3 Lessons on Integrity by Jeremy Kingsley

What is integrity?  It’s that idea of truth and honesty. It’s the opposite of a lie. And it’s the opposite of deceit or manipulation.  A person of integrity knows the right thing, says the right thing, and does the right thing.

I’ve been learning about this topic all my life – as a little kid, teenager, and now as an adult.  And I’d like to tell you three quick stories on the lessons I’ve learned about integrity.

About Jeremy Kingsley

Jeremy Kingsley is a best-selling author, leadership expert, and one of the most sought after speakers in the country. Since 1996 he has spoken to over 500,000 people at live events and given over 2000 keynote speeches. You may have seen Jeremy on television or online this year. He has been featured in/on CNBC, CBS, FOX, Fox Business, Forbes, International Business Times, Wall Street Business and many more large media outlets. He has endorsements from Fortune 500 companies like YUM and Whirlpool. Leadership expert Ken Blanchard has said, “Jeremy Kingsley drives home principles that all leaders need to know and apply.” His messages have reached millions through radio, television, and the internet.

To Learn more about Jeremy contact [email protected]

Derek Sweeney is the Director of Speaker Ideas at The Sweeney Agency. www.thesweeneyagency.com. For 15 years Derek has been helping clients find the right Speakers for their events. Derek can be reached at 1-866-727-7555 or [email protected]

Why Leaders Don’t Recognize by Chester Elton

About Chester Elton – #1 Bestselling Business Author & Expert on Organizational Culture

One of today’s most influential voices in workplace trends, Chester Elton has spent two decades helping clients engage their employees to execute on strategy, vision, and values. In his provocative, inspiring and always entertaining talks, #1 bestselling leadership author Chester Elton provides real solutions to leaders looking to manage change, drive innovation, and lead a multi-generational workforce. Elton’s work is supported by research with more than 850,000 working adults, revealing the proven secrets behind high-performance cultures and teams.

More info: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Chester-Elton

Not long ago one of us spoke to a group of managers from a water delivery company in Las Vegas. After, a GM from one of the locations approached us and said that when his people hit a safety goal—making so many deliveries without accident or injury—they get to be boss for the day, sit in the air-conditioned office and answer the phone. Meanwhile, this leader makes deliveries for them. And in Las Vegas, when you make deliveries in 110-degree heat, that means a lot.

Unfortunately, these managers efforts to appreciating his employees’ efforts are rare. Despite the overwhelming evidence that recognition creates more productive, profitable teams, we meet managers weekly with a bevy of excuses for why it won’t work for them. They believe they don’t have time to recognize, or they are afraid of creating favorites on their teams, or they simply don’t know where to start.

Let us briefly address just three myths we hear a lot, beginning with a common phobia to recognition: That too much will spoil my employees.

“It’ll lose meaning if I recognize too much.”
Love Your Life
“My people get recognition every two weeks in their paychecks.”

“It’ll lose meaning if I recognize too much.”

Yeah, and if you cross your eyes too long, they’ll stay that way. When was the last time anyone at work said, “Man, this place gives too much recognition! It’s really killing my productivity.” Our guess is, let’s see … never!

Recognition doesn’t get old if it is done right—which means it should be timely, frequent and specific. Does anyone ever tire of our boss saying that we matter and we add value? According to our friend Marshall Goldsmith, the number one reason companies lose their top performers is “no one ever asked me to stay.” To keep our best people we have to help them feel valued.

“I don’t have the time.”

What did your mother always tell you? You make time to do the things that are important. If you want to inspire your team and show real appreciation, you will find the time. It doesn’t take long. the effective motivators we’ve met rarely spend more than an hour or two a week recognizing their people, but the results are remarkable. After all, how much time do you need to write a thank-you note, present a formal award or say “thanks!” in a specific manner?

One vice president of a state AAA wrote us to say he has become a believer in what he calls the “Power of the Thank You.” He took a thank you card out of our training kit and explained, “I went back to my office and was reading through some really good work that one of our lawyers had done for me on a particularly vexing issue. I jotted out a quick thank you note to him and dropped it in the interoffice mail.” The result? The lawyer was in near tears when he received the note of specific thanks.

