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...


The Art of Business Deceit?

by Administrator 15.Oct.2014 13:26:00

I cannot count how often I hear the words appropriate and inappropriate!

If inappropriate is interpreted as anything that might offend others, I would hope to never be inappropriate. Yet my perception is that anything extreme, strongly worded, risqué, contentious, ambiguous etc. has come to be considered offensive.

Hopefully it is not too much of a quantum leap to infer then that appropriate and safe have become almost synonymous? Does this not fly in the face of nature?While we know that life cannot exist without death, day without night, good without evil, like without dislike …etc., is it realistic to persist with the illusion of a world painted solely in positive hues?

Semantics aside, I would suggest that the unthinking pursuit of appropriateness creates a breeding ground for arch deceit. The more we strive to appear appropriate, how much more likely will we hide what we really feel from others? What impact does only showing an appropriate face have on team, peer and client relationships? It is a given that most of us are reluctant to express disagreement upfront and are fearful of appearing uncertain, negative or judgemental. We sit at countless meetings with dead-pan faces that reveal nothing of what lies within… Or we smile and nod assent, or even gush with false enthusiasm, while we bide our time and find safe, backdoor avenues of expression. Usually invoking process, regulations or laws will provide effective cover. Do we live in a society that not only condones, but encourages snitching?

Similarly, feigning understanding at briefings, seminars, workshops etc. encounters etc. is commonplace. Oftentimes, to save face, we later pick apart process, communication style, competence and personality as defective or unsuitable. Those who disguise unpleasant messages seem to be considered diplomatic and tactful. Those that do not are considered ‘blunt’ and/or ‘confrontational’! Those who openly disagree are all too often labelled ‘negative’. Our language is couched in terms that do little to convey what we really mean.

My point is perhaps well illustrated by a mediation I conducted last week. In what could have been an easily avoidable scenario, a manager, finally providing a long overdue performance review, included particularly vicious comments from an immediate supervisor. It turned out that the employee and said supervisor had car-pooled in a jovial and friendly atmosphere every day for several years. Not once was any reference made to any dissatisfaction. What floored me was that when questioned, everyone from the director down, excepting of course the employee, who felt totally betrayed, let me know that to have made any comment outside the review process would have been “highly inappropriate”!

While trust is a commonly used business term, perhaps we have lost the real essence of the word. If we deem it improper to honestly express ourselves, how will we ever be trusted? How will we be able to trust people if we have not encouraged them to reveal who they really are and what they feel at any point in time? Consider the costly havoc this phenomenon wreaks with corporate efficiency. Yet, we continue to encourage and train job candidates to present what is appropriate…not what is real!

The following is a simple checklist to guide decision-making when next tempted to paper-over the right to express ourselves openly and sincerely:

  • Would I prefer an honest response if I was in the other person’s shoes?
  • What response would enable me to get my job done effectively?
  • If I am not upfront here…what opportunity will I have lost?
  • If I don’t speak now, am I prepared to let the matter rest?
  • Would my lack of sincerity cost the company money?
  • Will I lose trust if I am less than honest?
  • Do I want people to know/like me for who I am?
  • I am human and therefore imperfect – Surely it is OK to show that I have not understood, disagree, etc. …
  • Have I been invited to express myself honestly…Why do I not take advantage of this offer?
  • Will my self-esteem be enhanced if I am able to say what I really honestly believe?
  • If I keep quiet now… will I habitually resort to insincere/safer ways of expressing myself?

While appropriate people are generally more comfortable to have around in the short term, our awareness that insincerity, when uncovered, destroys trust should goad us into encouraging open and upfront interaction - The ensuing trusted relationships will be worth the initial discomfort!

Leadership: Intricate Minimalism & Service Orientation

by Administrator 19.Sep.2013 08:26:00

Acute observation, intense listening and the desire to reach the truth will perhaps undeniably enable a leader to effectively drive to the heart of a requirement, issue or challenge!

Stripping away irrelevant detail does not however always simplify matters – Prevaricators, bull-shitters, those with a hidden agenda and the incompetent will often times find themselves exposed … Resulting in varied reaction along the Richter Scale…

Can it be safely said then that a leader, able to see things simply and honestly, will require a healthy dose of courage and tenacity to survive?  Both of these elements have their roots (why factor) in care/empathy… otherwise known in corporate world as service-orientation. 

Our leadership development programs place strong emphasis on empowering leaders to access innate ability to read situations simply and accurately … and to forward-think in anticipation of any eventual impact/consequence!

Of course, as is so often seen, it all starts with primary leadership goals/objectives – What does an individual really want to see happen at any point in time?
Understanding the simplicity of subjective objectives in the context of objective circumstance is a complicated business. We believe that it is at this point that true leadership can be identified!

If you have a few minutes check out the following clip: Björk interviews Arvo Pärt – In the sublime realm of music, the same philosophy is so beautifully expressed…


I particularly noticed Pärt’s ability to juggle inevitable opposites – A concept that appears increasingly resisted in a world that demands/expects absolutes and the illusion of certainty!


