client testimonials


Jon Perera, Chief Marketing Officer, Highspot

“Having decided to take a year off from work, I wanted to be very thoughtful about how, when, and where to re-enter the ‘real world.’ Over the course of 5-6 months, I worked with Carl to help define my career path, discuss my leadership style, and identify practical, useful steps in my career plan. He was particularly useful in helping with outside-the-box networking, giving me a much broader perspective. I’d recommend him for both personal coaching as well as team-based training on leadership. ” Jon Perera

Christy Johnson – CEO & Founder Artemis Connection

“From my very first meeting with Carl I knew I wanted to learn from him. He is an incredible listener and he connects with people quickly. He asks powerful question that dig deeper into what is going on. You can see him connecting the dots and he tactfully points out what might be the root cause problem.  He is good at understanding human dynamics and he also understands business… a rare combination in a coach.  As a first time sole founder, I’m grateful for his coaching.” Christy Johnson

Martinique Grigg & Clara Veniard, Founding Partners, Grant Peak Capital

“As longtime friends and business partners in the process of acquiring a 20 year old family business, we found Carl’s support and advice to be instrumental in ensuring our ability to successfully work with each other and the existing leadership team.  He guided us through in-depth conversations around our past experiences, helping us identify our strengths as well as opportunities for improvement.  Thanks to his advice, we were able to establish tools that have forever changed the way we work as partners and as leaders in an established organization.” Martinique Grigg & Clara Veniard

John Vechey, Co-founder of PopCap Games

“Only you can control self indulgence.” The more successful you become, “people won’t necessarily call you out on your shit. So, I hired a professional coach because then you’re hiring someone to tell you you’re an idiot.” Quoted in Inc. magazine interview “How to Cope With Success.”

John Vechey, Co-founder of PopCap Games referring to his ongoing work with Carl Robinson, Ph.D., shortly after his company was acquired by Electronic Arts for $750million + additional earn out (John enthusiastically authorized the use of this quote as a testimonial).”

John Aitchision – Co-director, Center for Global Infectious Disease Research at Seattle Children’s Research Institute

“I started working with Carl as a neophyte when it comes to the world of institutional leadership.  Over the years, he has become a good friend and has helped shape my leadership style, guiding me through challenging situations.  As I meet new situations in my leadership role, Carl’s practical and straightforward advice continues to echo in my mind guiding my actions to effective outcomes.” John Aitchison Ph.D.

Christian Schiller, Managing Director – Cascadia Capital LLC

“Carl has played a pivotal and instrumental role in Cascadia’s growth over the years.  We are a business where our people are our main asset, and Carl’s work with us over the years has had a direct impact on augmenting the effectiveness of our internal communications and work together to make us better partners and leaders of our people.   One of Carl’s main strengths and value-add is the ability to help bridge more positive and productive conversations between our partners when addressing very challenging situations or critical factor important internal issues. More personally, I feel I could not have achieved the personal growth and business objectives that I set out for myself without Carl’s guidance, mentorship and (most importantly) constructive criticism.  Carl has a direct and tell-it-like-it-is style that really is impactful.  I have appreciated that he will listen and understand my point of view, but then have the ability to help me understand other points of view, or ways in which others in the organization may perceive things differently to help me more effectively communicate and navigate with our partners and other professionals.  Working with Carl has become a best practice and must have for all of our partners, and we view him as a key asset and “secret weapon” in our business” Christian Schiller

Leroy Hood, MD, Co-founder Institute for Systems Biology

“I have interacted with Carl Robinson in several contexts: guiding young colleagues to grow in their leadership roles, charting a course for my organization to handle some very challenging crises issues; and providing me insights into my leadership skills and where they can be improved.  He is extremely skilled in handling challenges for individuals or for organizations.   I found Carl thoughtful, deep, compassionate and effective.

SVP and Chief Science Officer, Providence St. Joseph Health; Chief Strategic Officer, Co-founder and Professor, Institute for Systems Biology
(co-founder of Amgen and recipient of the National Medal of Science from President Obama 2013)”

Lee Falck, Co-President, Brandrud (a wholly owned subsidiary of the Herman Miller, Inc.)

“Early in our career my friend and I acquired a 50 year old company.  Carl was critical in developing my leadership, partnership, and managerial capabilities.  These skills made the difference in taking a small regional company to a national player that was recently acquired by a Fortune 500 company.  Carl developed a strong foundation on how to effectively manage employees and provide insights into human behavior.”

