Inventory of Leadership Styles (ILS)

Research indicates that by using the most effective style for a particular situation or climate, leaders can improve employee morale and performance. The Inventory of Leadership Styles (ILS) is the most recent descendents of surveys first developed and tested in 1967 at Harvard  University, under the direction of psychologist David McClelland and George Litwin and Robert Stringer of the Harvard Business School. Over the subsequent 35 years the instrument has been re-named, re-normed and updated on multiple occasions. The ILS is especially effective when used in organizational improvement programs, management development, executive coaching and coaching workshops.

The ILS is the updated online version of the Managerial Styles Questionnaire (MSQ).  The MSQ is only available in a pen-to-paper version.

The ILS is designed to measure leadership effectiveness. Leaders are the most important determinant in creating a work climate that either facilitates or impedes performance. The Inventory of Leadership Styles measures the behaviors (styles) used by that leader.

Six Leadership Styles that are measured in the ILS are

  • Directive: This is a threatening style that demands compliance.
  • Visionary: This leader inspires and is able to explain how and why people’s effort contribute to the bigger picture.
  • Affiliative: The affiliative leader creates harmony that boosts moral and solves conflicts.
  • Participative: A superb listener, team worker who values people’s input.
  • Pacesetting: A leader with a strong emphasis on accomplishing tasks to high standards often micromanaging in the process.
  • Coaching: This leader listens and helps people identify their strengths and weaknesses focusing on their growth.

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