A Life of Leadership

In this episode, Dr. Tim McCartney, professor at Nova Southeastern University’s Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship discusses his career in psychology and organizational behavior.

Episode Transcript


Welcome to the Center for Leadership Studies podcast, an exploration of contemporary leadership issues with experts from a variety of fields and leadership backgrounds. In this episode, Dr. Tim McCartney, professor at Nova Southeastern University’s, Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship, discusses his career in psychology and organizational behavior. For the Center for Leadership Studies, here’s your host, Sam Shriver.

Sam Shriver

I have heard a lot about you from mostly Susie, but Doc as well, a man who has accomplished as much as you’ve accomplished. I would just be interested in your– kind of looking back at all of these years and all of these accomplishments.

Dr. Tim McCartney

Well, I was born in the Bahamas and graduated from high school there. And my father always wanted to be a doctor and couldn’t be a doctor. And I was the oldest of eight children. And from the time I was very young, I knew that I was going to go into college somewhere and become a doctor. And so I graduated, and then I became what they call in the British system, an apprentice pharmacist for two years and a half. And I got a scholarship to go to the Harriet Watt College in Scotland to do pharmacy because they had no member of pharmacy degree in the Bahamas at that time. Talk about 1949. But my father met Benedict in the east. They had a monastery in the Bahamas, the Augustine’s, and he and Father Frey were very good friends.  And Father Frederick Frey told him that I should not go to England or to Europe to do an undergraduate work. I should go to the United States where I can really have that comrade and everything else. And if I wanted to go and do graduate work in Europe, I could do it after I got my honor’s degree. And there were already two or three Bahamians of Wenderson John’s University in Minnesota that I knew very well. And so, cut long story short, 1953, I went to Minnesota at St. John’s University, spent four years there, did a bachelor’s degree in natural sciences, which is really pre-med. And at that time I was trying to, with some other friends in my class, get into medical school.

They had quotas. They had quotas for native Indians, they had quotas for Caribbean people, they had quotas for African Americans, et cetera. Very, very difficult. You have sometimes almost 1000 people vying for about 26 positions in medical schools. I got a probationary acceptance from McGill University in Canada. But at the same time I had another friend who was at Putin College in New York and who said, I’m having the same problem. I’m now in Switzerland. There’s no problem at all. Come to Switzerland. In the meantime, while I was in college, it was the Calypso era with Harry Belafonte, because I played piano, congo, drums, bongos, this type of thing, and I formed a group called the Drunken Rules. I had a guy who was sent to be a priest from Trinidad, another fellow from Venezuela and another Bahamian who was a music manager out of Florida, agriculture family. And he came up and we took the whole area, our lives with Calypsos. They never saw the Limbo, they never saw people like us. And we signed Calypso and this kind of thing. And we got a job with the OK Club in St. Cloud where every night we put on a show and it was standing room only, I mean, to the point where we’re offered a contract to go to Las Vegas. And I was wondering whether I shouldn’t go into music, but then I was fairly grounded. Look, you know, this is a crazy life and I really can’t see myself doing this. So I made enough money, I had enough money to go to Switzerland on my own for two years and I was accepted to medical school there. And also I had to get engineered a certain time to get a laboratory place.

My first transatlantic crossing on the Liberty. I met one of the top models and he convinced me to spend two weeks in Paris, Atlanta, and this was in 1958. And this is when I really got a feel because I not only spent two weeks and I spent three weeks in Paris with her. She was a top model. She knew everybody. I met a lot of people in the movie industry there. I used to go, as I said last night, to capital Saint German de Three. I got a chance to meet and spend some time talking to Jean Paul Sartre and his Simon de Beauvoir. I used to sit down and listen to Juliet Greco Singh and her fados. Of course, he was from Portugal. Francois again.  It was the beginning of the existentialist movement there. Make love, not war. And a lot of Americans as the modern jazz quartet from the United States. Bud Powell, the musicians, all these fantastic musicians and writers. Baldwin, the guy who wrote The Fire Next Time, all these guys would hang up there and being in a Roman Catholic college, very staged and being chaste and pure. I find myself in this incredible atmosphere of Paris, going up to Amiens and meeting the artists there. And just an incredible thing.