“Culturally,” the VP said, “we had gotten away from the simple ‘Power of the Thank You’ that is timely and specific. So, I make it a point now, whenever I can, to stop myself and stop whomever it is I want to thank, look them in the eye, and thank them very specifically for what they’ve done. Better yet, if they’re with a group of people I try to do it with others around in a staff huddle.”

“My people get recognition every two weeks in their paychecks.”
While its correct that money is why we show up for work each day, cash doesn’t create passion, customer service, or innovation once we are there. We need money, but we crave someone to acknowledge our value. In fact, research shows two keys to employee engagement are 1) recognition for good work and 2) having a voice in decisions that affect you. According to the Gallup Organization in the book First, Break All the Rules, “If you are paying twenty percent below the market average, then you may have difficulty attracting people. But bringing your pay and benefits package up to market levels, while a sensible first step, will not take you very far. These kinds of issues are like tickets to the ball-park—they can get you into the game, but they can’t help you win.”

Great Leaders Recognize
The great leaders we meet with have learned to rise above their collective phobias about recognition and are building terrific cultures where people come, stay and contribute because they feel valued and appreciated. Some of these effective managers acknowledge that it isn’t always easy to recognize; others admit they have made mistakes along the way. But they stick with it. And because of that persistence, they have seen real business results.

To Learn more about Chester contact [email protected]

Derek Sweeney is the Director of Speaker Ideas at The Sweeney Agency. www.thesweeneyagency.com. For 15 years Derek has been helping clients find the right Speakers for their events. Derek can be reached at 1-866-727-7555 or [email protected]

10 Highest Rated Motivational Speakers

More and more clients are asking us for Speakers who can inspire and motivate their employees and take their teams to the top. Here are our 12 highest rated Motivational Speakers.

Walter Bond | Mr. Accountability and Former NBA Athlete

Walter Bond – a former professional sports figure, is known affectionately as Mr. Accountability because of his ability to inspire, engage and entertain audiences with his stories that will motivate and touch every emotion. Walter has catapulted as one of the world’s most preeminent thought leaders on personal and corporate accountability with a presentation style that is in a class all by itself. Through his keynotes, training systems and product resources, he travels the world transforming organizations into a culture of accountability. Walter teaches how accountability creates engagement, assists in teamwork, and increases productivity which ultimately drives results.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Walter-Bond

Chip Eichelberger | Motivational Speaker and Sales Trainer

Chip Eichelberger believes audiences are craving engagement, not another speech. For 5½ years as world-renowned business leader Tony Robbins’s international point man, he spoke over 1,300 times throughout the US, UK, and Australia. This immersive experience sharpened his skills and created a unique style. It is high-energy, humorous, and persuasive and gets results. Chip promises to be THE energy source at your event.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Chip-Eichelberger

Rory Vaden | Self-Discipline Strategist & Best-selling Author

Rory Vaden is the New York Times best-selling author of Take the Stairs. His insights have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, CNN, Entrepreneur, Inc, on Fox News national television and in several other major media outlets. As a world-renowned speaker, his Tedx talk has been viewed nearly 2 million times, he is a 2x World Champion of Public Speaking Finalist and he was recently named as one of the top 100 leadership speakers in the world by Inc Magazine.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Rory-Vaden

Janet Lapp | Expert on Change and Employee Motivation

What would happen if everyone in the organization saw the positives and not the problems in change? This question inspired Dr. Janet Lapp and her team to conduct decades of research enacting these types of changes in the workplace, with amazingly positive results. Janet shares the evidence-based results derived from years of experience in both her books and stage performances. She has a professor’s ability to translate complex theory into usable answers, and a humorist’s knack for getting ideas across in an entertaining way.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Dr.-Janet-Lapp

Chad Hymas | World-Class Wheelchair Athlete & Speaker on Overcoming Adversity

Chad Hymas inspires, motivates, and moves audiences, creating an experience that touches hearts for a lifetime. The Wall Street Journal calls Chad Hymas “one of the 10 most inspirational people in the world!” In 2001, at the age of 27, Chad’s life changed in an instant when a 2,000-pound bale of hay shattered his neck leaving him a quadriplegic. But Chad’s dreams were not paralyzed that day – he became an example of what is possible.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Chad-Hymas

