Mission Statement
Business Leadership & Strategic Performance Training/Enhancement
"Our objective is to assist individuals, companies and organizations reach optimal performance using innate skills and strengths within the larger framework of circumstance, workplace and community. Relevant and stimulating programs are customized to client requirement".
-Rodger Harding
Founder

Harding International and Associates Inc.
E-Mail
Telephone: +1 (416) 962 6700
30 Roden Place
Toronto, M5R 1P5
Ontario, Canada
Client Comment
Selected Comments
"This seminar far exceeded expectation - Rodger is poised, articulate, respectful- He was dead on with his presentation and I would recommend him without hesitation." - S.M. Canadian Women in Communications (CWC)
"Your participation in our International/Asia Pacific FS Conference helped make it one of the best and more relaxed conferences we've ever had. Very effective facilitation! Thank you." - Paul Masse, Manager, Bombardier Aerospace
" I want to congratulate you on a job well done. A room full of lawyers is not the easiest audience to appear before, yet you ruled the room. You have that unique ability (gift?) to teach ideas without it being hard work. I found your personal style very relaxing yet challenging". - David Clarke, Chair, YLD Division, The Canadian Bar Association of Ontario
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Corporate Intelligence

CIA Harding International and Associates Inc.

Publication:
"In this compelling book by a former diplomat, you will learn the secrets (step by step) to developing an intelligence strategy by effective information gathering and analyzing, and then to delivering credible intelligence to senior management."|more...

Available from bookstores and online:
Amazon
Borders
Leadership Training
The Essence of Business Leadership Training -
Be the leader you are meant to be!

Toronto based Rodger Harding, applying leadership savvy learned from military, legal, diplomatic & business consulting experience has a proven record of enabling full leadership potential in scores of business folk. His clients range from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, national not-for-profit organizations & learning institutions.

The Harding Leadership training program raises awareness, validates and empowers the true essence of leadership. We enhance your ability to identify, strengthen and take full advantage of core leadership competencies, instilling legitimate confidence rather than reinforcing a preoccupation with outward presence. | more...
Training/Coaching
Training Program Design and Development
All Harding International and Associates Inc. programs are designed to:
  • Access existing innate and learned competencies/experience.
  • Enhance individual/team ability to meet current organizational requirement.
  • Accommodate changing environment and circumstance.
Our customized programs are built from scratch and will accurately reflect the unique context of corporate operations and identity. Training products that utilize the Harding Model are limited to one company per industry. This commitment ensures that training initiatives will result in strategic and competitive advantage - We encourage clients to safeguard our techniques and methodology as part of their intellectual property.| more...

LATEST NEWS/COMMENT

Corporate Mentorship: Relevance in 2014

by Administrator 21.Jun.2014 15:29:00

I was pleased to be invited by the Invisible Mentor to write a 4-part blog post series discussing my ideas/experience with regard to the relevance of Mentorship Programs in the current corporate climate. Much of what I write reflects learning gained from ongoing mentorship program coordination and participation:

http://theinvisiblementor.com/mentorship-program-relevance-today-rodger-harding/

Leadership Training: Quest for Impossible Certainty vs Potential Ripple Effect

by Administrator 19.Jun.2014 12:09:00

When pitching/presenting prospective clients with options for leadership training, we have increasingly noticed in recent years that almost all request:

  • Matrix or technology driven tools that guarantee positive/measurable results upfront
  • Proof of results driven details from previous clients
  • Guarantees that seminar/workshop evolution will not deviate from the script (provided beforehand)

While finding it perfectly understandable that due diligence and ongoing accountability are part of the consulting/training process, I respectfully submit that it is impossible to give such assurances in good faith. I love technology, but am always reminded by McLuhan’s “technology extends ...rather than replaces human capacity” ... that, in the training realm, technology will provide, at best, frameworks that will accommodate/facilitate both delivery and future implementation.

