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Aiming High

It’s always nice to read about principles and practices that, theoretically, are supposed to improve an organization’s performance. But when all is said and done, there’s often more said than done. We know you’re not interested in talk. You want solutions that actually work.

McDonalds corporation logo



In 2008, McDonald’s Shared Services team was a decentralized organization that was quickly evolving into the first truly global function at McDonald’s. McDonald’s recognized the importance of developing teamwork, cohesiveness, and alignment across the team in order to drive common global solutions. They knew they needed to build a diverse, global team with leaders that could expand beyond their current capabilities. McDonald’s engaged Full Circle Group and The Leadership Circle to lead this effort.


When the Leadership Circle was first introduced, the team was skeptical. Despite the initial hesitation, the Global Shared Services (GSS) organization has since become the group that applies the Leadership Circle most holistically and consistently. GSS is unique in that they continue to use public feedback with each team member talking about their strengths and weaknesses in front of the group. Kelvin McLaurin, VP of Finance Strategy Alignment explains, “The Leadership Circle has become the common language across the GSS Leadership Team to onboard and develop our leaders.”

brush close up in foggy mountains

The Results

The culture that the Leadership Circle Profile has helped to create in GSS is a key contributor to the success of their organization. They achieved their five-year strategic plan in only three years and then set in place the GSS 2020 Strategy to continue their momentum toward their vision to be a world-class shared services organization. Debbie Ballard, VP of Shared Services, explains, “It is part of our DNA, part of who we are… we’ve forged a cohesive, high-performing leadership culture in GSS.” Both McLaurin and Ballard continue to be strong advocates for the Leadership Circle process, driving application in their organizations and sharing their experiences with others in the McDonald’s system.

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Transformational Leadership across different industries around the globe

The Leadership Circle serves a broad and influential group of organizations. We feel privileged that we have the opportunity of bringing our leadership training to companies of all types of industry. See the categories below to view a small sampling of prior engagements.


Everbank Commercial FinanceWikimedia FoundationQuicken LoansAmerican ExpressCarlson Companies WorldwideFederal Express


RocheThe Children’s Hospital of PhiladelphiaBon Secours Health SystemBlue Cross Blue Shield of FLIntermountain Health Care (IHC)Kaiser Permanente

Professional / Technical Services

Pixar Animation StudiosSchouten GlobalAccentureASIS InternationalHeitmanPricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)

Retail Trade

McDonalds CorporationDolby Labs3MBackcountry.comEvereveGOJO Industries


Honda, Inc.SyngentaBoeingDTE EnergyLevel 3 CommunicationsMorton Thiokol

Education / Government

University of Notre DameHarvard university Graduate School of EducationYale UniversityFood & Drug AdministrationMichigan Consolidated Gas CompanyUS Department of Transportation

Case Study Portfolio

Additional case studies available as PDFs, click to read the full story

Honda Case Study

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Asia Pacific Case Study

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McDonalds Case Study

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Auscoal Super Case Study

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Accent Energy Case Study

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Thoma Thoma Case Study

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What They’re Saying

When I found The Leadership Circle I knew I had discovered something wonderful. The Leadership Circle Profile is different from traditional competency-based approaches to assessment; it is a 360-degree assessment designed to accelerate your leadership and help you understand the relationship between how you habitually think and behave—and how all this impacts your current effectiveness as a leader. The survey revealed valuable data. It’s designed to tell you how you view your current level of leadership, and compares that reality to the level you desire. It helped my board, staff, and myself create a plan for growth and a new emphasis on leadership development. I participated in The Leadership Circle Profile five years ago, yet I still refer to my survey results today.

Katie EverettExecutive Director, The Lynch Foundation

In the course of my career, I have conducted nearly 1000 feedback-coaching sessions around a variety of survey instruments and I can tell you this: The Leadership Circle Profile is such a unique feedback tool that it has led to the best 1-on-1 coaching sessions I have EVER experienced! The reason, I believe, is that it goes beyond feedback merely on behaviors and competencies (which it does include) to the source: the core beliefs and assumptions out of which those behaviors live. In understanding the source, more conscious change is made possible.

David WomeldorffFounder - Evolutionary Management; Former Consulting Director of Bank One Corporation’s Learning and Leadership Development Program and Acting Director of Executive Education

I’m just through the front-end of the process, namely a review of my 360° results, supplemented with a two follow-ups with my coach. I am thoroughly impressed. I know the true test will be in what happens over time but certainly the early trajectory points are very positive. As a visual learner I was quickly drawn to the circle format. It certainly helps convey the results in a more compelling way than a flat table. But as I delved more deeply into the model, the simplicity was deceptive. I soon found really valuable personal insights: truly some “a-ha!” moments. As my coach explained the underlying logic, even more fell into place. He was excellent, in both manner and knowledge and, after this first 60 minute tour around the circle, I felt as if I had received a tremendous gift. After my a second coaching session and more time with the reading materials, I was convinced: In my almost nine years at CBC/Radio-Canada, this is the most positive personal development experience I’ve had. My sincere thanks for introducing this program here, and for having me take part.

Andrew CochranCBC/Radio-Canada

The Leadership Circle Profile is an extraordinary aid for accelerating the development of leaders. This 360 degree process is an integral part of both our Executive MBA programs and our non-degree leadership programs. There are two elements that distinguish the Leadership Circle Profile from its competitors. First, the instrument itself focuses on the critical developmental components associated with long-term effectiveness. Second, the team of feedback coaches is second to none – absolutely world-class.

Leo BurkeAssociate Dean and Director of Executive Education, University of Notre Dame (Mendoza College of Business)

We are so thankful for the work you are all doing on a daily basis. We continue to appreciate and experience how each day little shifts are made leaning into the creative space. Our leaders are growing into their authentic selves and your resources are making a huge impact. We wouldn’t be able to do the work we are doing without this tool and the thoughts/research behind it. For a little over a year, we have internally been coaching and guiding leaders through their circle profile. It has become an important development tool. So important, in fact, we have leaders asking for it AND we have a waiting list! Thanks so much! You have some fans in California!

Kris Miller and Janet CherryKLove, Air1

I have found The Leadership Circle’s instrument a rich and valuable complement to my work! That single picture prompts a world of reflection, and naturally leads to a well-chosen 'improvement goal,' the first step in many a focused coaching approach, including mine.

Robert KeganCo-author of Immunity to Change

The Leadership Circle Profile is an internally consistent, valid measure for leadership development. The psychometric properties of The Leadership Circle Profile are strong, suggesting that The Leadership Circle Profile is appropriate and strong for developmental feedback. Since this measure is only meant for developmental purposes and not for selection, termination, promotion, or other high stakes decisions, the results of this independent investigation suggest that The Leadership Circle Profile is quite acceptable for developmental purposes.

IPRAIndustrial Organizational Psychology Department, Bowling Green State University