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

Harding International and Associates Inc.
Telephone: +1 (416) 962 6700
9836 Keele Street
Vaughan, L6A 3Y4
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
Corporate Intelligence

CIA Harding International and Associates Inc.

"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:
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 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...


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

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

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

Leadership: Received Knowledge& Original Thinking - An Essential Blend of Opposites?

by Administrator 19.Feb.2014 12:27:00

That it is possible for Heads of State to arrive at the podium with same speech, or that students might submit similar academic papers, are just two glaring examples of societal tendency to download readily available information. Don’t get me wrong, I love/use evolving technology, and am a passionate learner, but should these take precedence over original thinking?

This week, a client wandered around the neighbourhood looking for my office… apparently her Tom-Tom gave her wrong direction. Despite my map and building photograph attached to an e-mail, she haughtily informed me that she “was part of the 21st century”!  Similarly I read of an army unit stranded in the desert because the GPS signal was unobtainable… It was a scramble to find someone who remembered how to plot direction by traditional means. Similarly how often do members of the medical or automotive professions tell us “there is nothing wrong” just because the diagnostic technology of choice says so? Think too, of how easily we comply with fashion, art trends etc. by a quick verification on the internet… Discovering, and often preferring, someone else’s taste/interpretation rather than evolving our own opinions!

Marshal McLuhan wisely said: “technology extends, rather than replaces human capacity…” – I often wonder if our reliance on technology for accessing existing information hasn’t overridden our ability to generate our own opinions/theories/ideas? 

The Harding Leadership Program identifies the starting point of leadership as the ability to identify requirement at any point in time. This important competency is dependent on individual ability to listen, observe, research, analyze, interpret, and ultimately distil clues … random or specific… to a workable theory! Surely this calls for both existing and original information? In an environment when time is too often of the essence, do we not forget at times that what we think counts…And might save a great deal of money and even more time in the long run?

We encourage participants to strive for the right fit… Full and pleasurable deployment of all individual competencies and experience is our goal!

For more information (416) 962-6700

High Intelligence, Energy & Presence - A Professional Blessing or a Curse?

by Administrator 15.Feb.2014 15:01:00

Is real excellence a blessing or a curse in securing a fulfilling/rewarding career path?

In the age of measurables, calculated by the matrix of choice, individuals oftentimes are obliged to comply with set operational performance and behavioural standards. Experience with a diverse group of clients has shown that many individuals feel they have to turn down the thermostat to average, or even lower than average temperatures, to best sell themselves – Is this justifiable perception?

It seems that this approach has also permeated the recruiting process. “You are high energy”; “You will intimidate the rest of the team”; “I get you, but I am wondering if you are not too advanced for your peers” are just some of the feedback people receive when applying for what they thought were ideal positions.

I was especially taken aback this week, when a dynamic engineering graduate, with a stellar academic record, excellent peer feedback and above average people/leadership competencies, was rejected by a major organization for an entry level position. Given the extremely positive tone of the interview, he requested a post-interview debrief: “We loved you… but are looking for a rowboat… you are a speedboat” was the alarming reply.  Apparently his strategic thinking and innovative ideas were not wanted until “some years down the road”. He was advised to “dumb it down” for his next interview!

None of this makes sense to me! Surely an employer would grab such an individual and groom him for a position that would allow his ability to flourish? My work with graduating students over the years leads me to believe that this not an isolated incident.  Much like a litigation lawyer asking for strictly “Yes/No” answers, the current trend to rigorously use the behavioural interview format, at times ignoring nuance, and stifling lateral thinking interviewees! The message sems to have become more important than the person! Have individuals been reduced to mere workplace commodities?

Our career planning, job search/interview and career transition programs prefer to encourage candidates to look for positions/organizations that will fully accommodate rather than curb their contribution. In our experience, full and pleasurable investment of all competencies is the first step in achieving career fulfillment!

For more information on our Career Programs: (416) 962-6700   

Year-End 2013 - Message from Rodger Harding

by Administrator 29.Nov.2013 06:46:00



Dear Clients & Friends,


As the Holiday Season draws nearer, I am preparing somewhat earlier than usual for my annual recharge period. The office will be closed from 1st – 30th December 2013.