Anyhow, I got to Switzerland, all the lab searches were taken and I met a friend who was there were some Trinidadians, two Trinidadians in St. Lucia. They were doing medicine there. One was doing international law, and I was staying with him before I found my own apartment. I had made enough money with the Drunken Rules to take care of me for about three years. I made a lot of money and he said, rather than being around for the next six months, why don’t you just continue with your psychology? Because I had done one year in my master’s in St. Cloud in clinical psychology and he said, you’d be very happy to meet a professor who I know personally, Jean Piche. So I met and met Jean Piche and I enrolled in his class. And so I took a certificate in advanced childhood adolescent psychology. I didn’t speak French that well. And it’s interesting because I sat down one day talking to Jean Piche who was a guy who was brilliant, I guess next to Sigmund Freud, he probably was the father of psychology and Freud was the father of psychiatry. And we’re sitting down, and he had a big moustache. I’d never seen it on a pike. And he spoke and I said, professor, you speak very slowly, and I understand that a lot of these concepts are very heavy because he was talking about nature and nurture. He was doing a lot of research with his own daughter. Like one time he took her on a train and put her to hold on to the bars as the train was going and let her go. And she just held on for their life, this fair thing.

And the duty is doing a lot of stuff and a lot of things that I didn’t understand. But I spent two years and while I was there my father got a scholarship from me to go to the University of the East to do medicine. So I left Switzerland after a year and a half, then two years. And there is where I really came into a very interesting period of my life. Because at the time, coming on board the ship, as I said, I met Europe’s top model who was my girlfriend, and then she was doing a lot of stuff in Scandinavia and all over the world. And the person who was my good friend on the Liberty, the boat from New York till I have when we came over was a guy by the name of Sam Tribal. He was from Chicago.

He was in his last year in medical school at the University of Sam. And he had a beautiful villa down there. And also he had a friend, Joe Snutzer from Oklahoma. His father was in oil and they had this little ride on the neck and they used to show the most incredible parties. Well, Sam Shriver’s best friend was Jack Balance. So I met Jack balance. And Jack and I and Sam, we hung together. Jack had a place just outside of Luzan. He was separated from his wife. He had two daughters. But he spent most of his time in Sicily and we became very close friends. But with John Spencer, he used to have these fantastic parties with all these debutants and the international set. I got a chance to meet them. Princesses and people from royal family, from Iran, everything.

I mean, the so called international set. And sometimes we’d fly down to camp, film festivals. We’d all go down on a private plane and everything was there, the whole thing. I didn’t have to put my hands in my pocket at all. We were there when Off Your Nag, won the camp Festival, Marpessa Don and all those. But there’s so many coincidences because on the ship coming across, my model was in first class, but I was in the economic class, but I spent a lot of time in first class. And one day when I was sitting down there having lunch, I was talking and she said, “I want you to meet a friend of mine.”

And then I met Tyrone Power and Linda Christian, who was going to Europe to go to Madrid to film The Sun Also Rises With, right, well so my model friend says, look, when we get in Geneva, we’ll come down and see you guys. Well, he went down there and had a massive heart attack and died–Tyrone Power. So I never got a chance to go there. But they were in the Bahamas two weeks before they were on the ship there. So they were talking about the Bahamas and everything, and while I was there talking to them, this lady came, she said, “you sound Bahamian”. And I said yes. She said “I’m Bahamian too.” I said, “I’m Stafford Sands.” The Stafford Sands was the Bahamian politician and lawyer who actually put the Bahamas on the tourism map.

He was prejudiced as hell and… tall guy who really was a multi millionaire. But anyhow, she got mad and she was on her honeymoon, going to Europe. A lot of coincidences, a lot of things and what have you. So now I get the scholarship. My father got a scholarship to do medicine. I go to Jamaica, my first time in Jamaica, and that blew my mind because it was a country, one of the most beautiful islands I’ve ever experienced. And I’d never seen such mixtures of people. And I was at the University of the West Indies doing medicine. And they used to have on weekends, they used to have parties at the place where what they call Reunion and it’s that steel band, this type of thing. And I met a group of friends and what have you.

Cut a long story short, I met another lady who had gone to had got a degree in Boston University and come back and was teaching, and her sister was the headmistress of Alpha School in Jamaica, but she had some friends from Boston who used to fly down and they would hire private plane and they’d fly to Haiti for weekends or fly to the Virgin Island weekends. So I’m now the Bahamas’ little bright-eyed boy who got the first actual scholarship to go to the University of West Indies because the Bahamas was not associated with the University of the West Indies at that time, but they had just started to because Bermuda, the Bahamas and Barbados, they didn’t feel as if they were part of the West Indies. And that was the sort of fighting itself that they had.

Anyhow, I flunked all my exams and got very depressed. They took the scholarship away from me. I tried to talk to my father. My father was so–when I think about it sometimes I still feel very depressed about it because he was looking forward to becoming home and this type of thing. And that’s when I met Pauline. Pauline was visiting her sister, who had just divorced her husband, and she came to Nassau. In that time, Nassau was wide open. She got a job working for Pauline’s sister, right? And Pauline was there visiting her, and a friend introduced to her. And so we became very close friends. There was no romance around like that.

