The Versatile Leader > Testimonials

“Kaplan transforms ancient wisdom of “know thyself” and “nothing in excess” into practical tools to help modern leaders increase their versatility and effectiveness.”

Wendell Weeks
CEO, Corning Inc

“Robert Kaplan’s book, The Versatile Leader, offers a valuable mapping of the terrain of outstanding leadership, and a useful road map for how to get there.”

Daniel Goleman
Author, Emotional Intelligence

“First, read this book - a compelling, how-to guide that can help every leader, no matter how seasoned, improve his or her game. Blending solid research, vivid case studies, and deep executive coaching experience, Kaplan and Kaiser have surfaced fresh insights into becoming a more versatile leader through calibrating strengths and minding gaps.”

John Alexander
President, Center for Creative Leadership

“Bob Kaplan is one of the true professionals in this field. When I work with him on this subject matter I have a sense of calm because he delivers practical solutions to thorny problems we are facing. This book affirms his deep expertise. A must read for executives and HR professionals”

Sandy Ogg
Chief Human Resources Officer, Unilever N.V.

“The book is very good. It comes at the subject from a completely different perspective and I found the information very actionable as well.”

Pete Perez
VP of Human Resources, ConAgra

“Bob Kaplan’s notion of lopsidedness: just the word is so clear. Managers will quickly understand how to apply it to themselves. It’s about balancing strengths - when to turn the dial up on something you’re good at and when to dial it down when it’s not needed. This concept, with the versatility index, is the next chapter in understanding your impact on others.”

Maureen Nash
Director of Learning & Organizational Development, TYCO Engineered Products & Service

“The best new leadership book in years.”

Robert Witherspoon
President, Performance & Leadership Development Ltd.

“The Leadership Versatility Index® is a rare feedback tool. Not only it unique and innovative, but is built on great science combined with practical usefulness. Managers and executives love the LVI because it provides them with specific and easy to understand behavioral changes that they can make to improve their effectiveness immediately. Practitioners love it because it’s packed with a ton of valid diagnostic data. Without exception, the LVI represents a quantum leap improvement over the other leadership feedback instrument I’ve used in the past. “

Larry W. Norton, Ph.D.
Vice President, Organizational Development PetSmart, Inc.

“We adopted the Leadership Versatility Index® as the feedback centerpiece to our Leadership Development Process for senior managers. It is succinct yet goes beyond just the interpersonal part of leadership and also covers the business side, strategic and operational leadership. Our leaders benefit greatly from the LVI—the feedback is clear, immediately actionable, and highly relevant to critical business issues.”

Dr. Pam Mayer
Succession and Development Manager, Granite Construction Incorporated

“The Leadership Versatility Index® is really slick. It is conceptually based;unlike the mindless and lifeless lists of competencies that are the standard 360 fare. This instrument captures the complexity of leadership. Plus the feedback report is brief, clearly and briskly written, attractively laid out, and informative for the recipient. It packs quite a punch in a small package.”

Robert Hogan, Ph.D.
President, Hogan Assessment Systems Distinguished authority on assessment

“The Leadership Versatility Index® is a beyond state-of-the-art 360 tool. It captures—in a common-sense way—the dynamic tensions at play in leadership and within leaders as they learn and grow. It is built on an elegant simplicity that can take you into complex places.”

Gene Boccialetti, Ph.D.
Portfolio Leader of Leadership Development
The American Management Association

“We use the LVI with our high potentials alongside our internal leadership competency model. The ‘too little/too much’ rating scale on the LVI provides a great complement to our more typical tool. Together, they provide a solid foundation for developing critical skills in our key leaders.”

Harold White
Manager, Organization Development and Training Arch Chemicals Inc.

“A strange thing happened when I used Bob Kaplan and his Leadership Versatility Index on a recent Executive Development Program for senior managers – participants found the session “enlightening, enjoyable and invigorating”! This is not the typical reaction I get to a 360 degree instrument and there was none of the usual defensiveness with which such feedback is often received. Instead, participants were all confirming the accuracy of the results and wondering why they had not looked at themselves like that before.

The Leadership Versatility Index is a unique and innovative way to look at leadership competencies. Most instruments assess the degree to which a specific competency is present. However, the LVI looks at competencies as strengths or weaknesses, depending on their degree of use. Thus, a competency could be a strength if used appropriately, or a weakness if overused or underused. This simple, yet profound concept , forces the leader to strive for “versatility” – a state of leadership equilibrium, where key competencies are used at optimal levels for maximum effectiveness. The focus of the LVI is therefore, not to assess leadership, but to improve it.

I am pleased that Bob can share his ideas with a wider population through this book, and I hope that it will help you to make a difference in your own leadership effectiveness or in the leaders you develop.

Florette Guildford
Director, Management and Executive Development, Alcan Inc.

“The program we do is the single best thing we’ve ever done in the talent mgt arena. And Kaplan DeVries’ participation is always viewed by the participants as the most important part of the program, by a good bit. The bosses of the participants report demonstrable change. It’s all very positive.”

L. Phillip Humann
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. SunTrust

LaserChange® is a wonderfully effective way for leaders to gain additional perspective on their versatility. Kaplan modified the process for us to include a peer learning component, which boosted the payload for individuals as well as the organization. This has been a big hit and fills a void in our leadership development process.”

Rick O’Leary
Director, HR & Diversity, Technology Community, Corning Inc.

“A strange thing happened when I used Bob Kaplan and his Leadership Versatility Index on a recent Executive Development Program for senior managers – participants found the session ‘enlightening, enjoyable and invigorating’!  This is not the typical reaction; there was none of the usual defensiveness with which feedback is often received.  Instead, participants were all confirming the accuracy of the results and wondering why they had not looked at themselves like that before.”

Florette Guildford
Director, Management and Executive Development, Alcan Inc.

“The ‘LaserChange®’ process was extremely beneficial to me.  The Kaplan DeVries consultant was instrumental in helping me analyze the feedback and identify two areas to work on.  And his coaching, encouragement and regular contact helped me follow through and exhibit significant growth and improvement in those two areas.”

Michael Bernstein
Director of Software Engineering, Airvana