The most successful global leaders play two essential roles: a “charismatic” role and an “architectural” role. The first requires the executive to inspire, motivate and energise others. The second involves creating a structure in which the skills and aspirations of others can be nurtured and developed –thereby turning vision into action. In addition, executives must pay attention to the pressures likely to have a profound effect on their professional and personal well-being.
The Global Executive Leadership Mirror (GELM ®) questionnaire is the result of an ongoing decade-long research project at INSEAD’s Global Leadership Centre (IGLC), investigating the behaviour patterns of effective global executives. The questionnaire, which consists of 110 statements, was developed to help executives evaluate their performance in carrying out the twelve primary tasks of global leaders. It also covers a number of indicators such as life stressors and coping mechanisms to determine their ability to manage stress in their life and to ensure sustained leadership performance.
The 15 dimensions of the GELM ®
The GELI (Global Executive Leadership Inventory, 2005) has been in use for a decade and is one of the most stable and highly used tools in leadership development and coaching (19,000 executives and 152,000 observers).
Given its age, we felt it was time to revisit and update it. Using the GELI as a starting point, the Global Executive Leadership Mirror (GELM™) retains what was great about the GELI and consists of a number of improvements: we opened it up to a broader audience, reorganised the structure across four main levels: Self, Teams, Organisation and Networks, and added new dimensions to reflect developments in leadership development studies in the last decade. It also includes other life and leadership indicators to add further insight into an executive’s behaviour: Task and Relationship Index, Life Stressors, Well-being Resources and Perceived Leadership Performance. The Global Executive Leadership Mirror was developed under the direction of Manfred Kets de Vries, in collaboration with the INSEAD Global Leadership Centre and KDVI.
To reveal and eliminate any differences in what executives do and what they think they do, the questionnaire was designed as a 360° feedback assessment, allowing leaders to compare their perceptions with those of others. Observers range from Supervisors, Co-Workers, Direct Reports and Others (such as clients, Board of Directors and other stakeholders).
The questions were designed to be simple to understand and free from language bias, making the GELM ® appropriate for use in any culture.
Most importantly, the developers of the GELM ® have put real-life applications at the centre of the feedback process. The GELM ® is unique in drawing on the leadership development team’s experience working with tens of thousands of top executives in executive programmes and group coaching sessions.
The GELM ® has gone through several rounds of rigorous psychometric validation to ensure reliability and validity of its final version. The GELM ® incorporates observations of thousands of effective and ineffective leaders by experienced coaches, INSEAD professors and clients from all over the world.
Two rounds of face and content validity testing were conducted. Based on these analysis, the GELM ® has been confirmed to show sound psychometric properties.
The process begins with the selection of the executive/clients who will take the questionnaire(s). In most instances, the programme coordinator provides access to the website where participants and their observers complete the questionnaire. When all the questionnaires have been completed, the coordinator prints out a feedback report for each of the participants. The executive/client then works with a facilitator, coach or counsellor to develop an action plan for change.