From Confusion to Confidence in Sixty Years

Perry Carrison is a Coach who works with people determined to sort out their own mind and perspective. In the midst of high-stakes decisions that appear in the workplace or in life, nothing could be harder than hearing your own mind. There are too many stakeholders and too many consequences to consider. Only the dousing rod of clear values and distilled experiences can determine the best way forward.

How does Perry (or anyone else) reach that clarity? By correcting mistakes.

Perry’s first mistake that needed correction was enrolling in undergraduate pre-med. At the time, his confusion over making the right choice for himself was no match for his parent’s and grandparent’s certainty (and their 200-years-of-family-tradition argument). Only personal experience could convince: organic chemistry refused to take root in Perry’s mind. Alternatively, psychology & music flourished. Studying ways to make harmony inside and out made sense in a way that the DNA double helix did not.

Then came his first job—a great opportunity and a chance to make it better. Within months of graduating—he took a four-month job as Press Agent for Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus’ SF Bay engagement. As it turned out, a Press Agent who was fascinated with the performers’ psychology was a great feature-story resource to the news media. So great, in fact, that the Ringling execs offered Perry the job of National Director of PR. Not bad for a 24-year-old. Yet, the mistake soon showed up: life on the road, no matter how nice the hotels, is a life without community. Only by not having it, did Perry learn how much he wanted it.

So he settled in Los Angeles to work for social philosopher, Marilyn Ferguson (The Aquarian Conspiracy). Her community had its own dazzling qualities—only its gleam was in bright ideas instead of sequins. Buckminster Fuller, Warren Bennis, Peter Senge, and John Naisbett—gathered around Ferguson for her ability to translate their theories into useful tools for living. For Perry, they were mind-catalysts. Their ability to question the status quo inspired Perry to consider Learning as a way of life, rather than a pursuit that ended with a college diploma.

Fascinated by learning but unsure how to express it, Perry left Los Angeles in 1984 with a question that has become his motto: What’s trying to happen?

Settling in South Carolina, he found another opportunity to mix psychology and music. This time, he produced a social-justice music series for emerging artists called “Black Music for White People”; and he learned how to facilitate corporate groups through “Outward Bound” type courses and improve their teamwork. It was here, coaching others through experiences helped them find their own strengths, that Perry found his calling.

Beginning early on as an executive coach (1992) Perry helped to shepherd the current era of 360-feedback/stakeholder leadership development in organizations. He has worked with professionals in the US, Europe and Africa, coaching all to see their challenges as custom-made classrooms. With the aid of provocative questions, Perry helps his clients mine their own experiences to produce valuable, self-confidence inspiring perspective. Listening and reflection can do what discipline can’t imagine. Clients include PBS, Cox Communications, World Bank, Discovery Communications, FreddieMac, Marriott International, Acadian Asset Management, Copper Rock Asset Management, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, AARP, National Geographic, UCLA/Anderson, Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology and Leadership Greater Washington.

Today, Perry coaches people, whether executives or private clients:  anyone forging her or his own way to clarity.