Cathy Salit

What can business leaders learn from theater? That life’s a stage—and you can choose your own role.

Author of Performance Breakthrough | CEO of Performance of a Lifetime

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Cathy Salit | Author of Performance Breakthrough | CEO of Performance of a Lifetime
Lavin Exclusive Speaker

Life is theater—a stage on which we enact scenes and embody different roles. And to Cathy Salit, bringing the performing arts—improv, creativity, and play—into our work lives is just the transformative boost we need. In her book Performance Breakthrough: A Radical Approach to Success at Work, and in high-energy, interactive keynotes, Salit has helped thousands of leaders become who they want to be.

“I know from my own experience having Cathy Salit as a teacher that her lessons can be life-changing. This remarkable book will electrify your work and enliven your soul.”

— Daniel H. Pink

As CEO of Performance of a Lifetime, Cathy Salit introduces audiences to The Becoming Principle®—a revolutionary approach to leadership that blends theater, improvisation, and the new science of performative psychology. In all of her work, Salit relates to people as performers, and organizations and companies as the stages on which they perform. Her entertaining and interactive presentations address some of the most crucial issues facing leaders and organizations today.


Salit began her career as an upstart and risk-taker at the age of 13, when she dropped out of the eighth grade and started an alternative school in an abandoned storefront in New York City. This unusual endeavor put Salit on an uncharted life path, and she has dedicated her life to creating educational environments that challenge the “way things are” and that offer innovative, high-impact learning and development experiences.


When she isn’t speaking or coaching executives, Salit leads Performance of a Lifetime (POAL), an Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Company that helps leaders, teams, and organizations close the gap between the status quo and their desired future by focusing on the human side of strategy. POAL’s team of coaches and human development experts leverage The Becoming Principle to engage leaders and companies in creating and acting on new and uncharted possibilities. As CEO, Salit works with leaders and teams at companies such as American Express, Nike, Twitter, Coca Cola, Rolls Royce, Tiffany and Co., The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Salit is the author of Performance Breakthrough: A Radical Approach to Success at Work, which has been called a “must read” by Susan Cain (author of Quiet). Cathy and her work have been featured in The Harvard Business ReviewForbes, Fast Company, Wired, and The Wall Street Journal, and she writes a column for She is also an artistic associate at the award-winning Castillo Theatre in New York City, where she performs musical improv comedy.

Speech Topics

The Performance of Leadership
Make no mistake—leadership is a performance. In this talk, Cathy Salit leverages her two decades of experience as a CEO and as coach-advisor to executives at Fortune 500 companies and innovative upstarts alike, to help her audiences tap into their inner performer to grow into more effective, creative, and successful leaders.
The Art of Conversation

It’s all about relationships—with colleagues, the boss, employees, and clients or customers. In this keynote, Cathy Salit draws on the core skills of improvisation and theater to help people at all levels learn how to listen and communicate artfully; to enhance and create strong connections with others; to handle unexpected (and challenging) situations; and to build relationships that grow and last.

Innovation & Creativity
Creativity, Change, and the Competitive Edge

Creativity, Cathy Salit says, is not just for “creatives.” And constant change—a reality for our times—affects us all in big and small ways. In this talk, Salit explores how to approach change as a creative opportunity, a creative project, a creative endeavor—and reap the benefits of the innovation and competitive edge that follows.