Anderson, Tim

Survey ID:





Alpha Assessment Interpretive Report






This report is based on the research of executive coaches Kate Ludeman, PhD, and Eddie Erlandson, MD, who together have coached over 1,000 executives.


The report provides information about general behavioral patterns based on your survey responses, and should not be read as a hard and fast assessment of your strengths and risks. While you may have propensities toward certain behaviors, you may also have learned to redirect these tendencies in your day-to-day work interactions. You should therefore use this report as a guide to help you identify, understand and modify your particular set of skills, tendencies and risk areas.




This report is designed to help you leverage your natural strengths, while shoring up your weaknesses. Self-awareness and ownership of your challenges allows you to change how they impact your relationships at work, and to make choices that more effectively support your desired career goals. 


The Alpha Assessment provides feedback about:


1.    Your Overall Alpha Strengths & Risks

Alpha leadership characteristics have the potential to develop into potent strengths, but may also create particular risks. Thus, there are no ideal alpha scores. Rather, there are some alpha characteristics that are best built up, and some that are best minimized.


2.   Thematic Elements

When factor analyses were applied to the Alpha Risk data, three distinct themes stood out: Hard-driving Competitiveness; Interpersonal Impatience; and Difficulty Controlling Anger. The alphas who cause themselves and others the most trouble see everyone as rivals, are impatient and demanding toward others and tend to lose their temper easily. 


3.    Your Strengths & Risks for Four Alpha Types: Commander, Visionary, Strategist & Executor

We have identified four different types of alphas in our research:

  • Commanders are natural leaders who know how to get people to do things.
  • Visionaries see the big picture and dream the impossible dream.
  • Strategists excel in abstract thinking, problem solving and planning.
  • Executors are dogged implementers who delve into details and drive accountability.

Each of these types is associated with a particular cluster of strengths and a particular cluster of risks. It’s important to note that even if you do not receive a high score on alpha characteristics in general, you can still receive high scores on characteristics that relate to one or more of the specific types. Indeed, each person possesses a unique combination of the various strengths and risks inherent to each of the types.



That being said, having a general alpha streak does add intensity, or “punch,” to the expression of the four leadership types. In a healthy alpha leader who is open to change and personal development, type strengths are magnified, and type risks are minimized or transformed. However, in an alpha who tends to be defensive and less open to change, alpha tendencies are likely to have an opposite, debilitating impact. The information in this report is designed to help you recognize the areas in which you excel, fill in your leadership gaps, identify the types of people you should partner with as peers, and determine the sorts of people you should hire on your team as direct reports in order to balance your own strengths and risks.


Interpreting Your Results


Your results are broken up into a number of different categories, each of which is described in more detail below.


In all of the categories, your results are shown as percentile scores. These scores indicate your standing in each category relative to a multicultural sample of adults who are active in the business world (e.g., people working as managers, accountants, financial advisors, real estate developers, engineering leaders, heads of human resources departments, sales and marketing executives, CEOs, etc.). These percentile scores indicate the percentage of people in this population who fall above and below you on each category (e.g., a percentile score of 30 indicates that 30% of this population scores below you while the remaining 70% scores above you). In addition to these percentile scores, you will be provided with a graphic representation of your results and an in-depth written interpretation.


You will first be presented with scores for your general alpha characteristics—split into “Alpha Strengths” (relatively healthy alpha qualities) and “Alpha Risks” (alpha liabilities). These scores are based on your mean responses to 120 questions on the assessment. In other words, these are your “overall” alpha scores, based on the entire assessment. 



Next, you will be shown a more fine-grained interpretive report, in which your alpha qualities are analyzed for type-related patterns. Within the body of questions that measured your alpha strengths, some dealt specifically with Commander strengths, some with Visionary strengths, some with Strategist strengths, and some with Executor strengths. Similarly, within the larger group of questions that measured your alpha risks, there were risk questions that concerned each of the four types. You will see information about how you scored in each of these different type areas. Thus, in addition to receiving an overall, generalized assessment of your alpha strengths and challenges, you will have the opportunity to review a type-based “profile” detailing the extent to which you possess relatively specific alpha qualities.







