The following business leaders and scholars offer advance praise for the first manuscript of Leslie's forthcoming book, provisionally titled LOOKS GOOD ON PAPER.
By James MacGregor Burns
Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science and Leadership scholar, Williams College.
"Good on Paper is a compelling study offering a fresh approach to the vital but complex role of leadership. This book manages to be both profound and readable.”
Burns has written about the traits of great men and transactional management to focus on the interaction of leaders and led as collaborators working toward mutual benefit. He is best known for contributions to the Transformational, Aspirational and Visionary schools of leadership theory. Burns has advocated repeal of the 22nd amendment to allow effective presidents to have a third or fourth term of office.
By Eric Gleacher
Chairman of the Board, Gleacher & Company.
"Good on Paper will be worth reading by anyone who is going to hire someone to run a business. It will provide a cognitive focus to the process.
“Leslie Pratch is a highly qualified psychologist and a clear communicator. Her insights on how to evaluate the probability of future success of CEO candidates are value added for owners and directors of businesses and not-for-profit enterprises.”
Mr. Gleacher has been the Chairman of the Board of Gleacher & Company from June 2009 to present. Mr. Gleacher was the Chief Executive Officer of Gleacher & Company from February 2010 to October 2010. Mr. Gleacher was Chairman of Gleacher Partners, which he founded in 1990. Mr. Gleacher founded the M&A department at Lehman Brothers in 1978 and headed global M&A at Morgan Stanley from 1985 to 1990.
Mr. Gleacher is Chairman of the Institute for Sports Medicine at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, Chairman of the Ransome Scholarship Trust for St. Andrews University in St. Andrews, Scotland, and serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for Northwestern University. Mr. Gleacher received an M.B.A. from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and a B.A. from Northwestern University, and served as a U.S. Marine infantry officer in the 1960s.
By Brian P. Simmons
Co-Founder and Partner, CHS Capital.
“In this challenging economic environment, the assessment of executive leadership is more critical than ever. Good on Paper takes an all-encompassing approach to the process of hiring executives through a balance of hard facts and the psychological influences of personality and character. Leadership assessment is an essential factor to the success of our private equity investments and our work with Leslie over the years has proven the merits of her approach. Good on Paper will be valuable resource for anyone focused on recruiting top performing leaders. Please accept my best wishes for success with the book.”
Brian Simmons is a Partner and founder of CHS Capital (“CHS”), a Chicago based private equity investment firm formed in 1988. CHS Capital manages over $2.5 billion in private equity capital through five limited partnerships. Investors in CHS sponsored Funds include public and private pension funds, banks, insurance companies, university endowments, money management firms and high net worth individuals.
From Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Brian is a graduate of Cornell University. He is a member of the board of the Lincoln Park Zoo, the Chicago Public Education Fund and the Latin School of Chicago. He is also a member of the Visiting Committee of the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service, and a member of the Emeritus Board of the Greater Chicago Food Depository where he served as Board Chair and Capital Campaign Chair. He belongs to the Economic Club of Chicago and the Commercial Club of Chicago.
By Fred Hipp
“We all look for leaders that can execute AND produce a compelling bottom line; focused not only on doing things right, but doing the right things. Leaders that can motivate while at the same time hold people accountable for results. It’s a unique mix of visionary, cheerleader, mentor and enforcer. In my 30 years as a chain executive I have known many superstars that possess these characteristics, often described as having high self-esteem without being cocky, having a sense of humor without being naïve, generating top tier results with a dedicated following, all while developing the next generation of organizational leadership.
“I often pondered the common thread that these individuals had and how I could characterize it in an attempt to find like talent. Good on Paper provides the insight I have been searching for; the concepts of “active coping”, or the ability to correctly and intuitively respond to unanticipated situations, coupled with “core integrity” identified individuals who consistently do the “right things” – until now, two elusive characteristics that define the attributes of highly effective and successful executives. Leslie Pratch has unlocked these secrets of success in this provocative new book and shows us a path toward substantially improving our leadership success rate by “looking under the covers” of otherwise “successful looking” individuals. All that glitters is not gold!”
