Helpful tips and insights on how to book the perfect speaker for your next event
Which ONE of the following 3 outcomes do you want your audience thinking at the end of the Speaker’s presentation?
- Wow that was inspiring and motivating now I am ready for what’s next on the agenda.
- That was great I can’t wait to get back to my job on Tuesday and use those ideas.
- That was fascinating I should talk to my colleagues George and Susan about what I just heard.
Inspiring story of leadership from former Commander of USS Benfold
Mike Abrashoff's inspiring speeches challenge people to re-imagine their own leadership thinking and instill a renewed responsibility for results and success. At the age of 36, the Navy selected Abrashoff to become Commander of USS Benfold, at the time the most junior commanding officer in the Pacific Fleet. The immediate challenges that faced him on this under performing Naval war ship were staggering: exceptionally low morale, high turnover and unacceptably low performance evaluations. Few thought that this ship could improve. In many ways, the USS Benfold was actually an extreme example of the same problems facing many organizations today.
The solution was to establish a system of management techniques that Abrashoff calls The Leadership Roadmap. At the core of his leadership approach on Benfold was a process of replacing command and control with commitment and cohesion, and by engaging the hearts, minds, and loyalties of workers, with conviction and humility.
The most important thing that a captain can do is to see the ship through the eyes of the crew. According to Abrashoff, The Leadership Roadmap is a practice that empowers every individual to share the responsibility of achieving excellence. "
It's your ship", he was known to say. His former sailors to this day still remind him of it.
By every measure, these principles were able to achieve breakthrough results. Personnel turnover decreased to an unprecedented 1 percent. The rate of military promotions tripled, and the crew slashed operating expenses by 25 percent. Regarded as the finest ship in the Pacific Fleet, Benfold won the prestigious Spokane Trophy for having the highest degree of combat readiness. Most important this transformation took place with the same crew. What had changed was the ship's culture and Abrashoff's leadership style.
Abrashoff recounted the leadership lessons from the turnaround of USS Benfold in It's Your Ship, a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller, with over 800,000 copies sold to date. This extraordinary interest in Abrashoff's leadership journey and Benfold's organizational lessons led to two follow-up books - Get Your Ship Together and It's Our Ship. These books took readers deeper into ways these principles have been put into action by business leaders in their own organizations.
Prior to commanding USS Benfold, Abrashoff served as the Military Assistant to Secretary of Defense William J. Perry. He also helped draft the air defense plan for naval forces in the Persian Gulf in 1990, coinciding with Iraq's invasion of Kuwait; and served as the Executive Officer of the Cruiser Shiloh, where he deployed to the Persian Gulf in support of United Nations sanctions against Iraq.
Mike Abrashoff is the founder of GLS Worldwide, a consulting firm which works with and supports leaders as they address leadership, talent and business challenges within their organization. The firm challenges leaders at all levels to re-imagine their leadership thinking and create new ways to elevate individual, team and organizational performance.
Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage, spent over a decade at Harvard University where he won numerous distinguished teaching awards for his work. Shawn's research on happiness and human potential has received attention from the Harvard Business Review, New York Times, Forbes, CNN, and NPR. His keynotes help organizations to improve performance, leadership and manage change.
Shawn graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and earned a Masters from Harvard Divinity School in Christian and Buddhist ethics. In 2006, he was Head Teaching Fellow for
Positive Psychology, the most popular course at Harvard at the time.
In 2007, Shawn founded Good Think Inc. to share his research with a wider population. When the global economy collapsed in 2008, Shawn was immediately called in as an expert by the world's largest banks to help restart forward progress. Subsequently, Shawn has spoken in 45 countries to a wide variety of audiences: bankers on Wall Street, students in Dubai, CEOs in Zimbabwe.
Author, Critically-Acclaimed Documentary Host/Producer, Keynote Speaker on Empowerment
Jay Acunzo is waging war on conventional thinking. As a digital media strategist at Google, he was responsible for pushing marketing executives and practitioners into the digital age more rapidly, in ways that benefitted both companies and careers. He held multiple leadership positions at high-growth tech startups, including Head of Content at HubSpot, and served as Vice President of Brand and Community at the venture capital firm NextView. On the side, Jay created the award-winning podcast, Unthinkable, and co-founded Boston Content, the northeast's largest community of content creators and marketers.
Courses at Harvard Business School have cited Jay’s work, as well as writers at the New York Times, the Washington Post, FastCompany, Forbes, and more. He has been called a “creative savant” by Salesforce, and named to the city of Boston’s “50 on Fire" list.
Today, Jay is the founder of Unthinkable Media, which works with fast-growing start-ups and challenger brands to create entertaining B2B shows. In a world where “storyteller” has become a buzzword, Jay actually understands how to tell great stories -- stories that entertain, surprise, teach, and above all, push people beyond conventional thinking so they can do their best work. His book, Break the Wheel: Question Best Practices, Hone Your Intuition, and Do Your Best Work, inspires others to do precisely that.
David Allen is an author, consultant, international speaker, founder and chairman of the David Allen Company. He is widely recognized as the world's leading authority on personal and organizational productivity. His thirty years of pioneering research,
motivation and education of some of the world's highest-performing professionals, corporations and institutions, has earned him Forbes' recognition as one of the top five executive coaches in the United States, and as one of the
Top 100 thought leaders by
Leadership magazine. Fast Company hailed David Allen
One of the world's most influential thinkers in the arena of personal productivity, for his outstanding programs and writing on time and
stress management, the power of aligned focus and vision in the face of
change, and his groundbreaking methodologies in
management and executive peak performance. Time Magazine labeled his first book, Getting Things Done, as
the defining self-help business book of the decade.