The graphic representations shown below depict your scores for each of the categories.


In the graph on the left, the green bar indexes your percentile score for general alpha strengths, and the red bar (progressing downward) indexes your percentile score for general alpha risks.

The graph on the right follows a similar pattern with respect to each of the alpha types. Again, strengths are designated by green bars, while risks are designated by downward-progressing red bars. In making sense of your scores, it is useful to compare your relative standing on each of the different categories, noting the categories in which your scores are highest and lowest. 














Overall Alpha Strength Score: 4.8
Overall Alpha Risk Score: 26.8



Your Alpha Strengths and Risks Overall  


You scored in the bottom quartile for alpha strengths overall, and in the second quartile for alpha risks. 


Your scores on this assessment suggest that although you likely push for what you believe in, you are more inclined to do so by working behind the scenes, building consensus and support through a series of one-on-one meetings. You are less likely to push hard for a point of view that is contrary to the group’s thinking in a large meeting.


You are typically not as comfortable standing up to authority and tend to avoid dealing directly with conflict, especially in group situations. Individuals with higher scores tend to be persistent and aren’t as discouraged by barriers, which they see as challenges to overcome. Many people who receive relatively low scores on the general alpha strengths scale comply too quickly and agree to take approaches they don’t completely agree with. They would prefer to take a suboptimal approach rather than confront authority or challenge a peer directly. Although you may be persistent and dogged in your point of view, you are often unwilling to press against people who disagree with you. As a result, some of your good ideas don’t get the attention they deserve.


You may consciously choose not to defend your point of view in many situations because you don’t want to risk appearing stubborn or argumentative, or you may avoid demonstrating such behaviors because they’re uncomfortable to you. The key is to be able to choose the behavior appropriate for the circumstances. If you want to be a stronger alpha, become more comfortable with conflict and learn to push back and stand firm on your ideas.

It’s important to remember that receiving a low score on the general alpha strengths scale has no bearing on whether you are or can be a highly successful leader; you don’t have to be an alpha to have high overall leadership effectiveness. As a low alpha, you simply operate with a different approach, which equips you with a different set of strengths and challenges than people who are strong alphas.   

You also scored in the second quartile in terms of general alpha risks, indicating that you are relatively relationship-oriented, and enjoy accomplishing goals with your team. Your results suggest that you may not stand your ground when challenged by others, and you tend to avoid adversity and acquiesce when pressured by others. If someone disagrees with you, you may back down on your point and go so far as to doubt yourself.




In addition to analyzing your pattern of responses in terms of both general alpha characteristics and specific alpha types, we have also analyzed your results for specific themes—issues or behavioral patterns that consistently show up in your responses, cutting across several categories.


Based on your results, we have included feedback below concerning three recurring themes: your ability to control, or manage, your anger; your level of competitiveness and zest for winning; and your level of interpersonal tolerance and patience at work.



Controlling Anger
Your Score: 24.3


Your results suggest that you are extremely adept at expressing frustration and related emotions. Indeed, your score is in the bottom quartile in this category.


You appear to be quite tolerant of others’ points of view, or at least skilled at giving the appearance of tolerance. This makes you someone who would work well in high-stakes or relatively unpredictable settings. You are able to receive bad news, disagreement, and even disrespect from others in a composed manner. You are able to modify plans—even ones that have been laid out for some time—without becoming overly frustrated by the time you spent on the project. In sum, you appear to be calm, collected, and generally unflappable.


While this style undoubtedly serves you well in most circumstances, you may be too quick to acquiesce during disagreements for the sake of maintaining your composure. Furthermore, your ability to temper your emotions may be misinterpreted as indifference or passivity.




Your Score: 14.7


Your overall pattern of responses suggests that you are much less competitive than others, since you scored in the bottom quartile of this category.