And she told me, she said, It’s time for you to sit down and really settle down and really not get way laid by all this kind of partying and flying here and flying in, this type of thing. International said, “forget about that, you’re getting older. What are you going to do with your life? You didn’t fail your exams because you’re stupid. You fail your exams because you partied too much. You didn’t study.” So I decided that I wasn’t going to go back to Jamaica anymore. It was too dangerous for me, so I decided I was going to go to London. So I met Pauline in June and I left in October. And two weeks before I left, I realized how much I loved her. And I said to myself, what am I going to do without Pauline?

So she, you know, as I said, no romance. She said, you know, let’s keep in touch and if you’re serious, I’ll be a Christmas person. So I left to London and I went and got a tutor. Well, I didn’t pass my exams yet because I had to retake them and got there in October. I had cousins who were doing law. There are a lot of cousins. So I stayed with them. And on Christmas Day in 1961, Pauline landed in London. And in December the 16th, 1962, we married and had a son, Sean, who passed away 15 years ago. And we stayed in London for two years. And I decided that I don’t want to stay in London, I want to go back to Europe. But instead of going to France, he went to Strasbourg, which is the best thing. We stayed in Strasbourg.

She got a job in the Council of Europe. I was doing medicine then. Everybody thought it was going to be a cardio. All of this, because I had a beautiful area of music and I used to get all these diagnostics straight and everything else, and they were wondering, how did you do it? Because I would hear like a mitral valve and boom, like symbols, and I said, this guy’s got a micro. And then once he retested, how did you know? Cardiologist. But I had an inguinal hernia. And my surgeon was a professor by name of Dr Adloff. And while I was recuperating in the hospital, I was reading a book on psychology and psychoanalysis by Francis Nuttin, N-U-T-T-I-N who was a psychologist.

He said, “Are you interested in this?” And I said, “yeah.” He said, “Why are you doing this?” And I said, “My father wants me to be a doctor.” He said, “but how much psychology have you done?” I said, “Well, I did one year master’s program. I have a thing. I did a little bit of work with Jean Piche.” And so he said, “I’ve been a surgeon for 15 years, but we are starting a new institute of abnormal psychology, and it’s being headed by one of Europe’s top neuropsychiatrists, Dr. RD Laing, why don’t you come over with us, you know, be practical.” So he was saying, “If you got now a year and a half to become a medical doctor, and after you become a medical doctor, if you want to do psychiatry, you got another three years.” He said, if you join ICQ, he said that all the prerequisites that you had is only going to take you three years to get your doctorate, probably two years based on how you work. So I said, well, I felt very much at home in psychology. Medicine, like he said, was exciting, and perhaps I could have made more money. But you can use a stethoscope. You can take your blood. It’s too easy. And one of my books I wrote about my first experience in the Bahamas.

How do you deal with a woman who has deep compensated and thinks that she’s a horse and was galloping around my office and asking me to ride her? That excites me. That excites me. How do you deal with a girl who, every month long period, comes out with festering boils? What has caused that? How is that sort of anxiety transduced into actual physiological manifestations of boils? That’s what excites me. I’ve always had an inquiring mind, why is this happening? How can somebody who’s born so called natural or normal suddenly think that they’re a horse or have these boils, or go through terrible swings of elation and being manic and all of that depression and want to kill themselves? That is what excited me. What psychic me was psychology. I’ve never really worked in my life, really. For me, it was such a passion to get to my office and try to know without having to give an injection. Although my professional partner, Mike Nellis, a brilliant psychiatrist, so we worked together. And so there were times when many of my patients sent to him because they had to be know.

And of course, he would have patients who he saw who didn’t need medication, and he wanted me to evaluate them, because psychologists, we do the evaluation, we do the diagnosis, and he would actually go. So we had a wonderful relationship for almost 40 years, and he’s retired now. So I went to the institute and in two and a half years. I got my doctorate. I had to write a thesis. It’s a very interesting process. In the French schools, when you are a doctoral student, you have a written exam, you have an aural exam, and then you have to defend your thesis. You don’t get to defend your thesis until you will pass your written and you pass your aural, and then you defend your thesis. And when you defend your thesis, it’s published in all the newspapers.

And I went this huge auditorium and it was not only humbling, it’s a frightening experience because the chairperson was a very severe, hard guy. And then I had members of CANPA who was one of my lab instructors there. And then they had an outside psychologist who was involved with occupational therapy. They would do a lot of tests. And so for three and a half hours they grilled me. I’m sitting down there and the three of them up on the top the stage. One time I stopped, I said, “Excuse me, I didn’t understand your question.” I said, “You have to know French is not my natural language.” They said, “Are you telling us that you’re going to get a doctorate from the University of Strasbourg and you can’t speak French?”