More than 25 years’ experience and regular comprehensive feedback from long-standing clients has consistently provided an indication of the following trends… that belie absolute outcomes:

  • No two clients are alike – Best results are achieved by careful material/methodology customization as well as the facility to flexibly hold the course, while accommodating seminar/participant dynamics (For the more sceptical, this does not mean winging it!)
  • 70% of our audiences love the content/experience; 20% are on the fence; 10% are either non-committal/disinterested/negative; (I am actually perturbed when we receive across the board approval – Interacting with a diverse group involves thinking… in the tough subjective/objective balancing act that leadership training demands, I believe universal approval is impossible to secure!)
  • 10% of participants will endeavor to implement learned material (with or without a matrix) post training, 20% might, and 70% will move on as before without subsequent prodding;

So confident am I in regard to these pointers, that they are included in our every pitch/marketing initiative. Respectfully, because I sincerely believe in not promising the impossible, we are not a good fit with clients wanting a prescriptive approach, fixed outcomes or a download of what other clients requested.

 
That said, our Leadership Program will guarantee on individual/team levels:

  • A Thought Provoking, Introspective, Exploratory experience 
  • Identify/Re-affirm & Empower innate leadership competencies
  • A potential ripple effect organization wide
  • Total confidentiality - What transpires during client interation is never disclosed


For more information (416) 962-6700

Authentic Leadership Development vs Template Download

by Administrator 22.May.2014 10:25:00


Conceptual selling is an important part of our business - - Prospective clients always ask: "So what makes you program different?" - - Or -- "Why should we choose your services over XY program?"

Against this backdrop, I thought to again differentiate our approach:

The Harding Leadership Training Process, evolved via 20+ year’s diverse client interaction, as well as Rodger Harding’s business, diplomatic, legal & military experience, strives to build authentic leadership, unique to the competencies, innate & learned, of each individual/organization.

All components of our hands-on program, avoiding clichéd stereotyping/labelling, strongly focus on individual or collective competencies as the essential starting point of any training/consulting initiative - Facilitator Expertise, Client Preparedness & the Desired Outcome(s) are the key ingredients! This means that by default, no two clients will have the same experience – They will however, have a unique measurable leadership awareness model, that will facilitate required strategic/innovative thinking, push objective creativity boundaries within subjective budget/resource realities… And importantly, sustain a collaborative team environment that consistently identifies and taps into all available talent. 

This approach caters particularly those who appreciate leadership training as a distinct and ongoing investment that will bring future reward – A rigorous/customized exercise that allows individuals/the team to keep pace with changing operational, industry and global realties.

  
For more information: (416) 962-6700

ADHD Coaching Goals - Authenticity vs Conformity

by Administrator 18.May.2014 18:15:00

 Our simple good fit criteria for prospective ADHD clients are that each individual shows:

  •  A firm desire to achieve fullest potential without losing their innate sense of authenticity
  •  A unwavering belief that creative, lateral and original thinking are their greatest assets

Writer, Nikos Kazantzakis (of Zorba the Greek fame) in his famous work Report to Greco captures perfectly the reasoning behind our criteria:  While discussing state of 'Always on your feet'.... or ... 'Always uneasy', he writes of a learned monk’s dream:

“I saw myself as a great sage who could cure many diseases, but first and foremost could remove the demons from the possessed…  One day a woman arrived from Nazareth… ‘O illustrious sage, take pity on me and heal my son, he has many demons inside him’…
I asked him: ‘What is the matter my child, where does it hurt?’
‘Here, here…’ he replied pointing at his heart
‘And what’s wrong with you?’
‘I can’t sleep, eat or work. I roam the streets, wrestling.’
‘Who are you wrestling with?’
‘With God…’

I kept him near me for a month, addressed him ever so gently, gave him herbs to make him sleep. I placed him in a carpenter’s shop to learn a trade. We went out for walks together and we spoke about God… There was nothing impressive or difficult about these talks. We spoke of the weather, of the wheat fields and the vineyards, the young girls who went to the mountain…’

At the end of a month’s time, Jesus was completely cured. He no longer wrestled with God; he had become a man like all other men. I learned afterwards that he had become a fine carpenter… the best in Galilee… ...