David Allen is the author of three books; the international bestseller, Getting Things Done: the Art of Stress-Free Productivity (
GTD - as the method is popularly known), Ready for Anything, and Making It All Work: Winning at the Game of Work and Business of Life. Getting Things Done has been a perennial business bestseller since it's publication in 2001, and is now published in 28 languages.
Getting Things Done has spawned an international movement of devoted adopters from executives, techies, soldiers, entrepreneurs, university professors, musicians, students and the clergy. It has given rise to a thriving
GTD industry of web sites, blogs and software applications. Internet searches bring up tens of millions of references. David Allen is a rarity in the twitter world, as one of the few non-celebrities with over a million followers hanging on his wit and inspiration.
Piloting a productivity seminar for a thousand managers at Lockheed in 1983, David has continued to test and refine the techniques and principles we now know as GTD - a powerful method to manage commitments, information, and communication. This pioneering and proven system is the result of those twenty plus years of David's consulting, private coaching and organizational programs with over a half million people internationally. GTD has well earned its recognition as the gold standard in personal management and productivity for many of the world's best and brightest people and companies.
Sophisticated without being confining, the subtle effectiveness of GTD lies in its radically common sense notion that with a complete and current inventory of all your commitments , organized and reviewed in a systematic way, you can focus clearly, view your world from optimal angles and make trusted choices about what to do (and not do) at any moment. GTD embodies an easy, step-by-step and highly efficient method for achieving this relaxed, productive state. It includes:
- Capturing anything and everything that has your attention
- Defining actionable things discretely into outcomes and concrete next steps
- Organizing reminders and information in the most streamlined way, in appropriate categories, based on how and when you need to access them
- Keeping current and
on your gamewith appropriately frequent reviews of the six horizons of your commitments (purpose, vision, goals, areas of focus, projects, and actions)
Implementing GTD alleviates the feeling of being overwhelmed, instills confidence, and releases a flood of creative energy.
It provides structure without constraint and managing details with maximum flexibility. The system rigorously adheres
to the core principles of productivity, while allowing tremendous freedom in the
how. The only
right way to
do GTD is getting meaningful things done with truly the least amount of invested attention and energy. Coaching
thousands of people, where they work, about their work, has informed the GTD method with the best practices
of how to work (and live), in that most efficient and productive way.
GTD's simplicity, flexibility, and immediacy are its attraction. Its ability to enliven, enlighten, and empower is its
magic. What, indeed, is GTD? More than meets the eye...
Former Professor and Dean at the University of California, Author & Speaker on the Brain Science of Success
Dr. Britt Andreatta is an internationally recognized thought leader in leadership and learning. Drawing on her unique background in leadership, neuroscience, psychology, education, and the human sciences, she has a profound understanding of how to unlock the best in people, helping organizations rise to their potential. As the former Chief Learning Officer for Lynda.com, her research on the brain science of success has transformed the talent/learning industry.
She is the CEO and President of 7th Mind Inc. providing groundbreaking research and science-based solutions for today's workplace challenges. Britt has published several titles on learning and leadership including her books Wired to Connect: The Brain Science of Teams and a New Model to Create Collaboration and Inclusion, Wired to Grow: Harness the Power of Brain Science to Master Any Skill and Wired to Resist: The Brain Science of Why Change Fails and a New Model for Driving Success. Britt is currently writing her next books on the neuroscience of purpose and the conscious evolution of organizations.
Britt is a seasoned professional with more than 25 years of experience consulting with businesses, universities, and nonprofit organizations. Corporate clients include Fortune 100 companies like Comcast and Apple as well as companies such as Ernst&Young, Avvo, LinkedIn, Franklin Covey, AlterEco Foods, DPR Construction, and 15Five. Dr. Andreatta has also worked with major educational institutions like the University of California, Dartmouth University, and the University of New Mexico as well as non-profit organizations like the YMCA and Norton Healthcare.
She has received over 8 million views worldwide of her courses on Lynda.com/ LinkedIn Learning. Titles include The Neuroscience of Learning, Creating a Culture of Learning, Organizational Learning & Development, Leading Change, Having Difficult Conversations, and Leading with Emotional Intelligence.
A highly sought-after and engaging speaker, Britt delivered a TEDx talk called “How Your Past Hijacks Your Future” and she regularly speaks at corporate events and international conferences receiving rave reviews like “best speaker of the conference” or “best keynote I’ve ever heard.”
Dr. Andreatta has served as professor and dean at the University of California, Antioch University, and several graduate schools. She regularly consults with executives and organizations on how to maximize their full potential.
First African American Female Combat Pilot and Motivational Speaker
Known simply as FlyGirl, Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour went from beat cop to combat pilot in 3 years. Within months of earning her wings, she found herself flying over the deserts of Iraq supporting the men and women on the ground. After serving two tours overseas, she had become America’s First African American Female Combat Pilot. After returning home, she realized that many people wanted to create breakthroughs in their own lives, they just didn’t know how.
From her experiences, she created a 7-step process called the Zero to Breakthrough Success Plan. She now travels extensively sharing this message through her keynotes, coaching and seminars. She is your battle-tested speaker and ignites audiences with a dynamic spark that can’t be extinguished. Lead your team through the execution of any plan by harnessing the power of a “Breakthrough Mentality”! From the moment she leaps into the audience, she shows attendees how to go from “Zero to Breakthrough” and create a personal flight plan utilizing her candid strategies to win on the battlefield of business and life!
Upon completion of two tours in Iraq and leaving the military, Vernice leveraged her “Breakthrough Mentality” mindset and launched VAI Consulting and Training, LLC. By applying the Zero to Breakthrough Success Plan to her own company, Vernice produced over six-figures in revenue within the first 12 months! Her passion is helping organizations and individuals create similar results.