So I said, “No, I was just saying that your question was so complicated. Could you repeat it again for for me. So they deliberated for about probably about half hour, 45 minutes. And they came back and everybody came back and the chair got it and he said, “Mr. McCartney, we want to congratulate you. You have got all the requirements for doctorate in psychology from the University of Strasbourg.” And then he paused. Alec Monteon prayers. So what do you have to say? Pauline, my children or my friend says the first time in their life that I was totally speechless. I became dumb. I should have started talking. I said, “thank you very much.” And that was the 26 June 1967. And my good friend Rick, who was in the same class as me, but he took Economics at the University of Geneva. He was then the human resource manager of the World Health Organization in Geneva. And he offered me a job, fantastic job. He said, “Come here as a family, we provide your car with your diplomatic license, but we want you to be part of a team to travel to these countries, developing mental health programs and testing and such thing.” At the same time, my mother had died and my father was there alone, and what he wanted was to see his son come home a doctor. So I gave up really, even at that time, a lucrative position to go back to the Bahamas. And we got there in October, but I didn’t start working until December because they had to have a special actor with no psychologist.

I was the first Bahamian psychologist and I didn’t even have an office at the hospital where I was, but my father was still alive. And what was the crown in glory is that one year after I was there, the Sir Victor Sasoon foundation established the Golden Heart Award. The Golden Heart Award was for that person who the community believed had contributed the most during that year. And the first person to get that award was a German doctor who came in the Bahamas and went to the poor islands and worked without pay helping them. She was from the first Bahamian, and the second awardee was me and my father’s like it was a big affair. And at that time they had Maya’s Society Orchestra come down from New York. They had all these people because she was married. She was Victor Sasoon’s nurse.

He was an English lord, and he married her. And then he died of a heart attack. And they developed the Heart Foundation to help Bahamians who couldn’t afford transplants and this type of thing. And they had a lot of that time, Robert Mitchum and his wife, they were there together, so we had to table them. And the prime minister of the bombs and my father was there and walking on air was incredible to see, because you know because he was a little island boy from Milutra who came to Nassau and did well, never had a chance to go to college. And so the rest is history. I became the President of the Caribbean Federation for Mental Health. I had 26 countries under my administration throughout the Caribbean, and I had to visit all of them and set up mental health programs and set up allied health programs in the Bahamas. And then I wrote the first sort of book, trying to analyze it started as a pamphlet because I was then president of the Bahamas Mental Health Association as well, and they knew nothing about mental health. And so I started writing that I thought were pamphlets to educate people, what psychology was all about, because there were a lot of superstitions in the ground with regards to men. And have they thought of these kids who would retire? That it was a sin, that God had cursed them all? A lot of stuff. And so there’s a lot of education to do.

So I started out with a pamphlet and it developed into a book, the first book that tried to analyze the behavior, psyche and also tool to talk about what are some psychologists, what is psychiatrist, what’s the social work of occupational therapists. I talked about alcoholism, and my book is in all the older book sales in the Bahamas. And I got this call in 1973 where he became independent. And I got this call that says, “Dr. McCartney, can I meet you? I’m from Brazil and I’ve just read your book and I would like to meet you. Could you and your wife meet us down at the sheriff in British colonial to have dinner”?

Well, we met and Anana Helena and not only became friends, but his father was one of the top gynecologists in Brazil, a Harvard graduate who much from a middle class family but married one of the richest families. And he was the first doctor to open a 400 bed private hospital in Rio. And he set up a foundation, and Anana was his only son. So when he died, there was an incredible endowed foundation called Dini Brass out of Brazil. And Dini Brass hooked up with Epoch, the International Population and Population Reproductive Council. And they were situated here at Mount Sinai Hospital. They were a group of gynecologists, urologists, psychiatrists, a few psychologists and sex therapists.

And with this foundation, they had to meet every year in some capital of the world to organize a week of workshops and seminars and bring in the local people to talk about population dynamics and contraception and all this kind of thing. And so they asked me whether I would be part of the board directors, which I accepted. In the same time, when I accepted to be on the board of directors for Brass and E Park, I got a call from the editor of our newspaper saying, there’s a gentleman, can you come down there? I want you to meet. And I went down there and I met the council from Taiwan, from the United Nations, who lives in the Bahamas and had heard about me. And he invited Pauline and I, all expenses paid, to go to Taiwan as guests of their government.

I was with Dini Brass and had to travel somewhere. This is 1973. We just got independent. And I was then president of the Caribbean Federal Mental Health Association. I was just rolling with the board. I started the Bahamas Psychological Association. And then I was invited to China. So Pauline and I decided to take off for two and a half months because we’d never been around the world. And then once we’d go with Dini Brass, either Madrid or Paris or Rio or Ecuador or Jamaica or the Bahamas or whatever, we would have our seminars. And then his wife and I, Pauline and I, we’d take off somewhere about two or three months, get a car and drive all over Europe or drive all over South America.

