensions Profile (LDP) is a 95-item survey, based on a multi-dimensional framework that measures two primary motivational factors and ten supporting behavioral characteristics (referred to as dimensions). The primary factors, Achievement Drive and Relational Drive, are presented on the widely-used 2x2 grid format, describing an individual based on one of four unique personality styles: 

LDP Chart LeaderSurf



+ Consultative Counselor

+ Adaptive Coach

+ Directive Driver

+ Contemplative Advisor


The LDP specifically addresses the need for leaders to flex their style to address the specific needs of the situation and the people who they are leading.  The LDP reports offer participants highly tailored insights into their personality styles and provides detailed explanations for each of the measured factors.  The Leading Profile Report equips the leader with intrapersonal awareness, to expand interpersonal influence, so that they may interactively engage with their teams.  In addition to mapping an individual to a specific personality style, the LDP provides details on the two axis:  Achievement Drive and Relationship Drive.  This is where the tools provides such powerful insights to leaders.  Those most likely to be promoted to a leadership role begin their careers as drivers.  There are typically people with a high achievement drive and a focus on execution.  As the level of responsibility is increased and the number of direct reports increases, achievement is accomplished less by doing and more by influencing.  Influence is a relationship focused skill.  To be an effective people leader one must learn to balance their achievement and relationship drives.  Senior leaders must recognize the importance of empowering others and taking on a more servant leadership approach and style.  This is a very difficult transition for most leaders.  The Leading Dimensions Profile assessment helps paint a very clear picture of an individual’s strengths and development areas.

For the LeaderSurf program, we leverage the LDP as pre-work for all participants.  We spend a four hour module of the program on the Leading Dimensions Profile and leverage it during our one on one coaching sessions as well. According to a recent LeaderSurf participant,

“This assessment was very thorough and useful. My understanding of the results and the analysis of the different quadrants is something I will use going forward.”

The LDP is an important component of the LeaderSurf program because it reinforces the overall program goal of helping leaders to become more self-aware.  We believe that self-awareness is the differentiator between good leaders and great leaders.  The best leaders tend to be highly self-aware.  The LDP tool does an excellent job of enhancing self-awareness in an easy to interpret report.

LDP Beach Photo LeaderSurf

We tie the LDP results to all aspects of the program whether we are discussing servant leadership as it relates to our Waves for Water humanitarian aid work or whether we are teaching participants to surf and overcome personal insecurities.

For a program as unique as LeaderSurf we are pleased to have found a tool as powerful and insightful as the Leading Dimensions Profile.

Learn more about the tool here:  Leading Dimensions Profile or Leading Dimensions Consulting

LeaderSurf is currently booking our June 11-16th and November 12-16th programs.  Learn more at LeaderSurf.com