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A Unified Theory of Leadership

Theory, Research, and Validity

The field of Leadership Development is a random, unintegrated collection of good theory and research. This fragmented approach is not up to the challenge of developing leaders for the complex futures we are now facing. Bob Anderson, the Founder of The Leadership Circle, spent the first 30 years of his career integrating the best theory and research in the fields of Leadership Development, Psychology, Adult Development and Spirituality into one comprehensive framework—The first Unified Theory of Leadership to arise in the field. The Leadership Circle Assessments draw from and integrate multiple and wide sources to support our approach. These include:
  • Creative and Reactive Orientations (Fritz, Senge and Kiefer)
  • Play to Win and Play not to Lose (Wilson)
  • Authenticity (Block)
  • Cognitive Psychology (Burns, Ellis)
  • Emotional Intelligence (Goleman)
  • Character Structure (Horney)
  • Enneagram (Sufi tradition)
  • Adult Stages of Development (Kohlberg, Kegan, Cook-Greuter, Wilber, Hall, Beck, Covey, Fowler)
  • Stages of Consciousness (Mystical literature of all traditions)
  • Ego-Shadow Dynamics (Jung), and Body Characterology (Riech, Kurtz, Lowen, Pirrakos)
  • 360 Competency Research
  • A significant on-going study of leadership literature
In a class of its own, the Leadership Circle Profile is far more than simply a 360° tool. Its rich theoretical framework creates a pathway to transformation.


The Leadership Circle Profiles have been thoroughly developed consistent with best-practices for creating valid assessments. The validity of The Leadership Circle Profiles are unparalleled.

Internal Validity

All scale reliabilities, coefficient alpha, are very strong. Factor analysis delineates a factor for most every dimension measured and each item strongly loads the factor associated with its dimension. Correlation analysis provides solid evidence for the entire theoretical framework outlined above.

External Validity

Leadership Circle Profile has been shown to be highly correlated to measures of Leadership Effectiveness and Business performance. It has also been found to be very predictive of measures of the Stage of Adult Development. Other validity studies are ongoing.

Independent Validation

The validity of Leadership Circle Profile has been independently validated. The University of Bowling Green’s (Bowling Green, Ohio) Industrial Organizational Psychology Department was contracted to provide a completely independent validity study. They conclude that the Profile is “very strong for leadership development purposes.” Read the full study 

Anecdotal Data

Consultants, coaches, HR, and OD professionals constantly report that the Leadership Circle Profile is vastly superior to any 360° profile they have ever used. Managers consistently report that Leadership Circle Profile was the highlight of their workshop experience.

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