Richard Pairs Borough, PhD

The Founder’s Story:

2013 BEST

RICHARD PARIS BOROUGH, PhD founded The Master-Mind Alliance® over 35 years ago. Here is his story:

In the 1970’s Richard finished his training in clinical psychology and began his career as a group therapist and administrator of two community mental health programs in the San Francisco Bay Area. After five years he went into private practice. He opened an office in Palo Alto close enough to where he lived that he could walk to work.

Richard decided to specialize in “executive stress management” as that was a popular topic back then.

Without really knowing anything about marketing Richard typed up a flier announcing the opening of his office (and his specialty in executive stress management) and at night he shoved these “announcements” under the doors of the occupants in his building and in a few other buildings near by to see what would happen. It was an experiment. Amazingly his phone began to ring. Business people who had read the flier began calling and complaining about their stress.

These new clients were small business owners and professionals who, according to their stories, were stressed to the max by the demands of their work. Some were at the brink of burnout.

Immediately, he had an important choice to make. He could, as advertised, help the new clients learn executive stress management techniques – or he could go another way. He could help them uncover the causes of their stress and deal with root problem instead of just working on the surface with the symptoms.

These were smart people. Because of their experience in business they knew that quick fixes never solve real problems. They understood that making things better might be hard work and might take a fair amount of time. And they viewed the alternative, learning to relax so they could put up with their stress, as unacceptable.

Of course most of the stress they discussed was work-related. And since Richard was in the same building or very near by, he could go to work with his clients and observe first-hand what was so stressful. So that’s what he did. He went to work with the clients, watched them work, and saw what was driving them up the wall. Then they would go to lunch or dinner and talk about strategies the business owners could implement to change the situation. The strategies might be about better ways to communicate, better ways to prioritize or manage time, new sales and marketing ideas, leadership tactics, or many other strategies with which to modify their behavior so they could be productive but without the bone crushing stress.

In the course of finding his life’s work Richard made a transition from the role of psychologist to the role of a business consultant and coach. Along the way he learned how businesses ought to work and how to gently but firmly nudge them in the right direction.

The idea is simple. Help people who run businesses re-structure their operation and re-invent how they work, so they can accelerate their performance and overcome any behaviors (or high stress factors) that may be undermining their personal and professional success. The work is achievement psychology in a business setting – helping business owners, managers, and professionals create a Done Business.