About Us

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Billions of dollars are wasted every year because companies fail to fully utilize the abilities of their own people.

Optimum Leadership helps leaders boost profit by unleashing the genius of every employee. If you lead a team today, just knowing the technical part of the job is no longer enough to achieve success.  Knowing how to create an environment of employee engagement is now a top priority.  For more than 20 years Wally Hauck, Ph.D., CSP has helped team leaders to appreciate how to think differently, behave differently, and improve consistently to achieve predictable performance improvement, employee engagement, and optimum customer experience.

In 1989 Wally experienced a life changing “wow” moment.  He was introduced to systems thinking in the book The Turning Point by Fritjof Capra. He realized everything he had been taught in school, and in business, was flawed. Because of this flawed thinking, he realized billions of dollars are wasted every year with leaders failing to fully utilize the abilities of people. At first, Wally couldn’t believe it.  After much study and exploration, he accepted that a shift to systems thinking was the answer.

He discovered a wealth of opportunity because he was not alone.   Virtually every leader and manager had been taught “leadership malpractice”. Wow! Everyone could benefit from understanding and appreciating systems thinking and Dr. W. Edwards Deming’s Theory of Profound Knowledge.   He concluded these ideas are, by far, the very best way to optimize performance in organizations.

Using systems thinking, Wally created tools, such as Fearless Feedback, and the Complete Performance Improvement Process, to show leaders how to have effective performance conversations. These tools have been implemented to improve performance with more than 200 organizations and hundreds of leaders.  They are the replacement for the typical performance appraisal.

Wally is a bestselling author of two books including The Art of Leading: 3 Principles for Predictable Performance Improvement and Stop the Leadership Malpractice: How to Replace the Typical Performance Appraisal.

Wally holds a doctorate in organizational leadership from Warren National University, a Master of Business Administration in finance from Iona College, and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania.   Wally is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP).  As a professor of Organizational Change and Development at the University of New Haven in Connecticut Wally received the highest ratings of all professors in 2012.

Wally is a proud member of the C-Suite Advisors Network

Wally is married to his lovely wife Lori for over 26 years.  They have two daughters, one son, three grandchildren, two rescue dogs a very dysfunctional cat. Wally has passion for golf, family, politics, and good movies.

The National Speakers Association’s Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) Designation

What is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP)?


The Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation, established in 1980, is the speaking industry’s international measure of professional platform skill. CSP is conferred throughout the International Federation for Professional Speakers only on those who have earned it by meeting strict criteria. The letters CSP following a speaker’s name indicate a competent speaking professional with proven experience who understands what is required and knows how to deliver client satisfaction. Fewer than ten percent of the 4,700 speakers who belong to the International Federation for Professional Speakers hold this professional designation.

Standards of the Designation

Every CSP must:

  • Maintain membership and subscribe to the Code of Professional Ethics;
  • Serve a minimum number of different clients within 5 years;
  • Present a minimum number of professional speaking engagements within this same 5-year period;
  • Submit testimonial letters from clients served;
  • Submit professionally prepared promotional materials;
  • Receive excellent ratings from past clients on professional performance evaluations; and
  • Continue education in the professional speaking field through NSA’s many educational programs.

The Association

The National Speakers Association is an international association of more than 3,500 members dedicated to advancing the art and value of those who speak professionally. For more than 31 years, NSA has provided its membership with resources and education designed to advance the skills, integrity and value of professional speakers.


Client Testimonials

“We compiled the results comparing the previous two employee surveys. We’re heading in the right direction and I think this speaks to Wally Hauck’s influence and process for building our team performance.  Thanks Wally!”

Robert Leety, President Horberg Industries, Inc.

“Wally, you did an amazing job today facilitating the discussion among our staff to get at some really tough/sensitive issues and show people what they can do to resolve those issues on their own.   I really appreciate your support and expertise.”
CEO BNT Bridgeport CT

“I have to let you know that your teachings, your interest, and your concern served me so very well during what was a very challenging and heart wrench period in my life.  For that I am greatly indebted to you and will never forget what you did and meant to me during this extremely difficult period in my life... I will never forget what you did for me and what you taught me.”

Ralph Amendola, UIL Manager


Wally’s coaching process provided me with new options to significantly improve my leadership approach. Working cooperatively we quickly uncovered new options and Wally was able to provide the tools I needed to make positive change.  I highly recommend his approach and service.”

Manager at UIL


“You have helped us a improve performance, trust and relationships with each other, our volunteers and our Wish Families.  We are winning awards and achieving success in part because we invited you in to help us.  Thank you.”

Pam Keough Make-A-Wish CT CEO



“Wally was a thoughtful and understanding coach who was able to provide me with tools and guidance that will enable me to continue to grow as a leader.”

Jeremy Parkins



“Wally Hauck was outstanding in keeping us all on our toes, and fully engaged through the session.  I personally appreciate his character and  professionalism.”

Ops Manager Mercedes-Benz



“Thank you for your very informative talk at the NAEB Conference, You gave us a lot to think about regarding leadership!”

Walter Wckersham, Boston University



We are very proud our staff thinks so highly of our organization that they voted us Top Workplace for midsize firms and we really believe you helped us get there!

Angela Leonzi, RN, BSN; VP Patient Care Services; Stratford VNA



 Insightful, inspiring and action packed… my kind of “training”!

Maureen Funke, Project Manager



“We were having a good deal of emotional issues when we brought you into help us … Now we are able to address issues with each other and with employees before they become unmanageable.”

Tim McCann, VP Identification Products