Compared to your peers, you are much less likely to frame the world in terms of contests or to see situations as zero-sum. While you are certainly happy to exceed the performance of your peers, you are also happy for others when it is their turn to shine. You tend to not compare your achievements to those of others, and you likely do not seek glory and visible recognition when you succeed or become envious of others when you fail. On certain occasions, you will even allow other people to win and have center stage.


For the most part, your noncompetitive attitude is a healthy one, and your ability to feel genuinely happy when others achieve is a real gift. Nonetheless, it may be advantageous to remember that not everyone shares your noncompetitive spirit, and that competitiveness can be intensely motivating and rewarding for others. Furthermore, you should also notice any tendencies to become passive and to allow things to unfold instead of stepping in and pushing them forward.




Your Score: 48.8


Your results indicate that, compared to your peers, you are patient and tolerant of others when faced with subpar work. Your score is in the third quartile on this theme.  


You recognize that people are not going to produce perfect work all of the time. Although you may occasionally feel disappointed or frustrated by subpar work, you respond to such situations in a respectful and calm manner that maintains a congenial work environment. You tend to quickly empathize with people’s problems, and adjust your expectations accordingly. This is a valuable skill set that likely serves you well when leading others, and one that you should continue to cultivate. The only risk is that you may be too lenient with poorer performers who are slowing down the performance of your overall team; you need to continue to be alert to any tendencies to make excuses for people and to allow them to perform below expected standards.



Tips to Develop Your Alpha Strengths:


Seek out people and subjects you avoided in the past, and then work directly with others to reach agreements.


Take more responsibility for ensuring that your ideas get a fair hearing by expressing your viewpoints authoritatively, while still considering others’ ideas.


Use your emotional intelligence to build influence for your ideas.


Tips on Expressing Your Anger:


Recognize that anger is a powerful emotion that can be useful when expressed in a constructive and controlled manner. Unless you deal directly with the issues that are causing you to become angry, they will persist.


When angry, take a few minutes to gather your thoughts before expressing them. If you are especially frustrated and fear losing control of your emotions, take some time to speak with someone not involved with the situation or write your thoughts out on paper.


When expressing your anger, be specific about what you want and what changes you want to be made.


Tips on Developing Healthy Competitiveness:


Recognize that healthy competition can increase productivity and promote creative ideas within your organization.


Work with your team members to identify external groups to channel competitive energy toward.


Do not confuse competition with conflict; competition is the desire to win and can pull people together against a common enemy while conflict usually creates tension between two people.


Tips on Giving Feedback:


Your team may misinterpret your leadership style and believe they are performing optimally when they are actually performing below your standards. Recognize the value of constructive criticism, and begin to proactively provide coaching when performance doesn't meet your expectations.


Provide the person you are coaching with very specific ideas on how they can improve their performance.


Introduction to the Alpha Types


All alphas are aggressive, competitive and driven to achieve. They think big, aim high and attack their goals with courage, confidence and tenacity.   But not all alphas are alike.  They express these common qualities in different ways.  Based on our experience as corporate consultants, and confirmed by the research we just described, we have identified four basic alpha types. Each of them has a specific set of primary traits:


Intense, passionate, highly energetic leaders who set the tone and mobilize the troops.


Curious, expansive, proactive and future-oriented, they see possibilities and opportunities that others miss.


Clear, analytic thinkers, often brilliant, with excellent judgment and a sharp eye for patterns.


Action-oriented doers who push plans forward with relentless discipline and hold everyone accountable for their commitments.



Understanding these four personality types adds specificity and nuance to the portrait of alpha leaders. Reading about the four types will give you deeper insight into yourself and the alphas around you, enabling you to pinpoint the strengths you can build upon and the risks you need to address. With this more granulated view, you can home in more accurately on your central challenges and take specific action, just as a doctor can devise a better treatment plan by identifying the exact type of cancer or infection a patient has than if he knows only the generic category of illness. 