As featured on Oprah Winfrey, CNN, Tavis Smiley, NPR and others, Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour’s fresh style and presentation methods have inspired hundreds of organizations and individuals. Vernice ultimately impacts organizations and individuals with an understanding of the passion and leadership required to excel. Through her keynotes, executive and group coaching, seminars and executive retreats, Vernice conveys her message of Zero to Breakthrough utilizing her unique insight and life strategy: “You HAVE permission to Engage…CLEARED HOT!”
An honorary Doctorate of Laws was conferred on Vernice from Chancellor University in 2010. She has also received awards as a pioneering pilot, to include her commanding role in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). She was the Marine Corps’ first African American Female pilot, first African American woman on the Nashville Police Department's motorcycle squad, Camp Pendleton's 2001 Female Athlete of the Year, two-time titleholder in Camp Pendleton's annual Strongest Warrior Competition, and a running back for the San Diego Sunfire women's professional football team. Vernice’s signature book is Zero to Breakthrough.
Cornell Professor, Best-selling Author, and Founder of the Bacharach Leadership Group
Samuel Bacharach is the McKelvey-Grant Professor of Labor Management at Cornell University's ILR School. He is the Director of ILR's New York City based Institute for Workplace Studies as well as the Director of the Smithers Institute and the director of the New York City-based Master of Professional Studies. He received his BS in Economics from NYU and his MS and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. For the last 10 years, Professor Bacharach has focused on bridging theory and practice. Integrating his earlier work on politics, negotiation, and complex organizations into his studies of the workplace, Samuel has established his own unique perspective on proactive leadership.
Samuel is the author and editor of over 100 articles and over 20 books, including his two most influential works, Get Them on Your Side: Win Support, Convert Skeptics, and Get Results (2005), and Keep Them on Your Side: Leading and Managing for Momentum(2006). He also writes a weekly column for Inc. Magazine, titled
Pragmatic Leadership, in which he discusses topics such as leading change, establishing credibility, and sustaining momentum, among others. His work has been reviewed by The New York Times, Fast Company, HR Magazine, CIO Magazine, Investors Business Daily, Leadership Excellence, and Harvard Management Update.
Working with eCornell, Samuel has developed a dynamic 10-course leadership training certificate for High-Potentials, subscribed to by many Fortune 500 companies. Among the organizations trained in his pragmatic leadership approach are: Computer Sciences Corporation, PepsiAmericas, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, March of Dimes, Wal-Mart Stores, Citigroup, International Monetary Fund, Mellon Financial, Starbucks, BASF, BMC Software, Boeing, Inter-Continental Hotels Group, Chubb, Nintendo, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Devon Energy, TeleTech, and Gap, Inc.
In 2010 Samuel co-founded the Bacharach Leadership Group, an organization which specializes in leadership development programs with an emphasis on micro-skills: change, execution, negotiation and coaching. Since then, it has worked with numerous organizations to train their high-potentials in the skills of pragmatic leadership.
Sam Bacharach maintains that while vision and charisma motivate and create a sense of direction, the final test of leadership is getting results. Whether speaking on leadership, teams, employee engagement or talent retention, his speeches specifically address how to take vision and strategy from initiation to implementation - the pragmatic, nuts-and-bolts skills of getting things done. Sam Bacharach is an engaging and provocative speaker and is effective with audiences ranging from senior executives to the general public.
Best-selling Author & Inspiring Speaker on Leadership, Creativity and Diversity
John U. Bacon is the New York Times bestselling author of ten books on sports, business leadership, health, and history. He free-lances for The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo, and others, appears often on TV, including HBO, ESPN, Fox Business, MSNBC, and the Big Ten Network, and delivers weekly essays for Michigan Radio and occasionally NPR, which awarded him the PRNDI prize for nation's best commentary in 2014.
His books include Walgreens: America’s Corner Store, Cirque du Soleil: The Spark, Bo’s Lasting Lessons: The Legendary Coach Teaches the Timeless Fundamentals of Leadership, which hit The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal’s Business Best Seller lists. He then researched and wrote a trio of books covering big time college football from the inside out: Three and Out: Rich Rodriguez and the Michigan Wolverines in the Crucible of College Football, Fourth and Long: The Fight for the Soul of College Football, Endzone: The Rise, Fall, and Return of Michigan Football. All three were New York Times best sellers.
His book, Playing Hurt: My Journey from Despair to Hope, coauthored with ESPN’s John Saunders, tells Saunders’ life story in dramatic detail.
John delivers speeches on the themes in his books — including leadership, creativity, and diversity — to corporations, universities and other groups around the country and the world. In 2011, the Michigan Chapter of Meeting Planners International (MMPI) named him “Speaker of the Year.” In addition to writing and speaking, he teaches at the University of Michigan, where the students awarded him the Golden Apple in 2009.
John is also a decent Spanish speaker, an average hockey player, and a poor piano player, but he still enjoys all three! He lives in Ann Arbor with his wife and son.
President of Solutions Network Ltd., Speaks on Project Management, Business Analysis, and Relationship Management
David Barrett is a National Program Director for project management and business analysis for The Schulich Executive Education Centre, Schulich School of Business, York University. He is also a regular blogger, podcaster and professional speaker specializing in leadership, strategy execution and professional growth.
He has published three books: The Power of The Plan, The Keys to Our Success and The Business Analyst Book of Mentors.
Previously, he was the Group Conference Director at Diversified Business Communications where he ran project management and business analysis events around the world and he was the Executive Editor and founder of ProjectTimes.com and BATimes.com.
When Ty was 21 years old he started a business with his brother Scott, which they built to over $20 million in annual revenue while still in their twenties. He was recently featured in Utah Business Top 40 Under 40.
Ty currently sits on several boards, including two non-profits. He will also be serving as the President of The Mountain West chapter of The National Speakers Association beginning in July.
