IPA Core – Leadership





About IPA Core – Leadership

As an add-on product to the IPA-BASIC, we offer IPA LEADERSHIP. This provides an opportunity to evaluate the predicted LEADERSHIPS skills of the candidate.

The Leadership scales are a “TEST WITHIN THE TEST” where each of the 4 scales are defined through statements from all 12 traits in the IPA Analysis.

The results on the leadership scales should be considered as hypotheses about the candidate’s ability to provide leadership.

  1. Many of these abilities lie as untested and unlived potential in the personality.
  2. Individuals may have the personal qualities needed for leadership, but choose to pursue other paths in life. It is therefore crucial to combine the results of the leadership scales with the candidate’s concrete experience and work biography, as well as the personal impression of the candidate in the subsequent dialogue.

Researcher Flemming Olsen talks about IPA Nordic’s Leadership analysis

The idea of INTEGRATION has guided the development of the IPA Analysis from the outset. This idea expresses that the quality of what you develop at one level is dependent on the quality of what you have developed at other levels. For example, leaving the “blue space” and moving developmentally to the “red space” does not mean that you forget all about knowledge and structure. But it does mean that you no longer start your problem solving primarily in the “blue space”, but assess your situation in terms of the performance requirements placed on you, the goals you need to achieve and how you can most effectively achieve your goals operationally with the resources you have available.

Knowledge, systems, control etc. become means to you and are no longer an end in themselves and the dominant platform from which you experience and view the world. You INTEGRATE the qualities of the “blue space” into the “red space”. And in doing so, you experience and apply the knowledge you have in a new way.

It is this whole personal development journey that the model of the IPA Analysis illustrates with its INTEGRAL idea and model.

Figuratively speaking, this idea is illustrated by the ability to mentally move between the different “spaces” of the IPA Analysis. The Operational Leader moves freely in the red and blue space. The Motivational Leader moves freely in the blue space (in opposite directions), the red space and the green space. Finally, the Strategic Manager moves freely between all 4 spaces. Thus, in the course of personal development and life, new qualities and new insights about oneself and one’s leadership are added. And each time you move from one level to another, you take with you the best of the “old world”.

The 4 new leadership scales are built on this idea of integration, and this integration adds new qualities and nuances to leadership at each personal quantum leap. With each evolutionary leap, you grab a new pair of binoculars and point them at the world to orient yourself and find your way. At the same time, the “old” binoculars are ready to be used at the moment you deem it useful and necessary.

Leadership trait # 1


This is someone who is primarily operationalized with statements from the blue factors in the IPA Analysis: System Orientation, Detail Orientation, and Security Orientation. The dominant trait is Security, which makes it absolutely crucial for the Specialist to have a clear mental overview of the conditions and structures around her. This is someone who prefers to immerse themselves in professional or analytical tasks, and she prefers to focus on knowledge and content in the given tasks. In most cases, the Specialist has no desire to take on leadership responsibility for others.



This is someone who does not find the main motivation in the possibility of immersing oneself in the technical and analytical aspects of the tasks.

Neither does she have a great need for structure, security, or control. This does not necessarily mean that knowledge, control, and structure cannot be part of the job, but this person will focus the energy and attention towards other aspects of the job.

This might be social and/or leadership aspects, which she finds much more important than the strictly technical and analytical aspects.

She sees the professional aspects as a means to and end in life and in her job.


This is someone who prefers to immerse herself in technical and analytical tasks, and the greatest motif in her work life and career is the opportunity to focus on knowledge and the content of the given tasks.

She is a meticulous person who prefers to work within a well-defined professional boundary, in which there is time and possibility of immersion and getting an overview of the surrounding structures.

This person prefers to solve concrete tasks or deliver knowledge on an analytical level, and often she does not have a desire to be a leader.

Leadership trait # 2


This is someone who is primarily identified by statements from the red factors of the IPA Analysis: Confidence, Independence, and Performance, as well as statements from the Influence factor.

However, the operationalization also contains statements from the Blue factors. This means that the Operational Leader is defined as someone who INTEGRATES the traits of the Blue factors with the traits of the Red factors, thus creating a new quality to the way the blue traits are applied.

