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Business lessons inspire ’68 grad’s book

The greatest teacher is experience, it is said, and Carl Koetter ’68 is hoping others will learn from his experience as a business manager and training consultant. He has self-published the book The Game Changer, a Cautionary Tale. Written in a business novel format, it follows the lessons learned by “Mike” as he strives to achieve work-life balance as well as offering a summary of personal and professional leadership skills.

While the name of the main character is different, the book is really Koetter’s story of how he had to nearly lose everything before he really learned how to be an effective manager. It also shares many of the skills he has taught for more than 20 years as a consultant offering training workshops to develop communication, leadership, and empowerment tools.

It was a tale he had been wanting to share for many years, but work, family, and his continued education kept him busy. When the pandemic slowed his consulting business, he realized he finally had the time.

“The book was a labor of love,” Koetter said. “I’d been considering it for about 20 years, and thanks to COVID, I had an opportunity to do this.”

Koetter, who owns Koetter Training Resources, started his career as a first-line supervisor at the former Philip Morris International plant in Louisville following earning his bachelor’s degree in business management from Indiana University. When the company opened its own training center a decade or so later, Koetter decided to apply for the technical trainer job. A year later, he was promoted to director of job development leadership skills.

In his 20 years developing training workshops for Philip Morris, Koetter implemented the methods he learned while earning his MBA from Bellarmine University and later his doctorate in occupational training and development from the University of Louisville. When Philip Morris moved its cigarette plant to North Carolina, Koetter decided to share his expertise with more companies via a consulting firm.

He has developed multiple workshops, assessments and tools in his work training several thousand Louisville-area employees from various corporations. At many of those workshops, he told the story he now shares in The Game Changer. Participants would come up afterward and share how they were undergoing similar struggles, and Koetter would often become their executive coach. His book offers the same kind of help but in print format.

“It’s an opportunity for me to share a story I’m not proud of because it’s about my mistakes, but it’s a story I think others can benefit from,” Koetter said.

He will soon be working on a sequel since this book is about half that of his first draft – but the perfect length for a business novel, since it can by read in one sitting.

For now, he is selling multiple copies of the hardcover book to the businesses where he offered his training workshops and to individuals by email. In the spring, a paperback version will be sold on Amazon.

Koetter said the publishing process was a learning experience, but now that he can share the book with others, he hopes he can help others as they face the same challenges he did in business management.

“It’s most rewarding to get a chance to see a finished version of my life, basically, and to give others this to be a legacy for leaders who have the same problems and hopefully can overcome before it becomes as diff as it had been for me at times,” Koetter said.

Carl Koetter ’68 is married to his wife, Sandy. They have a daughter, Tara (Koetter) Reed ’71 (Kevin Reed ’72), and one grandson, Landon Reed. His book The Game Changer, a Cautionary Tale is available for $19.95 by emailing

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