Kent Bakke, Chairman, La Marzocco International

“I have worked with Dr. Robinson in the areas of my leadership ability and organizational proficiency. Carl has been instrumental in helping me to make the transition in my entrepreneurial career to be able to understand my strengths, weaknesses and those areas where improvement is appropriate. He has provided counsel with me around key management people and has guided me through several difficult situations successfully. He is an individual of integrity, honesty, knowledge with tremendous expertise and insight in Leadership development and coaching (and he makes a mean cup of Espresso!).

I highly recommend Dr. Robinson to my business associates and would recommend him to any owner, entrepreneur, CEO or President who is looking to build on their strengths and to overcome challenging situations.”

Tom Reynolds, M.D. Chief Medical Officer (retired), SeattleGenetics

“Carl is exceptionally gifted at evaluating organizational relationships and providing feedback and guidance on how to strengthen these and make them more effective. In particular, Carl helped me interact more effectively with our CEO, and was available on short notice to help me problem-solve emerging personnel issues. His insights into our organization’s dynamics were instrumental in helping me become more successful in meeting corporate objectives.”

Brett Clifton, Managing Director, RedCloud Consulting

“Carl provides a balanced and informed perspective on business issues that leaders of organizations of any industry face.  Including strategy, culture, people management, partnerships and mindset, Carl’s coaching experience is delivered through a calm, reflective, and supportive approach.  During my time with Carl it has felt like having an encouraging friend who knew when to listen and when to offer insights; and the insights routinely made sense, were practical and effective when implemented.”

Jim Baker, Executive Director (retired), Pilchuck Glass School

“Through evaluating personal and organizational strengths and challenges, Carl’s thoughtful and direct advice helped me to transform goals into action. The end result was a much-needed restructuring of our non-profit and a more effective board/staff team.”

Caroline Di Diego, President, Esse-group

“Dr. Carl Robinson is effective both in crisis situations and ongoing leadership scenarios! His direct yet thoughtful coaching helped the CEO, (both a client & portfolio company), to identify and leverage his strengths to drive positive change. Carl assisted in resolving complex board / CEO relationships as well as identifying and hiring of key executives to build a “bankable” team. Intelligent, intuitive and insightful in his interactions with stressed-out executives; cuts through their blind-spots and enables them to see and act on their abilities.”

Wayne Larkin, President (retired) – TrueBlue Staffing Solutions

“I have had the opportunity to work with Carl in executive team development and individual coaching sessions.  In both cases, I have found Carl to be very effective. I am very grateful for his insight and perspective and frankly, his directness about some behavioral habits that were impeding my growth as a leader.  My role and responsibilities have expanded significantly over the time I have worked with Carl.   I am certain that having him as a trusted advisor assisted in those opportunities being available to me and in my effectiveness at them.”

Gordon Rush, President, Rush Development Company, Inc.

“I would like to thank you for leading our Strategic Planning Meeting.  I was very impressed with your ability to effectively focus the thoughts and ideas of our executive team.  With your guidance, we were able to choose a critical path of direction for our company”s future through identification of our future goals at a pivotal time in our market.  Your coaching provided us the invaluable clarity that we needed to commit to a plan.  Your methods have provided the results we have been seeking and I would certainly recommend your services to both new and experienced executives.”

Carey Kolb, Director of Operations, Applied Technical Systems, Inc.

“Carl was able to help each of our managers recognize their strengths and weaknesses, and through this sometimes painful process, was able to help corporate leadership identify productive ways of interacting with each other. Carl is professional, intuitive, insightful, and has a unique ability of making you feel very comfortable with him in a one-on-one environment.”

Betsy Balch, Fashion Group International, Seattle

“On behalf of Fashion Group International, Board of Directors and membership, and numerous individuals I heard from personally, thank you for your thought provoking, motivating & inspiring presentation (I think that covers the range of comments shared!).

Betsy Balch, Fashion Group International, Seattle, in reference to presentation titled: “When Times are Tough, The Tough Become Better Leaders.”

Don Schlosser, Program Chair for Financial Executives International, Seattle

“Carl did an excellent job in talking with this group of high-powered CFOs about the challenges of leadership and provided practical steps for both enhancing our leadership capabilities and accelerating our careers.”

R. Mark Davis, Executive, Fortune 25 Financial Services Organization

“Carl Robinson’s approach to understanding the executive first, then to apply strategies and planning for transition is tremendous. I feel very fortunate to have met Carl at a time that I was in the process of change and he had time available to work with me to identify my personal strengths and focus on opportunities that leverage my background and experience.”

