Lundsford Richardson, a pharmacist in Greensboro, North Carolina develops Vick’s VapoRub.


Richardson’s son H. Smith Richardson spreads Vicks business throughout the U.S. and overseas.


H. Smith Richardson and Grace Jones Richardson set up the Richardson Foundation.


The Smith Richardson Foundation concentrates its efforts and funding on the study of creativity and leadership.


Through the generosity of the Smith Richardson Foundation the Creativity Research Institute is founded in Greensboro.  Richardson’s vision and philosophy centered on boldness and what he called “cross-country thinking thus The Center for Creative Leadership, a non-profit, educational institution was born.  John Red Jr., is the first president of the Foundation, the Center grows to 14 employees. Its revenue totals $215,000 in grants from the Richardson Foundation.


Curriculum of a cohesive, public, open enrollment program based on Bob Dorn’s ‘assessment for development theory, is launched. The first pilot – a 16-week program – is deemed too long. The adage at the time was  “Leaders are born, not made”.  The Center’s belief that leaders can be made led to a new field of research and a new industry: management and leadership development.  The first building is designed and built to include innovative features  – seminar rooms, sensory evaluations facilities, and rooms where leadership simulations can be enacted.


Early research on creativity involves a simultaneous sensory stimulation room.


CCL researchers believe that leader development is synonymous with personal development. They also deeply believe the key to professional and personal growth is “assessment for development.” David Campbell, co-author of the Strong-Campbell Interest Inventory after a year at the Center on paid leave, joins CCL on a permanent basis. Under Campbell’s direction as Vice President of research and program direction, the Center’s flagship program is refined. Assessment for development feedback becomes a cornerstone of the Center’s work.


Launching of the Leadership Development Program, a six-day, highly structured seminar, the Center’s flagship program.  The program content is divided into thirds – leadership theory and principles, performance of people in small groups, and personal assessment and development. Each participant receives feedback using psychological tests and surveys, 360–degree feedback from their workplace, videotapes, and peer and staff ratings.


The Center’s logo is adopted. The logo is an androgynous figure, wings thrown out and reaching skyward suggesting the action of taking flight.


Looking Glass Inc. is developed and offers behavioral assessment through a realistic action learning process that included building a simulation replicating a day in a manager’s worklife. Participants gain key insights into their leadership strengths and development needs in an organizational setting.


Contracts Its First Network Associate, Univ of Maryland at College park to deliver three LDP programs. Eckerd College is granted a similar contract the next year.


Kenneth E. Clarks, a noted behavioral scientist, is hired and remains for four years. CCL’s employees reach a total of 61 and revenue exceeds $2.5M.


CCL opens its second campus, located in Colorado Springs.


Colorado Springs runs its first Leadership at the Peak program in “the shadow of Pike’s Peak” and the Center’s employees number 125 while revenues jumps to $6M.


The San Diego Campus opens.


The Greensboro campus is enlarged, the West Wing is added. The SKILLSCOPE instrument, a 98-item questionnaire is offered commercially. The Lessons of Experience, is released and becomes a CCL bestseller.


Benchmark360-Degree Assessment debuts offering insights into potential flaws that can derail a career and focuses on leadership skills and perspectives.


The Center’s 20-year anniversary and the opening of an office in Brussels, Belgium, offering the Leadership Development Program (LDP), Working with Others as well as customized training services.


A new 36,000 square foot building with panoramic views is opened in Colorado Springs.