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Dr. Joel W. Harder is a trusted voice working to shape a positive leadership culture where innovative solutions to real problems can happen.

Joel is an experienced leadership consultant and innovator. He works with leaders believing that leaders matter. Leaders set the tone. That is true in any organization, as well as in society at large. They are in unique positions of authority and influence with the power to solve complex problems.

At a time when our culture seems increasingly divided, our differences are not a problem to be navigated but our greatest asset. Joel's proven experience and ability to bring diverse people and perspectives into fruitful dialogue help leaders discover innovative and lasting solutions.



Joel has several years of experience working in international leadership development through local churches, nationwide nonprofits, multi-sector coalitions, and political arenas.

He is on the leading edge of navigating new technologies to promote human connections in an increasingly digital world.


He works with leaders in government, business, and community organizations to break through the problem of incivility and bridge societal divides.

  • Joel is the founder of Oklahoma Capitol Culture, shaping a culture of civility, integrity, and servant leadership in the Oklahoma State Capitol. 

  • Over the course of his career, Harder has worked with young professionals, elected officials, and policymakers in Washington, D.C. and developed leadership conferences for community leaders held in Central Asia, West Asia, and Eastern Europe.

  • He is the author of the new book, When Leaders Matter from Insight International Press.

Joel earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of North Texas (Denton, TX), a Masters of Social Work from Baylor University (Waco, TX), and a Doctorate of Education from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Wake Forest, NC).

He was appointed by Governor Kevin Stitt and confirmed by the Oklahoma State Senate to the Oklahoma State Board of Licensed Social Workers in 2020.​



It is no secret that our politics are in a bad place. People are bitterly divided, angry, and fearful. We seem unable to disagree with one another respectfully.

In When Leaders Matter, Joel Harder presents a three-step approach to engage leaders and restore the civility we need in our politics while promoting the integrity we need in our leaders.


When that happens, leaders will be able to work and inspire our communities, states, and nation to address the real problems we are facing and navigate a way forward that will bless and benefit all of us.

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"Joel believes, like I do, that everyone’s voice is important. He sets politics aside and understands the personal responsibility leaders carry as we do our work to the best of our ability.


I’ve also seen Joel put his beliefs into practice with leaders across the Oklahoma State Capitol as he works with my colleagues in the Oklahoma Senate, House of Representatives, as well as members of my administration and staff. He consistently interacts with Oklahoma’s elected leaders in a way that is always encouraging and a welcome help to our work at the Capitol."

Governor Kevin Stitt

State of Oklahoma

*From the foreword to When Leaders Matter

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Book Dr. Harder for your event.

Dr. Joel W. Harder travels throughout the United States, in Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and Africa sharing methods that shape a culture of innovation, developing current and future leaders, and navigating diverse perspectives to find innovative solutions.


Invite Joel to speak on topics such as:

  • Mentoring in the Modern Digital Age

  • Developing Leadership Pipelines

  • Disagree without Disrespect

  • and more.

Dr. Harder coaches leaders to implement effective solutions for:


  • How everyday people from all walks of life can overcome the problem of incivility, division, and distrust in an increasingly polarized world.

  • Effective techniques to utilize new technology in order to shape culture and develop leadership pipelines as more companies and organizations adapt to a remote workforce.

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