Building Leaders

The BB&T Leadership Institute provides leadership development and human resources programs and consulting to help companies and organizations build leadership capacity and reach performance goals.


During the past half-century, The BB&T Leadership Institute, and its legacy firm Farr Associates, has developed and refined approaches to business leadership through collaborative work with clients in top companies throughout the United States. Beginning with each client's specific goals and challenges, the Leadership Institute’s consultants identify the best approaches to address a company's needs and tailor offerings to individual executives, teams, or both.

In 2014, The BB&T Leadership Institute expanded its offerings to provide research, educational programs, and consulting to help develop leaders in the education and nonprofit sectors.

Business Impact

The Leadership Institute’s goal is to help companies attain their business objectives for increased financial and operational performance, enhanced risk management of human resources and business activities, creation of a values-driven culture, and retention of high-potential employees. Our collaborative work with senior executives provides sustained performance improvements that have a deep and broad impact in the organization.

Collaborative Approach

The BB&T Leadership Institute's business advisors and program consultants work with business leaders and managers to leverage the performance of individuals and teams. Our approach begins with understanding a company's strategic and tactical goals so that our work is aligned with achieving these critical performance objectives.

Grounded in Science, Proven in Business

The foundation of the institute's leadership strategies lies in our knowledge and application of neuropsychology to human behavior in business settings. Our approach integrates research and proven approaches with real-world business situations and challenges so that our clients achieve their business objectives.

Business Advisors

The Leadership Institute’s business advisors work with senior executives to determine the services needed to address specific company needs. Leadership consulting services, programs, and goals are tied to company performance objectives so leaders, teams, and the organization become better aligned.

Core Services

The BB&T Leadership Institute's collaborative solutions provide the right fit and impact for each client. Consulting services, custom programs, and open-enrollment workshops and courses are provided at client sites, at the Leadership Institute’s location and at off-site locations.

Core areas of focus with clients include leadership development programs, executive team workshops, one-on-one executive coaching and human resources consulting.

Firm Founding and History

The BB&T Leadership Institute began as Farr Associates, a firm founded in 1956 by Dr. James Farr, a pioneer in the application of psychological principles to leadership development. For more than three decades, he led the process of consulting with top companies and teaching several generations of executives and managers that in order to lead others, they must first understand and be able to lead themselves to achieve business results.

The quality of an organization’s performance cannot exceed the quality of its leadership.
— Dr. James Farr

Conscious Leadership

Farr pioneered the application of conscious leadership to leadership development and showed the business world that true leadership is much more than telling employees what to do. His defined process replaces ingrained, self-defeating thinking, and emotional reactions and behaviors with deliberate and organizationally aligned actions.