The CORE Leader Score (CLS) – A Fully Automated, Scalable Quality Assessment and Development Program

Welcome to the most accurate and efficient quality leadership assessment and development tool/program ever developed.

“One of the hardest tasks of leadership is understanding that you are not what you are, but what you are perceived to be by others”.

Edward L. Flom

What is The CORE Leader Score? 

All leaders want the best for their people; they want to achieve and exceed results with the teams and organizations they serve.  They are doing their best, constantly pursuing better, for themselves and for those they are responsible. 

The CORE Leader Score (CLS) is simple, accurate and efficient; a strengths-based and values- centered tool for assessing and developing quality leadership capacity. In addition to operating as an assessment mechanism, the CLS functions simultaneously as a practical tool for quality leadership development. 

The CLS measures and supports the development of what matters most; quality and effective leadership behaviors that, when demonstrated, have proven to be inextricably linked to the following consequent outcomes:  

  • Deeper, more meaningful leader-member connections;
  • Stronger leader-member relationships and trust;
  • Maximized employee motivation; 
  • Increased employee and team engagement; 
  • Optimal performance; 
  • Enhanced efficiencies and;   
  • Acceleration and achievement of results in the areas of people, productivity and profit. 

All behaviors being assessed correlate to and represent 5 of the most meaningful leadership domains. They are: RespectIntegrityEmpathySupportiveness and Performance.

Why is The CORE Leader Score Important? 

The development of greater quality leadership is more critical than ever; as research and data demonstrate unequivocally that, nothing impacts the experiences of employees and company results more than leaders do.  

People, Productivity & Profit: Leadership Impacts Everything! 

Leadership is the greatest mechanism available for enhancing employee engagement and, the potential for managers to impact employee engagement is massive. Gallup estimates that managers account for at least 70 percent of the variance in employee engagement scores across all business sectors.  

Quality leadership positively impacts; engagement, culture, and conversion on greatest results. 

The Poor State of Leadership Quality 

Poor quality leadership experiences negatively affect and are detrimental to people, productivity and profit! There are clear links between poor leadership experiences and low morale, low job satisfaction, negative work climate, increased stress, strain, disengagement and burnout.  

Disengagement alone costs organizations more than $10,000 a year per disengaged employee. With the average leader having 7 direct reports, each poor leader can cost an organization at least $70,000 per year. When we consider the fact that poor leadership also contributes to a poor work climate, increased stress, strain and low satisfaction the costs of poor leadership to organizations, skyrockets. 

The Need to Measure What Matters Most 

We know what matters most; quality and effective leadership. 

It is vital that we increase the quality of leadership. Assessing and developing leaders is an organizational imperative that enables the enhancement of employee engagement; the optimization of productivity and; the maximization of profits. 

What Makes The CORE Leader Score Different?

Valid and Reliable 

The CLS framework was developed based on decades of research and observed transformations working with tens of thousands of people across all sectors.  A variety of qualitative methods were used to establish specific “Quality and Effective Leadership Behaviors” and to develop key “Leadership Domains” (Respect, Integrity, Empathy, Supportiveness and Performance). 

Experience of Direct Reports 

The CLS is based on the premise that, quality and effective leadership can only be determined by the experience of those individuals being led. Therefore, the CLS is built around the the leader’s behaviors as assessed by a manager’s direct reports. 

Assessment and Development 

In addition to providing an accurate assessment of key leadership behaviors, that matter most, the CLS offers specific tips, steps and strategies for developing leadership towards the greatest quality and effectiveness. 


The CLS offers managers a list of strengths related to leader-behaviors, identified by team members as positive and favorable. In addition to a list of strengths, the CLS offers “positive messages” from the team; a detailed account of additional and affirming behaviors intended to support and bolster manager strengths and areas for development. 

Behaviors vs. Personality or Character Traits 

Unlike many assessment tools that “assess” personality or character traits (Courage, Charisma, Commitment, etc.), the CLS is geared towards the assessment of very specific and concrete leadership behaviors. 

