The Leadership Colour Wheel: Check your leadership skills!

Article by Ken Thompson, 08 May 2017

The leadership colour wheel is a simple tool we have developed showing the skills people ask us for most when requesting simulations to support leadership and management development programmes. 

Thus, the wheel is a simpe pragmatic demand-based perspective with the skills listed alphabetically with no suggestion of any one skill being any more important than any other.


There are two main uses of the Leadership Colour Wheel: Assessing Individual Leaders/Managers and Assessing Business Management Games/Activities:

1. Assessing Individual Leaders and Managers

The different colour shadings shown in the concentric circle slices can be used to conduct a quick health-check on any individual in terms of the 12 skills. We suggest creating a simple spider/bulls-eye diagram with a simple 5-point assessment scale and just asking the following question for each skill

 “How confidently do I/does X deal with situations arising in this skill area?”

The skills can be assessed and marked as follows:

  • NEVER (0) – place no mark on the “skill slice”
  • RARELY (1) – mark the skill slice in the inner most circle only
  • SOMETIMES (2) – extend the mark to the next circle of the skill slice
  • USUALLY (3) – extend the mark to the next circle of the skill slice
  • ALWAYS (4) – extend the mark all the way to the outermost circle of the skill slice

2. Assessing Business Management Games/Activities

The second use of the Leadership Colour Wheel is to assess the suitability of different business simulation games and leadership development activities for a given set of learning objectives. 

To do this you simply need to determine which of the key skills are “Primary” to a learning objective and which are important but “Secondary”. This gives you a simple set of criteria, not the only ones by all means, to help you quickly assess candidate simulations, activities and games. 

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'A Systematic Guide to Game Based Learning within in Organizations' by Ken Thompson

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