The Leadership Trust® History
How Death Gave Birth to a For-Profit and Duke’s Coach K Alliance
The Leadership Trust® was co-founded by the late Dr. Jim Farr and Dr. Holly Latty-Mann in 1998, both internationally recognized experts in leadership and self-awareness development and training. Although they had co-facilitated numerous Self-Awareness Workshops during their years together at Farr Associates prior to Dr. Farr’s selling it to BB&T, they co-facilitated their first five-day program in year 2000 through their partnership with the Wake Forest Babcock Graduate School of Management (now called WFU School of Business). This 5-day Personalized Leadership Development Program™ remains the Trust®’s hallmark program to this day.
The week before Jim and Holly’s second five-day leadership workshop, Dr. Farr died suddenly albeit peacefully in his sleep (June 13, 2000). The MBA administrators were encouraged by all of the participants to go ahead with the program, yet in the middle of this historical 5-day program, a limo was brought in to take Dr. Latty-Mann to Fellowship Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, NC to deliver her eulogy for her co-founder and deeply valued friend. Upon completion of this program and many others thereafter, The Leadership Trust® maintained a 100% rate of all participants describing this workshop as the best training ever experienced throughout their career for both professional and personal improvement. Those rates remain between 98% and 99% to this day and can be attributed to the intellectual property Jim and Holly developed during their working years together.
But it was in 1998 that The Leadership Trust® began operating as a nonprofit membership association established to build and organize leaders and promote leadership as a trusted profession. As such, through this nonprofit, leadership as a profession was to receive attention, training, support, guidance and social oversight through a professional body of leaders dedicated to the quality and ethics of leadership and its practice.
Remaining strong in its dedication to the quality and ethics of leadership and its practice, The Leadership Trust® changed its status to a for-profit (January, 2003) at the encouragement of its board members. Within weeks of this historical move, The Leadership Trust® also moved its headquarters from Greensboro, NC to the Research Triangle Park. Within a year’s time, The Leadership Trust® entered into an alliance with Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, its Coach K Center on Leadership and Ethics. Dr. Farr’s philosophy with MBA and other academic programs was to forge relationships long enough to showcase the strength of self-awareness in leadership while bridging theory with practicality. Thus, other university partnerships were forged culminating in graduate research projects and publications.
The Leadership Trust® continues to operate as a for-profit organization established to train leaders through a highly personalized, self-awareness/emotional intelligence focus. Because of the one-on-one engagement involved, the various workshops are typically limited from 6 to 10 attendees (size determined by quality of mixture of demographics, industries, and job role functions), thereby explaining in part the unusually high ratings graduates consistently give toward their leadership training experience. This is to say how paramount it is to create an environment of experienced safety and trust in order for one to grow at this unusual level of depth and breadth. “You can’t go to the next higher level unless you go to the next deeper level.”
The consulting and coaching services started gaining traction in 2005 and now represent a means to take facets and variations of the hallmark program onsite or offsite to wherever our clients are located. Further, the Trust® management consulting wing grew from its leadership consulting work as our clients’ SMT/MMT members began working cohesively, collaboratively, and with a deepened sense of trust. Doc Holly continues Jim’s legacy and is mindful of passing on the torch between 2020 and 2025.