As a speaker Ty is a young, fresh voice with a fun, engaging style. He speaks on Leadership, Influence, Entrepreneurship and Storytelling, and has shared the stage with celebrities, world renowned thought leaders and recently with President Bush and President Clinton.
Ty is the author of The Power of Influence as well as his newest book - The Power of Storytelling. His message is changing lives and reaching people around the world.
Few journalists in America’s history have had the impact on their era and their craft as Carl Bernstein. For forty years, from All the President’s Men to A Woman-In-Charge: The Life of Hillary Clinton, Bernstein’s books, reporting, and commentary have revealed the inner-workings of government, politics, and the hidden stories of Washington and its leaders.
In the early 1970s, Bernstein and Bob Woodward broke the Watergate story for The Washington Post, leading to the resignation of President Richard Nixon and setting the standard for modern investigative reporting, for which they and The Post were awarded the Pulitzer Prize.
Since then, Bernstein has continued to build on the theme he and Woodward first explored in the Nixon years – the use and abuse of power: political, media, financial, cultural and spiritual power. Renowned as a prose stylist, he has also written a classic biography of Pope John Paul II, served as the founding editor of the first major political website, and been a rock critic.
The author of five best-selling books, Bernstein is currently also at work on several multi-media projects, including a memoir about growing up at a Washington newspaper, The Evening Star, during the Kennedy era; and a dramatic political TV series with David Simon of ‘The Wire’ for HBO. He is also an on-air contributor for CNN and a contributing editor of Vanity Fair magazine. His most recent book was the national bestseller A Woman In Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton, acclaimed as the definitive biography of its subject, published by Knopf.
With Woodward, Bernstein wrote All the President’s Men (also a movie starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman), about their coverage of the Watergate story; and The Final Days, about the denouement of the Nixon presidency.
In 1977-78, Bernstein spent a year investigating the CIA’s secret relationship with the American press during the Cold War. The resulting 25,000-word article for Rolling Stone, entitled “The CIA and the Media,” was the first to examine a subject long suppressed by both American newspapers and the intelligence community.
Since his famous essay, “The Triumph of Idiot Culture,” a 1992 cover story for The New Republic about increasing sensationalism, gossip and manufactured controversy as staples of the American press, he has proved a prescient critic of his own profession.
Ever wonder why certain teams win consistently, whereas others come up short? Ross Bernstein explains why - in an engaging and visually entertaining style that's designed to improve your organization's productivity, morale and bottom-line profitability...
The best-selling author of nearly 50 sports books, Ross Bernstein is an award-winning business speaker who helps companies and organizations perform more like champions. Ross and his books have been featured on thousands of television and radio programs over the past 20 years, including CNN, MSNBC, CBS This Morning, FOX News, Bloomberg, ESPN, Sports Illustrated and the CBC, as well as in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, USA Today, and Maxim Magazine.
Ross' signature program,
The Champion's Code: Life Lessons of Ethics & Accountability from the Sports World to the Business World, is based on more than six years of research that resulted in two critically acclaimed series of sports-business books. The first examines how and why certain teams win world championships; while the other chronicles the unwritten and unspoken rules in the world of sports, or
codes as they are known, which explores the fine line between cheating and gamesmanship - and the consequences involved when that line is crossed.
Ross interviewed more than 1,000 professional athletes and coaches for the six books and along the way he saw some fascinating patterns, metrics and trends develop among certain individuals who possessed a very unique DNA. For these unique individuals, or
champions, it wasn't always about winning, it was about following their moral compass in order to play the game the right way - with respect and integrity - in order to achieve success. In his presentation, Ross identifies upwards of 100 unique characteristics and traits that are common among champions, which he then ties into poignant life lessons and inspirational stories that relate back to his client's event theme and desired learner outcomes.
Based largely on the
Good to Great ideology of how the best companies are able to separate them- selves from the rest of the pack through dynamic leadership and extraordinary customer service, Ross' program reinforces the concept that individuals win games, but TEAMS win championships. Momentum, roles, buy-in, motivation, consistency, sacrifice, trust, chemistry, work-ethic, innovation, karma, and being humble - they're all a part of what it takes to become the best of the best - a champion both on and off the field.
So... who are the champions in your organization? Ross speaks about 100 dates a year and he'd love to customize a keynote (from one to six hours) for your next annual conference, corporate event, or sales meeting - his passion and energy is contagious and he'd be honored to be a member of YOUR team for the day!
Brian Biro is known as America's Breakthrough Coach, and is a speaker and author on leadership, thriving on change, and team building. He has delivered over 1,200 presentations around the world over the last 20 years. A major client described Brian Biro best when
Brian Biro has the energy of a ten-year-old, the enthusiasm of a twenty-year-old, and the wisdom of a seventy-five-year-old.
A former vice-president of a major transportation corporation and the author of nine books including bestseller, Beyond Success!, Brian was rated #1 from over 40 Speakers at four consecutive INC. Magazine International Conferences.
With degrees from Stanford University and UCLA, Brian Biro has appeared on Good Morning America, CNN's Business Unusual, and the Fox News Network and as a featured speaker at the Disney Institute in Orlando. He was recently named one of the top 100 most inspirational graduates of the UCLA Graduate School of Business in honor of their 75th Anniversary.
Gleaned from 35 years experience working with individuals, teams and organizations in over 30 countries, Russell Bishop presents a powerful and inspiring blend of insights and best practices for personal and professional transformation. Over two million people have been inspired by Russell in keynote speeches and workshops around the world.
Russell Bishop is Managing Partner of a marketing and business strategy consulting firm focused on transformational change. A serial entrepreneur, Russell has started five companies in his career and has been a partner in the Andersen Consulting (Accenture) global think tank on Change Strategy.
