Stephen P. Kelner, Jr., Ph.D.

Affiliation: Spencer Stuart


An expert in executive assessment and a consultant with Spencer Stuart, Steve Kelner works with clients across industries globally to improve their talent management strategies and executive development programs. He is the firm’s thought leader globally for developing, expanding and executing its assessment approach.

For the past 24 years, Steve has been active in the assessment and development of top leadership across a wide range of industries and in numerous countries. His clients have included ABB, AXA, Bayer, Evonik, Fiserv, Intel, Nypro, Santos, Siemens, Qantas and many others.

Steve’s main areas of research focus on leadership competency and capability assessment, executive development, leadership team and board assessment, motivation, and executive potential. He has been instrumental in the development of validated executive assessment methods, co-developing the first valid scaled competency set and leading the development of the first valid executive-scaled competency model. Steve has also led efforts to develop executive potential assessment, leadership team effectiveness assessment and other methods to predict future capability of executives in a range of businesses.

In addition, he has served as a frequent trainer of trainers for consulting firms and clients. A prolific writer, he also has studied the relationship between motivation and creativity, especially in published writers.

Kelner, Stephen P. et al., “Managerial Style and Organizational Climate in Daniel Goleman, et al., Primal Leadership.

Boyatzis, Richard E. and Kelner, Stephen P. “Competencies as a Behavioral Manifestation of Implicit Motives,” in Schultheiss, Oliver and Brunstein, Implicit Motives.

Return on Leadership — Competencies that Generate Growth, McKinsey &Company and Egon Zehnder International.

Kelner, Stephen P. and Slavin, Lois. “The Competitive Strategy of Mutual Learning,” Training & Development , Vol. 52, No. 6, 1998.

Kelner, Stephen P. and Patrick, Chris. “Your Leadership Portfolio: The View from C-Level,” CIO Magazine, 24 July 2010.

Kelner, Stephen P. and Patrick, Chris. “Developing the Competencies of a Future-State CIO,” CIO Magazine, 19 April 2010.

Stephenson, Ashley and Kelner, Stephen P., Jr. “What Boards of Directors Should Know,” Directorship, July 10, 2009.

Kelner, Stephen P. Motivate Your Writing! Lebanon, N.H.: University Press of New England,2005.






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