He teaches high school
students about philanthropy.
He’s a trustee emeritus of
Macalaster College, his alma
mater, and he’s a board
member of SPIM.
“After 30 years on the
road and being involved in
consulting, I wanted to give
back,” he says.
A dean and vice chair
Connie Rath, EdD, vice chair
of the Gallup Organization
and the company’s dean
of education, was born to the trade. Her father, educational
psychologist Donald O. Clifton, PhD, launched Selection
Research Inc. in his basement and grew it into a large human
resources consulting firm that bought Gallup in 1998. “My dad
was my model psychologist,” says Rath, who also serves on the
board of FAPIM.
Rath began her career as a high school guidance counselor,
then joined Selection Research. There she studied what makes
top teachers so good and helped create a selection instrument
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to help schools identify the best candidates among potential
teachers. In 1970, she earned a master’s degree in educational
psychology, then a doctorate from the University of Southern
California in the late 1990s.
Rath has been at Gallup and its predecessor organization for
almost 40 years. She spent half that time leading the company’s
human resources department. “One of the things I’m proudest
of is the people we’ve hired over the years,” she says, adding
that she looked for people who wanted to get better all the
time — people who have what Gallup calls the “maximizer”
These days, Rath focuses
on Gallup’s educational
efforts, which include
Gallup University. The
university offers courses
and certifications for
managers and other leaders
interested in learning more
about Gallup’s approach
to measurement and its
Executives, managers and
employees learn how to
make the most of their
talents to boost individual
performance, how to
interact effectively with
customers and how to use measurement to make decisions and
solve complex problems, for example.
Rath uses those strategies — and Gallup’s focus on strengths
— herself. “It’s hard for me to work with a person or have any
kind of interaction about a work goal without thinking about
what does this person do well, is this the best person for the job
and what do we need to do to help them get the job done with
quality?” she says.
On a practical level, Rath uses this approach in her work
with the educational community, both K– 12 and higher
education. Gallup helps schools hire teachers, develop teachers
and principals and measure staff and student engagement.
For Rath, the work puts the principles she learned in her
training as an educational psychologist into practice.
“We have certified almost 50,000 people over the years in
how to hire better educators and managers,” she says. “In many
school districts, there are better teachers because of this work.”
Consulting firm founder
It’s easy to find examples of “catastrophic leadership,” says A.
Dale Thompson, PhD, founder and CEO of Leadership Worth
Following, LLC, a consulting firm providing individual and
organizational development services in Irving, Texas.