In addition to running his consulting practice, Russ Bishop also serves as Senior Editor-at-Large for the Huffington Post, bringing fresh voices and new perspectives to the business and Living sections. Along with his recent book, Workarounds That Work: How to Conquer Anything That Stands in Your Way at Work, he is the author of over 100 articles in such leading publications as The New York Times, Forbes, Strategy & Business, Crain’s, The Huffington Post, Psychology Today, World Finance, CIO, CFO, The Globe and Mail and PC World.
Russell Bishop has appeared on ABC News Now, The Ron Insana Show, and numerous radio news and talk shows, and has lectured on productivity for the executive MBA programs at UCLA, University of Texas and Washington University in St. Louis.
Author of The One-Minute Manager series, a much sought-after author, business and leadership consultant.
Few people have influenced the day-to-day management of people and companies more than Ken Blanchard. A prominent, sought-after author, speaker, and business consultant, Dr. Blanchard is universally characterized by his friends, colleagues, and clients as one of the most insightful, powerful, and compassionate individuals in business today. Ken is one of the most influential leadership experts in the world and is respected for his years of groundbreaking work in the fields of leadership and management.
Dr. Ken Blanchard is the co-founder and Chief Spiritual Officer of The Ken Blanchard Companies, an international management training and consulting firm that he and his wife, Margie Blanchard, began in 1979 in San Diego, California. In addition to being a renowned speaker and consultant, Ken also spends time as a visiting lecturer at his alma mater, Cornell University, where he is a trustee emeritus of the Board of Trustees.
Starting with his phenomenal best-selling book, The One Minute Manager, co-authored with Spencer Johnson, which has sold more than 13 million copies and remains on best-seller lists, to Raving Fans, Gung Ho!, and Whale Done!, Ken's impact as a writer is far reaching. His books have combined sales of more than 18 million copies in more than 25 languages. Leading at a Higher Level, published in 2006, Know Can Do!, published in 2007, and The One Minute Entrepreneur, published in 2008, have been received with much critical acclaim.
Ken has received many awards and honors for his contributions in the fields of management, leadership, and speaking. The National Speakers Association awarded him its highest honor, the
Council of Peers Award of Excellence. He was inducted into the HRD Hall of Fame by Training magazine and Lakewood Conferences, and he received the Golden Gavel Award from Toastmasters International. Ken also received The Thought Leadership Award for continued support of work-related learning and performance by ISA, The Association of Learning Providers. Ken has been inducted into Amazon's Hall of Fame as one of the top 25 best-selling authors of all time. The business school at Grand Canyon University bears his name. In addition, Ken teaches students in the Master of Science in Executive Leadership Program at the University of San Diego.
Born in New Jersey and raised in New York, Ken received a master's degree from Colgate University, and a bachelor's and PhD from Cornell University. An avid golfer, Ken belongs to the Loch Lomond Golf Club in Scotland.
Grand prize winner of the Daily Record's Top Innovator of the Year Award, speaker on creating innovation Culture.
Wharton and Oxford-educated, Alexander Blass is an internationally acclaimed American innovator and entrepreneur. He has traveled to over 50 countries and appeared in hundreds of media outlets. He is the grand prize winner of the Daily Record's Top Innovator of the Year Award, which credited him with
revolutionizing charitable giving for inventing person-to-person giving
technology on the Internet. He presently serves as CEO of Alexander Blass International, an executive education and training firm based near Washington, DC.
Alexander keynotes some of the world's most prestigious conferences on innovation/creativity, leadership/change, business development and entrepreneurship. Examples include the Abu Dhabi Innovation Forum, the World Management Forum, the European Conference on Creativity and Innovation, the Stars of Business Awards in Dubai, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Entrepreneurship Summit, EPIC in New York, ExpoMeetings in Mexico, HR SUMMIT in Singapore, INNOCONF in Malaysia, the Business Leadership Forum in South America, and IBM INNOVATE in India to an audience of 2,000 people.
Alexander also received the Baltimore Business Journal's Top 40 Under 40 Executives Award and the Daily Record's Influential Marylanders Award. He was honored as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Wharton School of Business.
Previously, Alexander was a venture capitalist, strategy consultant, and software developer, beginning his career at KPMG Consulting. During his tenure as a venture capitalist, one of the fund's portfolio companies went from a $500,000 fund investment to a nearly $500 million all-cash acquisition by a Fortune 50 corporation. He has worked with leading organizations on opportunities totaling over $1 billion, and made investment recommendations on over $100 million of emerging technologies for the U.S. government as an invited expert at the National Science Foundation.
He has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, Associated Press, BusinessWeek, FOX, The Independent, Voice of Africa, Khaleej Times, Dubai Eye, HRM Asia, Portafolio, and many more.
Alexander received an MBA from Oxford University in England. He also holds a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, where he concurrently studied at the Wharton School of Business.
Rocky Bleier’s story - a gripping tale of courage on both the football fields of America and the battle fields of Vietnam - has held audiences in rapt attention for years. Yet, the motivational message behind it, detailing how ordinary people can become extraordinary achievers, defines success in the new American century.
With the same optimism, sense of humor and steadfast determination that were his trademarks as a Pittsburgh Steelers running back, Rocky Bleier takes audiences from his early years through his professional career and talks about the lessons he learned along the way….lessons that we can all benefit from.
Not falling within the ideal of what a running back should look like, Bleier had to run harder and play smarter to be able to stand out. Despite his drive and ability to make the big play, the Pittsburgh Steelers only considered him a late round pick. But before the season ended that first year, he was drafted again - this time by the United States Army. At the height of the Vietnam War, Bleier was thrust into combat early and was seriously wounded when his platoon ran into an ambush. Receiving wounds from both rifle fire and grenade fragments in his legs, he was barely able to walk and his professional football career seemed to have ended before it began.
