Blinded at age 10, he, became a psychologist, invented a test to measure the ability to succeed in sales, and founded his own company, Caliper, which continues to operate at the Carnegie Center. Herb Greenberg, 86, one of the most unique figures in the Route 1 business community, died on January 19.
Greenberg was CEO of Caliper, a talent management consulting firm, until the time of his death. His son Mark is president of the company and has worked there since 1993. Caliper did not announce a succession plan and did not immediately return calls asking for comment.
Greenberg was born in Detroit to Polish immigrants. His father, a maker of orthopedic shoes, moved the family to New York, where his parents fought to have him educated in normal public school classrooms rather than be sent to a school for the blind. Greenberg earned a master’s degree in psychology from the City College of New York.
He worked as an employment counselor at the New York Department of Welfare while earning his doctorate in psychology and human relations at New York University. But he found it difficult to get a job because employers turned him down after learning of his blindness.
After 600 rejected applications, Greenberg got a job teaching at Texas Tech, where he stayed for two years before being forced out for giving speeches against segregation. He moved back north to teach at Rutgers. While at Rutgers, Greenberg and a colleague founded a company they ran out of a Manhattan apartment.
The company eventually found success selling its signature product: a psychological test that would assess personalities of job candidates to see who had the right traits to succeed. The company grew steadily and changed its name twice, first renaming itself Personality Dynamics and then Caliper in 1987.
Greenberg’s personality tests were used in multiple fields, including sports. He even bought a basketball team, the Trenton Shooting Stars, in 1999, and used his system to build a winning team. Success on the court didn’t translate to financial gain, and Greenberg said he lost $2 million in the two years he owned the Shooting Stars.
Greenberg found more success as an author, writing the bestselling book, “Succeed on your Own Terms” and “How to Hire and Develop your Next Top Performer.” His latest book, a biography titled “What You Aren’t Seeing,” was published last summer.
“My father has dedicated his life to helping individuals and companies achieve their fullest potential. We are honored to carry that legacy forward,” Mark Greenberg said in a press release.
Caliper, 506 Carnegie Center, Suite 300, Box 2050, Princeton 08543-2050; 609-524-1200; fax, 609-524-1201. Mark Greenberg, president. www.caliperonline.com.