It’s important to note that the four categories are not mutually exclusive. Although each alpha type is statistically unique, there is approximately a 20 percent correlation between them. In other words, regardless of which type is most prevalent in your personality, you are highly likely to also have characteristics of the other types.


Also bear in mind that these four leadership personalities are found across the full spectrum of humanity, not just among alphas. Those who are alphas add to each type the basic qualities that all alphas share: a high degree of aggressiveness, competitiveness, bold self-confidence and a drive to achieve and dominate.


Think of the four types as flavors, each one lending a special taste to the basic alpha mix. 








Commander Alpha Strength Score: 7.5
Commander Alpha Risk Score: 30.7



Your Commander Strengths and Risks


You scored in the bottom quartile for Commander strengths and the second quartile for Commander risks.


Commanders are natural leaders who inspire respect and trust. Your relatively low score on Commander strengths suggests that, while you  may well possess a solid set of leadership skills, you are not particularly adept in Commander strength areas: building on other people’s ideas and inspiring and motivating people to make improvements in their work. You tend to avoid over-investing your energy into people, preferring not to risk disappointing yourself and letting your team and your manager down. It appears that you also avoid fully stepping into leadership positions, preferring to work by yourself behind the scenes. 


However, you most likely drive yourself and your team to achieve results in a way that creates alignment and gets people on board. You may take longer to come to decisions than others, though, because you want to ensure that people are in agreement with the direction you are taking and that they will provide the required follow-through support.


Tips to Develop Your Commander Strengths:


  • Practice speaking up with your ideas and taking a stand in larger meetings.
  • Learn to build on people’s ideas, and then to cycle back to your perspective.
  • Be direct with people if there’s something that you don’t like or that you want done differently. Give people specific and direct feedback to help them improve.
  • Practice telling stories that make a point when you’re speaking with groups of people; this is often a first and important step in becoming more inspirational and motivational.








Visionary Alpha Strength Score: 24.1
Visionary Alpha Risk Score: 33.6



Your Visionary Strengths and Risks


You scored in the bottom quartile for Visionary strengths and the second quartile for Visionary risks.


These scores indicate that you are practical and relatively short term in your thinking, and you tend to keep your mind focused on tangible issues. You are unlikely to express many ideas that people consider fanciful, far-fetched, or unrealistic. While you may be able to recognize the value of vision, oftentimes big-picture thinking makes you uncomfortable, because you get concerned that there aren’t resources or time to implement lofty goals. Although there are a number of advantages to being a realistic thinker, you tend to lack some of the inspirational and innovative strengths that visionary thinkers bring to bear on issues.   


At the same time, you show relatively few of the Visionary’s risks. You do not, for example, abandon important projects in order to pursue novel or risky ideas. You do not get extremely sidetracked or unfocused during meetings. Furthermore, unlike some Visionaries, you also tend to budget your time and resources well, and to show good follow-through.


Tips To Develop Your Visionary Strengths:

  •  Your results indicate that you have the opportunity to further develop your Visionary capabilities.
  • Look for ideas that challenge everyone’s “comfort zone,” including your own.
  • Take time to solicit solutions from others. Stretch your thinking by collecting a wide variety of ideas from other people.
  • It can be difficult to brainstorm new ideas and at the same time evaluate how well they will work. So, when brainstorming, focus on simply getting the ideas out, and then consider how to execute them as a second, separate step.
  • Test your ideas on people who think differently from you, and use their input to ensure that your ideas are both expansive and yet also doable within the boundaries of your budget and staffing constraints.
  • Resist the urge to spin ideas when pitching them to others; if they are genuinely good ideas, they should go over well regardless.
  • Focus on communicating your ideas broadly and developing alignment throughout your organization.








Strategist Alpha Strength Score: 13.8
Strategist Alpha Risk Score: 64.2



Your Strategist Strengths and Risks


You scored in the bottom quartile for Strategist strengths and in the third quartile for Strategist risks.