For more than two years, he drove himself. Little by little, he overcame obstacles and fought his way back. He not only made the Pittsburgh Steelers, but also eventually became a starting running back on a team that won four Super Bowls and became the greatest football team of the 20th century.
The hard lessons Rocky Bleier learned early in his life, and that helped him overcome adversity and reach his goals, have paid off after football. These lessons are seen between the lines in the popular book on his life, Fighting Back.
Consultant and Speaker on Leadership, Peak Performance, and Change Management
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.
Eric Boles is also a highly acclaimed keynote speaker and consultant for some of the most recognized and respected organizations in the world. His insights on Leadership, Peak Performance, Team Dynamics, and Managing Change has been shared with clients such as Dunkin’ Donuts, Nationwide Insurance, AVIVA Insurance, Alaska Airlines, State Farm Insurance, Starbucks Coffee, USAA, MetLife, and Novo Nordisk . Eric also speaks to a variety of organizations and associations, including those in sales, education, government, healthcare, manufacturing and financial services.
Prior to becoming an authority on high performance, Eric learned many principles of team dynamics and leadership from his experience playing in the National Football League (NFL) with the New York Jets and the Green Bay Packers. While in the NFL, he had the privilege of being coached and mentored by some of the finest coaches and players in the game.
Eric is an avid sports fan, golfer and reader. He is married to his wife Cindy, and they have two daughters, Taylor and Madison.
Bestselling Author and Speaker on Communication and Leadership
Dianna Booher works with organizations to increase their effectiveness through clear communication and with leaders to increase their impact by a stronger personal presence.
She is a prolific author of 46 books, published in 26 languages, with nearly 4 million copies sold. Her latest books include:
- What MORE Can I Say? Why Communication Fails and What to Do About It
- Creating Personal Presence: Look, Talk, Think, and Act Like a Leader
- Communicate with Confidence: How to Say it Right the First Time and Every Time
- The Voice of Authority: 10 Communication Strategies Every Leader Needs to Know
Several have been major book club selections. Her work is also widely available in audio, video, and online courseware.
Good Morning America, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Fast Company, Forbes.com, Investor's Business Daily, Bloomberg, NPR, CNN International, FOX, CNBC, The New York Times, Washington Post, the LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Industry Week, Success, and Entrepreneur have interviewed her for opinions on critical workplace communication issues. She also a regular blogger for The Huffington Post and The CEO Magazine.
Founder of International Training Company
As founder of Booher Consultants and more recently Booher Research, Dianna and her staff of trainers have taken her communication principles and techniques to hundreds of organizations around the world. Communication programs offered by Booher Consultants, her former training company, include business and technical writing, proposal writing, sales presentation skills, interpersonal skills, customer service, resolving conflict, effective meetings, and listening.
Dianna delivers very focused programs addressing clients’ specific communication needs as well as keynotes on other personal growth topics. She has spoken to audiences on six continents.
IBM has honored Dianna with its Star Quality Award, given to the highest rated external supplier of professional education. Booher was also named Frito-Lay's Vendor of the Year. She also received the New York Film Festival's Cindy Award for her elearning series. Executive Book Summaries included Dianna’s Cutting Paperwork in the Corporate Culture in their "Best of the Best Business Books of the Decade." Additionally, Successful Meetings magazine named Dianna on its list of “21 Top Speakers for the 21st Century.” Executive Excellence Publishing named her as one of the “Top 100 Thought Leaders” and one of the “Top 100 Minds on Personal Development.”
Former Fighter Pilot, Speaks on Leadership, Communication and Sales.
Major Anthony “AB” Bourke is a highly accomplished and decorated F-16 fighter pilot who flew tactical missions in service to our country all over the world. He has accumulated more than 2,700 hours of flight time in various high performance aircraft and was one of the first pilots to fly an F-16 in homeland defense efforts over New York City in the aftermath of September 11th.
Following his impressive military career, AB applied the tools and techniques that made him one of our nation's premier fighter pilots to the competitive world of business. He ascended rapidly to become the top producing mortgage banker in the Western US for a prominent lending institution. His success in the mortgage banking industry led to an opportunity with a California based start-up where his team dramatically grew annual revenue from $500,000 to $65M in just three years.
Following these two endeavors, AB combined his love of business with his passion for tactical aviation to build Afterburner Seminars, a global training company based on the lessons he learned in the military. While President & CEO, Afterburner grew into a best-in-class training company that was twice named one of Inc. magazine's 500 fastest growing companies.
Currently AB serves as CEO & Founder of Mach 2 Consulting and has shared his message of peak performance to more than 100,000 people in twelve different countries. AB brings his tactical knowledge and business acumen to the forefront of the management training world to share how fighter pilots, and other organizations where performance truly matters, can develop a feedback system to ensure continuous improvement and peak performance. His wealth of experience and ability to connect with audiences landed AB in Inc Magazine’s 100 Great Leadership Speakers for Your Next Conference.
Dean of Boston College's Carroll School of Management, Speaker on Innovation & Leadership
Andy Boynton is Dean of Boston College’s Carroll School of Management, one of the world’s leading business schools, the author of several books and co-creator of DeepDive™, the world’s leading methodology for helping executives harness the power of teams to significantly improve problem-solving speed, innovation and results.
Prior to joining Boston College, Boynton was a professor of strategy at the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Lausanne, Switzerland for 10 years. At the IMD he led a faculty team and was program director of one of the world’s top ten Executive MBA programs, as recognized by Business Week.
Boynton has recently launched new research projects to explore how distinguished experts from a variety of knowledge-domains work with ideas to achieve professional success and improve their effectiveness in social networks. His latest book, The Idea Hunter: How to Find the Best Ideas and Make them Happen (Jossey-Bass), is based on this research and is co-authored with Bill Fischer and William Bole.
