About Authentic Development

Meet Ken!

Ken Carlson, PCC, CPCC
Authenticity Geek
Co-Active Coach and Speaker

What you need to know about me:

1. I spent over 20 years working as a leader for both large and small companies. I’ve sat in the seat of many of my clientsworking in corporate America. In my 20's my co-workers called me "golden-boy" and not in an endearing way due to my ambition. In time, I moved past that reputation and I found joy at work in working as a strategic leader and helping my employees find their best fits. This led directly to my desire to start my own coaching business. As a leadership coach, 

I have worked with over 500 individual leaders 1:1 from all over the US, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. As a trainer/educator, I have led hundreds of workshops in dozens of cities across North America.

2. I am a Co-Active Professional Certified Coach and co-active trainer. CTI (The Coaches Training Institute) is the world’s largest in-person coach training organization. I'm also certified by the ICF as a PCC (Professional Certified Coach). I've had over 650 hours of training with CTI and I'm extremely grateful for the tools they've given me to help me and my clients discover our values, make a big impact in our careers, and live lives of true meaning. Currently, I've coached for more than seven years. I have over 2,500 hours of 1:1 coaching experience. I have most often coached leaders, entrepreneurs, and corporate executives. I also coach individuals just like you and me. 

3. I am an athlete that loves to have serious fun. I've run a total of nine marathons—in Chicago, Sedona, Madison, Dublin, Ireland, Washington D.C., and Paris. In 2008, I started running triathlons and I am officially addicted. At present, I have run thirteen triathlons including the Steelhead IronMan 70.3 in July 2010.

4. I'm a science geek too. I taught college chemistry for over 5 years. I love science and my videos will show you what my kids had to deal with growing up.

5. I am divorced but I have been married for most of my adult life (19 total years). My most recent divorce was painful to be sure but I believe that the growth I desire as a person wouldn't have been possible without it. 

6. In 2011, I turned 40—but somehow I get carded EVERY TIME I try to order a drink. 

7. I'm learning to play guitar and dance. I adore music and have always wanted to play an instrument. I'm also as white as can be on the dance floor but I've always wanted to be a dancer. I'm giving it a go—so if live around Chicago and see me on the dance floor, ask me for a dance and watch out for your feet.

8. I am the dad of two amazing kids. Elianna (24) and Molly (20).  Elianna is exploring what is next for her and  Molly is a college student. They are both fun-loving and intelligent. Adult children are so different than when they are little and I'm thankful for being a part of the entire journey.

9. I am a leadership coach and a speaker/trainer. I love coaching and teaching.  It's what the world needs. My clients are usually a lot like me. They have been very successful at whatever they put their mind to. They are trying to be amazing leaders at work. They are trying to be great dads. They are trying to be great moms. They are doing their best to be great spouses. Leading people towards their most impactful lives is the most rewarding career I can imagine for myself. 

Take the Next Step

Do you think maybe you are ready for coaching? Take this quick survey to find out:

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1 - What's a life purpose?
2 - I'm not really interested
3 - I'm really curious about what my purpose is
4 - I'm exploring it
5 - I''m living it

1 - Not at all
2 - Hardly
3 - I know where I want to grow but I haven't done anything at all.
4 - I'm trying but I'm stuck
5 - I'm all in. I really want to grow

1 - I'm not interested
2 - I know I should try new ways if I want different results but I find it hard to get motivated
3 - I try new ways here and there
4 - I'm excited to try new ways and I often do
5 - I try new ways of doing things every day

1 - I thought we were all supposed to just survive this life.
2 - How could anyone else possiibly know anything about my life?
3 - I think it would be great but I'm skeptical.
4 - I want to know what I don't know and I want someone to nudge me along.
5 - I'm looking for someone to tell me the honest truth about me even if it hurts.

1 - Survive
2 - Living Life Having Love and the Pursuit of Happiness
3 - Helping other people
4 - Help others and leave a legacy
5 - Live fully alive and with purpose

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  1. I'm Weird Ken Carlson 05-Apr-2018
  2. Brené Brown on Vulnerability Ken Carlson 23-Feb-2018

Now Offering Ken Blanchard Training

People Want to Be Magnificent 

They want their work to be meaningful, fulfilling, and to be part of a greater purpose. It's human nature, and understanding this important aspect of human nature is key to being a people-centered leader.

Great leaders aren't always born, they can be developed. We can show you how to read people, influence (not control) and become the kind of leader that others want to follow. Blanchard is the world leader in creating leadership development programs.

Authentic Development delivers the most impactful Blanchard trainings available. Contact Ken to learn more at 847.873.9559 or email ken@authenticdevelopment.com.