But he’s like going to Brazil because he had the old family home in Rio, an old stately mansion, which is just elegant. And then they had his father and mother had a place in Tropolis when the king of Portugal moved this whole court down. That’s where they had their home.. And then he had a beautiful cabin in a place called Bouzios, which is like 320 miles outside of Rio. And that is where all the few from Buenos Aires and Door and Peru, whatever, used to fly down. Just an incredible place. The most wonderful seafood restaurants you’d find from 1973 up to, I guess, about five years ago, did a lot of traveling, and then I started teaching as an adjunct for Nova and Nova sent me. I went to Japan, took three weeks to teaching there. And I used to teach go to Jacksonville, Port St. Lucie, Panama, Jamaica, the Bahamas and Jamaica. Especially because my wife is from Jamaican. She had family there, and I had a lot of friends there. And so for 15 consecutive years every course started because organizational behavior, that’s my forte in organizational development because Mike and I did a lot of the work syntax in BORCO and some of the Fortune 200 300 things doing all development going in, because it was an accidental situation where there was a development of a drug problem in the Bahamas and BORCO. After that, we’d come down to some seminar, workshops, and we decided that doing motivational workshops and seminars didn’t work.

We had to go through a whole process of turning the whole organization around over a period of time, dealing with the physical plan, dealing with interpersonal relationships, looking at leadership, what have you. And then I met Dr. Koshi. One of my friends, our mutual friend was Jane Gibson. And when they came on, Jane had a cocktail party, and that was the first time Pauline was introduced to Susie. Doc wasn’t there. Doc was in the kitchen sitting down at the table, having a drink. And so as soon as I walked in, I said, “Hey, I want a drink.” And I went there. And Charlie Blackpool, who was James Sultan. Charlie was there. Charlie says I want some big Doc. Say hi, Doc. How you doing? And we sat down, we talked, and then Susie and Pauline just clicked almost immediately. And Doc and I talked.

But I think what happened, he’d come down here, and we’d spend time and Susie and the girls that got shopping, and Doc and I, he’d do his thing here. And then I always took him back to the hotel. But we spent an hour, and we talk about all kinds of things. He helped me so much in understanding human behavior. We had one difference, because he used to say that you have to really go on the person’s background, right? And you see, I was trained as a traditional psychoanalyst, and I realized that didn’t work at all. And so I had to develop an almost eclectic approach to understanding behavior. So Mike Nelson and I, we developed what we call a therapeutical learning process, teaching people how to be their own therapist.

And that’s when I told him that I was going to bring a situation leadership and retaught leadership, because it really correlates so closely with our methodology, just a methodology. And our methodology was very simple. Number one, there were three things, because most of our patients, a lot of time, we did more teaching, right? We listened to them, and they said the same old thing over and over. So we thought that if we taught them, number one, what made them, what determined their personality, how they function as human beings and feelings, okay? And also too certain interpersonal skills. How do you communicate, solve problems, how do you manage conflict? So if we taught them these skills, they wouldn’t have to rely on us seeing us two or three times a week.

They would save money and we would save the boredom of having to sit down and listen to the same thing over and over. And so that works well. And so I shared this with Doc and I told Doc, I said, I’m more for cognitive therapy now than the so called I’m trying to explore the subconscious, which is a waste of time as a Freudian analyst. And I said, what is very important now is that on a conscious level, we function at three levels. We function the conscious level, preconscious level and the subconscious level. The conscious is right here. And now your preconscious, what you can recall, remember in your subconscious, what you should recall. The old unconscious, your subconscious is from a time you were conceived. What has happened to you is there, but you don’t know what’s really going on.

You feel a certain way or you act a certain way, but you don’t understand, not aware. Yeah, but I said that’s happening at the same time. Right now we are functioning at the conscious, preconscious, subconscious level. So I said our approach now is to get people to specify what is bothering you, what are you doing that you are upset about? Or let me help you analyze what’s happened to you. And so once you specify that you could work out a sort of behaviorally and a sort of program to modify that behavior, you may not totally do away with it. I think you don’t really know. It’s always there, but at least you can function fairly well.

You don’t have to go and find out whether you’re anal retentive or you’ve got an oral problem, that’s why you drink too much and all that kind of stuff. Hell, if you drink too much, how do you go through the process of dealing with your narcotic problem so you don’t waste time? When I first started going to the Bahamas, it was a disaster because the average behavior didn’t know that I was talking about for example, I said, “Tell me about your dreams.” They thought once they told me the dreams we had a racetrack at the time, they thought I was going to give them the Cornella, the numbers. And it just didn’t work. And I was so frustrated. I said, hell know, I’m around this. How do I deal with my own people?