He has also published extensively on factors underlying high-performing teams across a variety of disciplines, including art, science, exploration, and design. His previous books include Virtuoso Teams: Lessons from Teams That Changed Their Worlds (Financial Times-Prentice Hall) and Invented Here: Maximizing Your Organization’s Internal Growth and Profitability (Harvard Business School Press).
He is a 1978 graduate of Boston College. Boynton earned his MBA and PhD at the Kenan-Flagler School of Business, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He has served on the MBA faculty at the Kenan-Flagler School of Business and at the Darden School of Business, University of Virginia.
In addition to his publishing career and role as Dean of the Carroll School of Management, Boynton has over twenty years of experience speaking and designing powerful executive education sessions and seminars for firms around the world. He is often utilized by organizations looking to build more innovative and effective teams and his articles in this area have appeared in elite management journals such as Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, and The California Management Review.
World-renowned expert in emotional intelligence and author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0
Dr. Travis Bradberry is the award-winning author of the #1 best selling book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0, and the cofounder of TalentSmart, a consultancy that serves more than 75% of Fortune 500 companies and is the world's leading provider of emotional intelligence tests and training.
His bestselling books have been translated into 25 languages and are available in more than 150 countries. Dr. Bradberry has written for, or been covered by, Newsweek, BusinessWeek, Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Harvard Business Review. Dr. Bradberry's latest book is Leadership 2.0.
Dr. Bradberry is a world-renowned expert in emotional intelligence who speaks regularly in corporate and public settings. Example engagements include Intel, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Fortune Brands, Boston Scientific, the Fortune Growth Summit, The Conference Board: Learning from Legends, the American Society for Training and Development, the Society for Human Resource Management, and Excellence in Government.
Dr. Bradberry holds a Dual Ph.D. in Clinical and Industrial-Organizational psychology. He received his bachelor of science in Clinical Psychology from the University of California, San Diego.
Expert on change and leadership. Author of The Ring in the Rubble.
Dr. Gary Bradt is a speaker and writer who helps individuals and organizations adapt to change faster and better.
Dr. Bradt gained national attention in 2000 when Dr. Spencer Johnson, the renowned author of Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life, chose him as the leading speaker on the message of that blockbuster bestselling book which has sold over 28 million copies worldwide. "Cheese" gave thousands of people the chance to get acquainted with Gary's extraordinary ability to cut through their frustration and fear and get to the heart of the matter; delivering powerful tools that help them 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.
As a speaker, what makes Gary Bradt special is his ability to engage audiences: his warmth, his humor, his content, his ability to get people to absorb his message and put it to use. More than anything, Gary is genuine. His storytelling, examples and exercises are authentic and bring his principles to life in a way few other communicators can.
Because change happens in our personal lives too, Gary Bradt delivers a powerful message on that front. He is a husband and father who learned to cope with one of the toughest challenges of all, a child's chronic, life-threatening illness, and shares his personal narrative with audiences when appropriate.
Author of 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done and speaker on leadership & personal growth.
Peter Bregman is the CEO of Bregman Partners, Inc., a firm which advises, coaches, and develops leaders at all levels to take powerful and ambitious actions to achieve the things that are most important to them and their organizations.
His most recent book is Four Seconds: All the Time You Need to Stop Counter-Productive Habits and Get the Results You Want, a New York Post top pick for your career in 2015. His previous book was the Wall Street Journal bestseller 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done, winner of the Gold medal from the Axiom Business Book awards, named the best business book of the year on NPR, and selected by Publisher’s Weekly and the New York Post as a top 10 business book. He is also the author of Point B: A Short Guide to Leading a Big Change and contributor to five other books. Featured on PBS, ABC and CNN, Peter’s articles and commentary appear frequently in Harvard Business Review, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Fast Company, Psychology Today, Forbes, The Financial Times, CNN, NPR, and FOX Business News.
Peter began his career teaching leadership on wilderness and mountaineering expeditions and then moved into the consulting field with the Hay Group and Accenture, before starting Bregman Partners in 1998. Peter has advised CEOs and senior leaders in many of the world’s premier organizations, including Allianz, American Express, Brunswick Group, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan Chase, FEI, GE Capital, Merck, Clear Channel, Nike, UNICEF, and many others.
Peter bases his work on the notion that everyone–no matter their job or level—has the opportunity to lead. Unfortunately, most don’t. There is a massive difference between what we know about leadership and what we do as leaders. What makes leadership hard isn’t theoretical, it’s practical. It’s not about knowing what to say or do. It’s about whether you’re willing to experience the discomfort, risk and uncertainty of saying or doing it. In other words, the critical challenge of leadership is, mostly, the challenge of emotional courage. Since 1989, Peter has trained and coached all levels of management and individuals to recognize their leadership, exhibit leadership behaviors, model and stimulate change, and foster growth of their own emotional courage as well as that of their teams and colleagues.
Peter earned his B.A. from Princeton University and his M.B.A. from Columbia University.
Inspiring Speaker on Motivating and Building a High Performance Team
Cara Brookins is best known for being the mom who built her own house using YouTube tutorials. She is also a best-selling author who has been entertaining, educating, and inspiring audiences with her keynotes and presentations since 2004.
She’s the author of eight books, including Rise, How a House Built a family, which tells the story of building her 3500 square foot house with the help of her four children by watching YouTube tutorials and googling things like foundation work, plumbing, and gas lines. News of Cara's family story went viral in more than 75 countries and was viewed over two billion times. Rise, has now been optioned to become a major motion picture.
Cara’s biggest passion is motivating audiences to stop procrastinating and take a massive leap forward to build bigger lives.
Professor and vulnerability researcher at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, author of The Gifts of Imperfection: Letting Go of Who We Think We Should Be.
Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston where she holds the Huffington Foundation – Brené Brown Endowed Chair at The Graduate College of Social Work.
