President Barack Obama's Former Personal Aide, Author of Power Forward
Reggie Love is best known as President Barack Obama's "Body Man," or special assistant—a role he recently left to in order to pursue an MBA at Wharton Business School. During the past four and a half years, Love traveled nearly a million miles with Obama, spending more time with him than almost anyone else on the planet. He also filed his share of 18 hour work days. Love gave the President "a shot of youthful cool," writes The New York Times, which describes him as "personal aide, shadow, caretaker, basketball buddy and roving diplomat." Love wrote about his experiences in a memoir, Power Forward: My Presidential Education. In it, he shares universal insights on how life can define who you are, what you believe in, and what it takes to make a difference.
Leadership Lessons from My Time at the White House
At the White House, high-pressure decisions are made daily involving staff, other branches of government, the corporate sector, and foreign countries. Love, Obama's one-time "gatekeeper," filters the behind-the-scenes drama and procedure to extract engaging (and customized) takeaways. Serious but self-deprecating, he doesn't just recount his amazing journey with the President; he takes a step back and makes vital connections to your organization.
Voting Is Just the First Step: Getting Excited About Democracy
Reggie Love offers a rousing call to students to shape both their future and the shared future of our nation—by actively participating in our democracy. Being informed and casting a vote are just the beginning. Drawing on his time at The White House, where he witnessed the power of the democratic process firsthand, Love debunks misconceptions about government and public life to help spur social change. With unbounded enthusiasm, he is sure to spark a non-partisan campus-wide discussion.
Many Roles, One Identity: Reggie Love's Journey to the White House and Beyond
Reggie Love has packed a tremendous amount of life into his 30 years. In this soaring yet humble talk, he shares the lessons that have grounded and guided him. Like most of us, Love is many things to many people. To President Obama, he was a tireless personal aide. To sports fans, he's the former captain of the Duke Basketball team. To others, he's the quiet guy working toward his MBA. Love sees himself as someone who has been graced with good luck. More important than having good luck, though, is being self-aware enough to recognize and harness it. Imploring us to make the most of opportunities, Love gently updates a classic inspirational talk about preparation and success.
How to Lead When No One Wants to Follow: The Five P’s of Leadership
Reggie Love is no stranger to leadership. From the competitive world of college sports to a front row seat at the White House, as President Obama’s former personal aide, Love has learned through trial, tribulation, and tumble that a great leader is someone who can lead even when others don't want to follow—especially when others don’t want to follow. Leadership, he explains in this keynote, is more truly measured during tough times. After all, anyone can lead when the going is good, or great! Love draws on his collegiate sports career and distills his years as Obama’s “body man”—where he spent more time with the President than perhaps anyone else—and offers his five P's of leadership: perspective, preparation, persistence, passion, and patience. Each point is a hallmark of a great leader, and each is backed by Love with vivid examples that he experienced firsthand, and which will make anyone a better leader.
Power Forward: My Presidential Education
Every path to adulthood is strewn with missteps, epiphanies, and hard-earned lessons. Only Reggie Love’s, however, went through the White House by way of Duke University’s Cameron Indoor Stadium. Mentored by both Coach Krzyzewski and President Obama, Love shares universal insights learned in unique circumstances, an education in how sports, politics, and life can define who you are, what you believe in, and what it takes to make a difference.
Reggie Love is a unique witness to history, whose introduction to Washington was working in Junior Senator Barack Obama’s mailroom. As “body man” to Obama during his first presidential campaign, Love’s job was to stay one step behind the candidate, but think and act three steps ahead during a typical eighteen-hour workday. As President Obama’s personal aide during that momentous first term, Love sat yards from the Oval Office and often spent more time, day-in-day-out, with the President than anyone else. While his experiences were unique, the lessons he learned during his tenure with the President are universal. Persistence. Responsibility. Passion for a cause greater than yourself. In short, maturity.
Love has been singularly lucky in his mentors. At Duke University, where he was a walk-on and a captain of its fabled basketball team, Love learned from Coach Krzyzewski that sports builds character—from President Obama, Love learned that how you conduct your life defines your character.
Accountability and serving with honor were learned during unsought moments: co-coaching with Malia Obama’s and Sasha Obama’s basketball team with the President; lending Obama his tie ahead of a presidential debate; managing a personal life when no hour is truly your own. From his first interview with Senator Obama, to his near-decision not to follow the President-elect to the White House, Love drew on Coach K’s teachings as he learned to navigate Washington. But it was while owning up to (temporarily) losing the President’s briefcase, playing pick-up games in New Hampshire to secure votes, babysitting the children of visiting heads of state, and keeping the President company at every major turning point of his historic first campaign and administration, that Love learned how persistence and passion can lead not only to success, but to a broader concept of adulthood.
Power Foward is a professional coming of age story like no other.