The Leadership Practices Inventory

Who is LPI for? (Adapted from

Anyone interested in becoming a more effective leader and learning to apply Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner's acclaimed Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership® model to real-life challenges and opportunities will benefit from the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI). The Student LPI is aimed at young people who are looking to enhance their leadership role in school or in the community.

The Student LPI was created specifically for use with high school or college students. This tool incorporates the Student LPI assessment (completed by the Student Leader) and the Student LPI Observer assessment that provides valuable 360-dgree feedback from teachers, coaches, teammates, co-workers, and others who have direct experience of the individual in a leadership role.

What methodology was used to create the LPI? (Adapted from

The Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI) was developed through a triangulation of qualitative and quantitative research methods and studies. In-depth interviews and written case studies from personal-best leadership experiences generated the conceptual framework, which consists of The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership®:

  • Model the Way
  • Inspire a Shared Vision
  • Challenge the Process
  • Enable Others to Act
  • Encourage the Heart

The actions that make up these practices were translated into behavioral statements. Following several iterative psychometric processes, the assessments were created and administered to managers and non-managers across a variety of organizations, disciplines, and demographic backgrounds. A version of the LPI (Student LPI) also has been developed for specific use with high school and college students.

How reliable are the LPI assessments?

(Adapted from

All of the LPI assessments are based on solid research that spans over twenty-five years. Reliability of the LPI is routinely tested through analysis of internal reliability, and all five leadership practices have consistently shown strong internal reliability coefficients—meaning that the items are highly correlated within each scale. Test and retest reliability also is high. In addition, results have high face validity and predictive validity: the results make sense to people and, over time, have proven to predict high-performing leaders and moderate- and low-performing ones. Overall, the LPI has been extensively applied in many organizational settings and is highly regarded in both the academic and practitioner world.

What are Actions that support the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership?

(Adapted from "A Leadership Challenge Resource")


- Set a personal example of what you expect from others.

- Spend time and energy making certain that people work adhering to the principles and standards agreed upon.

- Folow through on promises and committments made.

- Ask for feedback on how your actions affect other people's performance.

- Build consensus around a common set of values for running your organization.

- Be clear about your philosophy on leadership.


- Talk about future trends that will influence how work gets done.

- Describe a compelling image of what our future could be like.

- Appeal to others to share in an exciting dream of the future.

- Show others how a long-term interest can be realized by enlisting in a common vision.

- Paint the "Big Picture" of what you aspire to accomplish.

- Speak with genuine conviction about the higher meaning and purpose of your work.


- Seek out challenging opportunities that test your own skills and abilities.

- Challenge people to try out new and innovative ways of doing their work.

- Search out the formal boundaries of your organization for innovative ways to improve what you do.

- Ask "What can we learn?" when things don't go as expected.

- Makes certain to set achievable goals, make concrete plans and establish measurable milestones for the projects you work on.

- Experiment and take risks, even when there is a chance of failure.


- Develop cooperative relationships among the poeple you work with.

- Actively listen to diverse points of view.

- Treat others with dignity and respect.

- Support the decisions people make on thier own.

- Give people a great deal of freedom and choice in deciding how to do their work.

- Ensure that people grow in thier jobs by learning new skills and developing themsleves.


- Praise people for a job well done.

- Make it a point to let people know about your confidence in their abilities.

- Make sure people are creatively rewarded for thier contributions to the success of projects.

- Publicly recognize people who exemplify committment to shared values.

- Find ways to celebrate accomplishments.

- Give a member of the team lots of appreciation and support for their contributions.