Jean Leslie

Jean Leslie, MA

Senior Fellow & Director of Strategic Initiatives

Current Role

Jean Leslie is a CCL Senior Fellow and our Director of Strategic Initiatives. In this role, she develops, oversees, and helps implement programs, projects, and processes that support the vision and the short- and long-term plans of the global Leadership Research and Analytics group.


With 35 years of experience at CCL, Jean has made numerous contributions in the areas of research, publication, product development, and training. She was one of the first staff members to conduct a cross-cultural research project and to publish findings of this research for the practicing manager (A Look at Derailment Today: North America and Europe, CCL, 1996; A Cross-National Comparison of Effective Leadership and Teamwork, CCL, 1997).

Jean’s cultural interests led to a role where she was responsible for translating, adapting, and validating CCL assessment instruments for use outside of the United States. In addition to her interests in international research, Jean has developed an expertise in 360-degree feedback. She is a co-author of our flagship 360-degree feedback instrument, Benchmarks®, and more recently co-authored our newest organizational assessment, The Leadership Gap Indicator™. Jean has served as an instructor for our Assessment Certification Course and Emerging Leaders Program.

Jean has published more than 100 pieces on leadership, assessment, and feedback in the form of peer-reviewed articles, popular-press articles, book chapters, and books. She has also presented over 70 papers at professional conferences such as the Academy of Management and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychologists.

Educational Background

Jean has an MA in Sociology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a BA in Sociology from Elon University.

Professional Affiliations and Certifications

Jean is an affiliate member of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychologists, and she’s a member of the Academy of Management, the Data Governance Professionals Organization, the Data Governance Institute, and the International Leadership Association (ILA).

Her certifications include the following:

  • Project Management, Coursera, 2023
  • Polarity Partnerships, The Polarity Approach for Continuity and Transformation, 2013
  • The Reina Leadership Trust Scale, 2008
  • Workplace Big 5, 2008
  • Effective On-line Facilitation, Fielding Graduate Institute, 2003
  • Benchmarks®, Skillscope®, Prospector, 360 By Design™, Executive Dimensions, Keys™, and Leadership Gap Indicator™ for organizational assessment, Center for Creative Leadership, 1999
  • Systematic Multi-Level Observation of Groups (SYMLOG) for individual and teamwork assessment, 1990

Honors, Awards, Grants

Jean has received multiple honors, awards, and grants for her work, including the following:

  • SHRM Foundation Grant, principal investigator, $137,650 USD, 2014–2016.
  • Special Recognition Award acknowledging the importance of the research to the healthcare industry; the practical, actionable information provided; the uniqueness/originality of the display; and overall value to the conference; Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) Annual Conference Content Committee, 2015.
  • Senior Fellow, Center for Creative Leadership, 2007.
  • Singapore Economic Development Board research fund, principal investigator, $143,000 USD, 2006.
  • Best Symposium in the Management Education and Development Division, Academy of Management, 2002.

Insights From Jean

By understanding the 3 key leadership tensions that today’s managers are grappling with, your organization can help address them, improving retention and overall performance.
Purpose-driven leadership is a critical factor for individual and organizational success. Learn how and why purpose is key to increased employee engagement and satisfaction.
Want to set yourself apart as a leader? Arm yourself with these 6 essential skills. Our global research study found that organizations will need these 6 key qualities that their leaders presently lack.

Jean in the News

CCL and partner ExecOnline identified 3 tensions for workplace leaders and how organizations can address them right now.

Featured in Other Publications

By Jean Leslie, Senior Fellow and Director of Strategic Initiatives, and Kelly Simmons, Global Director for Consultative Leadership Solutions, on how leaders can trust and verify the work of remote employees, in Quartz at Work.

Authored by CCL Senior Fellow and Director of Strategic Initiatives Jean Leslie, and CCL Faculty Member Cheryl Flink, PhD, in Talent Management.

Authored by CCL Global VP of Research, Analytics, and Impact Cheryl Flink, PhD, CCL Senior Fellow and Director of Strategic Initiatives Jean Leslie, and CCL Global Director for Digital Learning Samir Mehta, in Talent Management.

Authored by Jean Brittain Leslie to accompany her interview for the Voice America podcast on improving virtual team success by leveraging paradoxes.