Because in the Bahamas, I mean, we had every ethnic group of people and you had a lot of Haitians and Bahamians and Jamaicans and tribalians and Martiniqueans and what have you. And they were all very know. They believed in obey San Diego, Wudu Makumba and all these kind of things. And so that was the environment I had to deal with and I had to be very open, very eclectic and not get too upset when the methodology that I started didn’t work. Because sometimes we’re so passionate about our work and we’ve got a methodology that we see very clearly, but if it isn’t working too well, we get depressed about it. And so we have to really become our own therapists. How do you get out of that? Of course, there are certain physiological factors that we have no control over.

That’s why we use medication to sort of try to balance your endorphins and all the different types of things in the synaptic area of your cells I mean, to neurons and what have you. But for me, it really has been an incredible journey with the people I’ve met, how things have happened to me, how things, whether they are coincidence or what the failures were, the roadmap to successes or to a new stage in my life and how I developed. And thank God, most of the time I learned from it. But I made some horrible mistakes. I started the first sort of walk in mental health in the whole Caribbean called the Bahamas Family Institute. And I used to bring people for seminar. Max Malsby, his rational behavior therapy.

I had Bill Simon out of New York, and I was involved with a whole group out of New York who was somewhat out on guard with regards to mental health as it applies to.

Sam Shriver

Leadership and all that entails. What would you pass on to people as it applies to just the process of influence and leadership and all that you and Dr. Hershey talked about? If you had to impart one bit of wisdom from all of these years and all of these accomplishments, what do you think it would be?

Dr. Tim McCartney

Well, first of all, I think you have to recognize that in any given population, you’ve got different kinds of people. You have leaders, you have followers, you have people who sit on the fence, what have you. And as a professional, you have to cater to the needs of all of these people. And I think the most important thing is for you to maintain an integrity and your passion when they see that you really care. You didn’t just say, I care, or you give some methodology and insist that they follow this. But if they can feel your passion, more than likely you will have a better chance of helping them help themselves. Right? Because you can only show them a methodology. You can only impart certain knowledge. You can teach them things, but they have to make the choice as to whether they want to feel good or bad or indifferent. So I think the first thing is a leader has to really understand him or herself in a way, because we’re fallible human beings, and we have to deal a lot with our own selves.

And I can tell you many times I would work and see patients, schizophrenics in NABU, come over here and teach a course. And I was thinking about one of my patients who I knew was a high suicide risk. And so I had to deal with those emotions that I had dealing with those patients that come over here and face a room of about 50 or 60 students and deal with them on the way.

And sometimes I’d come down there. They were very perceptive because, Dr. McConnell, you look kind of down. I said yes. I said, “Unfortunately, I have a young girl who I think is going to kill herself. I’m worried about her.” I said, “but, hey, we’ve got to learn. Here’s what we got to do. We have to learn this type of thing, and so let’s work this thing out together.” Honesty. Being honest with your students and being not afraid to let them challenge you is the key. Your passion, your knowledge. But if you don’t know, don’t pretend to know. Telling you, I’ve never heard of it.

Sam Shriver

What I hear you saying is passion, but also transparency.

Dr. Tim McCartney


Sam Shriver

I’m dying to ask this question. How would a person with your base of knowledge in history I don’t know that you can explain it, but just respond to the set of circumstances that took place in Orlando last week where someone goes in with a gun and kills 50 people. When you read something like that, when you see or hear about an incident like that, my sense is that you process that differently than I do based on your history. But how did you respond or how do you process tragic events like that?

Tim McCartney

One of the things that we forget is that, there have been tragedies, even worse tragedies, worse atrocities. When you realize that when you read the Old Testament, you read history where people could go into villages and massacre and burn down everything, men, women, and children. So the kinds of things that they’re saying is nothing new. It’s just that with the information technology that we have and where we are immediately there when it is happening makes it more real than just reading about it two or three weeks after it’s happened. It’s instant, right? It’s instant playback. And so that basically tends to affect our emotions more than if, say, we just hear about it, this thing happened and everything else, all the stations for the past now, that’s all you can see. And so, number one, it’s not going to use it. I’m not surprised. Number two, no matter what you do, there’s always going to be somebody who’s going to slip between the same and so it’s going to happen again. It’s going to happen somewhere again. One of the things that seems to have happened in this particular case, and you have to blame the FBI about this. They had him on two occasions. There was a red flag, but he was allowed to buy two guns. Right? If there was certain gun control in terms of a more comprehensive investigation as to the person who’s buying these guns, I think that may help.

