Joan Shafer

Coaching Advisor

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Joan Shafer is an expert on leadership and culture. She brings more than 25 years of experience working with Fortune 250 companies, NGO’s, and nonprofit organizations in North America, Europe, South America, Asia, Africa, and Australia in group facilitation, culture analysis, values integration, and leadership enrichment for senior executives. At Merryck & Co, she works with global, enterprise senior executives, and leadership teams across multiple industry sectors.


In addition to her work at Merryck & Co, Shafer has trained more than 1200 consultants, executive mentors, and change agents in values-based assessments and strength-based methodologies around the world.

As the co-founder and partner of Richard Barrett and Associates (now Barrett Values Center), she specializes in values assessment surveys for organizations, which provide an actionable roadmap that becomes an integral part of a leader’s or organization’s development plan that supports their business strategy. The survey instruments have been used to measure the values of more than 6000 organizations and 3000 leaders in 80 countries and are available in more than 50 languages. She co-developed the LVA (Leadership Values Assessment), an instrument that helps individuals define their core values in order to accelerate their transformation to achieve higher levels of performance.

Shafer started her career in the aerospace industry as a project engineer and manager at Airco Temescal and then advanced to be a program engineer and manager of high-tech subsystems for satellites and military aircraft at both Hughes Aircraft and TRW for 12 years.


She holds a bachelor of engineering from Vanderbilt University. In addition, Shafer serves as a senior mediator for the County of Hawaii. For the past 20 years, she fuels her lifelong passion for golf by leading an annual week-long golf program in Scotland called “Fairway to Heaven”.

Leadership Moments


Your Employees Crave Recognition. Why Are Most Managers So Stingy?

One of the impacts of recognition is that it helps eliminate doubt. We perform an action and we wonder, how did I do?

In her interview with Merryck’s Adam Bryant, Shafer discusses the often overlooked, yet essential topic of employee recognition . She shares smart insights about how to be better at recognition, why managers hold back, and why it’s so important for creating a healthy corporate culture. Click here to read more.