Richard Knowles, PhD

Richard Knowles

Title: Founder, Director
Company: Center for Self Organizing Leadership
Location: St. Petersburg, Florida, United States

Richard Knowles, PhD, founder and director at the Center for Self Organizing Leadership, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Executives for dedication, achievements, and leadership in Organizational Leadership.

With nearly 60 years of professional experience, Dr. Knowles is the director of the Center for Self organizing Leadership, having founded the company in 2001. In addition, he has been the principal of Richard N. Knowles & Associates and an associate with the Dalmau Network since 1996. In addition to his primary roles, he served as an advisor to the mayor of Niagara Falls, New York from 1999 to 2004.

Prior to obtaining these positions, Dr. Knowles was the director of the Community Awareness Emergency Response and Industry Outreach from 1995 to 1996, a manager with Belle Plant from 1987 to 1995, and an associate in Responsible Care from 1985 to 1996. From 1983 to 1987, Dr. Knowles was a manager at Niagara Falls Plant, and from 1980 to 1983 he was an assistant works manager with Chambers Works. Earlier in his career, he worked with the DuPont Company beginning in 1960, and he maintained a relationship with the organization until 1996.

Dr. Knowles began his career as a student at Oberlin College, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in 1957. He then joined the University of Rochester, where he earned a PhD in organic chemistry in 1961. While working in the field, he witnessed many examples of dysfunctional behavior, employees being abused, and money being wasted. Determined to rectify the situation, he began to develop new processes to reform the way things were done in the industry. He found that as long as people were willing to talk, they were open to making changes. As the organizations improved, the workers were happier and more successful, and the companies began to thrive. Dr. Knowles has taken these experiences and applied them to numerous businesses and situations, teaching the leaders to lead instead of abusing and picking on workers, and developing cultures of mutual respect and trust.

A respected voice in the field, Dr. Knowles has written extensively in his field, and he just completed a paper showing how organizations can change, and what leaders can do to facilitate that change. In the current climate, many industries are attempting to eliminate workplace violence, disrespect, harassment, bullying, fighting, and even killing. Dr. Knowles believes this all stems from a current cause: lack of respect on one level or another, from the CEO all the way down.

Throughout his career, Dr. Knowles has been recognized for his contributions, including having received a Chemical Emergency Planning and Preparedness Award from the Environmental Protection Agency. In addition, he was the recipient of the DuPont Crystal Award for Creating Human Potential. Looming toward the future, he hopes to continue his work in creating successful business with his partners and reducing workplace violence, helping organizations to improve as a whole. In his free time, Dr. Knowles enjoys golfing, bird watching, traveling, and reading.

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