Do you understand? Jesus was cured. Instead of saving the world he became the best carpenter in Nazareth. What is the meaning, then, of 'disease' and 'health'... “

The story speaks for itself! Each of us has a role, big or small, that our innate ability allows us during our lifetime - Rather than watering down the high capacity of an ADHD client to think, feel & engage, our methodology ensures that each client is accommodated in society for who and what she/he may be… !

For more information: (416) 962-6700

Defining Coaching Goals: Authenticity vs Conformity - Finding a Balance

by Administrator 18.May.2014 17:14:00

Any coaching initiative is focused on what the client would prefer to achieve.  The Harding approach emphasises the importance of investing enough time/due diligence into the goal-setting process. We have also learned that goals do change along the way – For this reason our methodology is flexibly structured to effectively meet client requirement at any point in time. 

Over the years we have noticed that clients are distinguished in the main by a wish list focused on:

Skill set enhancement with the view to achieving a specific outcome/goal
Or
Firm goals with the need to map out a workable strategy to ensure they are achieved

A 3rd client group (roughly 5 %), with loosely defined/open-ended goals, often sees the process as an exploration and has no fixed expectation, but rather a desire to see where the process will lead. Our analysis shows that group comprises our more senior business clients, creative types, and interestingly our ADHD student/business entry level clients.

No matter how unique, brilliant, quirky or iconoclastic an individual, all have to find their way in the same world, if not society/community! To this end, balancing subjective desires against objective realities is an essential factor in any coaching initiative.

Rodger Harding's fierce belief in each person's individual contibution to society, ensures that this balance remains an ongoing priority! Our approach strives to ensure that authenticity is never the price of conformity!

Corporate Leadership Strategy: Is Career/Life Coaching part of the bigger picture?

by Administrator 16.May.2014 08:50:00

I am regularly asked, seeing as I present myself as a Corporate Leadership/Intelligence Strategist, why I spend a great chunk of my working hours on individual coaching – I guess an answer is required:

All coaching engagements, especially those relating to Career Transition, Conflict/Anger Management & ADHD, have been a direct result of referrals/requests arising from corporate, not-for-profit or academic institution activity. For me, it is a reality that people collectively and individually comprise and contribute to organizational well-being – Strengthening an individual/team of necessity will strengthen the organization… and ultimately the industry!

The short answer then, is that I see all aspects of my work as complementary!

My own life has been an endless exploration… A quest to evolve to my fullest potential... Quite often not knowing what that would look like ... A sort of Unaware Awareness ! By default, this state of being has attracted many like-minded clients, ranging from high-level business folk, philanthropists, politicians, creatives, students and, interestingly, many of those labelled ADHD! 

Not subscribed or locked into any single methodology or approach, my focus is always on:
 Who/what the client is
 What the client wants
 My ability to recognize, understand and reflect who the client may be…
 Collaborative exploration of all potential client outcomes 

The words of Laurens van der Post in A Far Off Place, recounting the wisdom of the Bushmen, are more articulate than mine with regard to my coaching motivation :

“The real art of living is to keep alive the longing in human beings to become a greater version of themselves, to enlarge this awareness of life, and then to be utterly obedient to the awareness.”

Van der Post felt that in the modern era, there were too many thinkers who did not do, and too many doers who did not think!

For more information on our Leadership and related coaching: (416) 962-6700

People Acuity Part 2: Not wanting to be seen, Yet being seen...! Remote Spying & the Wallpaper Society!

by Administrator 09.May.2014 15:33:00

My last post on the subject of seeing and being seen provoked several full on debates… Some felt that seeing/being seen accurately was a good thing, yet I did receive quite a few calls and messages from readers expressing the societal inappropriateness of “invading people’s space by paying too close attention” … or worse of “putting others under a microscope”! What tone/example should leaders set?