Michael Clauss, The Clauss Group

“Carl has really helped me with my professional development. Much of my success is due to being honest with myself about my strengths and weaknesses. These weaknesses were drawn out through my work with Advanced Leadership Consulting, and I don’t think I could have gone as far without the continuing professional interaction and development.”

Fred Wright, President and CEO, Speed Secrets, Inc.

“A dose of objective clarity!”

Katarina G. Bonde, President & CEO, Unisite Software, Inc.

“Carl Robinson focuses on what is unique to the fast paced emerging company, the founders and subsequent CEO’s of such companies. He has really helped me understand what leadership skills are needed in this environment at various stages and through his assessment realize how I can use my own set of skills most effectively.”

Daniel Herb, Senior Director, Strategy and Partnerships Internet of Things – T-Mobile

“Carl has accelerated my professional growth by many years. The combination of quantitative and qualitative methods, matched with Carl’s expertise and one-on-one attention, propelled me past the frustrations and fears of board-level politics to a higher level of dialogue and achievement. Areas of my professional life that used to be a source of stress are now real strengths and opportunities that I look forward to. I am deeply appreciative of Carl’s ability to help me bring strengths from my personality to my career development. Carl is an invaluable strategic asset to my career.” Daniel Herb

Tom Eckmann, Managing Director, Absolute Business Inc.

“As CEO of an early-stage company, you are constantly bombarded with issues ranging from personnel and product development to funding and strategic partnerships. There are no courses or books to prepare you for such a role, and at times it can seem overwhelming. Carl Robinson provided excellent services as a consultant and executive coach. He provided valuable advice regarding selection and development of the executive team, and in the darkest moments, assured me I wasn’t losing my mind, even though I probably was. I would highly recommend Carl as a coach and advisor to both new and experienced executives.”

Jan Cannon, VP HR, Sur La Table

“Dr. Carl Robinson has over the years assisted a number of key executives become better leaders and managers with my current company and at previous employers. I keep referring both high-potentials and executives who need re-tuning to Carl because he has helped other executives significantly increase their performance and to be better prepared for the future. Carl has an uncanny ability to focus in on the key performance issues and help executives understand what’s important and translate that understanding into constructive action. In addition, we have used Carl’s assessment services to help assess and select important new-hires and for promotional and developmental purposes. By using the state of the art assessment processes he has helped us select top candidates and to efficiently guide the professional development of new hires and high-potential executives.”

Michael O’Donnell, President & CEO,

“I made Dr. Robinson’s executive coaching and assessment services available to my executive staff after using them myself. Although the program was optional, just about every director and VP took advantage of it. The results were uniform among the team. Everyone felt the program contributed to their professional development, and helped them to better understand and relate to the other team members. Of special note was the individual action plan that accompanied each assessment and coaching session. It helped each of us to put the findings into practice so that we could be more effective individually and collectively.”

S. Douglas Woodward, CFO, Who’s Calling

“Carl provided invaluable assistance identifying the fit for prospective executives in our company. Through his insights into professionals and behavior patterns, we were able to go beyond traditional recruitment processes and interview questions and understand how this individual would really work as part of the team. From a management perspective, my experience was that he correctly foresaw the issues and challenges of certain individuals we were looking to hire and the real chances of making it work.”

Shaun Wolfe, President & COO, WRQ, Inc.

“Carl has helped several of our key executives significantly increase their performance. We all can use help to become more effective leaders and Carl enables executives to focus in on the key performance issues and understand them in tangible ways. Furthermore, he guides the transformation from understanding to action. While executives can be the hardest group to change — after all they’ve been successful so far — Carl managed to make a connection that motivated needed improvements. The ultimate measure is that everyone that has worked with Carl has found personal value and has voluntarily extended the relationship.”

Mark Westcott, President, Westcott Marketing Group

“The quality input and the work that Carl has done for me has made me a better leader and manager. I continue to employ the insights and tactics he provided me on a daily basis. Growing a start up consultancy with a few employees to a full service agency was a difficult transition for me because I went from entrepreneur and founder to having to run a company with 32 employees. This required more of a team approach where consensus is needed and Carl helped me to make the necessary management style changes to make this a successful transition.”

Rick MacDonald, President & CEO, TimeLogic Corporation

“I have had the pleasure of working with Carl over the past two years, and his assistance has been invaluable as we worked to both restructure and reposition our company in the health sciences marketplace. Carl has been instrumental in helping us assess and hire very high quality candidates, who have been able to fit well within our organizational culture and also deliver “hands on” results very quickly. The ability to make rapid and significant changes has been vital to remain competitive, but challeging and difficult for individuals and the organization to manage effectively. Carl has been a great help in setting the stage and managing the message in a way that has addressed employee concerns in a timely, open, and supportive manner. Carl is a key resource and a valued member of our team.”

