The 21st Century Executive: Innovative Practices for Building Leadership at the Top

By Rob Silzer | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 3
Understanding the
Personality of the
Executive

Leslie Pratch, Harry Levinson

You must look into people as well as at them.

LORD CHESTERFIELD

The long-term success of a company depends on selecting the best senior managers and developing their fullest potential. There is no shortage of computerized surveys, standardized tests, 360degree evaluations, and other instruments that aim to help select and cultivate the best. Yet experience attests that instruments alone fall short of doing the job. Human behavior in organizational settings is so complex that only a multidimensional approach that assesses the individual-organizational interface can come close to anticipating behavior over the long run.

In this chapter, we offer a comprehensive structural psychological approach to understanding the established continuity of the inner world of the executive and its influence on external behavior. This approach supplements traditional industrial and organizational approaches to leadership and executive personality.

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