Dan.Ryan's picture

In his role as Principal at Ryan Search & Consulting, Dan leads the Talent Acquisition and Talent Development processes for the firm.  This includes Retained Executive Search, Facilitation, Leadership Development and a wide variety of other group process activities. Dan’s search work focuses on mid-to-senior level leadership while his consulting work includes Executive Coaching, Organizational & Leadership Development, and Group Facilitation. His primary market segments include Engineering, Construction, Architecture, Manufacturing, Healthcare, Life Science and Economic Development.

Dan has earned a MEd. from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, an MBA from Tennessee State University, and a BS in Engineering Physics from Murray State University.  He is an adjunct faculty member for Peabody College of Vanderbilt University and has also taught at Belmont University. 

Screen Name: 
Dan Ryan


Member for
9 years 4 months

Articles by Dan Ryan


John Wooden-if you are a basketball fan, this name speaks volumes.  For those of us over the age of 50 (for me almost 60) Coach Wooden is synonymous with success with class.  I often talk with others now about how many leaders seek success without class or without integrity, but short-term success without integrity is like sugar, the short term impact may help you get through a quick issue, but the long term impact of sugar is fleeting.

November 14, 2018



Shopping is a process that people either tend to enjoy or hate.  I'll go out on a limb and say that some people enjoy shopping less than others.  As a result, those who like to shop may choose to optimize when they shop while the others may choose to satisfice.  What does this mean and what are the implications for the workplace?

January 8, 2018

I have been blessed to work with people in career transition for several decades.  This first started in a very unstructured manner when I became the vice president of human resources for the YMCA of Middle Tennessee in 1996.  People started reaching out to ask for career advice and this informal role has grown now to be a key part of my paying profession as well as a key volunteer avocation I have through the Career Transition Support Group at Brentwood United Methodist Church in Brentwood, TN.

November 17, 2017



Tools are amazing things.  Having the right tool for the job can make all of the difference, but using the wrong tool can be a huge headache.  Hammers are one example.  Using a hammer with a nail is great, but using a hammer to drive a screw is not so good.  Likewise, saws can be helpful, but in the hands of someone who is untrained or inexperienced, a saw can lead to damage or worse.

August 11, 2017


Some of us are detail oriented while others are more focused on the big picture.  Both are important, but there are times when being more detail oriented can be a major differentiator.  I had a personal experience yesterday that brought this home to me.

August 4, 2016


June 14, 2016

We have the opportunity to talk with many people about issues they deal with in their work and professional lives.  While doing so, we learn a great deal about what seems to be working well and what does not work so well.  This type of discussion often leads to identifying some type of gap either in their professional work, or in the organization they are part of.

May 13, 2016

M*A*S*H* was one of my favorite television shows from many years ago.  How could someone not love the antics of Hawkeye, Hot Lips and Trapper John, among the many other interesting characters in this show?  

One of the key actions that always took place in the hospital was to use triage to establish which patients needed immediate care versus those who could hold on a little longer.  Triage is defined as follows:

April 14, 2016

Today is a big day for our firm in many respects.  We will spend time together as a group talking about where we are, where we have been, and where we want to go.  Doing this is valuable and it also provides time for all of us to reacquaint ourselves with one another, especially for our team members who don't live close by.

March 30, 2016

Emotional intelligence burst onto the scene over 20 years ago, and life has never been the same for those of us in the Leadership Development and Talent Development world.  Several have been involved in the pursuit and promotion of intelligence, such as those who first coined the phrase as shown in the excerpt below from a Harvard Business Review article:

March 7, 2016

Silence is something we don't hear much about in today's busy, energetic world.  We are surrounded by hustle, bustle, noise and activity in almost everything we do.  We have smart phones, tablets, computers, and a variety of other devices that invade and prevent silence from enveloping us.  There is a value to silence and I'll try to share a few examples in this post.  As Allison Krauss once sang, "you say it best, when you say nothing at all."

March 4, 2016


Life is full of opportunities and when you have a wide variety of interests almost every opportunity looks like something fun and engaging.  Many of the efforts I involve myself in are volunteer opportunities where I have the chance to help others.  In some of these cases my yes should have been a no.

February 9, 2016

We live in a world of distraction.  Some would say that we have access to more information than ever before, and they would be correct.  I would add that we also have to deal with more distraction and "noise" than ever before.  How does one keep their focus and not get distracted down the dead-end trails of distraction?  On some days I find myself heading down one rabbit trail after another because by nature I have a wide variety of interests.

January 5, 2016


If I asked 10 people to finish the sentence below, I bet many of them would answer in the manner shown in parenthesis:

“When the going gets tough, (the tough get going)”

September 10, 2015


Being a parent can be one of the best experiences.  Children are a blessing and they provide so many positive opportunities in the life of their parents.  I have to admit there are also times when being a parent can be a challenge, but we learn much more from these challenges than we do from the good times.

August 31, 2015

Keeping your boat afloat (and headed in the right direction)

May 4, 2015