Dan Docherty, PHD


We all have gifts and significance in life is having the courage to take risks with those gifts.

Have you ever had a teacher make an impact on your life? For me, that was Mr. Richardson, my High School music teacher, who we called Mr. R. When I was in high school, there was a moment that fundamentally shaped my life’s path. It was an ordinary day when our yellow school bus filled with my classmates pulled out of the High School Parking lot.  As I sat in my seat with my headphones on, Mr. R was seated in his normal seat. It was the seat across from the Bus Driver. With a warm smile, he informed me that I had been chosen to be the President of our High School Show Choir. This moment was more than just a new title for the group; it was a testament to someone seeing something special in me, a concept that would become a cornerstone of my personal and professional philosophy.

From that day forward, Mr. R’s teachings became a guiding light. His principles of dreaming big, loyalty, hard work, precision, and leadership resonated deeply with me. These values complemented my inherent talents, the values influenced by others in my life, and became the foundation of my core values of Faith, Family, Achievement, Health, and Adventure. Over the years, the influence of a teacher impacted me in college, graduate schools, and my professional experiences.

My career in the life sciences spanned three decades, during which I had the privilege of building teams within sales, marketing, client delivery, and operations. Through the mentorship I received, I developed an intuitive understanding of what it meant to create, build, and nurture great teams. However, it was during a particularly challenging season of leadership that I realized there had to be a better way to lead and coach.

My love for adventure and continuous learning led me to take a significant risk: enrolling in a PhD program at Case Western Reserve University. This decision was driven by my desire to find a more sustainable system for coaching, one that could foster deeper and more meaningful relationships between leaders and their teams. My research focused on coaching and development within the leader-team member relationship, a journey that was both grueling and enlightening. Over four years, I deconstructed hundreds of articles, leveraged my background in neuroscience, completed 20 plus courses, and conducted four research studies. This intense period of learning and growth culminated in my graduation and the co-creation of NeuroCoaching™.

NeuroCoaching™ was the realization of a dream to design something that helps others coach with purpose and impact while fostering higher quality relationships that benefit individuals, families, and organizations. At Braintrust, we strive to bring this vision to life every day, helping those we serve to improve both personally and professionally. I feel incredibly blessed to be able to pursue this vision and to witness the positive changes it brings to others.

Throughout my journey, I have never taken for granted the privilege of encouraging others and helping them discover and pursue their purpose and dreams. Dedication to improvement, growth, and performance has always been at the heart of my work. The people I’ve met and the mentors who have guided me, like Mr. R, have been instrumental in shaping who I am today.

And yes, Mr. R, I’m still singing all these years later! Your belief in me set me on a path of continuous growth and achievement, and for that, I am forever grateful. My story is a testament to the power of dreaming big, the importance of loyalty and hard work, and the profound impact of seeing something special in others.