Executive Assessments

For my entire career, I have been fascinated by the challenge of assessing leaders. Why does a leader succeed in one role, and yet fail to get results in a subsequent one? What behaviors cause some leaders to have a catalytic multiplier impact on those around them? How does the “culture” or operating norms of a company shape performance?

Successful investors tend to also have a sharp eye for talent, but people are complicated and we are all biased on one way or another — so additional insight can make the difference between catching and managing a critical human risk factor, or failure.

What is An Executive Assessment?

Typically I am asked to assess leaders as part of work for investing principals who want an external perspective on an executive’s ability to deliver on a vital business objective, as a complement to their own perspective. There are hundreds of methods for assessing leadership talent; my approach includes a subset of these steps.

Interview

I spend 2-3 hours with the leader to understand their career trajectory, key professional choices, results and strategies in each role, and to understand their network and ability to collaborate. I rely primarily on behavioral evidence. Where possible, I partner with a colleague with relevant industry or functional expertise.

Personality Assessment

I like the Hogan Suite for shedding light on executives’ personality traits, especially in the context of an executive assessment. There are many other good ones in the market and I am happy to work with other executive assessments that are familiar to clients or are in use within the company.

360-degree referencing

When the project timeline permits it, I  conduct up to 12 references with manager, peers, direct reports, and others. I do these by phone, or when necessary, confidential online survey.  The references gained from this part of the executive assessment allow me to gain a full understanding of how the leader is perceived by others.

Written report

I assemble a report that includes my recommendation with supporting evidence, a narrative capturing the executive’s career and accomplishments, areas of strength, and gaps with respect to the role or business challenge.

Testimonials

Team Leader

Jonathan was instrumental in my personal growth from Director to Managing Director. He’s an amazing systems thinker, seeing many steps ahead in organizational strategy, to advise on how to best move ahead. His advice and coaching was helpful in strategic as well as tactical ways. I was able to talk through detailed strategic plans and come out with a better understanding of what steps would be most fruitful as well as a shared view on the overall strategy.

Team Leader, Singularity Education Group

Jonathan was such a trusted partner in not only helping to build my team, but also acting as a great sounding board and guide through many difficult situations with poor performers and tricky HR situations. In addition, built a wonderful and essential management training program . He crafted an inspiring 2-day offsite for all managers that helped build relationships across silo’d business units, build a common perspective on company culture and gave us useful, every day tools to draw from.

Senior Leader, Pinterest

I worked with Jonathan when I assumed a leadership role. With Jonathan’s coaching , I was able to think beyond the requirements of my current role, to focus on building the mindset needed to be successful in a more complex role. He helped me to identify and then work beyond assumptions which were holding me back, while helping me build new narratives and practices for maintaining high levels of engagement and energy both at work, and outside of work. His coaching was instrumental to the professional success I have been fortunate to accomplish in the past two years.

CEO, publicly traded company

“Looking back, the accuracy of Jonathan’s assessments was spooky.” 

CEO, $60M SOFTWARE COMPANY

Jonathan worked with me and my team with respect and treated the work with complete discretion; his insights about each member of my executive team and myself were spot-on; and he was entirely focused on our business and the results we need.. I recommend Jonathan highly to other investors and executives.

CEO, $60M SOFTWARE COMPANY

Jonathan worked with me and my team with respect and treated the work with complete discretion; his insights about each member of my executive team and myself were spot-on; and he was entirely focused on our business and the results we need.. I recommend Jonathan highly to other investors and executives.

CEO, $60M SOFTWARE COMPANY

Jonathan worked with me and my team with respect and treated the work with complete discretion; his insights about each member of my executive team and myself were spot-on; and he was entirely focused on our business and the results we need.. I recommend Jonathan highly to other investors and executives.

CEO, publicly traded company

“Looking back, the accuracy of Jonathan’s assessments was spooky.” 

CEO, publicly traded company

“Looking back, the accuracy of Jonathan’s assessments was spooky.” 

CEO, $60M SOFTWARE COMPANY

Jonathan worked with me and my team with respect and treated the work with complete discretion; his insights about each member of my executive team and myself were spot-on; and he was entirely focused on our business and the results we need.. I recommend Jonathan highly to other investors and executives.