Dale Carnegie: Building Success from Within

Susan Heusser, Performance Consultant, Coach, and Trainer at Dale Carnegie.
Susan Heusser
Susan Heusser, Performance Consultant, Coach, and Trainer at Dale Carnegie.
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Dale Carnegie Training Program
Group Work
Collaborative group work is key at Dale Carnegie.
Dale Carnegie
Sharing real world experience at Dale Carnegie.

The Dale Carnegie Training corporation has been creating successful business leaders for over one hundred years and is still going strong. What began as a public speaking course for adults at the YMCA in New York in the late 1800s has flourished into a worldwide phenomenon that boasts over 9 million graduates and counting. Founder Dale Carnegie was an educator, salesman, and aspiring actor. He was actively teaching communication classes for adults when he realized that the classroom he had before him was indeed a “human laboratory of adult learning”. Carnegie used the information he gathered from teaching and found from his observations that individuals had an innate need to garner self-confidence. He decided to build upon this premise and developed courses that helped students to identify their strengths and project greater confidence, especially in public speaking.

Carnegie is probably most famous for his timeless self-improvement book “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. Using the principles from his book, he called upon his ability to foster self-confidence in his students and turned the courses he had created into a curriculum. After expanding his newly incorporated professional entity to countries such as Europe, Asia, Australia, and South America, the renowned training courses were granted accreditation in the US. This accreditation allowed the program to offer college credit for some of its courses.

The Dale Carnegie program holds to its principle that “real transformation starts within”. The program itself is successful because it requires not only a change in behavior but an emotional investment as well. The motto of the program is “attitude is everything” and it encourages clients to explore their motivation, as true change only occurs if you are invested in the process. Once a client has decided to enroll, coaches are there to provide the necessary encouragement to bring them to the next level.

Trainers in the Dale Carnegie program are well versed in the coursework and the methodology. Requiring a bachelor’s degree or higher, coaches have real-world corporate experience, in addition to over 150 hours of in-house development training. Upon completion of the coach’s training program, graduates are required to continue seeking re-certification every two years. Dale Carnegie also uses the model of “coaching within the moment” and employs the Four Phased Approach to the Adult Learning Cycle. That means that students receive feedback almost immediately as they are learning to apply their new skills.  Students are not just gaining knowledge, they are constantly reviewing, using, and applying that knowledge in real-world situations. The typically eight-week programs require that students apply what they learn in class to their unique business situations, then regroup to discuss the process as a class and draw on each other’s experiences.

The goal of the program is to help individuals calm their irrational fears to achieve success in both their personal and professional lives. The Dale Carnegie Program provides the necessary system, tools, and technology with teachable moments and coaching from experts with real-world experience. Upon completion of the training courses, students reconnect after 30 days via a virtual meeting to determine success and answer the important question of “What’s next?”

Dale Carnegie maintains that while many things have changed in their long career in the industry, adult learning has not. They embrace technological advancements, which have made it even easier for trainers and individuals to incorporate their training experience with their real-world experience. The global network of Dale Carnegie Training seminars pledges that their program garners “unique selling propositions for its graduates.” Dale Carnegie maintains it’s relevancy by constantly improving its program for today’s world. They employ competitively skilled trainers with real-world experience that assist students in experiencing a focus entrenched in business and leadership driven principles.



The Dale Carnegie Training Program believes that self-confidence, an increase in interpersonal skills, the ability to communicate effectively, and the development of leadership ability all result in a decrease in stress and worry. They encourage students to truly examine their lives and their motivations, asking not only “Where are you now?” but also, “Where do you see yourself in 3 months, six months, a year?” Dale Carnegie maintains it’s standards of excellence by requiring student accountability, as well as encouraging and motivating students through real results. The program has graduated generations of highly skilled, highly competitive individuals who are ready to use their skill set to better the corporate industry.

One such individual, whom I had the pleasure of speaking candidly with, is Susan Heusser.  She is a highly successful Performance Consultant, Coach, and Trainer for Dale Carnegie, with awards in company leadership and training.  Ms. Heusser’s journey began as an employee with the Volvo corporation where she was provided the opportunity to participate in the Dale Carnegie Training program in 1993. After recognizing the positive impact that the program had on Ms. Heusser, Volvo committed to using Dale Carnegie for all of their employees in-house, for several years. Ms. Heusser herself was actively and positively impacting her work environment by helping coworkers to achieve success as a result of the skills she had received. Inspired by her experience at Volvo and with the Dale Carnegie Training Program, Ms. Heusser decided to take a “leap of faith” in 2015. She embarked on the path to become a Trainer and Coach at Dale Carnegie. Ms. Heusser completed the coursework to become a fully certified trainer in 2018 and currently holds international coach federation and certified coach status. She never stops learning and is also working on completing one thousand hours of 1:1 coaching, impacting lives positively for the future.

Ms. Heusser was kind enough to share her secrets to success, based on her experience as a Dale Carnegie coach. “Recognize that there is always one more thing to learn in life’s journey”, she advises, “and be sure to stay curious. You might even find that the learning starts with the person right next to you.”

If you are interested in reaching Ms. Meusser you may contact her at 201-214-1469.