The perceptions of an individual’s leadership effectiveness by others are often different than the self-perceptions of the individual. Understanding how one’s behavioral preferences as reflected by the Myers-Briggs Type Instrument (MBTI) can affect the way others perceive one’s leadership effectiveness provides an understanding of why these differences exist. The combination of the Myers-Briggs Type Instrument (MBTI) with a 360 degree feedback instrument such as the Campbell Leadership Index (CLI) is a powerful approach to identify ways to sharpen leadership skills. We have developed an approach to a workshop that integrates the MBTI and CLI in a way that leads to individual participant commitment to practical steps to improve their effectiveness.

The Myers-Briggs Type Instrument

The MBTI identifies behavioral preferences on four scales each two opposite preferences defining the extremities or poles of each scale. The scales address:

  • Where an individual prefers to focus their attention and get energy (Extraversion-Introversion)
  • The way an individual prefers to take in information (Sensing-Intuition)
  • The kind of criteria an individual prefers to use in making decisions (Thinking-Feeling)
  • The way an individual structures their approach in dealing with the outside world (Judging-Perception)

The Campbell Leadership Index

The Campbell Leadership Index (CLI) rates an individual’s leadership effectiveness based on several characteristics shown to be associated with effective leaders. The CLI is a 360-degree feedback tool with five categories: leadership, energy, affability, dependability and resiliency. Within each of the categories are up to 8 subcategories upon which an individual’s leadership characteristics are rated by themselves and by 5-8 observers drawn from a group of peers, direct reports and manager of the individual.

Workshop Approach

The workshop integrates the results of the CLI and MBTI in such a way that the participants enjoy several “aha” moments as they realize how their behavioral preferences are shaping others’ perceptions of them as leaders. Both the CLI and MBTI are completed prior to a 2-day workshop. The first phase of the workshop is devoted to understanding the characteristics of effective leaders, the CLI instrument, the CLI individual reports and the MBTI preferences through interactive exercises.

The second phase of the workshop starts with an explanation of which CLI characteristics are most affected by each MBTI preference. This is followed by a series of exercises. In the first exercise, pairs of participants discuss the CLI characteristics most affected by the Extraversion-Introversion (E-I) preference. Each person discusses differences between their self rankings on the related CLI scales and those of their observers and how their individual and their observers’ E-I preferences may have contributed to these differences.

They select one of the CLI characteristics related to E-I preferences that they would most like to improve. Keeping in mind their E-I preferences, they brainstorm action steps they might take to improve the CLI characteristic they selected. We move from group to group to check on and facilitate their discussions. The process is repeated for S-N, T-F and J-P preferences with individuals working in different pairs for each scale. In a final pairs exercise, each individual discusses their list of brainstormed ideas and works with their partner to select 1-2 ideas that they are willing to commit to carrying out in the near term. They are encouraged to retain their lists of other brainstormed ideas as a resource for further improvement. A large group debrief concludes the session and includes a discussion of how the participants relate their MBTI preferences to the perceptions of others of their leadership effectiveness.

The combination of the MBTI and CLI provides an understanding of how an individual’s MBTI preferences affect others’ perceptions of the individual’s leadership effectiveness and together provides practical steps to improve leadership effectiveness.