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

Leadership & Anomie - Preventing Individual Disconnect!

by Administrator 30.Jul.2013 16:08:00

Increasingly today we read of people whose societal alienation or Anomie leads them to do dreadful things. So much so, that average folk seem to have lost patience with looking at the whys and wherefores, and clamor for retribution/justice with the bloodthirsty fervour of a lynch mob. Oftentimes the loud demand for legislative solutions draws the noose tighter around the consciousness of afflicted individuals. 

Societal templates are reassuring for most. However for those who see the bigger picture and who are sensitive to what others miss, rigidity can be quite catastrophic. I have heard the feeling described as akin to “driving a Porsche on go-kart track”!

Harding Leadership Programs strive to awaken those in leadership, teaching and parental roles to accommodate these special people before they feel disconnected from the society’s norms. Of course time and effort, not to speak of the empathy/awareness, are required to recognize stifled originality. We talk blithely in organizational/corporate circles of playing to individual/team strengths, but sadly I guess we all to easily fall back on the set job-description, curriculum or family norm as a safe/comfortable guideline. More...

Engineers Without Borders (EWB) - Africa Leadership Conference 2012

by Administrator 08.Feb.2012 16:04:00

Recent involvment with the annual Engineers without Borders (EWB) Africa Leadership Conference was both refreshing and stimulating.

Exchanging ideas with such intelligent and erudite minds gave true meaning to global awareness and the importance of building bridges that facilitate a two way flow of ideas! The underlying philosophy of EWB promotes real understanding between nations and collaborative development rather than imposed, and often unworkable, aid packages. An amazing experience!    



 Delegates hailed from Ghana, Malawi, Bourkino Faso & Zambia 

Leadership: The Value of Empathy!

by Administrator 08.Aug.2011 09:43:00

Empathy seems more often than not to be considered a warm and fuzzy word in corporate circles. Certainly most training mandates indicate an unspoken aversion to the notion of empathy when discussing leadership requirements. It seems rather that absolutism, rigidity & strict adherence to rules/process are usually considered hallmarks of strong leadership.

Experience has taught me however that empathetic leaders have decided strengths in strategically identifying/spotting what might remain unseen, hiring the right team, reaching audiences/target markets, concluding successful negotiations and effectively resolving problems.

Certainly on a management level the ability to understand and accept humanity, imperfection and failure, in themselves and others, goes a long way in building a climate of team trust. Similarly empathy is the foundation upon which risk, change, crisis & chaos are managed!

It is perhaps useful to consider the core-competencies/qualities that underpin empathy: Listening; Observing; Analysis; Courage; Instinct; Dedication; Consideration; Forward thinking;

Beyond the business world, think of the value of empathetic teachers, doctors, cops, lawyers, builders etc. who are prepared to subjectively & objectively consider the circumstance of others, before applying a one size fits all solution/approach!

Surely the very notion of societal fairness depends upon a preparedness to empathize with the plight/requirement of those around us? 

To discuss customized Leadership Training:  (416) 962-6700   

Frustrated/Stifled Leadership Potential ... Our duty of care!

by Administrator 08.Jul.2011 07:54:00

If a true leader is someone who has the ability to identify requirement, the courage to proactively engage & the smarts to formulate a workable solution, logically this person would automatically be, to varying degrees, at odds with the status quo and those who are content to go with the flow.

The key to meeting this challenge, as we know, is the ability to persuade, sell, influence and negotiate in order to overcome inherent resistance to change. Yet in the course of almost 2 decades of Leadership Training, Coaching & Consulting, I find it is this particular attribute that oftentimes frustrates real leadership deployment.  Innovative, different or exceptional thinking is, in the nature of things, in direct conflict with the beliefs, expectations, hopes and even the morality of the majority. How often are brilliant ideas ignored in favour of more digestible “what we know works” solutions? More...

Leadership Training for Students

by Administrator 06.Feb.2011 17:10:00

Our Student Leadership training program explores and makes conscious existing, but untapped individual leadership expertise.

Practical techniques enable the understanding and full investment of core competencies, personality & experience. Strong attention is given to measuring individual impact and preparedness to consider what is involved in living out personal dreams.

The program is particularly directed at youth who have the irrepressible notion that there must be something more!  (see article: Our personal impact... Acknowledging youth wanting more

Should you require further information: (416) 962-6700 


Rodger has a proud record of assisting students setting realistic goals and living out their destiny. His work received special recognition in 2009 for his:

 "Exceptional commitment and contribution to numerous students in the Learning Disabilities Progam and for Outstanding Involvement in York University's Career Mentorship Program"

Leadership Training: Paul Theroux & The Risk of Mirroring Leadership Reality

by Administrator 02.Feb.2011 17:43:00

“In the end he was no more than that, a mirror, showing me my own face and feelings, making me intensely self-conscious. He was doing what writers do, reminding me of who I was….” - Paul Theroux, A Dead Hand 

One of the guiding principles of our leadership training/coaching/mentoring approach is to enable individuals and teams to be who they are, rather than who they are expected to be. This involves a process of holding a mirror that reflects reality. Over a period of 22 years of professionally training many diverse people, a key observation has been that accepting their own individual excellence is oftentimes more difficult for business folk, than having areas requiring attention revealed to them. Negative feedback is easier to accept than positive!

So too, on a personal level, it took me many years to realize that positive reinforcement is more often than not viewed with suspicion and mistrust. At best many feel that extolling virtues is insincere or undue flattery, masking a hidden agenda! More...

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