I have long learned to recognize that people are entitled to their diverse opinions… this is what makes life interesting… but I do struggle with the notion that so many of us believe we can indefinitely hide who we are from our friends, colleagues etc. … who consciously or subconsciously are seeing or will ultimately see who we are.
I guess being raised in the school of “the truth will always prevail” long ago instilled the futility of wallpaper- thin façades in my consciousness. That said, my vulnerability/sense of paranoia is always pleasantly assuaged when a learned mind expresses similar thoughts or offers expalantions that confirm my nagging concerns:

The prolonged gaze that ends up affecting everything it gazes at is not permitted. Nowadays, eyes that linger offend, which is why they have to hide behind curtains and binoculars, and telephoto lenses and remote cameras, to spy from their thousands of screens.”   - Javier Marias, Your Face Tomorrow Vol.1

This discussion becomes perhaps more relevant when we consider our seemingly total apathy regarding recent revelations that the Federal Government here in Canada has been remotely spying on its citizenry via Social Media/ Internet and Financial monitoring, apparently without due cause… proceeding with undisclosed information gathering, just because they can! Does our lack of collective indignation stem from inherent conditioning that what is covert/clandestine is good/normal... while what is open and flagrant is not soo good? I am sure we are still repulsed by the thought of Stasi, KGB or other serial invaders of privacy, lurking in ceiling space, under floors et al...  ... yet we dont seem to mind electronic/distance surveillance in the present day!

Conversely then... Perhaps what we cannot see, and what others cannot openly see … cannot be too bad? Have we become a Wallpaper Society... A society with the default ability to hide unpleasantness until it hits us over the head?

Importantly then... Do we value/utilize Leaders who make the call ... Individuals who strip away the wallpaper ... and deal with hidden issues?

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/government-snooping-on-social-media-may-breach-privacy-act-1.2636905

People Acuity: The ability to see and be seen!

by Administrator 05.May.2014 16:37:00

Oftentimes, those who interact with me, professionally and personally, comment on my obsession with conscious or unconscious individual impact … I have always insisted in leadership seminars & especially in career transition and life/relationship coaching sessions, that showing who we are, upfront, will allow us to more quickly arrive at a good fit … the right job, the right friends and surely the right loves!

I had a stimulating first meeting with an industry colleague today - In the space of 45 minutes, I believe we established a mutual and comprehensive appreciation of who we really are - I felt buoyant an energized, although very aware that the encounter had demanded a healthy dose of courage/risk-taking… The lowering of natural fire-walls that might have resulted in instant rejection… 

On the way home, I reflected on how much easier life would be (time, money & energy wise) if we were less scared of being who we really are… Surely arriving at the truth of any relationship is preferable sooner rather than later? Does not the truth ... with the passage of time... ultimately reveal itself? Is it not a better strategy to be who we are rather pretending to be the person we think others would prefer us to be?

“… there are very few people with our curse or gift… No one wants to see anything of what there is to see, they don’t even dare to look, still less take the risk of making a wager; being forewarned, foreseeing or judging… no one dares to say or to acknowledge that they see what they see, what is quite simply there… “  - Javier Marias, Your Face Tomorrow, Volume 3

Leadership Development & Career Planning: Making Concious what is Innate!

by Administrator 12.Apr.2014 18:06:00

“Every man is more than just himself; he also represents the unique, the very special and always significant and remarkable point at which the world’s phenomena intersect, only once in this way, and never again.” - Demian, Herman Hesse

I am often asked why I do what I do:  “How did an experienced diplomat, lawyer/advocate etc. land up in professional/personal development arena?"...

Oftentimes, I flippantly reply that I am a frustrated priest, but the reality is that fierce belief in our innate individuality, as well as the unique contribution each of us has to make, is unwavering. I also see, on a daily basis, that our natural human inclination to conform/comply with social norms is often at odds with our ability to be who we really are!

