Consistency and Stability of the LDP Matrix

Consistency and Stability of the LDP Matrix

Statistical reliability is an essential characteristic of psychometric assessments, such as the Leading Profile (LDP).  During multiple studies over the years, researchers have investigated and reported the LDP’s statistical reliability using three widely-recognized measures (see:  LDP Technical Brief 164006: Psychometric Reliability).  Even with ample evidence of reliability (demonstrated at the factor and dimension levels), participants show keen interest in the consistency and stability of the profile matrix featured prominently within various LDP reports.

Figure 1: LDP Profile Matrix


Specifically, trainers and coaches tend to be quite interested in the likelihood that a participant’s primary profile (the quadrant in which their LDP results are plotted – such as, Counselor, Coach, Driver, and Advisor) may change over time.  For example, if a participant is plotted within the Advisor quadrant of the matrix, what are the odds that the participant would again be identified as an Advisor if they were to complete the LDP a second time?


To answer this question, researchers analyzed LDP results from 59 individuals participating in professional training programs.  Participants were selected for this study because they had completed the LDP twice within a six month period, with many taking the LDP twice on the same day (such as, before and after a training event) while others took the LDP months apart. Participants were included if their scores on Achievement Drive (the x-axis on the profile matrix) and Relational Drive (the y-axis on the profile matrix) were outside of the middle quartiles on the respective distributions.  The selection criteria were made to avoid the potential overlap in profiles caused by the majority of participants scoring at or near the 50th percentile on both Achievement Drive and Relational Drive.

As shown in Figure 2, the profile matrix is a graphical depiction of how these two factors interact, with the bulk of participants plotting near the middle of the matrix (where the two bell curves intersect as shown below).  Achievement Drive is comprised of facet dimensions such as Intensity, Assertiveness, and Risk Tolerance, whereas Relational Drive is comprised of facet dimensions such as Openness, Consideration, and Affiliation.

Figure 2: Factor Distributions as Portrayed on the Profile Matrix

Grid2.0-with-LDP copy

While excluding the middle quartiles of each factor limited the sample available, the narrower focus allowed for a clear analysis of profile stability by considering participants plotting within the corners of their respective quadrants.


The distribution of participants’ initial primary profiles is shown in Table 1 below, based on their first LDP attempt.

Table 1: Participants’ Initial Primary Profiles
Profile (Initial LDP) Number
Counselor 8
Coach 23
Driver 20
Advisor 8

As indicated above, each participant had completed the LDP a subsequent time, with a median elapsed time of between 3-4 days between attempts.  A comparison of the initial and subsequent LDP attempts is provided in Table 2 below.

Table 2: Participants’ Primary Profile Comparison (Initial and Subsequent LDP Attempts)
  Profile (Subsequent LDP)
Profile (Initial LDP) Counselor Coach Driver Advisor
Counselor 8 0 0 0
Coach 1 19 2 1
Driver 0 5 15 0
Advisor 0 0 0 8


As indicated in Table 2, 100% of participants within the Counselor and Advisor quadrants of the Profile Matrix were identified in the same quadrants by their subsequent LDP attempt.  Participants initially identified as Coach and Driver profiles remained within these same quadrants at the rate of 83% and 75%, respectively.  Of the 95 questions asked by the LDP, participants changed 11 questions on average (with a standard deviation of 6 questions).  The average factor change between administrations was minimal or nonexistent, with a 3% change in Achievement Drive (with participants trending to the left on the x-axis) and less than a 1% change for Relational Drive factor, as shown in Table 3 below.

Table 3: Participants’ Average Factor Comparison (Initial and Subsequent LDP Attempts)
LDP Factor Initial Average Score Subsequent Average Score Average Difference
Achievement Drive 65.33% 62.28% -3.05%
Relational Drive 52.02% 52.62% 0.62%

When the sample was expanded to include participants from moderate regions of the Profile Matrix (n=197), approximately two-thirds of participants remained within their respective quadrants between LDP attempts. While participants within the Coach profile were least likely to change profiles (only 26% of participants changed their profile), participants in the Advisor profile were most likely to change profiles (48% of these participants changed their profile). While 34% of Counselors changed their profile, 39% of Drivers changed their profile between LDP attempts.


Overall, 85% of participants did not change their profile between the initial and subsequent LDP attempts.  Of those who did change from one primary profile to another (approximately 1 out of every 6-7 participants), participants moved to a quadrant immediate adjacent to their initial Primary Profile (such as from the Driver quadrant to the Coach quadrant).  It should be noted that no participants moved diagonally within the matrix.

Given these findings, it is clear that the majority of participants tend to remain within their initial Primary Profiles over time. In the event a shift is made, participants’ results will tend to reflect their adjacent Primary Profiles.  While participants should be trained and coached to recognize and adapt to other quadrants (depending on the setting), it appears that most will tend to rely on one Primary Profile more often than not.

For thousands of participants all over the globe, the LDP Profile Matrix provides a meaningful and easy-to-use reference point to promote self-awareness.  By utilizing the LDP Profile Matrix, participants learn to recognize their own Primary Profiles, while appreciating the characteristics and needs of others with whom they may interact in diverse settings (such as leadership, sales, customer service, and team-building). Questions regarding this brief may be directed to Dr. Douglas Waldo, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, CFLDP at