Rob Lilwall | Inspiring and Motivating Speaker, Author and Adventurer

Rob Lilwall is an adventurer, author, and keynote speaker whose accomplishments include independent adventures by bicycle and foot across 50,000 miles (80,000 km) of the world.  Rob’s inspiring and motivationalstories are first-hand accounts of his travels through Siberia, Tibet and Mongolia in winter, as well as Papua New Guinea, Australia, China, Iran and Afghanistan. He has two TV series with National Geographic and has written two books.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Rob-Lilwall

Vince Poscente | Olympic Skier and Motivational Keynote Speaker

Vince Poscente, one of the most in-demand speakers today, is an expert on resiliency – the ability to overcome challenges and motivate to bounce back even stronger than ever before. His client list includes top organizations with one thing in common: they understand that success is not just about reaching your goals and getting what you want. There also has to be an intent to handle set-backs and overcome obstacles and end up smarter, stronger and more focused than ever before, Vince knows first-hand the power that attitude, determination and innovation play in your future success — especially when life doesn’t go as planned.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Vince-Poscente

Mel Robbins | Best-Selling Author, and Life-Changing Change and Motivational Speaker

Mel Robbins is a serial entrepreneur, best-selling author, internationally recognized social media & changeinfluencer, and one of the most sought-after motivational speakers in the world. From rooms full of executives and key stakeholders in companies to arenas of franchisee owners, every audience will receive Mel’s message in a highly customized, interactive, and hyper-engaging way. Every event is very different from the next, and each speech is tailored to send your audience into the world with actionable tools, confidence, and the power to fully step into the leaders, collaborators, closers and communicators your company strives to create.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Mel-Robbins

Meg Soper | Corporate Entertainer and Motivational Speaker

Meg Soper is a keynote motivational speaker and Humorist who combines her skills as a comedienne with hands-on experience in health care to provide motivating and inspiring entertainment for her audiences. Her experience as a standup comic, operating room nurse and mother of two teenagers enable her to deliver a unique package of humorous anecdotes, and stress-busting strategies for everyday living.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Meg-Soper

Dan Thurmon | Author, and Speaker on Motivation & Peak-Performance

Dan Thurmon is a teacher of peak performance, an author of impactful books and presentations, and a lifelong student of success, motivation, happiness, and achievement – and he is on a mission. To encourage attendees’ uniqueness and contributions. To discover a sense of purpose and greatness. To have meaning at work, and in their lives.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Dan-Thurmon

To Learn more about these speakers contact [email protected]

Derek Sweeney is the Director of Speaker Ideas at The Sweeney Agency. www.thesweeneyagency.com. For 15 years Derek has been helping clients find the right Speakers for their events. Derek can be reached at 1-866-727-7555 or [email protected]

Why Responsiveness Is Next to Godliness by Dr. Tasha Eurich

If you’re looking to Marie Kondo your world, your inbox can be a ripe target. Most of us are swimming in email, with 269 billion messages being sent every day.

This unrelenting flood can be paralyzing. (I have a friend who jokes, “Can I just declare email bankruptcy and move on?”) But by not responding, we’re contributing to a troubling problem.

Think of the last important email you sent where the other person didn’t reply. Your first reaction was probably, He’s just busy. After a few days, you wonder, Did he get my e-mail? A few days later, Did I do something wrong? Then, inevitably, What a jerk!

When it comes to communicating with our colleagues, we have the best of intentions, but often fail in execution. We see an email, plan to reply later, then lose track of it.

But our benign neglect is holding us back in more ways than we realize. Response time is a strong non-verbal cue that speaks volumes about who we are.

As my colleague Adam Grant recently pointed out, it would be unfathomable for someone to say, “I’m really sorry…I didn’t acknowledge your presence in the hallway…I just have too many people trying to greet me these days, and I can’t respond to everyone.”

Not answering email damages our reputation and our relationships. In one study, people who took two weeks to respond to an email were assigned more negative intentions and viewed as less credible than their responsive counterparts.

Here’s the flip side: I once had a client—a superstar Fortune 500 executive—and despite being ridiculously busy, she replied to emails faster than anyone I’d ever met. She told me, “When you’re reliable, people want to be on your team.” So simple, and yet so true.

I’m certainly far from perfect in this (or any other) area, but here are a few tips we can all use to be better email citizens:

1. Get organized. It’s difficult to be responsive without a good email management system. Whether you Take Back Your Life or focus on Inbox Zero, find a system that works for you and stick to it. Or, make it even easier for yourself by asking your most responsive colleagues what they do to stay organized and experiment with their approach.