America’s always had guns. I’m not against a person owning a gun, but I’m against a person who is responsible. And I think, just like anything else, when you go to get a driver’s license, you have to go through a program.I think when you go to get a gun, you should go through a process, but your gun sellers don’t look at it. Your gun sellers want a profit. The second thing, one of the things that motivates me is my faith, my religion. And I know that these things are going to happen. And so you have to find your own way in terms of what you believe. But our mortality is something that is real. All of us are going to die. We don’t know how. And whether you believe in an afterlife or not, or what motivates you, or what kind of god do you worship, whether it’s a god of status, whether it’s a god of education, whether it’s a god of money, we all have something that has some value for us. And so I think it’s very important that people sort of sit down sometimes and evaluate their values to see how important it is and what it does for you as an individual. Right. I can share what I believe, but you have to find it yourself.

Sam Shriver

Who in your life would you say has made the biggest contribution to mankind and to you?

Tim McCartney

First of all, I would say my Muhammed Ghandi was somebody who is one of my heroes. The ultimate for me was Jesus Christ. But I’ve had one or two extraordinary people who were brilliant people, who were very humble. And one of them is a younger person who calls me Uncle Timmy, the son of Charlie and Karina Meeks. Well, their oldest child, Brian Meeks, is one of the most brilliant people I’ve ever met in my life, but he is the most laid back person who can take ideas and break them down in such a way that a four or five year old would understand it. But the knowledge that he has–Brian has written a lot of books, you know, he had a lot of he’s now got a teaching. He was supposed to retire, but Brown University has one there now. But Brian Beeks, who is younger than me, much younger than me, is one of them. Of course, Doc Oyster was one of my members.

Sam Shriver

I’d say a similar ability to take really complicated things and make them simple and practical.

Tim McCartney

Yeah, Yeah. Doc helped me a lot because many times after he would give his big talk, he would go in the classroom, meet the students, and do a little autographing and else. And then after, he’d come, and he’d come in my office. We’ll close it, I’ll sit down there, and then we’ll begin to look at the problems of the world. But Dr. Shishi Shuri is one of my mentors, two people I really admire. And I’m not saying this because, let’s say two people who I really admire and who I really love and who are brilliant, honest, unobtrusive, hardworking people.  Now, I mean, from my heart. Yeah, I can tell from my heart. I remember when our son Sean died 15 years ago. He was over here, and we had my whole family here, and I was in such a state.

Tom called me here. He said, Look, I know your family has to go to the Bahamas. I’m going to make an arrangement to take your whole family to the Bahamas. Tom got two planes. He flew there, flew back. He was there for the funeral, flew back. And on many situations, unless he’s always been there with him. And when I said, okay, how much do I do? He would not take a penny from me. But that’s just the materialistic situation, not the emotional support that I’ve gotten from them. So Tom and Shuri are my mentors darkest. My mentors, Susie, we love her to death. Brian Meeks, another person who I got very close to, and with all the because a lot of people didn’t like him, they said, because he was too obsessive compulsive, was Arthur Hayley.

Arthur Haley was an author who lived in the Bahamas. He wrote Wheels, he wrote Hotel. He wrote The Final Diagnosis. Arthur Haley, right. Yeah, absolutely. Well, we became very close. In fact, I was his consultant to some of his books. And one of his books, when I was writing my book on obey, which is on superstition in the Bahamas, he said, if you finish your book, you could piggyback on me. Because the book that he wrote was oh, God. It was made into a movie. And my name is in the book because I was the psychiatrist who helped him develop the scenario for the Head, the baker’s wife who was suffering from catatonic schizophrenia. And basically there was no help because he was having an affair with the secretary and this kind of thing.

But let me tell you what kind of poison out of us. He got all this information from me, and he looked at it. He said, this is fantastic, because it took him three years to investigate. Okay? But do you know what he did? He took all my suggestions. And he had another friend who was a psychiatrist who lived in New Orleans. He sent it down there. He said, critique this for me. So he came to me afterwards and says he said, you’re right on. He said, I want you to show him a critique, and the guy said, leave it as it is. Don’t add anything for it because he likes better than you. So what he said, because of what you did. He said, they used to live in the Napa Valley.

They had a home there, and they had a home in the Bahamas. And he said, I’m going to get some shares for you in one of the venues. He never did, but he was still my friend. So Arthur Haley was a– and I got to know Jean Piche, and he was one of my mentors. He was a bosom buddy, but I can talk to him anytime. And he sometimes would call me and says, what you doing? How things are going and this kind of thing. So I got to know him very well, actually, with Jean Piche. These are some of the people who have made a difference in my life. Henry Foleski, who was the head psychiatrist, he was from Poland.