Lee Cheatham, Executive Director, Washington Technology Center

“Carl has been an important part of our organization’s transition to become more performance minded and results oriented. His early work during our restructuring was exceptional, helping both the people within WTC as well as the overall organization. Based on this experience, I asked Carl to continue with me in the role of Executive Coach. He has proven to be outstanding as a sounding board, idea generator and reality check. Thanks Carl!”

Jim Warjone, Chairman & CEO, The Port Blakely Companies

“Carl was able to diagnose a “blind side” (we all have them!) in one of our key executives that seriously limited his prospects for success in our company. Carl was able to work with this individual in a confidential way that allowed him to begin the process of restoring the confidence of his peers while also learning some new empowering skills that are evident in his everyday interactions with others. Without Carl’s help, and the willingness of the executive, I believe that we would have eventually lost this individual from our team. Carl has made a unique contribution to this executive and our company.”

Bob Seeman, CEO, Clera, Inc.

“Carl’s excellent insight and practical suggestions have helped me and my colleagues (fellow CEOs/CBOs of biotech companies in Vancouver, B.C.) better understand human behavior, the most important thing in business. We particularly appreciated Carl’s help with how to hire the right people for our growing companies. With his help, I feel that we are on the right track.”

Jory Abrams, P.E., Vice President and Regional Transportation Manager, CH2M HILL

“After searching for an Executive Coach, we happily connected with Dr. Carl Robinson. He quickly established a trusted working relationship with one of our key VPs. Carl provided effective, practical advice and coaching that helped this top performer clear the roadblocks to success. Carl’s direct, insightful communication style helped motivate and support during a tough leadership growth experience. The outcome is a more skilled leader and team player whose value to our firm is much enhanced and who is now fulfilling his potential.”

Daniel DiLorenzo, MD, PhD, MBA, and Founder of a medical device company

“His interpersonal skills and ability to manage team dynamics are matched by his professional demeanor and balanced by his experience gained form working in a multitude of corporate environments. This exposure gives him the ability to be a remarkably effective sounding board for people transitioning to new roles or to new corporate environments and to provide counsel for experienced executives who may have difficulty relating to perspectives from people with backgrounds in other industries or in academia.

I can not speak more highly of Carl, who has gained the unconditional respect and affection of our entire executive team. I would highly and without any reservation recommend Carl to any individual or organization that is serious about realizing the full potential of its team.”

Evan Clarrissimeaux, Managing Director, Platforms & Technologies Group | Co-Founder, Smashing Ideas, Inc.

“Acting as a strategic consultant and coach, Carl Robinson helped me accelerate a period of growth and transition for my company. Providing excellent advice and personal assessment Carl helped me develop my leadership skills, improve my organizational effectiveness. Working closely with Carl I was able to build a stronger, more dynamic organization by drawing on new leadership skills and techniques, by forming a board of directors, and by developing better partnership relations. I credit Carl’s effective coaching style and guidance to motivate me to meet these opportunities and challenges. I highly recommend Carl as a coach and business advisor.”

Steve Aman, VP Business Development, SR Smith

“I enthusiastically recommend Carl Robinson’s coaching and training.  I hired Dr. Robinson to help me grow in my career.  During the time I worked with Carl, he helped me become a more accomplished Sales Executive/Manager, not just the top salesman for our company.  In addition, he helped me successfully navigate the transition into our organization of a new CEO and into my newly expanded role as V.P. of Business Development.

Steve Aman, VP Business Development, SR Smith, the world leader in manufacturing innovative, safe and reliable pool deck equipment for both residential and commercial swimming pools.”

Chris Hedrick, President and CEO, Intrepid Learning Solutions

“We are very pleased to recommend Dr. Carl Robinson. We hired Carl to work with our entire executive team to help us improve how we go about selling to Global 1000 senior level executives. Carl delivered beyond our expectations by providing us with unique and creative approaches that we were able to employ with immediate positive results. We competed with a larger competitor and came out on top! We’re convinced that Carl’s input gave us the edge we needed. His methods have helped us with other prospects and with existing customers as well. We also appreciate the additional coaching and guidance Carl has given our team that went beyond the scope of our original contract. We look forward to working with Carl in the future.”

