When 40-year-old Rodger Harding was selecting a country to emigrate to
from South Africa he chose Canada. When I asked him why Canada, he
replied: “Dick, my father fought in the Second World War. He told me
if you ever want someone to fight alongside of, find a Canadian, you can
always count on them.”
Before taking his father’s advice, Rodger visited a number of countries,
knowing that whichever country he selected he would be there forever.
In 1995 Canada was the hands down winner.
“When I first got here it wasn’t easy,” he told me. “I
couldn’t get a job.”
It seemed his university degrees and awards received in South Africa,
including the Star of Africa [equivalent to our Order of Canada], did
not excite Canadian employers. So in 1997 he did what most enterprising
achievers do. He started his own consulting company: Harding
International & Associates Inc., focusing on what he knew and understood
from his career as a lawyer, diplomat and motivational trainer.
It was the right move. His list of clients now includes many of Canada’s
leading corporations. Many are the same companies that rejected him
years earlier. Now they pay mightily for his advice.
His business bio reads like a James Bond novel: “Rodger’s proven ability
to impact on people from all walks of life derives from a career
evolution ranging from the sophisticated diplomatic lifestyle of Paris,
to the survival of death threats from mercenaries and modern day pirates
in the Indian Ocean, to the management of multi- million dollar
Rodger is one of the most enthusiastic immigrants I have ever met. His
feelings towards Canada and the unlimited opportunities in this country
are refreshing to hear.
“For me, Canada has the remarkable status of being a first-class
player in world affairs ... blinking as a beacon for both evolving and
oppressed countries. Our track record is important. So few Canadians
recognize this inspiring legacy, or the influence we have on the world.”
I wish we could bottle his enthusiasm and distribute it free to every
Canadian. He is another Canadian Achiever.
Read more about Rodger Harding at