Charles Garfield Ph.D.

Charles GarfieldIn his keynote speech at a White House Conference, Charles Garfield began by saying, “My mission is to translate the real lessons of our nation’s high achieving organizations and their people into consistent bottom line results.”

He is author of the widely acclaimed Peak Performance trilogy, Peak Performers, Team Management and Second to None. His books focus on high performing individuals, teams and organizations respectively and established Dr. Garfield as one of America’s leading authorities on high achievement. Simply put, the trilogy constitutes a blueprint for leaders and teams pressured to continuously improve while doing more with less.




As a computer scientist and a member of a team of engineers, analysts and support staff on the Apollo Eleven project, our first lunar landing, Garfield was part of a group of empowered people who went far beyond their previous results to legendary achievement. It was his work on the first moon-landing project that led to his discovery of the dynamics of peak performance.

For over thirty years, Garfield has conducted one of the nation’s most respected studies of business and nonprofit high achievers and their organizations. His conclusions form the basis of some of today’s most forward thinking management strategies. Basic to his findings: Regardless of age, educational background, or profession, America’s most productive people share the same set of basic skills, and these skills are learnable.

In Second to None, the only book ever chosen as a main selection twice by the Executive Program, America’s most prestigious executive book club, Garfield makes it clear that “in the competitive world of the twenty-first century, even yesterday’s levels of service, quality and performance aren’t enough.”

Second to None breaks new ground by showing how our smartest, leanest, and most productive organizations compete in turbulent times by recruiting, rewarding, training, and retaining top talent. Diverse and committed people who realize that “total quality, superior service, continuous improvement, and peak performance pay, and average quality, service, improvement, and performance cost.” Second to None has been called “a manifesto for organizational high performance in our time.”

Team Management, published in German, shows how the most effective leaders in the U.S. and abroad develop and manage superior teams. Garfield explains how employees of our most successful organizations supervise themselves, maintain product quality through their own efforts, solve most service problems before management ever sees them, and produce thousands of usable suggestions per year.

Charles Garfield’s classic book, Peak Performers: The New Heroes of American Business, quickly became a Time bestseller and one of the most influential business books of the past two decades. Peak Performers, translated into twelve languages, continues to receive international acclaim as the most powerful and comprehensive statement to date on America’s most effective business people.

Dr. Garfield’s remarkable career is itself a study in the “how-to’s” of high performance. He is co-founding editor (along with Stephen Covey and Ken Blanchard) of Executive Excellence, one of America’s most important executive newsletters. A strategy advisor to our nation’s preeminent business and nonprofit leaders, Garfield is an extraordinary speaker and one of America’s most requested presenters. His unique power as a speaker comes from his hands-on experience as an executive and team leader in the profit and non-profit sectors — witnessing, learning, and demonstrating the key skills of superior service, quality and performance. This expertise was developed in two compelling and challenging contexts: The Apollo Eleven moon-landing and Shanti Project.

As founder and executive director of Shanti Project, the most successful organization in its field, he inspired service excellence for peak performers of another kind, patients and families facing life-threatening illness. His emphasis on total quality management and his results oriented leadership style made Shanti an internationally acclaimed volunteer organization. For nearly forty years, he has pioneered the development of service oriented volunteer organizations and the training of volunteers in a wide variety of applications. For his work with Shanti and for originating the Shanti model of peer support, Garfield was named National Activist of the Year — one of America’s highest awards to individuals making voluntary contributions in public service. He has also received recognition by grateful cities and organizations large and small, e.g. a Mayor’s Day in his honor in San Francisco, key to the city of Schenectady, New York, and many others.

He also applied his principles of high achievement to athletics and wrote the widely respected Peak Performance: Mental Training Techniques of the World’s Greatest Athletes. As a result, Garfield was selected by the United States Olympic Committee as a keynote speaker for the esteemed Elite Coaches Symposium, addressing the head coaches of our Olympic sports.

Charles Garfield is a Clinical Professor at the University of California Medical School in San Francisco and is involved in the complex issues of healthcare leadership and reform. He began his advanced education at the Hayden Planetarium in New York studying college level astronomy at the age of 16. Prior to receiving his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of California at Berkeley and later studying at Oxford University in England, Dr. Garfield received a pre-doctoral fellowship to study mathematics from Adelphi University where he earned two graduate degrees and his B.S. in mathematics.

He is CEO of the Charles Garfield Group, a consulting and educational firm specializing in strategies for superior service, quality and performance. His bold vision of the farther reaches of human performance brings him into frequent contact with leaders in business, healthcare, the nonprofit sector and government worldwide. 

Technology, Change and Thinking Outside the Box: Who Does It Best and How

Technology represents a vital source of competitive advantage, and technological change is accelerating at a mind-boggling pace. Yet, the more you introduce technology into the workplace, the more you need to emphasize and enhance human creativity. Technology can enable but it cannot create. People create and their ability to do so can be suffocated by an over-reliance on technology for solutions. Dr. Garfield will offer an action plan for developing creativity throughout the organization by integrating the power of technology and human ingenuity.

Peak Performance: Building “Best Practices” and High-Performing Teams

Industry leader status demands a team-based approach and remarkable management/employee partnership. Dr. Garfield offers an action plan of “best practices” consisting of the ten points necessary for achieving top performance in the modern workplace. Included are leading edge approaches to recruiting, hiring, training and rewarding top performers.

Second to None: The Productive Power of Putting People First

Rapid growth, globalization and downsizings along with change initiatives such as restructuring and redesign have challenged executives, managers and employees to do more with less, better and faster. Viewing change as an ally—not an adversary—is key to sustaining the pursuit of top superior service, profits and performance.

A Higher Standard of Leadership: The 21st Century Manager

Many of us who swam with the sharks and studied the management approaches of Attila the Hun are looking for more positive and inspiring role models for effective leadership. We are learning that we can redesign organizations but we can’t redesign people. The pendulum is swinging back to a model of inspired leadership that enhances credibility while unleashing human effectiveness.

Competing for the Present: One-to-One Marketing, Speed and Superior Service

Today’s smartest organizations create customer-inspired operations by using innovative, cost-effective technology and building enduring partnerships with employees, customers, suppliers and distributors—all on a one-to-one basis. 

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