Carl L. Harshman, Ph.D.

How Did I Get Here From There?

Today (May 12, 2013) CBS Sunday Morning aired Leslie Stahl's interview with Sidney Poitier. It's well worth the watch (or read), by the way. When the exchange below took place, I flashed back to my decision to leave a career in higher education and pursue a life of consulting.

At age 15 Poitier was sent to Miami by his Bahamian parents to live with his older brother because they feared he was on the verge of trouble. At 16 he took off for New York where he wanted to be an actor.

After hearing about his inability to read well, his age, etc., Leslie Stahl said:

"You couldn't read, you had a very thick Bahamian accent, and you decide to try and become an actor? Why did you go that route? It kind of makes no sense."

Poitier responded: "I had no way of knowing that there is a madness to what I'm trying to do."

Well, neither did I. But, it worked and my last two "careers" (7 years as dean of Metropolitan College at Saint Louis University and 30+ working with organizations and leadership) have been the kind of "madness" of which one dreams.

Carl's Resume

Carl L. Harshman is the founder and president of Carl L. Harshman & Associates, Inc., an organizational and leadership development consulting company. Founded in 1981, Harshman & Associates is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. In 2005, Dr. Harshman also founded the Institute for Work Attitude & Motivation which is dedicated to education, research, and application of innovative tools for helping organizations, teams, and individuals improve performance through understanding of motivation and attitude.

From 1981 to 2001, Carl was involved in a series of national, innovative, initiatives to help large corporations change their cultures through a unique model focused on leadership, employee involvement, communication, and motivation strategies. Since 2001, Carl’s work focuses on aligning leadership with the business strategy and culture of the organization. In that capacity, he works with organizational leadership teams in the creation and implementation of integrated business strategies and culture as well as with individual leaders in coaching and development. In addition to his work with top leaders in business, not-for-profit, and public sectors, he advises organizations on the design and implementation of programs to develop future leaders.

Corporate clients include: Ford Motor, John Deere, General Dynamics, Goodyear, Boeing, DRS Technologies, DTE Energy, and General Atomics. Public sector clients include the United States Navy, the State of Washington, King County (WA), and the Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle. In the early stages of his career, he consulted to a number of colleges and universities and has worked with Wyman Center, The Missionary Association of Mary Immaculate, the Sacred Heart Schools Network, The Principia, and the Center for Principled Family Advocacy in the not-for-profit sector.

Dr. Harshman’s undergraduate and doctoral degrees were conferred by The Ohio State University. He earned his master’s degree at Wright State University. In 1972 he joined Saint Louis University to create the Office of Institutional Research. He later served as Director of Academic Planning. In 1975, he was appointed dean of Metropolitan College, an innovative undergraduate college for working non-traditional learners and served in that capacity for seven years during which time the college grew to over one thousand students and established a national reputation for quality in non-traditional learning. He was a also a tenured, full professor at the university.

Dr. Harshman is a certified executive coach whose clients include a chairman of the board, chief executive officers, and key managers in businesses and the social sector. He is also certified in the use of strategic planning tools, executive assessment programs, and the Language and Behavior Profile.

He is a member of the Business Advisory Board for CDG Engineers, the Advisory Board for the Saint Louis Organizational Development Network, and on the Executive Board of Saint Louis University’s Billiken Club.

Carl has presented at regional, national, and international meetings including the Association for Quality and Participation, Ecology of Work, Work in America Institute, the Industrial Relations Research Association, and the International Association for Business Ethics. He has also given commencement addresses at his high school and at the School for Professional Studies at Saint Louis University. Carl is an adjunct instructor at the Saint Louis University School for Professional Studies. He was named "Teacher of the Year" by the School in 2016.

Dr. Harshman is the senior author of Decoding Behavior to Improve Results; iWAM Resource Guide; Teaming Up: Achieving Organizational Transformation; Team Training: From Start-Up to High Performance; Team Leader Training; and Managing Change: A Practical Guide for Transforming Organizations. He is the primary contributor to a video entitled “Troubled Partnerships: When Labor and Management Can’t Make It Work.” His latest book, Dante’s Cubicle: Paving the Road to Hell in Corporate America, coauthored with his son, Ryan, is a business fiction about the American workplace.