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
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
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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:
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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

Leadership & Effective Time Management : Good results often take time!

by Administrator 08.Aug.2011 10:00:00

Watching a TV sitcom recently, I was jolted by an expert’s response to an impatient crime investigator: “If you haven’t time for me to consider all the facts… All you can expect is sh_t!” I thought of how many top executives I have worked for/encountered who pride themselves on wanting answer “yesterday”. It seems almost a virtue to insist that all questions, briefings & backgrounders be provided with impossible speed and brevity.

The advance of Information Technology, while providing amazing & valuable tools/platforms, has added to the notion that brevity/speed is perhaps more important than context/depth. A distinction should ideally be made between lack of focus, waffle/padding & verbosity and the very real need for detail and big-picture background.

Efficient Time Management will ideally factor in goal achievement via the strategic balance of time, budget, quality, resource & team realities.

For Time Management training:  (416) 962-6700

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   

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

Leadership Deployment: Lesson from Kai Nagata

by Administrator 13.Jul.2011 13:25:00

That Kai Nagata’s manifesto on why he quit his job went viral, perhaps speaks to the frequency of the workplace sentiment that there is no point in continuing to do what we do.  

 

This is particularly true of aspiring leaders, hamstrung by perceived hidden corporate agendas that either overtly or covertly put the brakes on full deployment of potentially exciting ideas, strategies and vision. This becomes especially serious when ethical or value discordance comes into play. How often are we left feeling:” I just can’t buy into this… but what options do I have?” John Le Carre’s words come to mind: “the discovery that you’re just turning over a system that gets neither better nor worse is extremely depressing...”A courageous soul, free of duty to others, will take the leap and head for the hills… prepared to embark on a search for a better fit.

 

Some 20 years ago I abandoned a promising diplomatic career ... just before taking up post as the then youngest ever full-on ambassador ... The fact that the powers that be had, for me, totally departed from my perceived notion of the noble goals of the profession...or had nefarious agendas was unbearable. More than 2 decades of diverse consulting/training/coaching has since taught me that this phenomenon is more common than not in the larger world... Nagata's words and the widespread reaction to his experience bears direct testimony to the importance of ensuring that ethics, values and purpose retain priority in corporate goal setting!

 

Importantly the recognition, validation and accommodation of the like-minded goes a long way to ensuring that the valuable contribution of Kai Nagata, and his ilk, is not lost.   

 

http://kainagata.com/2011/07/08/why-i-quit-my-job/

 

 

 

Business Leadership & Positive Negativity

by Administrator 10.Jul.2011 19:50:00

Effective Business Leadership recognizes real and perceived negativity in the operational as well as all stakeholder environments.  This ability embraces the coexistence of opposites, notably certainty & uncertainty, structure & chaos. In the same vein, good leadership will recognize, accommodate and optimise individual/team strengths and manage human weakness/imperfection. Such an approach builds a climate of team confidence & trust.

Without failure there cannot be success; Agreement without disagreement! In recent decades though, a corporate leadership culture where all negativity is ignored/dismissed if and when it arises, seems to be increasingly commonplace. It is almost as if the school of positive thinking pundits have banished the possibility of all things negative, denying an inescapable human emotional wellspring.

Oftentimes those who disagree or ask too many questions are oftentimes seen as a “negative team influence”. I hear all too often the comment that these folk are “slowing the team down”! Would it not be an unfortunate turn of events if such inflexible management, preferring sycophantic passivity, cowed thinking/dedicated individuals into silence? Surely the consideration of opposing points of view provides opportunities for change, enhancement and innovation? A corporate spirit of efficent exploration will surely lead to a strong competive edge!

Mishaps, problems, glitches & failure are part of life. Is it prudent to hold the view that these phenomenon should not happen? Why is it that anything short of 100% approval is often enough to prompt real anxiety and the desire for retribution? Is it possible to lead via set templates and the rule book? Similarly, why are individuals who ask for help so often considered "incapable"? Have our levels of expectation/entitlement risen to absolute levels? What happened to the age old adage: To err is human?  

I recently came across an interesting talk by Alain de Botton that extols the virtue of pessimism - - An interesting societal exploration of the ongoing individual search for happiness and success – Perhaps a good investment of listening time:  

http://vimeo.com/10601416

For many years I have drawn comfort from Leonard Cohen’s Anthem:

“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ma5tF6TJpA


For all inquiries about Business Leadership Training/Coaching: (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...

Reverse Forensics = Intelligence Gathering ... Dynamic Leadership

by Administrator 07.Jul.2011 13:03:00

A Forensic Investigation, it is probably safe to say, refers to the reading/consideration of all available clues to determine the origins (what or why or by whom) of any known/past fact, deed or event.

A Corporate Intelligence Initiative refers to the reading of all available clues to determine what might happen in the future.

This simple comparison proved useful recently while working with a large corporate client in overcoming group resistance to work with unproven scenarios. Illustrating that the expertise required for disaggregating a problem was exactly the same as that required to work forward to a desired goal, facilitated the deployment of an innovative strategy to navigate uncharted territory.

Working with the unknown or unproven, in our opinion, is the greatest challenge facing the corporate mind set in securing a true competitive edge. Dynamic Leadership has the courage to explore and factor in what might happen in the future. Risk Management is just that… managing, not avoidance, of mights & maybes!
  

 



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