Our Leadership Advisory Approach

Our leadership advisory approach helps organizations reduce the risk of executive selection. By employing our unique framework, Leadership Span™, we increase the likelihood of long-term C-suite success.

Leadership Span - Our Proprietary Process

What types of leaders are best suited to help you navigate future uncertainty?

Based on our latest research findings, the leadership qualities required in the C-suite have changed dramatically in recent years.

Hence, we created Leadership Span,a unique approach to how Russell Reynolds Associates performs leadership advisory, assessment and search. Our researched and proven methods of finding and evaluating leaders who are well-equipped for the rapidly shifting landscapes in your industry allow us to address your company’s top priorities and concerns for executive search results.

Position Your Organization’s Leadership for Long-term Success

Leadership Span powers Russell Reynolds Associates’, a global leadership advisory and search firm to work with organizations across all senior-level roles to:


future leaders who are best equipped to navigate constant uncertainty, mitigating risks and improving executive transitions.


robust succession plans to ensure the right kind of talent is available as needed.


C-suite leaders to assemble the right teams, tools, and timelines to achieve long-term company milestones.


next-generation leaders with the highest future potential early in their careers.

“Leadership Span is a game-changer in the world of executive search... We will help companies select and develop best-in-class leaders who demonstrate prowess across competing competencies.”
— Clarke Murphy, CEO, Russell Reynolds Associates

Mitigate the Risk of Executive Selection

We have spent decades addressing our clients’ most common question: How do we identify the best leaders to successfully navigate our business through future uncertainty?

Our latest research, grounded in decades of leadership advisory work experience as well as Hogan Assessments' scientific acumen, reveals that the answers to this question are nuanced and unexpected:

The traits that get a leader to the C-Suite are not always the best predictors of future success.

Success profiles are no longer defined by mutually exclusive characteristics.

Fast-paced business environments need enduring yet agile leaders with a portfolio of competing traits.

Leadership Span accounts for these contrarian findings and is the underlying foundation of our work in helping clients mitigate the risk of executive selection and develop the best executive talent.


Activating Our Approach

Our research shows that successful leaders master the tensions of competing traits. To measure this, Leadership Span is comprised of two components: Core Leadership and C-Suite Differentiators.

Russell Reynolds Leadership Span<sup>™</sup> Executive Search and Assessment

Core Leadership

Competencies that represent the essential leadership traits required of all leaders at all levels.

C-Suite Differentiators

Sets of competencies that seem dichotomous by nature. But those leaders who master the ability to move across them have proven to be high-level, long-term performers.


  • Leaders challenge the status quo and make the case for fundamental changes.
  • However, they also act as an organizational filter during times of volatility and understand the practical limits on the amount of change an organization can absorb.


  • Leaders thrive in ambiguity and adapt nimbly.
  • Yet, they also exercise caution in taking risks and foresee threats of the horizon.


  • Leaders display perseverance in the face of challenges and assert their own strengths.
  • Also are acutely aware of their limitations.


  • Leaders inspire trust through influence, charisma, and drive.
  • Conversely, they let others take the spotlight and empower others to create powerful networks within and beyond the organization.

Find out how our leadership advisors leverage Leadership Span to transform your organization.

C-Suite Thought Leadership & News

Caretakers, Chameleons and Specialists

The C-Suite in 2021: Rapid technological innovation, an explosion of entrepreneurial activity, and globalization.


Productive Disruptors

Read about the five characteristics that differentiate transformational leaders.


Hogan-Russell Reynolds Associates Partnership

Advancing the science of assessment through Leadership Span.


Applying the Leadership Span model

Executive Search

Mitigate executive selection and find leadership longevity.


Succession Planning

Retain top leaders, maximize decision options, and drive a seamless transition.



Identify and develop the leaders of today and tomorrow.


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Our Approach