Skip to main content

The Inspiring Leadership Compass

Navigating Leadership Excellence: A Holistic Approach for the 21st Century

The Inspiring Leadership Compass, developed by Jonathan and Leigh Bowman-Perks, is a comprehensive tool that evaluates a leader’s performance and potential. It is based on extensive research and global assessments of leaders and addresses key topics such as employee well-being, resilience, and legacy that are critical for leaders in the 21st century. 

MQ: Moral Integrity – You live life according to a clear set of principles, values and beliefs that guide your decisions, choices and actions. You aim to do the right thing at work and in your community. Your work ethics, professionalism and moral intelligence define how much other people trust and willingly follow you. They are reassured by the consistency with which you know what you will do and what you will not do. Your word is your bond. 

PQ: Purpose – You strive for purpose and meaning in both your personal and professional life. This drives you towards a more fulfilling and satisfying existence, including spiritual intelligence, independent of religious belief. As Mark Twain stated, “The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you discover why.” Your strong sense of purpose shapes your mission, vision, and values in both your work and the organization you choose to work for. 

HQ: Health & Well-being: You prioritise maintaining good physical and mental health by focusing on optimising your nutrition, exercise, sleep, and breathing habits. Evidence-based practices are the foundation for your overall well-being, including physical fitness, emotional balance, energy, and productivity. As a healthy leader, you inspire others to also prioritise their well-being and contribute positively to your team, clients, and organisation. 

IQ: General Intelligence: Your performance is influenced by more than just your IQ, which accounts for only 6%. To excel, you must cultivate not only intelligence but also sound judgement and deep wisdom. Your wisdom is shaped by the company you keep and your willingness to learn from mistakes and view them as valuable learning opportunities. To gain the guidance you need for key decisions, surround yourself with wise coaches, mentors, and advisers. 

EQ: Emotional and Social Competence
To effectively use emotional intelligence, you should: 

  • Be self-aware of and understand your emotions and be able to express them effectively 
  • Understand and empathise with others’ emotions and be able to relate well with them 
  • Manage and control your emotions to effectively handle daily demands, problems, and pressures 
  • Adapt and problem-solve in both personal and interpersonal situations 
  • Cultivate a positive mood to maintain self-motivation and engagement 


RQ: Resilience – This is your ability to successfully cope with disappointment, crisis, and catastrophe. It also involves the ability to recover from setbacks and learn from them, resulting in increased wisdom and strength. It goes beyond simply being robust and encompasses the concept of being “anti-fragile.” A helpful mindset for handling adversity is the stoic philosophy of recognizing that it is not the events themselves that cause problems, but rather our thoughts about those events. As the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius said, “It’s not the events that are a problem, it’s your thoughts about those events which are.” Adopting the mantra “Obstacles Make Me Stronger” (OOMS) can also be helpful in developing resilience. 


BQ: Brand, Reputation, Image & Impact – Your personal brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room” – Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder and CEO.  

Building trust, respect, and influence with others is crucial in creating a positive personal brand. This can be achieved through building emotional bank accounts with others, by maintaining a positive attitude, showing appreciation and respect to others. Additionally, having a solid foundation of knowledge and skills in your profession helps to establish credibility. In short, it’s important to cultivate a positive attitude and a strong foundation of knowledge and skills in order to build a strong personal brand that others trust, respect and willingly follow. 


LQ: Legacy & Stewardship –  

Your legacy is the impact you leave behind after each role you complete and years of work, whether you’re an entrepreneur or a leader in an organisation. It’s about leaving things better than they were when you started. This includes the impact you have made on your organization, colleagues, community, and society. It’s important to strive for significance, not just survival or success, by making an important and sustainable difference based on your personal contributions. As you consider your legacy, ask yourself, “Am I leading a life of survival, success, or significance?” And strive to make a meaningful impact in all areas of your life.