As always, this is an opportune time to take stock/share my impressions of our operational activity. In addition to our popular Leadership Series

  • The Edward Snowden saga stirred renewed interest in our Corporate Intelligence Awareness Program this year. We were able to provide realistic context to the realities of covert surveillance, spying and eaves-dropping etc., as well as to assist diverse organizations streamline/reinforce their own Intelligence Awareness programs  - Procuring & Safeguarding critical information predicates effective corporate strategy!
  • Career Transition Coaching maintained its steady pace. I have been really fortunate to have been so often engaged by like-minded individuals – The intensity of discussion, on so many different levels, keeps me humble and in awe of the uniqueness of the individual mind!
  • It was our Relationship Building Program that proved, surprisingly, to be the most requested item this year. It is heartening to see organizations placing increased importance on authentic and sustainable interaction/relationships     

The frequency of the Relationship  workshops/seminars allowed me to reflect anew on my firm standpoint that, whatever we might think, personal and professional persona oftentimes cannot, and should not, be totally separated. This balanced approach has served me well. In a fast paced, and oftentimes mercenary, business world I have been blessed by so many of you who, without being asked, anticipate and provide the support/sustenance, so vital in managing the vicissitudes of entrepreneurial life. My heartfelt thanks to all of you!


I wish you well over the Holidays … And a happy, prosperous and safe 2014!


Warm regards,



Leadership & Sustainable Relationships: True Colors - Showing who you really are!

by Administrator 02.Feb.2012 14:30:00

In several of the Sustainable Relationship seminars I’ve delivered in recent weeks, it appears that more and more business folk consider it appropriate to hide who they really are. I am repeatedly told that it is a “great strategy to deliver a contrived person/face depending on circumstance.”

I believe this is an impossible feat, as we unwittingly reveal so much of who we are in any interaction – It takes a master of deception to achieve this goal. Added to the mix is the unshakeable reality that discovered subterfuge will of necessity break down any trust that might have existed in the relationship.

Confidently and honestly showing who we are is the basis of establishing;

• A reason for the relationship 
• A good fit
• The possibility of pleasurable interaction
• Evolving trust
• Preparedness to accept relationship dynamics/change

A good relationship requires an acceptance that:

• Relationships evolve/change with the passage of time
• Generosity of spirit is the cornerstone of successful human interaction
• Mutual trust, once broken, can seldom be repaired. Give and demand loyalty!

True Colors – Phil Collins http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmfqLOLCNi8&feature=related

True Colors - Cindy Lauper http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPn0KFlbqX8&feature=related

For information on Sustainable Business Relationship seminars call (416) 962-6700

Leadership: Trust, Loyalty & Supportive Relationships

by Administrator 26.Jul.2011 10:34:00

The notion of “it is lonely at the top” is sometimes belied by the illusion that leadership is about Power & Influence… the attainment of absolute control and ensuing subordinate obedience. As we know from history, in stories great and small, this is the pursuit of the impossible.

Trusted support/stakeholder loyalty is the keystone to effective and sustainable leadership. Relationship building, for me, is the thread that links the key elements of forward thinking leadership - identifying operational requirement, proactively evolving a realistic vision, selling workable solutions, running collaborative projects & problem solving.

Trust & loyalty are not that easily earned. Consider the words of a former presidential aide: “Giving an order does not end the matter... nothing gets done except by endless follow up, endless kissing and coaxing, endless threatening and compelling… Everyone is watching you, waiting, trying to guess what you mean –Trying to get your number. Can they fool you? Can they outwait you? Will you be mad when you hear it isn’t done yet?  … And they are all testing you. How much can they get away with? How much authority can they take? How much authority do you want them to have? Once you choose men you have to keep them; which means endless attrition of your will against their will…” (White, aide to President Truman 1965; cited from article by George H. Litwin/Robert A. Stringer JR.)  

Relationship-building requires hard work on the part of any leader - Intense collaboration and persuasion/negotiation, involving a fine balance between strength & vulnerability. The stronger the team caliber, the fiercer the ambition...The harder the leader’s task! 

For more information about customized Leadership Training/Coaching: (416) 962-6700

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