2. Acknowledge receipt. As one client recently told me, “Everyone is busy, but there’s no excuse for not acknowledging a message. It literally takes five seconds.” If you send a response saying, “Got your email. Will reply as soon as I can,” most people will be surprisingly understanding. It will buy you both goodwill and more time.

3. A “no” is better than no response. If someone asks you for something that you can’t or won’t do, for goodness sake, just tell them. Believing that “no response is the new no” is passive aggressive, cowardly, and rude. Even if a complete stranger has taken the time to email you to politely ask for something, they deserve a reply.* As noted in The New York Times, “Most of us can handle rejection. We can’t handle not knowing.”

Ultimately, when it comes to handling our inbox, we can be so focused on the chaos on our end that we forget the human beings on the other side—all of whom have their own deadlines, goals, insecurities, and stresses. Like us, they are probably doing the best they can.

We can make the workplace more civil and cooperative, not to mention more efficient, by giving others the courtesy we expect from them. Let’s start a revolution of responsiveness—one email at a time.

About Dr. Tasha Eurich

Tasha Eurich is an organizational psychologist, researcher, and New York Times best-selling author. She’s built a reputation as a fresh, modern voice in the business world by pairing her scientific grounding in human behavior with a pragmatic approach to overcoming challenges. Over her 15-plus-year career, she’s helped thousands of professionals — from Fortune 500 executives to early stage entrepreneurs — improve their self-awareness and success.

To Learn more about Dr. Eurich contact [email protected]

Derek Sweeney is the Director of Speaker Ideas at The Sweeney Agency. www.thesweeneyagency.com. For 15 years Derek has been helping clients find the right Speakers for their events. Derek can be reached at 1-866-727-7555 or [email protected]

How Emotion-Driven Innovation Increases Customer Loyalty by Jeanne Bliss

Jeanne Bliss pioneered the Chief Customer Officer position, holding the role for over twenty years reporting to the Chief Executive Officer at Lands’ End, Allstate, Coldwell Banker, Mazda and Microsoft Corporations, where she moved the customer to the strategic agenda, redirecting priorities to create transformational changes to each brands’ customer experience. She has driven achievement of 95 percent loyalty rates, improving customer experiences across 50,000-person organizations. 

More about Jeanne: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Jeanne-Bliss


Ah, the hospital gown. Is there any other piece of clothing that renders us so vulnerable? The minute we slip it on, we feel less like ourselves. Even at a simple doctor’s visit, that gown makes us feel cold and uneasy.

Often, what sets apart the companies that we love is that they obsess over how customers feel in certain situations. They work at understanding the emotions that are native to certain customer experiences, such as wearing that gown at a hospital or doctor visit. Then they use that understanding to redesign experiences to deliver an outcome that flips the negative emotion to a positive one.

For example, in the case of that gown, they turn patient vulnerability into comfort and they redesign that gown. Emotional understanding of customer experiences is often what leads these companies to their most innovative practices. It sets them apart as people.

So, practice emotion-driven innovation. Make-Mom-Proud companies strive for innovations starting with the emotions customers are having. Their own natural desire for connection drives them to develop products and services that support the human condition. They think about their customers’ emotions first.


For example, restaurateur, Danny Meyer, knows that tipping stirs up emotions—some bad, some good—among both restaurant patrons and restaurant team members. So he eliminated tips so people and teams can focus on the food and the service. Similarly, Zappos Adaptive was designed around the emotions of their consumers with physical disabilities. Through this initiative, Zappos fulfills its mission of creating products that causes feelings of self-sufficiency and pride for their customers.


Not surprisingly, these practices are yielding results. Both the Disney Institute and Gallup Research tell us that companies who practice this kind of emotion-driven innovation earn customer advocates three times more likely to recommend. They are also immune from the competition. And with all of this comes greater sales growth: up to 85% higher than competitors who have not engaged emotionally with customers.

This is our opportunity to understand the emotions that come along with customer’s journeys with us. Once we understand our customers and how they feel, we can devote our energy to designing out fear, frustration, worry, and concern, and creating moments of joy.

Ask yourself: Is there anything you’d redesign in your company for your mom, for your customers? Do you know the emotions that customers have before, during, and after they work with you? Do you stew over these emotions and then redesign experiences so that the stories they tell about you include the positive emotions that you deliver to them?