Your relatively low score in Strategist strengths indicates that you’re less analytical than you are intuitive. You can analyze data, but you don’t see or think about the world through the data lens of a strong Strategist. Your proof might be anecdotal rather than metrically oriented. This approach may well be effective, unless you’re working with a strong alpha Strategist who wants to see your ideas backed up with data.

You show many of the risks of a Strategist thinker. Specifically, you may have trouble connecting with people, and you may believe you have the best idea and most correct approach in almost any situation. You may tend to devalue the skills and talents of others and overvalue your own contributions.

It may be advantageous for you to develop a greater appreciation of other people’s ideas and work styles and spend more time evaluating the merit of their ideas before coming to a conclusion.


Tips to Develop Your Strategist Strengths and Minimize Risks:


  • Develop a metrically oriented system to uncover trends and changes in your business, to provide data-rich information to help you make solid business decisions.
  • Actively seek information from suppliers and customers about trends that could impact your company’s strategy and business tactics. Go beyond anecdotes to focus on facts and data.
  • Learn to display patience when listening to the ideas of others, and to flesh out their ideas by asking in-depth questions.
  • Make an effort to connect with people by meeting regularly and walking the floors. Gather ideas from people and listen thoughtfully to their perspective. Build on their ideas to create the best possible plans.
  • Remember to welcome the ideas that other people bring to you, even if at first they seem overly obvious or not especially useful. Look for that hidden gem that you can acknowledge with sincere appreciation.








Executor Alpha Strength Score: 7.9
Executor Alpha Risk Score: 26.2



Your Executor Strengths and Risks

You scored in the bottom quartile for Executor strengths, and in the second quartile for Executor risks.

Executors are action-oriented, results-driven, self-disciplined and persistent. As someone who scores rather low on Executor strengths, you are better at starting projects than finishing them. Your process is somewhat organic; initially you may have some sort of structure in place, but sometimes you forget to use it.

Instead of tracking down errors and keeping a hawk’s eye on your team, you tend to have a less controlling style. Unlike those who receive high Executor risks scores, you generally refrain from micromanaging, and you are not overly critical of your employees.


Your biggest risk is that you may not be fully engaged with what your people are doing and, as a result, may be surprised that a particular project isn’t finished or that organizational problems have taken root. You may also get sidetracked in your own work and suddenly run out of time when trying to meet deadlines. 

You are at your best when you are teamed with someone who is exceptionally strong in Executor skills and who provides balance that allows you to leverage your strengths.

Tips to Develop Your Executor Strengths:

  •  Avoid “winging it,” based on the assumption that “things always work out.” This habit often results in procrastination and last-minute-itis, leading to unnecessary stress for you and others. Check in with yourself to see if your avoidance is actually a fear of exerting your influence or fully investing yourself. A great fallback is always, “I did the best I could, given I only had the last two days to work on it.”  Then if it’s not good enough, you’ve already got the perfect explanation lined up.
  • Avoid complying and saying yes to projects that you don’t wholeheartedly support. These are the projects where you’re most likely to drop some of the implementation details. Don’t think that always being agreeable is a noble expression of your desire to serve. The motivation to please people generally springs from the fear of upsetting them if you don’t say what they want to hear. Being too agreeable hurts your relationships and your credibility in the long run.
  • Get organized. Begin to keep a To Do list, including both your projects and the assignments you’ve given to others.
  • Document your work and your team’s work—and you’ll suddenly have people paying attention to their work at a different level.










The purpose of this assessment is to increase your awareness of any gaps in your leadership style so that you can focus attention on developing your skills and use the talents of your work colleagues in ways that best complement your leadership style.

The key is to become interested in how you can develop yourself and to become aware of any tendencies you have toward being defensive or resistant to learning. These are the primary obstacles to leadership development, regardless of one’s particular challenges. What’s important is learning to leverage your style—taking advantage of your natural strengths and minimizing or transforming the behaviors that limit your effectiveness.