The history…

After many years exploring different leadership assessment platforms, in 2020 Sherrington Associates committed to developing our own suite of assessment tools, specialising in assessing leaders for their potential to deliver sustainability in their organisations. We first needed to identity a robust model of sustainable leadership with which to build the tools around.

four-a-model-logo.jpg#asset:2672 To inform our model of sustainable leadership, Sherrington commissioned Dr Paul Beers, Professor of Sustainability at Derby University, who, following a horizon-scanning exercise in 2022, carried out a deep literature review to examine the most credible and evidenced-based models of sustainable leadership and identify the most prolific areas of consensus between them.

After many months of research, during which time Paul and his team scoured through a plethora of published articles and literature ranging from grey literature through to the most credible published authors on the subject of sustainable leadership, finally in late 2022 the project was complete.

The 4A Model of Sustainable Leadership is a consensus model, informed by an evidenced-based comparison of available sustainable leadership literature. Taking the most widely-agreed qualities from world-leading frameworks of sustainable leadership, The 4A Model of Sustainable Leadership is a consensus-model, informed by an evidence-based comparison of the most credible sources of contemporary expertise on the subject from across the globe. The 4A Model is now our framework for recruiting and developing sustainable leaders.



The 4A Model of Sustainable Leadership informs everything we do at Sherrington Associates. Whether used to assess a shortlist of leaders or future leaders as part of a retained recruitment project, or being used as a framework for leadership development and executive coaching, The 4A Model is our template for good leadership in the 2020’s.

1. Candidate Assessment


The 4A Model is our framework for assessing leadership candidates for their potential for sustainability during the recruitment process. Using the 4A Online Self-Assessment Tool along with tailored biographical and competency-based interviews, our Consultants can scrutinise the qualities of sustainable leadership and gain a rounded insight of a candidate’s potential to deliver sustainability in our client’s organisation.

2. Leadership Development


The 4A Self-Assessment Tool is an excellent framework for leadership development that serves to strengthen self-awareness of the qualities needed for sustainable leadership. Our coaches use the model to help leaders identify their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to delivering sustainability. These insights provide a structure for our executive coaching programmes, helping leaders improve their ability to perform.

  • A 'best evidence' model founded on rigorous academic research
  • Assesses the most important qualities for sustainable leadership
  • Easy to use, results emailed instantly


The 4A Self-Assessment

Gaining a level of self-awareness is critical for leaders looking to develop their sustainable leadership skills. The 4A Self-Assessment Tool helps leaders and future leaders understand their current potential for sustainable leadership through completion of a short online survey.

Evidence-based and created by gaining the consensus across the most credible of contemporary theories of sustainable leadership, the 4A Self-Assessment Tool allows you to assess your own potential for the most widely-agreed hallmarks of sustainable

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The 4A Team Assessment

When used across a team, the tools provide an aggregated picture of the collective self-images of individual leaders, as well as the collective view of the whole team. Administered confidentially and anonymously, the assessment is simple to use, takes no longer than 15 minutes for users to complete and results can be available within 24 hours.

The value of these insights can’t be underestimated when it comes to assessing a leadership team’s potential for delivering sustainability.

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The 4A Peer-Group Assessment

Taking the insights gained from completing the 4A Self-Assessment, the next step is to complete the 4A Peer-Group Assessment to achieve a wider spectrum of insights gained from peers and colleagues.

The 4A Peer-Group Assessment allows leaders and future leaders to access the views of peers and colleagues, providing valuable insight to the level of alignment with their own self-image. Understanding how others perceive your potential for sustainable leadership provides an understanding of the lived experience of others who witness your leadership style on a daily basis.

When used together these simple assessments can provide the basis for positive change in your leadership team.

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Find Out More

To find out more about how the 4A Model of Sustainable Leadership can support your organisation, talk to our team.

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A ground-breaking, evidence-based, consensus model of sustainable leadership.

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