Richard Been

Senior Consultant

Richard Been, Senior Consultant


Rich began his career as a mechanical engineer responsible for optimizing the efficiency of large industrial energy systems.  But after he started leading teams, he became more interested in how to optimize the efficiency of people working together through leadership.  So, he set off to learn more about how leaders and teams develop into high performers.  During that 20+ year journey, Rich has designed and delivered leadership development programs for some of the world’s largest and most innovative companies.  He specializes in creating development journeys that combine individual assessment, real-world leadership opportunities, and coaching to produce sustainable growth.  Rich has worked with organizations across a range of industries in the public and private sectors.  His global experience includes working with leaders and teams in North and South America, Europe, and Asia

Background & Industry Experience

After transitioning from mechanical engineering to leadership development, Rich joined T-Mobile USA leading an organization-wide culture and leadership development initiative.  This experience helped him understand the power of beliefs and how they drive behavior. 

In 2005, Rich was fortunate enough to land at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) where, as Senior Faculty, he worked with all levels of leaders from CEOs to front-line supervisors in Fortune 50 corporations to small non-profits.  This experience gave him a foundation in assessment for development and action-based learning.   In 2017, Rich joined CCL’s Coaching Practice Leadership Team where he led the design and delivery of coaching skills for leaders and coach certification programs.  This experience taught him the value of individual and group coaching in integrating and sustaining the learning. 

Today, Rich is an independent leadership development consultant and coach.  His work is guided by the understanding that becoming a true leader isn’t about acquiring new skills but rather it’s a process of discovering a deeper understanding of oneself and putting that insight into action. 

SELECTED CLIENT LIST: Honda Motor Co, Japan; Nestle S.A., Switzerland; Amazon, USA; Microsoft, USA, Intel, USA; National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, USA; Experian, USA; CoreLogic, USA; CNOOC Petroleum NA, CAN, UK, Dell Computers, USA; Salesforce, USA; Methanex, CAN;

SERVICE: Since 2010, I have had the good fortune of coaching the Leadership Team of buildOn, a non-profit organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty, illiteracy, and low expectations through service and education.  It’s through my work at buildOn that I have learned the path to a meaningful and fulfilling life is through being of service to others. 

Coaching & Leadership Development Approach

Rich’s approach to leadership development is informed by 20 years of traveling the globe working with thousands of individual leaders and teams to learn what it takes to develop true leaders.  This experience taught him that leaders develop when the following three ingredients are present:

  1. Assessment: Who you are determines how you lead. So, a leadership development journey needs to include a thorough understanding of oneself and how you are perceived by others.
  2. Challenge: Leadership isn’t academic, it’s practical. Applying insight to real world situations and reflecting on that experience with a growth mindset is what produces development. 
  3. Support: Leaders don’t develop through experience alone. The experiences needs to be supplemented by targeted learning and coaching. 

Rich’s approach to coaching is similar to his approach to leadership development described above.  For leaders to be effective they need to know who they are and how they are perceived by others (Assessment).  Growth and development happen as a result of choosing challenging assignments (Challenge) and learning from those experiences through developmental relationships (Support).  Rich’s expertise is in leadership which is about building and maintaining a high-performing team.  It’s the ability to get the team to work together in a way that produces the most efficient, effective, and sustainable results. 

Facilitation & Teambuilding Approach

Rich takes an appreciative inquiry approach to facilitation and team building.  Instead of asking what’s wrong and how do we fix it, Rich asks: “What’s working and how can we build on that?”.  This is not to ignore the very real challenges teams face but rather to move the team in the direction of what’s possible.  

Relevant Assignments

Leadership Development

  • Honda Global Executive Development Program: Designed and delivered a program to develop C-Suite executives from Honda’s operating companies located across the globe. (2011 – 2019)
  • Nestle Global Executive Development: Designed and delivered pilot program for Nestle’s top 2000 leaders. (2009 – 2010)
  • Amazon Senior Leader Series: Served as design consultant and delivery faculty for Amazon’s Leader of Leaders and Senior Leader Series. (2013 – 2017)


  • COO, Defense Contractor: Focus: Business Modernization Project; Self-Awareness; Relationship building with new Boss. (2020 – Present)
  • CEO, Global Non-Profit: Focus: Transition to retirement; succession planning. (2020 – Present)
  • CTO, Biotech Co: Focus: Transition from Operational Leader to C-Suite. (2021 – Present)
  • Director, Packaging and Logistics Co: Focus: Career planning. (2021 – Present)

Facilitation & Teambuilding

  • BuildOn Leadership Team Coaching – Designed and delivered annual executive team retreats. (2012 – Present)
  • Spark Therapeutics Executive Team Development – Designed and delivered a year-long learning journey for this executive team. (2021)


  • Selected assessment certifications and qualifications: CCL’s Benchmarks 360 assessment suite, Leadership Circle Profile; Hogan Assessments, MBTI, FIRO-B, WorkPlace Big Five Profile™.

Education & Professional Affiliations

  • Master of Arts, Holistic Health Education
  • Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering
  • ICF Professional Certified Coach
  • Adjunct Faculty at the Center for Creative Leadership