To greater or lesser degrees, this becomes problematic when individual aspirations, goals or even character diverges from mainstream thinking/trends. My overriding professional purpose, honed by previous experience, is to enable individuals in their quest to be themselves within their greater evolving circumstance - A sort of subjective/objective continuum…that makes conscious what is innate!

In my student days, Hesse’s words inspired what has become a lifelong credo that continues to underpin my approach to my professional & personal endeavors ... Seeing and being seen, for who we really are, is so important in the quest for happiness...!

I felt a deep sense of fulfillment this week then, receiving a note of thanks from a client last seen early last decade, explaining that these same words inspire her every day! 

Leadership: Uncertainty to Certainty - MH370 & Thomas Bayes' Theorem of Probability

by Administrator 31.Mar.2014 14:29:00

The MH370 SAGA from the start has clearly shown 2 distinct human trends. One is age old … People crave certainty and abhor the world of might/maybe, while the other is a more 21st century phenomenon… An almost palpable expectation that the enigmatic ‘THEY’ should have found an  immediate and technology driven/verifiable answer by now!

I find it surprising that people forget that all technology is made, programmed, accessed and analyzed by humans… Humans being innately imperfect, does it not follow that technology has itself to be flawed or at least work within known parameters? (Technology is only as good as the last save!) Personally, I much prefer Marshall McLuhan’s adage that technology extends rather than replaces human capacity. That being said perhaps we should just admit there will be time when we have no control over outcome… the great unknown remaining a constant in life’s equations!

The search for MH370, for sure, is taking place in the random realm of uncertainty. Any conclusion drawn until it has actually been found, will at best be described as probable - Selling the probable to the average person on the street, and dare I say so called experts, all desirous of certainty, is problematic. This is especially so in time of fear/crisis!

For those requiring a mechanism to balance the probable with the improbable, Thomas Bayes’ Theorem of Probability might help:


Bayes, an English Theologian and mathematician who lived in England from 1702-1761, is possibly the first person to have linked probability to logical process, by providing a mathematical basis to infer probability: Simply put he believed that by calculating the number of times a certain theory is put forward by experts, one could infer the probability of its actual occurrence. He pitted the Known VS the Unknown! This approach he felt would allow experts to make use of knowledge they did not know they had – A big picture approach to analysis that allows expert minds to use both rational expertise/knowledge as well as innate intuition. This forces a creative draw on a wealth of disconnected knowledge that will possibly be of relevance to the situation at hand. 
The easy 3 step process is as follows:

1. Brainstorm to evolve a short list of possible scenarios that might be dictated by facts, data and precedent surrounding MH370 (aviation/detection technology; weather/currents; people etc., 
2. Assemble a team/group of experts to develop probable case studies for each possible scenario
3. As a group, repeatedly vote to narrow down the choice to the arrive at a most probable scenario

The theorem was put to great use during the Cold War*. Both U.S. and Soviet submarines,  sensitive warheads and other items, went missing without explanation resulting in multi-million dollar search expeditions, all conducted with utmost secrecy. John Craven a U.S. Naval Intelligence trouble-shooter, his creative ideas/theories often landing him in the hot seat, would formulate several hypotheses as to what probably/could have happened and then collaborate with expert mathematicians to construct a map of the sea bottom – This done he would repeatedly ask them to place bets on the probability of alternative scenarios (accessing the knowledge they did not consciously know they had) – each a potential location of the missing submarine/warhead. Using Bayes’ formula he narrowed data down to most probable and plotted maps that were oftentimes ridiculed as “insane” and “impossible” – Yet he was almost always spot on!

Do we in our everyday world confuse good leadership with promises of certainty? Do we sufficiently value the exploratory mind-set of a leader happy to be wrong... rather than the safe spew-out of known/cliched/expected solutions?

Have we abdicated the thinking process in favour of stand alone technology?

* Blind Man’s Bluff
The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage - Sherry Sontag & Christopher Drew



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