Looks Good on Paper?

Using In-Depth Personality Assessment to Predict Leadership Performance

Leslie S. Pratch

Columbia University Press

Looks Good on Paper?

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Pub Date: June 2014

ISBN: 9780231168366

248 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $29.95£24.95

Pub Date: June 2014

ISBN: 9780231537643

248 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $28.99£23.95

Looks Good on Paper?

Using In-Depth Personality Assessment to Predict Leadership Performance

Leslie S. Pratch

Columbia University Press

Leslie S. Pratch is a practicing psychologist who focuses on assessing and coaching executives who occupy or are candidates for top positions in business organizations. In this book, she shares insights from more than twenty years of executive evaluations and offers an empirical method of identifying executives who will be effective within organizations—and to flag those who will ultimately fail—by evaluating hidden aspects of personality and character.

Pratch compares candidates with impressive careers and tries to determine which are likely to act with consistently high integrity and exhibit sound, timely judgment when faced with unanticipated business problems. Central to effective leadership is a psychological quality called "active coping," which Pratch defines and explores by referencing case studies, historical figures, and her own scholarly work. This book speaks not only to those in hiring positions and their advisors but also more widely to leaders and anyone who wishes to learn more about their own character and the abilities of those around them. Pratch offers knowledge, asks questions, and challenges common perceptions, providing a practical tool for those in business and for the general reader.
In Looks Good on Paper?, Pratch applies years of field study to present an easily understandable model to predict long-term senior-management success. This book will not only help you effectively understand the quality of management teams but also help you improve your ability to choose leaders for your own company and possibly improve your leadership skills in the process. John W. Rogers, Jr., chairman, CEO, and chief investment officer, Ariel Investments
Pratch's insightful analysis and focus on sizing up the candidate's total personality will help anyone making a hiring decision identify people with integrity and the requisite coping skills to deal with the challenges of leadership. E. David Coolidge III, vice chairman and former CEO, William Blair & Company
Over many years advising on the selection of CEOs and other executives, Pratch has identified the underlying psychological characteristics of effective business leaders under different circumstances and developed a sophisticated methodology for determining whether a given individual would be likely or unlikely to be effective in particular circumstances. Yet her book is not just for boards of directors and wannabe CEOs. Readers are likely to come away with a better understanding of themselves. Marvin Zonis, Booth School of Business, University of Chicago
Looks Good on Paper? addresses that most vexing of hiring questions: can you get underneath someone's resume and figure out who will be an effective leader? Leslie Pratch's answer is yes, and this exploration of her methods is fascinating reading for businesspeople and laypeople alike. Bethany McLean, coauthor, The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron
Introduction
Part I: The Theory and Practice of Active Coping
1. The Power of Active Coping
2. Predicting Performance
3. Coping Styles and Coping Holes
4. What Lies Beneath?
5. Integrity
6. Psychological Autonomy: Lemmings Need Not Apply
7. Integrative Capacity: Seeing Reality with Both Eyes Open
8. Catalytic Coping
9. Implications for Female Leaders
Part II: Enhancing Your Active Coping
10. Past Is Not Necessarily Prologue: Improving Your Active Coping
11. Self-Assessment for Strengthening Active Coping
12. Developing Active Coping: A Success Story
13. Conclusion
Appendix A: Technical Companion to Chapter 3
Appendix B: Technical Companion to Chapter 4
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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About the Author

Leslie S. Pratch has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Northwestern University and an MBA in strategy and finance from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and has published a number of scholarly articles.