The dominant motif is the Performance motif, however the Operational Leader is also characterized by a strong Power motif, meaning that she desires influence of her surroundings.


This is someone who does not place her primary focus on concrete operational leadership, but would rather spend her energy other places in her job and work life.

This might be because she does not want to be a leader, or because she finds her motivation in tasks, that – with regards to leadership – relates more to social, complex, and abstract challenges, and where the goals and the results are not an imminent aspect.


This is someone who is mentally strong due to a good self-confidence, result-orientation, and a strong desire to be the one sets the agenda and takes on the main responsibility.

She likes to set up specific goals for others, and she organizes the daily efforts in a clear and unmistakable fashion. This is a person who stands firm under pressure, and she is a realistic and calculating person who values cohesiveness and order.

She will react to and act upon concrete and visible challenges and goals, and her main motifs are characterized by influence, action, and results. She is most likely in a leading position or has the potential to lead employees on an operational level.

Leadership trait # 3


This is someone who is primarily defined by statements from the GREEN FACTORS: Trust, Social Understanding, and Extroversion, but also from statements from the Influence and Intuition factors.

This means that the Motivational Leader is someone who INTEGRATES the personal qualities inherent in the will to leadership, as well as Intuition together with a high Social Understanding and a strong social motif.

This is a leader who can navigate difficult social contexts and deal with complex social processes that have a strong element of cooperation, conflict management, and communication.

If this type also has a positive score on Operational Leader, then she can shift her focus between complex social processes to the more concrete and direct goal-oriented elements of the leadership tasks.


This is someone whose primary focus is not on complex social processes related to a leadership position. Perhaps she finds her motivation in solving concrete or operational leadership tasks.

She might also much rather want to immerse herself in technical and analytical tasks and challenges.


This is someone who finds her motivation in a job where one of the main success criteria is for her to inspire and motivate others.

She navigates well in difficult social situations and she can deal with complex social processes where cooperation, conflict management, and communication are key factors.

If she also has a positive score on the Operational Leader, then she is able to shift her focus from complex social processes to a more concrete goal-oriented leadership, depending on the situation.

Furthermore, if the right ambitions and experience are present along with the right amount of self-reflection, then she is someone who can deal with contradictions whilst satisfying conflicting needs among the employees.

She has a desire to push the unit towards the concrete goals and results whilst ensuring that there are social processes that support cohesiveness, meaning, and motivation in the company.

Should all these elements be present, she probably already has a leading position or has the potential to be a leader.

Leadership trait # 4


This is someone who is defined FROM ALL 4 MAIN FACTORS.

This leader has freed herself from the need for systems, detail, and security, and she has a positive response to both red, green, and yellow statements.

This is a leader who can move freely between all 4 rooms, and thus strategically decide the best role depending on the given business context, the job tasks, and the set goals.

The dominant motifs are Power combined with Intuition and Performance. The Strategic Leader is someone who is strong with regards to innovation and willpower, and she is able to accept, understand, and communicate the conditions, goals, and future of the entire business area.


This is someone who finds her motivation and focus in tasks that do not require her to manage an independent business area with all the demands, pressure, and responsibility that comes with this.

Perhaps she is not interested in leadership responsibility on this level, but would rather work with a more operational or motivating leadership.

Perhaps she would much rather immerse herself in technical and analytical tasks and challenges.


This is someone who is characterized by innovation and willpower. She has a willingness to take risks, get results, and take on influence. She combines these personal traits with ideas and creativity.

If she also has a positive score on the Operational Leader and the Motivational Leader, then she has the potential to lead an independent business area with everything it takes regarding development and transformation on a strategic level. She is able to accept, understand, and communicate the area’s conditions, goals, and future development.

This is someone who can deal with all aspects of leadership, whether it is the bottom line or the most complex sitiuations. This person has the skills and perhaps the experience to shift between leadership roles with a high level of complexity whilst satisfying contradictory needs among her employees.

If she also has a strong element of self-reflection, she is able to contain all the aspects of good leadership and shift between roles depending on the given context.

Unfold leadership in the IPA 360° Cockpit

leadership skills compared to personality

Find leadership talent in your recruitment or organisation.

Use the IPA Core Personality and see what leadership roles the candidate is most likely to take on.