"The data are quite clear that personality and leadership are closely connected—who you are determines how you lead."


Because we believe the quote above by Dr. Robert Hogan in Personality and the Fate of Organizations to be true—who you are determines how you leadwe began incorporating personality assessments into our retained search process several years ago.  We chose Hogan Assessments as the most promising tool available.

While Hogan has supported research into the impact of leaders' personalities in various industries, there are no extant personality-assessment studies of independent-school leaders and the organizational implications of their leadership style.

So we decided to conduct one.

In Phase I of our Leadership Study, we asked the heads of our member schools to take the first of the three components of the assessment, the Hogan Personality Inventory.  Over 40% of our member school heads participated, and we published the results in 2020.

Phase II will use the Hogan Development Survey, and we will be asking heads of our member schools to take the assessment in March & April 2021, and we plan to publish the results this fall.

We will follow the same pattern in 2022 for Phase III, the Motives, Values, Preferences Inventory part of the Hogan Assessment, which will conclude our Leadership Study.


Phase I

The Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI) is used to predict “bright-side” personality, or what is seen when people are at their best. It focuses on characteristics that appear in social interactions and that facilitate or inhibit a person’s ability to get along with others and to achieve his or her goals. This tool is designed to predict occupational performance by measuring day-to-day personality characteristics that drive behavior. The deeply ingrained characteristics measured by the HPI impact how individuals approach work and their interactions with others.

Phase II

This phase will use the Hogan Development Survey (HDS) that measures the personality-related risk factors and blind spots that derail careers. These behaviors might be strengths, but when overused can cause problems at work and in life. Whereas characteristics of the HPI (Phase I) can be seen in a person’s day-to-day behaviors, the performance risks assessed by the HDS will only be seen in situations where a person is not actively managing his or her public image. This might include high stress or change, multi-tasking, task saturation, or poor person-job fit. Phase II will also look at the interplay between the HPI and HDS by those who have taken both assessments.

Phase III

The Motives, Values, Preferences Inventory (MVPI) is the final part of the Hogan Assessment. It describes personality from the inside–the core goals, values, drivers, and interests that determine what a person desires and strives to attain. By assessing values, one can understand what motivates a person to succeed, and in what type of position, job, and environment he or she will be the most productive. This study will also explore comprehensive patterns that have emerged from school leaders who have taken all three Hogan assessments, looking at day-to-day strengths, potential derailers, and core drivers.

Search Expertise

Jamie Estes, leading the Southern Teachers Search Team, has conducted over 200 successful leadership searches for independent schools around the South.

As we refined our search process, it became clear that schools value personality assessments as a part of the process.  We use the sophisticated insights and rich descriptive language offered by Hogan to help integrate the disparate components of a search into a cohesive whole.  They help us translate performance objectives into personality traits needed to achieve these objectives, and with this framework, we screen candidates and guide search committees more effectively, efficiently, and productively than ever.

Jamie Estes has undertaken advanced levels of formal Hogan training so that we may incorporate these tools into our process.

Seeking new leaders or administrators?  Call us.  You need an experienced search team with the most discerning process available.

Contact Jamie Estes at 434-295-9122 or Jamie.Estes@SouthernTeachers.com

Jamie Estes
  • Southern Teachers has been a great long-term partner in our hiring. Taking the time and making the effort to know our school and its culture has built a relationship that has allowed you to send us better candidates.

    DuBose EglestonCharleston, SC


  • At each juncture in my career, I have reconnected with Southern Teachers. They are unique among teacher agencies in that they commit time and resources to knowing candidates and building partnerships with them.

    Marie Reed Charlottesville, VA


  • Southern Teachers is one of the easiest placement organizations I have worked with. Your staff is accessible, supportive, and sustains a high level of engagement. Your website is easy to navigate and the video introductions of candidates are a real plus.

    Garhett WagersHouston, TX



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