Leadership Practice Inventory (LPI)

Leadership Practice Inventory (LPI) instrument is one of the frequently used tool to assess, gauge and research into leadership effectiveness of a particular manager within the context of business management. Such a tool had been found to be reliable, practical, possess of sound psychometric properties and as a good predictor of leadership effectiveness (Kouzes & Posner, 1993; Marcketti, Arendt & Shelley, 2011; Sumner, Bock & Giamartino, 2006). The tool is also used by many scholars, and is also often applied in practice, as to measure leadership effectiveness of a manager – either through self-assessment or through the 360 degree feedback method (Aimar & Stough, 2007; Zagorsek, Jaklic & Stough, 2004).

Under the Leadership Practice Inventory (LPI) instrument, it is believed that any effective leader is one that exhibit several behaviours, of which these behaviours are categorised into a total of five areas as follow (Marcketti, Arendt & Shelley, 2011; Aimar & Stough, 2007; Sumner, Bock & Giamartino, 2006):

  • The leader behaves in a certain way of which that is the way that the leader want the employees to model (i.e., called as “modelling the way”)
  • The leader is passionate and enthusiastic in articulating a shared vision and in persuading the team players to gain the support from them in achieving the particular vision (i.e., called as “inspiring a shared vision”)
  • The leader has a habit of celebrating success, while also able to provide the necessary support to the employees when facing with frustrating challenge (i.e., called the “encouraging the heart”)
  • The leader is willing to take on challenge and to overcome those challenges (i.e., called the “challenging the process”)
  • The leader has the habit of fostering trust between team players to the leader and in encouraging team working process in the team (i.e., called “enabling others to act”)


For that, the original version of Leadership Practice Inventory (LPI) instrument is indeed designed to assess the leadership behaviours of a manager or leader based on these five areas. To gauge the behaviours of a leader from these five areas, each of these areas were examined or assessed via a total of six statements (Marcketti, Arendt & Shelley, 2011; Aimar & Stough, 2007; Sumner, Bock & Giamartino, 2006). The details are shown in Table 1 below. For these respective statement, they are gauged via five-point scale, range from ‘Never’ to ‘Often’.


Table 1: The Leadership Practice Inventory (LPI) Instrument

Areas Statements
Model the way 1)                  The leader set a personal example of what he expect of others

2)                  The leader spend time and energy making certain that the people he work with adhere to the principles and standards the organization has agreed on

3)                  The leader follows through on promises and commitment that he had make.

4)                  The leader asks for feedback on how his actions affect other people’s performance.

5)                  The leader build consensus around a common set of values for running the organization.

6)                  The leader is clear about his philosophy of leadership.

Inspiring a shared vision 7)                  The leader talks about future trends that will influence how the works within organization get done.

8)                  The leader describes a compelling image of what the future of the organization could be like.

9)                  The leader appeals to the employees to share an exciting dream of the future.

10)              The leader shows us how our long term interests can be realized by enlisting in a common vision.

11)              The leader paints the ‘big picture’ of what the organization aspire to accomplish.

12)              The leader speaks with genuine conviction about the higher meaning and purpose of everyone’s work.

Encouraging the heart 13)              The leader seeks out challenging opportunities that test his skills and abilities.

14)              The leader challenges us to try out new and innovative ways to do our work.

15)              The leader search outside the formal boundaries of the organization for innovative ways to improve what we do.

16)              The leader often ask “what can we learn?” when things don’t go as expected.

17)              The leader makes certain that everyone set achievable goals, makes concrete plans, and establishes measurable milestones for the projects and programmes that we work on.

18)              The leaders tend to experiment and take risks, even when there is a chance of failure.

Challenging the process 19)              The leader develops cooperative relationships among the people he work with.

20)              The leader actively listens to diverse point of view.

21)              The leader treats others with dignity and respect.

22)              The leader supports the decisions that we make on our own.

23)              The leader gives us a great deal of freedom and choice in deciding how to do our work.

24)              The leader ensures that everyone grow in their respective jobs by learning new skills and developing themselves.

Enabling others to act 25)              The leader praises people for a job well done.

26)              The leader makes it a point to let employees know about his confidence in our abilities.

27)              The leader makes sure that employees are creatively rewarded for their contribution to the success of the company’s projects.

28)              The leader publicly recognizes employees who exemplify commitment to shared values.

29)              The leader finds ways to celebrate accomplishments.

30)              The leader gives members of the team lots of appreciation and support for their contributions.



Aimar, C., & Stough, S. (2007). Leadership: Does culture matter? Comparative practices between Argentina and United States of America. Academy of Educational Leadership Journal, 11(3), 9-43.

Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (1992). Psychometric properties of the leadership practices inventory. San Diego, CA: Pfeiffer & Company.

Kouzes, J.M., & Posner, B.Z. (1993). Leadership practices inventory (LPI): A self-assessment and analysis. San Diego, CA: Pfeiffer & Company.

Marcketti, S. B., Arendt, S. W., & Shelley, M. C., II. (2011). Leadership in action: student leadership development in an event management course. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 32(2), 170-189.

Sumner, M., Bock, D., & Giamartino, G. (2006). Exploring the linkage between the characteristics of it project leaders and project success. Information Systems Management, 23(4), 43-49.

Zagorsek, H., Jaklic, M., & Stough, S. J. (2004). Comparing leadership practices between the United States, Nigeria, and Slovenia: Does culture matter? Cross Cultural Management, 11(2), 16-34.

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