He came to the Bahamas, and he married a Bahamian, and he was in the war and everything else, and he was my boss in the Bahamas when I was a psychologist. I would say that perhaps, number one, he’s my one mentor because he allowed me. At the time, nobody noticed. Psychology was a lot of the very state British doctors were against the whole thing, and they would send me some of the most difficult patients, and sometimes what they didn’t know was that I did medicine. And so they would, for example, prescribe a drug like a phenodiazine for a schizophrenic patient without giving them some Rpm. And some of these patients, they would send them to me, and as they walk into my office, they got what they call this tardiskinesis. And I knew right away that they were not on another medication.

So I called them up and I said, what medication? And I remember one doctor, an English guy, very snooty, and probably thought behaviors were less from the mother country, England. And I said, you send me this patient? And I said, what medication is she on? I said he said, I put her on Halopergol. I said okay. So he said, how is she doing? I said horrible. I said, what else did you put her on? No, I did not know that. I said, “Look, I said, you’re a medical doctor. I can’t tell you what to do. I said, but why didn’t you put her on a haltim? Why didn’t you put her on another drug? Because the thing is, this Aliper at all causes, this funny movement and all this kind of stuff.” And he says, “By God, Timothy, where did that come?”

I think because I had that medical knowledge that helped me, right? Yeah. And when I failed my exams in medicine and became a psychologist, because I was a clinical psychologist and came over here and told organizational behavior and understood whole human behavior and had my own methodology that helped me as well. So my failures were turned into successes in the sense that I went through depression, but then I bounced back and utilized that experience to keep me going. And I can tell you one of the things that I’m alive right now because as I said, I had bone cancer and at my age. And my doctor looked at me, he said, this is a touch and go situation.

But I know that being able to manage stress because essentially what is happening is this your emotional responses is how you are evaluating the events in your life, right? You’re making yourself sick. You know that? Yeah. Nobody can make you do anything unless you give them permission to do it. So essentially our emotions are the result of how we evaluate or how we perceive the events and happenings in our lives. And if you feel good about something, you’re going to feel good if you feel bad about something. But there’s such a thing as what cognitive disciplines. Do you feel good and bad at the same time. You love your child, but you want to strangle them, the dead to put the school up, right? And so these are some of the things that has helped me.

My second class in 1978 when I started teaching the center to Jacksonville, and these were accountants and engineers who was doing a business degree. And I didn’t know a lot of the language of business, but I knew people. I knew behavior, right? And the first night I was told, they nailed me to the wall. And I was getting very upset. And I said, Why are you getting upset? You have skills that they don’t have skills. They have skills that you don’t have skills. They are really challenging you. Because the thing is this. They see figures two plus two equals four. And then you talk about emotions and fear and all this kind of stuff. They can’t understand that. So if they can’t understand that, try to explain that to them and let them try to explain two and two equals four for you.

Sam Shriver

Well, I wonder how many people have I asked them the question, how much have you meant to their lives? Or who’s been most influential in your life would mention you. But I just want to say thank you for your time.

Dr. Tim McCartney

Thank you very much.


Whether in the classroom or through his work as an international expert in mental health programming and organizational behavior, Dr. Tim McCartney makes an impact on lives. After studying in the United States, Switzerland, Jamaica, England, and France, McCartney earned his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Strasbourg in France. The first Bahamian to earn a doctorate degree in psychology, McCartney returned to his native country in 1967, developing a variety of innovative mental health programs and organizations to serve the people of the Bahamas. This was just the beginning of decades of humanitarian and organizational behavior consulting work with businesses and organizations throughout the world that has led to international recognition for his contributions to world health. In 2002, McCartney was recognized as a health hero by the PAN American organization of the United Nations.

And in Nassau, Bahamas, the Timothy McCartney building at the Sandlands Rehabilitation Center houses the ministry of health’s child guidance activities. McCartney has taught at Nova Southeastern University’s Huizinga College of Business and Entrepreneurship since 1978. He was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award in 1998 and again in 1999. For his 15 years of outstanding contribution to the development of graduate level education in Jamaica, McCartney calls upon all of his qualifications to teach his organizational behavior classes at Huizenga, whereas classroom philosophy is one of experiential and student-centered learning. In 2007, McCartney was the first professor to become an endowed Chair at Huizenga. He received the Dr. Paul Hersey Chair in Leadership and Organizational Behavior established by Dr. Paul Hersey, founder of the Center for Leadership Studies and developer of Situational Leadership®. McCartney has written magazine and scientific articles, books, textbook chapters, and has produced educational films.

He travels extensively, teaching courses, consulting, conducting seminars, workshops, and giving speeches to community and professional organizations. Thank you for listening to the Center for Leadership Studies podcast. Through its innovative leadership development programs, the Center for Leadership Studies has helped millions of individuals across the globe become more effective leaders and has helped thousands of organizations build more productive and engaged workforces. For additional information on our services and products, please visit situational.com or call 919-335-8763. At the Center for Leadership Studies, we build Leaders.