How do we cut through the rigmarole of business to give customers the treatment they desire, and employees the ability to deliver it?

In her latest book, customer experience expert Jeanne Bliss recommends making business personal to get the traction you need by focusing on one deceptively simple question: “Would you do that to your mother?”

6 Minutes of Great Advice on Teamwork

About These Speakers:

Lt. Col. Waldo Waldman | Decorated Fighter Pilot, New York Times Bestselling Author

Known as “The Wingman,” Lt Col (ret) Waldo Waldman is a combat decorated fighter pilot, executive coach, Hall of Fame Speaker, and the author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Never Fly Solo. He helps organizations build collaborative cultures of trust, courage, motivational strategies and commitment in order to adapt to change, break performance barriers, and overcome adversity.

More info: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Waldo-Waldman

Mark Eaton | NBA All Star & Team-Building Expert

Mark Eaton is a successful motivational speaker, entrepreneur and best-selling author of The Four Commitments of a Winning Team, who has earned the coveted CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) designation, the speaking profession’s highest international measure of professional competence. He has spoken to numerous world-class organizations including IBM, FedEx, Phillips 66, Caesars Entertainment, T-Mobile, LG, and businesses, government agencies and universities at every level. He has been a featured team-building expert on Forbes.com, Inc.com, Wharton Business Radio, Entrepreneur.com and Sports Illustrated.

More info: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Mark-Eaton

Robyn Benincasa | Firefighter, CNN Hero and Motivational Adventure Racer

Robyn Benincasa – NYT Best-Selling Author of How Winning Works: 8 Essential Leadership Lessons from the Toughest Teams on Earth and World Champion Adventure Racer – accepts full blame for inspiring people to do insane things like climb Mount Kilimanjaro, run their first triathlon, start their own adventure racing teams, or start their own businesses. This is, after all, who she is and what she does: Robyn Benincasa inspires people to do amazing things. Her unforgettable presentations have taught countless high-performance leaders all over the world about Building World Class Teams and the followership skills necessary for dynamic role shifting and true teamwork.

More info: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Robyn-Benincasa

To Learn more about these speakers contact [email protected]

Derek Sweeney is the Director of Speaker Ideas at The Sweeney Agency. www.thesweeneyagency.com. For 15 years Derek has been helping clients find the right Speakers for their events. Derek can be reached at 1-866-727-7555 or [email protected]

6 Minutes of Great Advice on Handling Change


About These Speakers:

Michelle Ray | Change, Communication and Leadership Speaker

Born in Australia and now residing in Vancouver, Canada, leadership expert, Michelle Ray is an award-winning speaker and founder of the Lead Yourself First Institute. Michelle began her career in the media industry with one of Australia’s leading broadcasting networks. She worked her way up the management ladder and was responsible for the sales revenues of 25 radio and television affiliate stations. She was subsequently hired by one of the world’s largest cinema advertising contractors to lead the company’s sales team and was also responsible for successfully generating record–breaking revenues during a severely depressed economic climate.
Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Michelle-Ray

Dr. Gary Bradt | Change and Leadership Author

Dr. Gary Bradt is a world-class speaker, author, and leadership expert who helps individuals and organizations adapt to change faster and better. Gary Bradt is uniquely qualified to deliver advice, counsel and strategies on leading change. He has spoken for clients all over the globe including IBM, American Express, eBay, FedEx, Proctor & Gamble, Prudential, Honeywell, Johnson & Johnson, Fidelity Investments, VISA, NASA, GlaxoSmithKline, Capital One, and hundreds more. Gary is also a contributing writer to Forbes.com.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Dr.-Gary-Bradt

Eric Boles | President of Game Changers Inc., Speaker on Leadership and Peak Performance

Eric Boles is the president of The Game Changers Inc., a training and development company dedicated to maximizing the human asset. Through assessment, consulting, coaching and corporate training, The Game Changers Inc. has set the standard for helping organizations enhance their culture and develop greater levels of commitment and performance.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Eric-Boles

To Learn more about these speakers contact [email protected]

Derek Sweeney is the Director of Speaker Ideas at The Sweeney Agency. www.thesweeneyagency.com. For 15 years Derek has been helping clients find the right Speakers for their events. Derek can be reached at 1-866-727-7555 or [email protected]