A. Dale Thompson, PhD

Founder and CEO
Leadership Worth Following

Dale Thompson is a seasoned business executive and consultant, a licensed psychologist, and Founder and CEO of Leadership Worth Following, LLC (LWF). Established in January 2004, LWF is a premier provider of services, tools, and processes that help organizations identify, select, develop, and retain leadership worth following.

Dale’s more than thirty years of business, consulting, and leadership experience have focused heavily on helping individual leaders, groups, teams, and organizations address critical talent-related issues including top leadership selection, development, and succession; Board and CEO-team effectiveness; and creating sustainable leadership systems and processes. His most recognizable clients have included prominent global firms such as 7-Eleven, AIG, BNSF, Boeing, Federal-Mogul, Freescale, Rackspace, Texas Instruments, and Walmart, as well as dynamic domestic companies such as Advance Auto Parts, Athena Heath, Brown Advisory, H-E-B, Neiman-Marcus, NuStar Energy, PetSmart, SCAN Healthplan, USAA, and Valero Energy, to name a few.

His varied business experiences include co-founding a truckload transportation company that served as a test bed for then cutting edge Global Positioning technology and operations-research driven business models; directly leading and supporting a leadership consulting-firm’s aggressive global expansion to more than 30 markets in 14 countries and ultimately leading all of its North American operations; and co-founding a global IT consulting firm. He founded LWF in 2004.

Beyond consulting, Dale has made a number of recognized contributions to the fields of business and psychology. In 1986, he published what has been acknowledged as the first formal study of executive coaching. His pioneering research focused on evaluating the emerging practice of executive coaching and its effectiveness, and identifying “who changes, how much, and why” among coaching participants. In 2008, he was first author of the landmark article, “The Search for Worthy Leadership;” one of the most downloaded articles in the leadership literature since it was published. And in 2010, he was co-author of “The Character to Lead: A Closer Look at Character in Leadership;” a critically acclaimed study showing that character in leadership can be reliably defined and measured – and that character in leadership is directly related to important leadership and business outcomes.

Dale’s professional contributions were acknowledged in 2004 when The Society of Consulting Psychology presented him with the prestigious RHR International Award for Excellence in Consultation. His contributions to leadership theory and practice were acknowledged by the Society of Psychologists in Management when he was named The 2011 Distinguished Psychologist in Management; and by The Goolsby Leadership Academy at The University of Texas at Arlington when he was named its 2011 Distinguished Visiting Leader.

Dale received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. He is a Member and Past-President of The Society of Psychologists in Management, was a founding member of the Advisory Board of the Goolsby Leadership Academy at the University of Texas-Arlington, and is the President-elect of The Society of Consulting Psychology. He has been affiliated with the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University, and the Industrial/Organizational Psychology Programs at the University of North Texas and at The University of Texas – Arlington. He is a Licensed Psychologist in the State of Texas, and a member of the American Psychological Association, The Society of Consulting Psychology, The Society of Psychologists in Management, and Dallas Executive Connection.

5:10 PM Growing a Strong and Versatile Workforce That Thrives in a Disrupted World

Disruption is the “new normal” in business today. And it has myriad causes, among them the ever increasing pace of technological changes; the old and new faces of competition; the increasingly powerful effect of local, national, and global regulations and public policy, the growing generational differences, and more. In this chaotic environment, how does HR help select and develop a strong and versatile workforce that is energized, engaged, and effective --- and able to help an organization thrive in this environment? 

At BNSF Railway, which has been heavily impacted by all of the forces listed above, they have been aggressively aligning business strategy with talent strategy, and using a wide variety of tools and processes to select and accelerate the development of leaders who are energized by these challenges.  As a result, it has strong leaders, and a strong bench, that can be quickly deployed, and redeployed, to help the company thrive in the face of near-continuous disruption.