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T. Owen Jacobs

RBL Senior Fellow
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Dr. T. Owen Jacobs is an industrial psychologist with a long and distinguished career researching and collecting data on the connections between personality, interpersonal skills and conceptual ability with leader effectiveness. 

Dr. T. Owen Jacobs is an industrial psychologist with a long and distinguished career researching and collecting data on the connections between personality, interpersonal skills and conceptual ability with leader effectiveness.  

From 1995 to 2005, he held the Leo Cherne Distinguished Visiting Professor of Behavioral Science Chair at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University. There, he taught courses in Strategic Leadership, and Creative and Critical Thinking. He also created and directed the College’s Executive Assessment and Development Program. From 1974 to 2005, Dr. Jacobs served in a series of assignments with the U. S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, where he completed landmark research on strategic performance requirements and the developmental processes required to produce strategic leadership skills. He began research on leadership in 1957 with Carl Lange, developing a social learning theory-based concept of the functional roles of leaders in groups. Dr. Jacobs received the B.A. and M.A. degrees from Vanderbilt University, and the Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh.

In addition to developing a leadership assessment battery while working with ICAF in the 1990’s, he also conducted developmental feedback for students and certified faculty to provide developmental feedback to students. After leaving ICAF, Dr. Jacobs re-engineered the MENTOR® Leadership Assessment to specifically target identifying the key leadership attributes that predict leader success in both public and private sector organizations. The particular instruments chosen for inclusion in the MENTOR® system, and the attributes they assess, are designed to enable the discovery of specific developmental needs at the middle, senior and top executive level and are considered highly predictive of future leader success.

Dr. Jacobs has more than a decade of experience interpreting psychometric profiles in the context of competency-based professional development. He authored the expert system underlying the MENTOR® Leadership Assessment and the handbook used for teaching how to interpret measures from the Battery. He has conducted developmental sessions for hundreds of students and senior leaders using reports generated by the MENTOR® expert system.

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