Prepare to Lead Differently

Situational Leadership® II by The Ken BlanchARd Companies

The World’s Most-Taught Leadership Model— Situational Leadership® II is a research-based behavioral model that has been adopted by more than 30 million learners around the world. Situational Leadership® II (SLII®) is recognized as both a business language and a framework for employee development that transcends cultural, linguistic, and geographical boundaries. Its foundation lies in teaching leaders to diagnose the needs of an individual or a team and then use the appropriate leadership style to respond to the needs of that person or team—leveraging all the theory and design that has made SLII the world’s most-taught leadership training model. 

The new learning design The SLII Experience™, uses game-changing techniques that immerse learners in SLII quickly, deeply, and effectively. Learners gain access to online learning assets in The SLII Experience, which are available for downloading and sharing valuable knowledge back on the job through an online learning portal. 

The two-day program is designed for individuals in leadership roles who want to increase their effectiveness, including executives, managers at all levels, project managers, team leaders, and supervisors. It is available to be delivered in person or virtually or in a blended virtual/in-person model.

Bringing together highly engaging classroom activities with pre- and post-tools helps reinforce, measure, and cement learning. Short, fast-paced learning scenarios using real work problems capture learners' attention. The outcome is that learners get up-to-speed and start using SLII faster than ever before.

Essential Skills from The New One Minute Manager

First-TIme Manager Training by The Ken Blanchard Companies

Becoming a first-time manager is one of the most challenging and critical career transitions. New managers are often chosen from high-performing individuals. These highly proficient doers quickly become struggling new managers, without the skills needed to succeed.

This one-day program helps first-time managers overcome this challenge by teaching them the Essential Skills they need to get off to a great start. Based on the #1 best-selling book The New One Minute Manager, the First-time Manager training program introduces Four Core Conversations and the coaching skills first-time managers need to achieve success quickly and build positive relationships with their teams.


  • Identify the mind-set shifts required to make the transition from individual contributor to manager
  • Learn how to use the Four Core Conversations based on the secrets of The New One Minute Manager book
  • Gain the skills needed to boost relationships and work well with others based on our time-tested coaching model
  • Practice the Essential Skills and the Four Core Conversations using real-work situations

This program benefits anyone considering a transition into a management role, those newly promoted to manager, and those early in their management career.


Improve Leadership Performance and Results

Half-Day Skill Training Modules

Learning skills for specific focus areas can be the fastest way to improve relationships and manage groups and competing priorities. Our half-day solutions can be used as stand-alone skills training or incorporated into a broader design solution. 

  • Building Trust—Revive and nurture relationships by learning to talk about trust
  • Listening—Improve commitment and engagement
  • Challenging Conversations—Resolve conflict and improve engagement in difficult situations
  • Giving Feedback—Improve performance, trust, confidence, and productivity
  • Goal Setting—Get people off to the right start
  • Leading Virtually—Effectively lead people who work in remote locations


Introduction to Situational Leadership


SLII Concepts introduces the theory of Situational Leadership® II in an engaging and informative way. Available as a keynote or half-day training.

Introduction to Team Performance

Team Performance Concepts

Based on several research-based models and strategies, including the Team Performance Process, this simple and practical program introduces you to the key concepts for building and sustaining effective, high-performance teams.


Best in Class Assessments

Leader Behavior Analysis II® (LBAII®) & Leader Action Profile

While Blanchard programs can work well alongside popular assessments
like DISC and Myers-Briggs, we have also developed assessment instruments
designed especially for Blanchard programs.

Gaining insight and awareness through self-assessment tools and 360-degree
assessments can be helpful for individuals to understand strengths and
weaknesses and break through to a new level of performance.

Leader Behavior Analysis II® (LBAII®) measures leadership style flexibility and effectiveness. The Leader Behavior Analysis II 360° (LBAII 360°) is an assessment designed to gauge leadership effectiveness and styles at all levels of the organization, incorporating feedback from managers, peers, direct reports, and oneself. Leader Action Profile is for mid-level managers through executive staff—Measures frequency of SLII leadership behaviors

A manager’s use of best practice leadership techniques can drive employee confidence
and commitment. This assessment measures the leader’s use of directive and supportive
behaviors and employees’ satisfaction with their leader and organization.


Get the FREE eBOOK: The Ten Truths That Will Save Your Life

Authentic Development is offering a free eBook about making your life all that it can possibly be.

  • Do you sometimes long for peace in your relationships?
  • Have you wondered about how you might stop falling into the same bad habits again and again?
  • Are you done blaming others and ready to take a front seat in your own life?
  • Is authentic living your goal?

Just sign-up for our newsletter and we'll send you this 41-page book with 10 chapters of personal stories and action items for you to take. You'll also be on our list for weekly newsletters where we have a goal of providing heart-felt reflective content on a regular basis. We live in the real world and we're trying to live an authentic life too. These are our stories. 

We're looking forward to having a conversation with you!


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