By E. David Coolidge III
Vice Chairman. William Blair & Company, Former CEO, William Blair & Company.
“Leslie Pratch has captured the employer’s dilemma in Good on Paper by exposing how conventional evaluative approaches often end up placing the wrong people in important leadership positions. Her 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 of William Blair & Company, joined the firm in 1969. Coolidge, who was CEO from 1995 until January 2004 and also manager of the firm’s Corporate Finance Department from 1977-1994, formerly was a director of the Securities Industry Association and served as governor of the National Association of Securities Dealers. After earning a B.A. from Williams College and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Graduate Business School of Administration, he served in the Peace Corps in Colombia, South America, from 1967-1969.
By James L. Lynn
“I became acquainted with Dr. Pratch when we worked together on coaching and leadership while I was at McDonald’s Corporation. Ours was a very proactive initiative, designed to invest inside and outside resources to fast track the development of several employees. It was clear from the onset that Leslie had the academic credentials and experience necessary to accomplish our goals. These credentials are, after all, the upfront qualities necessary simply to ‘get in the game.’ And, to be honest, lots of professionals would have qualified for this project. Many, in fact, are “good on paper.” It quickly became evident, however, there was more, much more, that Leslie delivered as the work progressed. Her many special talents are difficult to describe, but I’ll try.
“Simply put, she has an uncanny ability to cut through the haze and fog with a laser-like focus to see quite clearly the strengths and weaknesses of those with whom she works. Leslie can do that at any level, from the Board Room to the Mail Room. She is, in my estimation, a consummate professional and a tremendous asset to any organization.
“Good on Paper describes the science behind her method of personality assessment and offers the reader tips in a way that is accessible to improve his or her chances to succeed in life, continue to develop self-esteem, integrity, and the ability to bounce back from set backs and defeats.”
Jim Lynn was with McDonald's Corporation for 27 years as Corporate Vice President, Communications. Jim retired in August 2006 and continues on as an adviser to McDonald’s Corporation.
By John W. Rogers, Jr.
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Ariel Investments.
"The ability to assess executive talent is the most important factor in determining the eventual success of any investment. Unfortunately it is also one of the most difficult analyses to undertake. In Good on Paper Leslie 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 it will 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. is founder, chairman and chief investment officer of Ariel Investments, a Chicago-based money management firm that serves institutional clients through separately managed accounts as well as individual investors and defined contribution plans through its no-load mutual funds.
Beyond Ariel, John currently serves as a board member of Aon Corporation, Exelon Corporation and McDonald’s Corporation. Additionally, he is a director of the Chicago Urban League, a trustee of the University of Chicago, chairman of the board of trustees for the University of Chicago Laboratory School and a member of the board of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, where he chairs the investment committee. John is also chairman of the Economic Club of Chicago, a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute and a past board president of the Chicago Park District.
In 2008, John was awarded Princeton University’s highest honor, the Woodrow Wilson Award, presented each year to the alumni whose career embodies a commitment to national service. Following the election of President Barack Obama, he served as co-chair for the Presidential Inaugural Committee 2009. Last year, John was also appointed by President Obama as chair of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability. In 2010, John was named an Outstanding Director by the Outstanding Directors Exchange for his leadership on governance, management and diversity in the boardroom.
By Marvin Zonis, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus, Booth School of Business, The University of Chicago.
“Leadership manuals as pervasive as they are, are all too frequently useless. Here’s a refreshing change: a successful means to identify business leaders more likely than not to be effective and, hopefully, successful. Leslie Pratch carefully unpacks the differences and understands the limitations of even the most effective leader. Still, business success without an effective leader, she shows, is not very likely. But how are boards of directors or business owners to identify the characteristics of effective leaders? Pratch again comes to the rescue. She has identified the characteristics of effective leaders and developed a sophisticated methodology for determining whether any given individual would be able to be such a leader in particular circumstances. Whether you want to be such a leader or want to hire one – you are on the way with this book.”
