A Simple Mission

Dr. John Matthias has a simple mission – to facilitate self-discovery in others so they can make a difference in the world, whether this involves overcoming past trauma or becoming an exceptional leader or parent. He has primarily worked as a clinical psychologist and as an organizational consultant with a focus upon leadership for several major organizations, including the Andre Agassi Foundation. He considers the leadership guru Warren Bennis to have been a mentor while receiving his doctorate from the University of Southern California. Dr. Matthias also graduated with honors in philosophy from Princeton University under the guidance of the renowned philosopher, Gilbert Harman.  He won the prestigious McCosh Thesis prize at Princeton University. He was an All-Chicago and All-State football player in high school and he played college football at Princeton. He was also high school valedictorian at a large public high school in Chicago where he was chosen for a valedictory study that continues to this day. He received several awards for his writing in high school and college.

Dr. Matthias has acquired an enormous depth and breath of psychological knowledge over his twenty year career as a psychologist, including in the domains of forensic, clinical, family, performance and organizational psychology. In the forensic context he has assessed hundreds of high risk felons for community placement, developing expertise in personality assessments and hidden behavioral motivations. In the clinical realm he has worked with numerous victims of abuse and trauma, including with survivors of the recent Las Vegas shooting massacre and 9/11. As a family therapist Dr. Matthias received his Master’s degree in Marriage, Family and Child counseling and he has worked with hundreds of families, couples and children over the years. He still supervises UNLV doctoral students on play therapy and family systems. As a performance psychologist he has worked with professional athletes, leaders and CEO’s, assisting them to achieve insight and excellence in their domains. He has also worked with several organizations seeking transformation by applying a unique research model he developed drawing parallels between the qualities of exceptional teams and exceptional families. By working with individuals and groups across such a wide spectrum of areas that have included both deficits and strengths, Dr. Matthias has developed a keen understanding of human beings at their highest and lowest points across the entire spectrum of human psychological development and functioning, which has led to greater wisdom about the major ingredients necessary for mastery and the development of resiliency and psychological well-being.

Challenged by Warren Bennis

to develop a grand unified theory of leadership many years ago, Dr. Matthias has become increasingly interested in the impact of exceptional leadership and the ability of strong leaders to leave a mark on the world. He has also explored the elements of mastery across many domains, including therapy and personality assessment. Toward that end, he has trained numerous doctoral students in clinical psychology at UNLV- many of whom have gone onto leadership positions in their organizations. He has also worked with leaders in many domains, including sports, health care, and business, to assist them in broadening their influence and he has helped many individuals on their paths towards mastery. He has been guided by the persistent questions: What makes an exceptional leader? And are there any common elements for leadership and mastery across domains? He is currently writing two books addressing these questions. The first book, Strive: The New Psychology of Meaning and Mastery, will be published in 2019. The second book, Leading Lives: Wednesdays with Warren Bennis and the Search for a Grand Unified Theory of Leadership, will be published in 2020. He plans to work on a third book, First Teams: Uncovering the Ingredients Behind Exceptional Teams, in the near future. He also recently started a podcast- Strive- to assist people in striving for mastery in their lives through conversations with remarkable people and academics.


Dr. Matthias recently launched two initiatives- Project iHope, which provides adventure experiences for children with terminal illnesses and their families, and Project iStrive, which provides a platform for individuals to share their most passionate strivings for the future.

Dr. Matthias is a licensed psychologist in both Utah and Nevada. He is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Nevada Las Vegas in the clinical psychology doctoral program. He is also a certified Eagala mental health specialist and he often incorporates equine work into his adventure experiences. He is an avid canyoneer and he gains sustenance and energy from the beautiful canyons of Southern Utah. As a new father of a beautiful baby boy, Dr. John holds out hope for a future worth inhabiting. His personal mission is to strive for love, peace, wisdom, kindness and service to others.

In Praise
Of all things

You can learn a little more about Dr. Matthias from his autobiographical blog post, In Praise of All Things Wild.

Dare To Strive

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