Specific Leader Qualities vs. Generalized Values 

Many leadership assessments use values (Transparent, Accountable, Collaborative, Innovative, etc.) as quality indexes; these indicators can be interpreted in a variety of ways and, because of their general nature are difficult, if not impossible, to measure. The CLS is composed of behavior-specific indices that are clear, concrete and measurable. 

Free of Value or Personality Biases 

The CLS was designed and developed to focus solely on specified manager behaviors and, whether those behaviors occur sometimes, regularly or not at all. The CLS measure is not dependent upon preferred bias, values or favored characteristics/qualities – It is strictly behavioral and precludes the potential for results influenced by personal criticism and/or judgment. 

Quick, Efficient and Cost-Effective 

The CLS takes very little time to complete with the average time required to complete being 15 minutes. Once the CLS has been completed a comprehensive report is delivered that can be interpreted and activated immediately without additional coaching or mentoring. A series of development tips and suggestions will be delivered to the manager to maximize positive behavioral change.  

Scalable Development without Workflow Interruption 

The CLS offers an approach to leadership development that does not interrupt the flow of everyday work/business. It is fully equipped to provide an individualized manager-specific framework for setting and achieving important developmental goals without requiring formal course-work or consultancy/coaching support. 

How Does The CORE Leader Score Work?

Each direct report will complete a short behavior-specific survey about their manager.  

Team members are encouraged to rate, on a 10-point scale, the degree to which their manager demonstrates a specified leadership behavior. All behaviors being assessed correlate to, and represent 5 of the most meaningful leadership domains; RespectIntegrityEmpathySupportivenessand Performance.  


Respect is characterized by leaders who consistently demonstrate consideration for the overall well-being of others. Respect is portrayed when leaders show genuine admiration for their people and/or for their people’s abilities. Leaders that treat people with kindness and demonstrate value for their member’s contributions are often described as highly respectful.  


Integrity is characterized by leaders who have strong moral character; who consistently behave in ways that demonstrate humility, courage and truth. They are perceived by others as honest, fair and behave in ways that are congruent with important values. Leaders that “walk the talk” and do what they say they will do are often described as having a high degree of integrity.  


Empathy is characterized by leaders who demonstrate genuine care and concern for others and, is demonstrated in one’s ability to tune-into and understand the feelings/experiences of team members. Leaders who are skilled at listening, hearing others, withholding judgement while maintaining a calm, caring and positive disposition are described as having great empathy.  


Supportiveness is characterized by leaders who are encouraging, flexible and helpful to others. Leaders who listen, understand and empower members to maximize their potential are referred to as supportive. Supportive leaders are often described as taking a real interest in and, advocating for, the development and success of their people.  


Performance is characterized by efforts and accomplishments towards a set of clear tasks and preferred results for a specified function. High performing leaders are those who have or work towards acquiring sufficient knowledge, experience and skill to fulfill important role requirements. Managers who understand, communicate and work to operationalize, the vision, mission, values and strategy of the organization are referred to as high performing leaders.  

The manager will also complete a self-assessment survey of their leadership capabilities.  

All domain-related behaviors are weighted and calculated respectively and are represented in individual domain scores, each of 100 possible points. All behaviors and domain scores are combined and represented in a manager’s CORE Leader Score, of 100 possible points.  

The CORE Leader Score Report 

Once the surveys have been completed and gathered, a detailed CLS report, complete with “Top Leader Strengths”, “Areas for Development”, “Positive Messages from the Team”“Domain Scores” and an overall “CORE Leader Score”, will be delivered by email, to the manager.   

See illustration below for a glimpse of a report image; accounting for two pages of the comprehensive CLS report.  

In addition to offering managers a detailed overview of the survey findings, the CLS report provides a Step-by-Step process for interpreting and sharing results, supporting greater leadership development and, improving the managers’ overall CORE Leader Score. 

The CLS report is followed up with regular developmental tips, strategies and suggestions, so that managers can take immediate steps, towards activating greater leadership quality and effectiveness.

Who Should Use The CORE Leader Score?

Organizations who are serious about improving employee engagement, enhancing culture and maximizing profits. 

If you have questions or, would like to learn more about The CORE Leader Score, please email Chris Downey at