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Steve Schmidt, PhD
World Class Quest Founder & CEO
Retired Lt. Colonel USAF
Co-Developer of the Six Sigma Approach

"The heart of an organization is its culture composed of the hearts of its employees primarily influenced by the hearts of their leaders."



Work History

  • Founder, Chief Executive Officer of World Class Quest

  • Retired US Air Force Lt. Col. and B52 pilot

  • Tenure Professor U.S. Air Force Academy

  • Founder of Air Academy Associates, a multimillion dollar, international consulting company

  • Founder of Enchanted Springs Ranch

  • Adjunct faculty for Motorola Six Sigma Research Institute, Incarnate Word University, University of Texas (Austin), the Defense Systems Management College, and Alamo Colleges training for the City of San Antonio



  • On the original development team for Six Sigma at Motorola University headed by Dr. Mikel Harry.Trained the world’s first Master Black Belts and Black Belts at Motorola, Texas Instruments, Asea Brown Boveri, IBM, Kodak and Digital Equipment.  From there Dr. Schmidt trained most of the original Master Black Belts and Black Belts at General Electric, Raytheon, Sony, Lockheed Martin, H.E.B., U.T. Austin Business School, Abbott Laboratories, plus many more.  Nominated for the 1st Annual Dr. Mikel “J” Harry “Six Sigma” Lifetime Achievement Award.  Created Disruptive Lean Six Sigma.


  • A recognized expert in Strategic Planning, Cultural and Personal Development, Radical Leadership, Teambuilding, Trust Building, Conflict Resolution, Communication, Disruptive Lean Six Sigma and overcoming victimism.


  • Featured on MSNBC and The NBC Today Show for use of Lean Six Sigma in his own business.Played a major role with Tony Robbins in Breakthrough, an NBC and Oprah Network reality show to rehabilitate a broken family by leading the parents through their PTSD issues.Steve received much praise for his work from Tony Robbins.


  • Co-author of nine books used at major universities (i.e. M.I.T, George Washington University, Air Force Academy plus many others) and by organizations around the world. Two books were translated into Japanese, one reviewed by Dr. W. Edwards Deming and two reviewed by Mikel Harry, Chief Architect of Six Sigma.The latest is on Disruptive Lean Six Sigma.


  • Owner and developer of Enchanted Springs Ranch, a working ranch, film location, special events venue and tourist attraction. The Ranch received the “highly recommended” rating from Oprah, The History Channel, Tony Robbins, The NBC Today Show, Fox Cable and ABC filming crews.


  • Wrote, produced and acted in Palo Pinto Gold, an award winning western film starring Roy Clark, Mel Tillis, Kinky Friedman, Joaquin Jackson, Jay Novacek, Robert Earl Keen and Kevin Fowler.


  • Advisory Board member:Former Texas Rangers, Wayland Baptist University, and Ft. Martin Scott.


  • Has trained leaders in Christian and Muslim organizations and continues to coach people of all types through PTSD issues.


  • Continues to train elementary school kids in “WE is more powerful than ME.”



  • B.S. in Mathematics from the U.S. Air Force Academy

  • M.S. in Operations Research from The University of Texas

  • Ph.D. in Applied Statistics from the University of Northern Colorado 

Get in Touch


"Steve’s history as an early pioneer in Six Sigma and other breakthrough initiatives used in businesses and organizations worldwide earned him a well regarded reputation as a highly respected change agent. I watched Steve do a phenomenal job coaching people through a wide variety of challenges and future ranch visitors should look forward to the experience."

Anthony Robbins
Author and Peak Performance Coach

"Steve, it's been a lot of years, but it's good to see you're still kicking some hind-end. Always had the greatest respect and admiration of you as a person as well as your work. Congratulations on your new position!"

Mikel Harry, Ph.D
Co-creator of Six Sigma
National Best Selling Author & Consultant

“I met Steve Schmidt when he was used as a consultant and teacher for GE’s Six Sigma quality improvement initiative. Steve is a great teacher, able to convey ideas in an easy-to-understand manner. His focus was on how to achieve the goals, including leadership skills and management of the personal and cultural changes needed. Steve’s methods can transform an entire organization.” 

Norman Kuchar

Six Sigma Quality Leader (retired)

General Electric Global Research

"On behalf of the entire Statistics Division and the Fall Technical Conference sponsors, I want to thank you for your outstanding presentation...The course evaluations were exceptionally positive...Yours was one of the best FTC short courses ever, and will be hard to top in the future."

Conrad A. Fung,

Chair, Statistics Division

American Society for Quality Control Center for Quality & Production Improvement

“Steve Schmidt’s approach to leadership development is radical, straightforward, and effective.  Ignore the cute tools and packaged prescriptions from the latest leadership gurus – what Steve preaches is that leading others starts with learning how to lead yourself.  You will be challenged, uncomfortable, and emotional as Steve guides you through an introspective journey.  You may not agree with everything Steve says, and he doesn’t care.  Great leadership comes from within.  If you are committed to developing as a leader and are willing to put in the work, Steve’s relatable, good-natured approach will not disappoint.” 

Chase Fosse

Strategic Operations Manager,

Solid Waste Management Department

City of San Antonio

“The Texas Rangers Law Enforcement Agency is approaching 200 years of worldwide recognition of being an elite organization.  The secret to our long-term success has really been in our hiring practices.  We look for men and women that know when to go to the win-lose law enforcement role and when to focus on the win-win relationship and trust building mode.  Thus, we hire for heart as much as we hire for skill.  Most law enforcement have not been properly trained to develop this type heart and I highly recommend Stephen R. Schmidt, PhD to any organization that wants to build a strong team of people that know how to have a situational heart in the workplace.

Bruce Casteel

Senior Captain (retired)

Texas Rangers

“Dr. Steve Schmidt helped the Manufacturing Division develop a strategy for leveraging Lean Sigma tools to improve our processes and drive out waste.  He openly shared his experiences at GE, Motorola and other industry leaders and provided invaluable coaching and mentorship in implementing our program.”

Bob McCullough

Sr. VP of Quality Assurance


“I am writing to thank you for the material on experimental design. Our student's liked Schmidt & Launsby's text very much. I plan to use it again next year."

Gordon Kaufman

Sloan School of Management

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

"Dear Dr. Schmidt, You were extremely kind to think of me, and to send me a copy of your book. It will help me. I thank you." 

W. Edwards Deming, PhD

Consultant in Statistical Studies

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