DR. DICK BUCKLES

I'm a Psychologist specializing in personal and organizational change.  For the past 40 years I've been helping people and organizations build their competencies and capabilities, whether that's in the area of personal effectiveness and self-esteem or in organizational effectiveness, with particular expertise in conducting organizational assessments, culture change, innovation, leadership development and transitional coaching.  More recently, my focus has been on issues related to transitional coaching or what I call our "quest for life."  By that I mean, issues related to change associated with our search for more positive ways of growing older, how we approach our elder-time and how we can develop the skills and attitudes related to living a more full and meaningful life as we age.  

I will be sharing ideas, tips, resources, knowledge, on-line training and stories that can help you better understand how and what you can do to make the transition from adulthood to elderhood.  I will also provide similar resources, transitional coaching, and training on issues related to improving your overall effectiveness in life.  

MY CAREER

I grew up on a farm in the midwest. As a teenager my family moved to the city and entered a whole new lifestyle. I began to have trouble and, at 16 years old, dropped out of high school and joined the Marine Corps. As a young Marine, I was trained in communications and electronics. More specifically, as a radio-telegraph operator working mostly in air/ground operations and forward air control.

Following the Marine Corps and college, I began my career as a research and human factors psychologist. First working for the California Department of Mental Hygiene as a research psychologist. In that role, I used my knowledge of electronics and telegraphy to create a unique and innovative approach to training neurologically disabled children in speech and language skills. Following that, I went to work in the aerospace industry. But, with the demise of the space program, I eventually found my way back into what is called Industrial/Organizational Psychology or Business Psychology.

Then, while working on my Doctorate I discovered the work of Dr. Nathaniel Branden, author of over 20 books on the Psychology of Self Esteem, co-creator, with Ayn Rand, of the Philosophy of Objectivism, and intellectual contributor to the political principles of Libertarianism. I had always been an admirer of his writings and those of Miss Rand and, when I discovered he was on faculty at my school and teaching a course in the Psychology of Self-Esteem, I immediately enrolled.

So began a lengthy relationship with Dr. Branden. During this time, I spent 5 years studying with him and many years assisting with his Intensive Workshops on Self Esteem. Following that, I started my own practice as an executive and life coach.

Missing the work that I had done previously, however, I returned to work for major organizations where I could easily transfer my knowledge of and expertise in self esteem, positive psychology, team and leadership development. Since much of my work and my expertise was in the area of esteem-based, values-driven leadership, culture change, innovation and team-based skills, I easily made that transition and was soon in fairly high demand.

I was fortunate to have held many mid- and senior-level positions in truly great and progressive companies. I worked for Hughes Aircraft Company, Perrier, Atlantic Richfield, Amoco, Edison, and WellPoint. Plus, I’ve since consulted with such companies as Chevron, Chevroil-Kazakhstan, Hewlett-Packard, Johnson & Johnson, Watson Pharmaceuticals, the University of California – San Diego and many others.

Since teaching was always a great passion for me, too, I also served as an adjunct faculty member at many Universities, including, UCLA, California State University – Los Angeles, The University of La Verne, The National Graduate School of Quality Management, and Mt. San Antonio College. I’ve taught a broad range of Graduate and Undergraduate courses in Introductory Psychology, Organizational Behavior, Organizational Development, Human Resources Management, Quality Management, Neurobiology, and The Neurophysiology of Learning Disorders.

About 10 years ago, I began what I called "My Elderquest."  I was trying to look ahead to my own elder years and decided that I needed to discover more about what it was going to be like to "grow older."  And so I set off on a journey that took me several years to complete.  During this time I participated in several "quests," or rites-of-passage.  Each of these was intended to uncover deeper insights into what it meant to become an "elder," to discover what it meant to have a new sense of purpose, a new sense of place in the world.

I explored four questions during this time, including: 

  • Who am I?
  • What's my place in the world?
  • ​What do I care about?
  • What's my future?

The result was the publication of my book in December, 2016.


In my career as a psychologist, I've worked in many areas: military, human factors, aerospace, mental health, educational, leadership, organizational change management, and organizational and personal effectiveness. Throughout my career I've tried to pay close attention to what really works in helping individuals and organizations to improve and to gain competence, happiness, and success.

The majority of the work that I do, both individually and organizationally, is built around a positive concept of human behavior, values and change.

VALUES

For me, one of the most important things both we, as individuals and organizations, can possess is our sense of values. They are the framework with which we structure and guide our behavior - both individually and organizationally. Ernest Hemingway said...

“In the face of a decreed and inescapable doom, we choose our values and abide by them.”

I call this Hemingway’s Imperative. It’s my first principle and the foundation for most of what I do and believe in my life, my business, and how I help people and organizations search for and discover a purposeful path.

My prime value, the one I try best to abide by, is what Robert Humphrey, former Marine, Harvard Law grad, MIT Economics professor and author of the book "VALUES FOR A NEW MILLENIUM" calls the "Dual-Life Value." This says that the only truly objective value is that of Life and Respect for Life. The Dual Life Value holds as primary, the value of my life and that of others. That seems fairly obvious until we begin looking at certain aspects of our society and events occurring around the world. I believe this holds for organizations as well. Other values that I hold dear are relative values that support the Dual Life.

Most of my professional career has revolved around personal, organizational and cultural change. This means assessing an individual's and an organization's values and how they are translated into both personal behavior and management and leadership practices.

CHANGE

The second part of my approach is around “change.” When I say change, I mean that we have the capacity for modifying our behavior, our thoughts, our ways of doing things. We are what biologists call an “adaptive system.” My term for it is “bianetic.” In fact, the name of my company is “BIANETICS.”

Change always begins with awareness and acceptance followed by goal-setting, action-taking, and feedback. So, virtually all of my approaches to change begins with some aspect of gaining greater awareness of who we are, what we stand for, and how we behave.

Bianetics

Bianetics is an acronym for Biologically Adaptable Cybernetic System.  Meaning, we humans have the biological capability to adapt to nearly anything the world can throw at us. We are a cybernetic system – meaning, we are innately capable of “self correcting.”

We believe that people and organizations, like all life forms, seek to follow the Bi​ological Imperative: that is, we seek to create purposeful behavior, to survive on our own terms and to increase our own capacity for independent action. Thus, when we purposely construct organizations we tend to want to follow the biological imperative, seek to be adaptive, follow cybernetic laws of feedback and try to work and think systemically: again, what we call...bianetics.


SPEAKING

I speak at a number of corporate, professional, community, and other events on a number of relevant topics. If you have an event you'd like me to speak at, please see my Speaking page and contact me.

I speak on a number of different topics related to organizational and individual change and effectiveness, including, The ElderQuest, Finding Innovators, Values and Leadership, and Healthy Relationships.

I will customize any of my talks and presentations to your specific needs and requirements.​


Why am I telling you all of this?

I won't overwhelm you with a lot of offers or sales stuff on this site. You won't get any hard sales from me. Just some real life stories, positive thoughts, and recommendations based on my own experience and ability to track down resources for you. From time to time, I will offer services, products, webinars, speaking opportunities, and occasional training and coaching. I believe I have some very solid resources that might influence you and your organization towards higher performance. Most of my resources are free. But if, at some point, I do offer a service or a product, if it's of value to you and you're so inclined to purchase I will be very grateful.

If there is anything you would like me to write about, click the contact link below and let me know. Also, if you have any opinions on my articles, please leave a comment at the end. I try to answer all questions posted as comments, personally.

​Contact: Dr. Dick Buckles --  dick@dickbuckles.com