What Is the Lifelong Leadership Inventory?

Professionals in the healthcare field have likely heard of the Lifelong Leadership Inventory (LLI), a self-assessment that measures leadership capability within the industry. While many hospitals and healthcare organizations may ask employees or job applicants to complete the inventory, they often do not provide information on how the assessment was put together or what standards make up the scoring criteria. The organization and theoretical model behind the LLI are discussed below along with what one can expect while completing the test.

The National Center for Healthcare Leadership

The LLI is constructed and distributed by the National Center for Healthcare Leadership (NCHL). The NCHL is a non-profit organization that seeks to establish and promote evidence-based standards for leadership within the healthcare field. The foundation of their work is to create criteria for effective leadership backed by evidence-based findings. NCHL builds upon these evidence-based standards by collaborating between organizations to emphasize the importance of leadership and to recognize healthcare individuals who are exceptional leaders according to the NCHL criteria. Finally, NCHL resolves to spread positive leadership practices throughout the field. The LLI is one of the tools developed for recognizing and spreading the evidence based NCHL Leadership Competency Model.

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Leadership Competency Model

The Leadership Competency Model, constructed by NCHL, identifies and delineates specific standards for effective leadership practices within healthcare. The model is built around these three categories: transformation, people, and execution. Transformation criteria focus on continual learning, technical skills, and community focus. The people category refers to interpersonal understanding, relational abilities, and self-confidence. Finally, the execution criteria refer to a professional’s initiative, management skills, and influence. Each of the questions on the Lifelong Leadership Inventory are designed to assess a different part of transformation, people, and execution. In turn, these three categories and their numerous subsets are backed by rigorous research and evidence-based assessments.

Design of the Lifelong Leadership Inventory

Before taking the inventory, it is helpful for employees to understand the assessment instructions to eliminate confusion and create a more accurate result. The Lifelong Leadership Inventory is made up of dozens of multiple choice questions that ask the user to assess themselves on a variety of skills and values including challenging the status quo, using evidence-based approaches, and persuasive public communication skills. Two responses are required for each question. The first deals with capability, which is a measure of the responders’ current level of ability in implementing the skill. The second response is importance and asks responders to rate how important they view each skill or trait for successful leadership. Both the capability and importance responses are chosen from a spectrum of 1 through 10. 1 indicates that the capability or importance of the skill is nonexistent while a response of 10 indicates a high level of capability or importance. Employees taking the exam are encouraged to be honest and to answer each question based on their first instinct. The responses from the self-assessment are scored against the evidence-based leadership standards of the NCHL.

The LLI was carefully created to provide an accurate snapshot of a healthcare professional’s leadership ability and potential at any point in time. Employees can use the results of the Lifelong Leadership Inventory to guide them towards personal and professional growth.