Management Articles


Are You A Leader? Part I: The Leadership Self Test

By: Dr. A. J. Schuler

Dr. A. J. Schuler is an expert in leadership and organizational change. To find out more about his programs and services, visit or call (703) 370-6545.

As today’s organizations become more and more lean, people in business are gaining a greater appreciation for the differences between a manager’s style of thinking and a leader’s style of thinking.

When people like Frederick Taylor first began to study management, he used a stopwatch to see how well people on a factory floor could improve their productivity. Back then, productivity in the American workforce was determined more by the performance mechanical tasks than by the ability to process information or build service relationships, the way it is today. The purpose of a manager, in Taylor’s day, was to be the one who knew the most about the work, and the one who took greater control to assure productivity and profit. Imagine being supervised by a manager with a stopwatch!

Now we live in an information age, and no one can “know everything” about a job the way the managers of yesteryear (supposedly) did. In an information age, managers have had to shift toward becoming the ones who create the environment that helps empowered, knowledgeable people to succeed. What’s more, the transition to a service economy has placed less of an emphasis on controlling others and more of an emphasis on the human skills of building strong relationships.

As a result, the role of management in the American workforce has shifted, and today’s managers, more and more, have to develop some leadership skills. Leadership talent is even more essential to success on an executive level.

If you’re curious about how much you think like a leader versus thinking like a manager, answer the following fifteen True or False questions. Then follow the link at the bottom of the page to see the answers and a brief discussion of each question.

Leadership Self Test
  1. TRUE or FALSE: I think more about immediate results than I do about mentoring others.

  2. TRUE or FALSE: People will be motivated if you pay them enough.

  3. TRUE or FALSE: It’s nice to know about people’s long-term goals, but not necessary to get the job done.

  4. TRUE or FALSE: If you have a consistent recognition system that rewards everyone in the same way, then that is enough.

  5. TRUE or FALSE: The best way to build a team is to set a group goal that is highly challenging, maybe even “crazy.”

  6. TRUE or FALSE: My greatest pleasure in my job comes from making the work process more effective.

  7. TRUE or FALSE: I spend more of my time and attention on my weaker performers than I do on my top performers, who basically take care of themselves.

  8. TRUE or FALSE: It’s better not to know anything about the personal lives and interests of the people who report to me.

  9. TRUE or FALSE: Sometimes, it’s almost as if I’m a “collector of people” because I’m always recruiting and getting to know new people.

  10. TRUE or FALSE: I like to surround myself with people who are better at what they do than I am.

  11. TRUE or FALSE: I am a lifelong student of what makes other people tick.

  12. TRUE or FALSE: People talk about “mission” too much – it’s best just to let people do their work and not try to bring values into the conversation.

  13. TRUE or FALSE: It’s my job to know everything that goes on in my area.

  14. TRUE or FALSE: I pay close attention to how and where I spend my time, because the priorities I put into action are the ones that other people will observe and follow.

  15. TRUE or FALSE: I’ve worked hard to get along with or understand people who are very different from me.

Okay, all done? Click here to see the answer key to this questionnaire.

© Copyright (c) 2002 A. J. Schuler, Psy. D.

Other Articles by Dr. A. J. Schuler

The author assumes full responsibility for the contents of this article and retains all of its property rights. ManagerWise publishes it here with the permission of the author. ManagerWise assumes no responsibility for the article's contents.


Place "+" (without the quotes) in front of words that must appear; "-" to exclude articles with certain words; and put double quotes around phrases. For example, fantastic search will find all case studies with either the word "fantastic" or "search" (or both). On the other hand, +fantastic +search will find only case studies with the words "fantastic" and "search". "fantastic search" will find only case studies that with the phrase "fantastic search". Note: Searches will not find words, such as 'management', that appear in more than half of the articles or words less than five letters long.


Would you like us to consider your own articles for publication? Please review our submission and editorial guidelines by clicking here.