David Horn, CFO, Tatum LLC

“At our recent National Conference, Carl presented a workshop entitled Leadership in the First 100 Days to some 500 of the nations most sophisticated financial leaders.  Carl provided invaluable insights into how contract interim financial executives can position themselves for success with their next business partner, the CEO.  In a highly interactive session which was the most highly rated by participants, Carl taught that such success is largely determined in the first 100 days, and that subtle psychological/interpersonal factors as every bit as important as functional expertise.  Carl provided practical actionable advise as to how the new senior executive can and should position himself or herself for success.  I recommend Carl’s program to any senior executive who takes on a new assignment in our increasingly fast paced and changing world.”

Rick Recania, VP Training and Development, WorldMark by Wyndham

“Your executive coaching pays huge dividends. Reflecting on our past  meetings and conversations seems long ago, but my “take aways” from our time spent is as clear as if it was yesterday, and has resulted in better working relationships and more engaged and productive employees. You are a “Coach’s Coach”.”

Scott Sikora, CTO & Co-founder Varolii Corporation

“I have always maintained the attitude “It is all about results.”  Put your head down, work hard and deliver.  Working with Carl, I have realized that interpersonal relationships are far more critical than I ever imagined.  The process he put me through was challenging, enlightening and invaluable.  I will use the skills he taught me throughout the rest of my career.”

Joe Plastino, CEO, JP International, LLC, JP International

“I worked with Carl for 3 years and have nothing but good things to say about him.  I hired him to help me improve my leadership and effectiveness, which was a success – according to the people that mattered – those who worked with and for me.  Carl was instrumental for me in a period of great change and growth in my career.  My company had gone through an acquisition and I took on significantly more responsibilities. Carl helped me think about things from a few different perspectives and gave me “homework” to keep me accountable for my growth.  The time I worked with Carl was without a doubt the most challenging and valuable professionally for me.  And like a true friend and advisor, he helped me come to a decision to make a significant career change that would allow me to thrive in the future.”

Mike Colbrese, Executive Director, WIAA (Washington Interscholastic Activities Association)

“Carl provided me invaluable insight to work with my staff to create a better functioning team. He was able to gather information from each staff member in a professional, concise manner and provide it to me so that I could develop goals to address their needs. Once those goals were developed he assisted me in developing strategies to meet them. What was most beneficial to me was that he held me accountable throughout the process. The end result is that I am a much more effective leader and my team is functioning at a higher level. That would not have been possible without Carl.”

Thomas Varga – Founder and Managing Partner, CFO Selections

“Carl possess a unique gift for assessing very complex issues and quickly boiling them down into their essential elements. His critical and strategic observations are delivered with panache and aplomb which resonated with our senior team. Carl has been instrumental in bringing focus, and providing actionable tactics, to noticeably increase the effectiveness of our senior executives.”

Dana Green, Co-Founder and former President & CEO, Kotter International

“As a startup organization facing not only typical startup challenges exacerbated by current market conditions, but also the drive to create offerings of great impact for others, Carl expertly guided our team of high achievers to articulate foundationally important precepts intended to stand the test of time.  We experienced the process and results of cutting through ambiguity, uncertainty and strongly held differing opinions to arrive at a uniformly understood, deeply felt conviction for operating norms and principles (Vision, Mission and Values) that matter.  Carl has been instrumental in helping us accomplish a great thing.”

Audrey Parks, Sr. Administrative Director, IT, Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System

“As leaders, we often intuitively recognize the right thing to do and operate at full throttle.  Likewise, we come to a point of diminishing returns, whether or not we acknowledge this.  A great professional coach helps identify the chains that hold us back and develop practical strategies to overcome them.  There’s a tremendous sense of liberation to experiment with one’s own leadership style and interpersonal communication.  Carl helped me feel safe do so.  Equally important, he helped me realize that although getting along with people is crucial to my success, sometimes we need to redefine “getting along with people.”  Without Carl’s insights and encouragement, I could not have emerged wiser and more effective.  Priceless.”

Rolf Agather, Managing Director, Research and Innovation, Russell Indexes, Russell Investments

“I am a big fan of Carl’s. He helped me and my colleagues navigate during a very transformational period in our business. In a time of significant leadership change it was refreshing to have Carl’s external perspective and counseling. He also provided me with key insights on developing and leading effective teams, and helped me identify and manage behavioral habits that were affecting my leadership potential. I will definitely engage Carl again at some point in the future.”

Dean Falconer – Co-Founder,

“I engaged Carl to improve my effectiveness in interactions with my employees, peers, and senior management team. Carl has a gift for quickly identifying the salient points of any situation and formulating a strategy to achieve the best possible outcome. I was able to present him situations and we could quickly develop a plan to achieve my desired results. These strategies proved highly successful, enabling me to focus more of my time on driving the business.”