She has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy and is the author of four #1 New York Times bestsellers: The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, Rising Strong, and Braving the Wilderness. Her new book, Dare to Lead: Bold Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts., is scheduled for publication in October 2018.
Brené’s TED talk – The Power of Vulnerability – is one of the top five most viewed TED talks in the world with over 35 million views.
Brené lives in Houston, Texas with her husband, Steve, and their children, Ellen and Charlie.
Marketing Executive and Speaker on Accountability and Leadership
Kevin’s unconventional path to business and personal success has taught him that winning in business and in life requires anything but conventional thinking. He is a marketing executive for an international franchisor that is ranked #1 in their industry and in the top 10 of all franchise companies according to the Annual Franchise 500. In addition to his corporate responsibilities, Kevin is also a highly sought after keynote speaker. He has had the privilege of speaking to a wide variety of organizations including Siemens, State Farm, Country Financial, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Northwestern Mutual, Delta Airlines and The Boy Scouts of America to name just a few.
He grew up in Muskegon, Michigan where his blue collar roots taught him the value of hard work and determination. His resume includes an eclectic mix of career stops that ultimately led him to the purchase of a franchise at the age of seventeen.
With a street-wise aptitude and a never quit attitude, he worked his way from the front lines in business to the executive boardroom. For the past seventeen years he has been part of a leadership team that has grown a little known brand into an industry giant with annual revenues exceeding one billion dollars.
Kevin is on a mission to help people and organizations embrace a simple philosophy that separates world class organizations and high performance people from everybody else. He is passionate about helping people expand their vision, develop their potential and grow their results. And, as the father of an autistic child he knows firsthand how the principles of true success reach beyond the boardroom and into the lives of real people facing the challenges of everyday life.
Kevin entertains, inspires and challenges people to show up every day and make a positive difference at work and in life!
Inspiring story of adventure from Captain of the Coast Guard ship that performed two dramatic rescues during the real Perfect Storm
Captain Larry Brudnicki is the Captain of the Coast Guard ship that performed two dramatic rescues during the real Perfect Storm. These unbelievable rescues are a small part of a thirty-year career assessing risks, making decisions and inspiring teamwork.
Captain Brudnicki retired from the Coast Guard in March 2002 after thirty years of active duty. He reported to his last assignment as the Chief of Operations, 11th Coast Guard District, Alameda, CA in August 1997 where he supervised more than 15,000 Search and Rescue cases, which saved 1,600 lives. He also supervised the search for survivors of the Alaska Air Flight #261 tragedy. He had tactical control of ships and aircraft that seized more than 150 tons of cocaine, including the ten largest cocaine seizures in the year 2000 and again in 2001.
Using experience gained from leading successful high-risk missions with international visibility to deliver messages of leadership, teamwork and risk management, Captain Brudnicki shows how to achieve success. Looking at what he learned investigating accidents of others who were not so successful, he also demonstrated how to avoid pitfalls.
Brudnicki has been featured as commentator on CNN and Fox Business News, and guest expert on ABC, the History Channel, National Geographic, the Discovery Channel, and a myriad of other programs. As a contributor to Real World Management Strategies That Work, he details the 7 Steps to Making the Right Decision Every Time.
Expert in Leadership, Management and Reinventing an Organization. Global Practice Leader for the Gallup Organization.
In a workplace ruled by efficiency and competency, where do personal strengths fit in? Marcus Buckingham has dedicated his career to addressing this complex issue. Using his nearly two decades of experience as a Senior Researcher at Gallup Organization, he has challenged entrenched preconceptions about achievement to get to the core of what drives success. As a speaker, Buckingham offers important insights into maximizing strengths, understanding the crucial differences between leadership and management, and fulfilling the quest for long-lasting personal satisfaction in work and in life.
The definitive treatment of strengths in the workplace can be found in Buckingham's best-selling books: First, Break All the Rules (coauthored with Curt Coffman); Now, Discover Your Strengths (coauthored with Donald O. Clifton); The One Thing You Need to Know; Go Put Your Strengths To Work; The Truth About You and Find Your Strongest Life.
His latest project is the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller StandOut, a book and strengths assessment combination that uses a new research methodology to reveal your top two
strength Roles - your areas of comparative advantage. StandOut goes beyond description to give people practical innovations that fit their strengths, and provide managers with quick insights on how to get the best from each of their team members.
The goal is to move companies toward greater success and productivity by creating a workplace in which employees spend more than 75% of each day on the job using their strongest skills and engaged in their favorite tasks, basically doing exactly what they want to do. Companies that focus on cultivating employees' strengths rather than simply improving their weaknesses stand to dramatically increase efficiency while allowing for maximum personal growth.
If such a theory sounds revolutionary, that's because it is. Buckingham calls it the
strengths revolution, and he founded The Marcus Buckingham Company (TMBC) in 2005 to help jump-start a worldwide conversation about how to get people focused on their strengths.
As he addresses more than 250,000 people around the globe each year, Buckingham touts this strengths revolution as the key to finding the most effective route to personal achievement and the missing link to the efficiency, competence, and high performance for which companies constantly strive. He challenges conventional wisdom and shows the correlation between engaged employees and business fundamentals such as turnover rates, customer satisfaction, profits and productivity.
In his role as an author, independent consultant and speaker, Marcus Buckingham has been the subject of in-depth profiles in The New York Times, Fortune, Fast Company, Harvard Business Review, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal. He has appeared on numerous television programs, including
The Today Show and
The Oprah Winfrey Show, and is routinely lauded by such corporations as Toyota, Coca-Cola, Master Foods, Wells Fargo, Microsoft and Disney as an invaluable resource in informing, challenging, mentoring and inspiring people to find their strengths and sustain long-lasting personal
Marcus Buckingham graduated from Cambridge University in 1987 with a master's degree in social and political science.
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