I'm Scott Herbst, Ph.D (though I usually don't mention "Ph.D." when I'm meeting someone). I'm an entrepreneur, speaker, author, scientist, and - prpobably most importantly - a human being. In my field, I'm recognized an expert in the science of being human, though I'm always a little surprised by the recognition. I'm told I have a message that's insightful, inspiring, and fun. In speaking (and in life), I strive to be authentic, and communicating from there, I relate well with audiences and leave them with insights into their own lives and behavior, with more freedom to lead fulfilling lives.
I grew up in the south suburbs of Chicago and had a happy childhood. I played sports, had a lot of friends in the neighborhood, was a boy-scout, and did well in school. I wasn't always happy, though. I tended to worry a lot, and often without good reason. I remember being in second grade and worrying that my teacher would be absent and we would have a mean sub. I'm probably still that way to some degree. I'm sure when I'm 70 the things I worried about when I was 40 will seem silly to me.
I got a degree in Engligh Literature from North Central College with the intention of teaching high school English. It wasn't until my final semester that I discovered I didn't like teaching high school English. After graduating, I took a job that I thought would tide me over until I figured out what was next for me. I took that job in part because they offered a Master's degree program in something called behavior analysis, which they told me was a type of psychology. Earning an advanced degree while I sorted out my future sounded pretty good, even if it wasn't something I was particularly interested in. As it turns out, I wasn't just interested in behavior science, I was passionate about it. While in the MA program, I began applying to doctoral programs, and accepted a spot at the University of Nevada - Reno. Attending school there was one of the most enriching, rewarding experiences of my life. I got to learn from and work with some of the most brilliant minds in psychology, and found a love for applying what I was learning to organizational systems and human performance.
I also learned (and maybe discovered is the right word - it felt like a discovery) the power of human language. I saw for myself how the things I say about the world shape my view of the world, and that my view then shapes my actions. When I experienced this (and it was experiential) my entire view of life altered and action followed. Before this discovery, I was struggling with my research and considering settling for the Master's and then dropping out. The future looked dark, the way the future looks when one is about to abandon a dream. What I discovered, specifically, that at some point in grade school I had gotten caught without the answers, and had told myself that I would never let that happen again. I held onto that rule with a death grip, but had finally found myself in a place where I could never have all the answers. Seeing that the world wasn't actually built in a way that not knowing it all wouldn't kill me, I had a new freedom.
And I graduated. Before doing that, however, I also got active in local and national politics, took up stand-up comedy, and trained to lead transformational programs. I also started a charitable organization called Psych United. We raised money for undergraduate scholarships and, when Katrina hit, flood relief.
After graduating, I took a position at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. While there, I conducted research in language and thinking, continued to design and deliver transformational programs,and helped build the state association for Behavior Analysts. I also took on leadership within the Insitution and one of my proudest accomplishments was transforming the culture of the faculty governing body, and successfully leading an initiative to re-tool our governing structures to keep up with the high growth and nationalization of the school.
I left the Chicago School in 2015 to start SixFlex. The name comes from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, which uses the hexaflex as a model for the human condition and a tool for personal grwoth.
I present at local, national and international conferences. I'm known for taking high level principles and making them relatable and understandable. And the audience and I have a lot of fun together.
Lastly, one thing I'm clear on is that I make a difference with a lot of differnent people - with organizations, families, and in communities - and every moment presents an opportunity to make a difference. I'm happiest when I'm making that difference. And, I'm still not always happy.