Co-Author of Risk Rules, How Local Politics Threaten the Global Economy (April 2011).
Marvin Zonis teaches a unique course on leadership at the Booth School of Business where he tries to show his students an appreciation for the importance of the role of emotions in business and the need to listen to and understand others. He tries to teach a number of soft skills to round out his students' educations. He was also the first professor at Chicago Booth to teach a course on the effects of digital technologies on global business.
A leading authority on the Middle East, his writings have been published, among other places, in the Financial Times, the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, and the Japanese journal Nikkei Weekly. His books include The Kimchi Matters: Global Business and Local Politics in a Crisis Driven World, The Eastern European Opportunity, and The Political Elite of Iran. He also has appeared on various programs, including Nightline, and CNN's Larry King Live and is interviewed regularly on National Public Radio. Zonis is the international editor of WBBM-TV, Chicago, and was the Middle East Consultant to ABC/Capital Cities television.
He was educated at Yale University, the Harvard Business School, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received a PhD in political science, and the Institute for Psychoanalysis, Chicago, where he received psychoanalytic training.
By David C. Kleinman
Adjunct Professor of Strategy, Booth School of Business, The University of Chicago.
“Dr. Pratch has added a new level of sophistication to addressing the problem of evaluating candidates for high level management or leadership jobs. Experts say it can cost a year’s compensation or more to replace a high level manager. Dr. Pratch’s disciplined and focused use of projective psychological tools considerably reduces the risk and error in making these hiring decisions. Her work helps us get beyond nearly total reliance on the personal intuitive judgments of directors and CEOs in making these vital high value choices. This is work with hard dollars and cents benefits to the firms that make the choice to use it. It can mean fewer hiring errors, hence lower turnover, hence lower – perhaps considerably lower – turnover costs.”
David Kleinman has more than 35 years of experience in business consulting, specifically strategy, planning, and general management. In addition to teaching at the University of Chicago, Mr. Kleinman currently is a director of several companies. He has been a director of the Columbia Acorn Funds since 1992, as well as chair of its Audit Committee and a member of the Compliance Committee. He is also a director and non-executive chair of the Board of Directors of North Lime Holdings and its subsidiary, Irex Corporation, a contractor and distributor of insulation materials. In addition, Mr. Kleinman is a director of Plymouth Tube Company, a manufacturer of metal tubing. He is also a director of Sonic Foundry, a developer and marketer of rich media systems, where he is chair of the Audit Committee and chair of the Compensation Committee. In past years he has been a director or advisory board member of four other companies.
Mr. Kleinman also has carried out a variety of management consulting assignments in corporate strategy, planning, organizational development, operations, finance and enterprise valuation, and statistical analysis. He has coauthored an article on inflation-adjusted accounting, which appeared in the Financial Analysts Journal. He was on the finance staff of the Ford Motor Company for eight years prior to joining the Chicago Booth faculty.
Mr. Kleinman earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematical statistics in 1959 and a PhD in business in 1977, both from The University of Chicago.
By James R. Lozelle
“This is the definitive book on the importance of psychological testing as a predictor of performance. I have worked with Leslie Pratch for over fourteen years. Her ability to predict performance and identify characteristics that otherwise would go undetected, is profound. In today’s world, placing the wrong leader in a senior position can destroy the entire organization.”
By Tom Boyce
President, Fred Elliot & Company.
"It is a privilege and pleasure to recommend Leslie Pratch and her work, including her forthcoming book, Good on Paper.
"Leslie has built a business around deep insights into management: that future success is predictable, that it is based on an understanding of the whole person over the long-term, and that active coping and integrity are mission-critical—personally and organizationally—not optional add-ons.
"This was proven out over many years in our business, as we relied on Leslie’s unique assessment approach in all of our key hires. What resulted was a greatly improved batting average in our hiring as well as greater organizational cohesiveness, built around shared values.
"Leslie has also been a trusted adviser and coach in my own development as a business leader, something for which I am extremely grateful.
"Good on Paper provides much needed wisdom which is critical for an organization to thrive in today’s challenging environment."