Recommended Insights
Recommended Insights

History

We’re an organization with a timeless mission and record of success that’s stretched for half a century. Over the past 50 years we’ve pioneered the best practices in the leadership development industry and proven our resilience and ability to innovate in the face of change.

To remain strong and resilient in a rapidly changing world, one thing matters most: leadership. Our history was forged through the commitment of our colleagues around the world and the individuals, organizations, and communities we’ve been privileged to partner with and serve. It’s through these partnerships we’ll continue to evolve, adapt, and help leaders around the world ignite transformational change for another 50 years to come.

How CCL Began: Our Origins Start With Vicks VapoRub

Vicks VapoRub
1820
Lundsford Richardson, a pharmacist in Greensboro, North Carolina, develops Vicks VapoRub as a salve to relieve symptoms of the common cold.
H. Smith Richardson, Sr.
1907
Richardson’s son H. Smith Richardson spreads the Vicks business throughout the U.S. and overseas.
H. Smith Richardson, Sr.
1935
H. Smith Richardson and Grace Jones Richardson set up the Smith Richardson Foundation, concentrating efforts on the study of creativity and leadership.
CCL's first location in 1970
1970
Through the generosity of the Smith Richardson Foundation, The Center for Creative Leadership is born, helping to invent the field of leadership development.
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We Pioneered the Field of Leadership Development

CCL Sensory Stimulation Lab 1971
1971
Our belief that leaders are made, not born, helps us to pioneer a new field of research: leadership development. Our first campus, in Greensboro, NC, is designed and built to include innovative features – seminar rooms, sensory evaluation facilities, and rooms where leadership simulations can be enacted.
1974
Our flagship Leadership Development Program (LDP)® is launched. Now the longest-running program of its kind in the world, LDP has over 100K alumni around the globe.

Learn more about LDP [add link when URL available]
1978
“The Looking Glass Experience” is developed. This groundbreaking simulation that mimics the uncertain, ambiguous environment that leaders face in the real world is still used today in our program Leading for Organizational Impact.

Learn more about Leading for Organizational Impact [add link when URL available]
1984
We pioneer the practice of assessment for development, expanding and accelerating the mainstream use of 360-degree assessments by making them a routine part of our leadership development programs.

Learn more about our industry-leading assessments [add link when URL available]
1986
Along with the revolutionary use of our 360-degree assessments came the opportunity to establish an extensive research database, unique in that it’s the largest pool of typical working adults ever psychologically assessed.

Learn more about our ongoing research [add link when URL available]
1987
We release Breaking the Glass Ceiling, the first research-based book in the world bringing attention to the glass ceiling that women leaders face. We provided critical, early, research-backed insights on women in leadership.

Learn more about our work in women’s leadership [add link when URL available]
1988
The Lessons of Experience is released and becomes a best-seller. Its research became the basis of the popular 70-20-10 framework for executive development and helped define notions of how leaders learn.
1998
We release the authoritative Handbook of Leadership Development, integrating our years of experience and knowledge about how to help leaders and mangers develop.
2001
We launch “Leadership Across Differences,” a global research initiative, to address effective leadership processes in the face of racial, religious, gender, ethnic, and cultural differences and to inform our understanding of global leadership challenges and approaches.

Learn more about our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion practice [add link when URL available]
2006
We collected our knowledge about the importance of feedback coaching and how managers can be better coaches for their employees into The CCL Handbook of Coaching: A Guide for the Leader Coach.
2020
We celebrate 50 years of pioneering the leadership development industry’s best practices.
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Expanding Our Global Reach

1983
Our second campus is opened in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Two years later, this campus runs its first Leadership at the Peak program, a special leadership development experience for C-suite leaders in the shadow of Pike’s Peak.

Learn more about Leadership at the Peak [add link when URL available]
1987
The third Americas campus opens in San Diego, California.
1990
We celebrate our 20-year anniversary and the opening of an office in Brussels, Belgium.
1992
A new 36,000 square foot building with panoramic views is opened in Colorado Springs.
2011
CCL opens a new campus in Singapore to serve leaders in the Asia-Pacific region.
2012
CCL opens its new regional headquarters and training campus in Brussels to serve the Europe, Middle East, and Africa markets. With its contemporary design, open-space concept and high-tech focus, the campus will further enhance the learning experiences of clients from around the world.
2013
Our Greater China office launches in Shanghai.
2016
Our San Diego campus moves to a new location in La Jolla, California, near the Torrey Pines golf course and nature reserve. This location serves clients on the U.S. West Coast as well as Latin America.
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Are you ready to embark on a leadership journey that will help your organization make its mark on history? Let’s start a conversation.

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