Eugene R. (Geno) Schnell, Ph.D.
Executive Coach and Senior Consultant
Geno's career began in academia, where he helped students and faculty members learn leadership—and then he continued guiding some as they developed inventions and launched businesses. As Geno’s reputation as an advisor grew, so did his client portfolio. The genius of his integrative approach is that it works across cultures, disciplines, and sectors. He’s collaborated with science educators in 22 nations, engineers at Lockheed Martin, world-renowned doctors at Stanford Medicine, and leaders in the architecture, biomedical engineering, government, finance, and health industries. Geno loves what he does. Clients are quick to credit his warmth, humor, curiosity, and astute insights for empowering their transformative change.
"Geno is first-rate. I have the highest regard for him...he really knows his stuff, he works really well with people, he's very respectful, he's cross-culturally attuned...great guy."
— Anant Talaulicar, VP, Cummins, and Chairman and Managing Director, Cummins Group in India
Geno grew up in the Boston area, the youngest child in an extended Italian-American family. On any given night, dinner guests could include relatives, friends, neighbors, and passers-by. His mother exemplified servant leadership. “If she could see you—and it didn’t matter who you were—you were considered family and her responsibility,” said Geno. “I saw firsthand how one person made the world a just and caring place. It was my first lesson in leadership, and a lasting one.”
Geno’s academic achievements reflect his unbridled enthusiasm for organizations and the people who power them. He earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology (1985) and his master’s degree in adult learning and human resources development (1986), both from the University of Rochester. He continued his advanced-degree studies at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business where he graduated with his MBA (1989) and his Ph.D. in organizational behavior (1995). In front of the classroom, Geno was an award-winning professor at the Carey Program in Entrepreneurship at the Johns Hopkins University. He received the Innovations in Teaching Award, a national honor acknowledging his early use of student blogging as a reflective practice, and The Dunn Family Award, which recognizes a faculty member’s extraordinarily positive impact on students’ lives, as selected by the students themselves.
Geno is certified and trained in more than two dozen personality inventories and leadership and team assessments. He is an internationally recognized expert on the Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation™(FIRO®), an instrument for measuring interpersonal and group relations. Geno has a gift for helping individuals fit together in the puzzle of collaboration, and helping groups learn how to share leadership and bring all talents forward to solve complex problems. Geno’s publications from Consulting Psychologists Press, Inc., which he authored or co-authored, are used around the globe by businesses, consultants, educators, and government agencies.
"The tougher the challenge you give Geno, the better he is. He is able to see different dimensions in leaders quickly and help them understand the complexity of their lives, the things that are important to them, and how those things flow together."
—Jill Cook, Chief Human Resources Officer, Cummins
While Geno has enjoyed many consulting successes, the following two stand out for their worldwide impact. Geno was the driving force behind the Noyce Leadership Institute’s innovative leadership program for science centers and museums. The program’s goal was ambitious: make science accessible and relevant to all communities. It launched in 2008 and involves fellows from 22 nations. More than a dozen CEOs have come from these cohorts. Best of all, they have taken on risky projects to forge connections and spur learning, including addressing activist networks, politics, spirituality, sustainability, and underserved populations. The second groundbreaking initiative is Geno’s action learning leadership development program for medical school faculty at Stanford University. This program aims to equip Stanford with the change agents needed to revolutionize health care into a system of disciplines that predict and prevent disease, with the same effectiveness as it has offered care and treatment.
Geno and his family reside in Baltimore, Maryland. He and his wife, Monika, were college sweethearts at Rochester. Geno has many interests, but perhaps the hobby closest to his heart is collecting rocks and the stories of science and human history that come with them. He owns hundreds, and they grace every room in his home and office!