top of page
Sensei Leadership Complexities  
Screenshot 2019-10-24 at 22.06.19.png

‘SENSEI LEADERSHIP COMPLEXITIES’ is a leadership assessment tool used by senior leaders of organizations to understand the complexities that arise when leadership behaviours are used in excess, and how to address these.  

The Concept

We learn leadership behaviours over our lifetime with various theoretical learnings and practical experiences. We tend to adopt what works for us and discard what does not. What works in one situation may not work in another. We may need to use different approaches for different situations. Leadership complexities take place when we tend to overdo certain leadership behaviours, which can result in unintended negative outcomes.  

Leadership Complexities  described by the creator of the assessment: Ranjan De Silva

The Five Common ‘Leadership Complexities’ 

We would like to present five common leadership complexities that we have encountered during our leadership practice, along with remedies for each complexity. 

Each leadership complexity could be high, medium or low as described below:


•    High complexity areas need immediate attention for remedy 

•    Moderate complexity areas need to be improved to achieve low complexity

•    Low complexity areas need to be at least maintained at current levels

About the remedies

Reducing complexity to find the ideal level is difficult to do. It takes discipline, courage, humility, and a willingness to make things simple. Reflect on the remedies suggested, take small action steps, reflect on the impact, take new action and continue an action-reflection process, noticing the behaviour changes resulting from the reduction of the level of complexity and improvements in the performance of your team. More details about remedies and specific suggestions based on the relevant leadership complexity will be provided in the ‘Sensei Leadership Complexity’ assessment report. 

THE leaderShip complexities REPORT

How to use the report
For those currently in leadership roles and aspiring to higher leadership roles
  • To understand your leadership complexities and improve these for better effectiveness in your current role or in preparation for promotion

  • To understand your leadership complexities and assess appropriate training and/or coaching interventions to improve leadership effectiveness

For Organizations:  
  • To assess the leadership complexities of candidates for better recruitment decisions.

  • To assess the leadership complexities of leaders for better promotion decisions or for allocation into a team (e.g. a project team).

  • To assess the leadership complexities of leaders to identify the root causes  of related business issues, and make effective people and/or organizational development decisions such as role allocation, job switching, re-organization, coaching, mentoring and training,  better promotion decisions or for project team allocation.

The Sensei Leadership Complexities Questionnaire

The Sensei Leadership Complexities assessments are easy to take. Respondents need to select one of 4 options provided for various leadership situations. 20 such situations would be offered for respondents to reflect on and select. The test could be completed in about 20 minutes, and the time taken would vary depending on how fast respondents select their responses. Sensei uses adaptive testing to ensure the practical relevance of results.

Sample of the questionnaire

The Sensei Leadership Complexities Brief Report – Free

We are pleased to offer you the Sensei Leadership Complexities basic report free of charge. Given below is a sample of the basic report.

Leadership Com. Brief report.png
The Sensei Leadership Complexities Comprehensive Report – At A Nominal Fee

If you would like to know more about your leadership complexities, you could get a Sensei Leadership Complexities comprehensive report at a nominal fee. Please click here to download a sample report to examine the format of information that will be available to you

The high complexity area has the highest score and the respective remedy score is the lowest. The scores of each area are independent of other areas. 

Complexity #1: Inflexibility

This is when the need to maintain an air of inflexibility among the people we lead becomes excessive. This hampers our ability to build trust among our people. Employees want to see their leaders as human beings, so that they can be comfortable being human. If the leader tries to show he/she is never wrong and never weak, employees emulate that behavior. The result is a never-ending posturing exercise, where real dialogue and decision-making die. The remedy for this complexity is to develop trust.

Complexity 1.png

The high complexity area has the highest score and the respective remedy score is the lowest. The scores of each area are independent of other areas.

Complexity #2: Sureness

This is when leaders try excessively to ensure that their decisions are accurate, precise, and correct. This creates paralysis in companies when leaders wait until they have enough information to be sure about their decisions. Employees lose heart. Executives lose confidence. All because someone was afraid to make a tough call in the face of imperfect information. The remedy for this complexity is to develop simplicity.

Complexity 2.png

The high complexity area has the highest score and the respective remedy score is the lowest. The scores of each area are independent of other areas.

Complexity #3: Fake-Peace

This is the tendency of many leaders to maintain a fake sense of peace in their team by avoiding involving employees with strong conflicting opinions in the same discussion. This is done at the expense of productive conversations, passionate ideological discussions and healthy arguments around the issues which every company must face. This also results in ineffective decision making and poor creativity. Employees with strong opinions often care most about the good of the organization, and they should be encouraged to share their opinions with one another to ensure that all ideas are mined, and it creates buy-in among employees who had their say in a particular matter. The remedy for this complexity is to develop respect.

Complexity 3.png

The high complexity area has the highest score and the respective remedy score is the lowest. The scores of each area are independent of other areas.

Complexity #4: Admiration

This is the dangerous need to be admired by the people whom we lead.
This is problematic because it makes us hesitate when it is time to hold someone responsible for their behavior or accountable for their failure to deliver results. Fearing that they will hurt the feelings of their staff members, too many leaders avoid giving them the feedback they need in order to improve. This ultimately hurts individual’s development and the organization's ability to produce results. The remedy for this complexity is to develop responsibility.   

Complexity 4.png

The high complexity area has the highest score and the respective remedy score is the lowest. The scores of each area are independent of other areas. 

Complexity #5: Power

This complexity is the natural but dangerous tendency to use the power and status that accompanies our roles as leaders, to make autocratic decisions or influence team members to make decisions preferred by the leader, and attempt to get such decisions implemented through fear and intimidation. The other problem with enjoying power and status is that it inevitably distances leaders from their team members who implement decisions, and the customers who play a key role in delivering revenue. The remedy for this complexity is to develop engagement. 

Complexity 5.png
Who Created the ‘Leadership Complexities’ assessment?

Omar Khan, the founder of Sensei International, introduced the concept of ‘Leadership Temptations’ (discussed by Patrick Lencioni of The Table Group in his book, The Five Temptations of a CEO) to Sensei International consultants. Ranjan De Silva, Senior Management Consultant of Sensei International, critically examined the concept during his leadership development work over the past 20 years and customised it to suit the practical realities of his clients in the name and style of ‘Leadership Complexities’. Many leaders wanted to find out their ‘Leadership Complexity’ and in response, Ranjan created the ‘Leadership Complexities’ assessment.

  • For a deeper exploration, we invite you to invest in a comprehensive report for only US$ 15. You may first take the free assessment and decide if you would like to invest in the comprehensive report. The link to the comprehensive report will be provided once you complete the assessment and receive the free report. 

  • You could repeat the assessment once, free of charge. Please follow the instructions in the email you receive with the comprehensive report if you need to repeat the assessment.

  • Please click here, If you have more than 10 participants to assess and develop in your organization.

  • Please click here, If you would like to recommend this assessment to family, friends or colleagues - we will send them a link through email. 

Further notes

Thank you for using Sensei Assessments.
We wish you all success! 

More value for you!

Here are some ideas to extract more value from Sensei International 


Attend a Workshop

Attend a workshop to further explore and develop.


Subscribe and receive our monthly team leadership newsletter 

Follow Blog

Follow Ranjan De Silva's (creator of this assessment) blog

Follow and like us:

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn Social Icon
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
bottom of page