• leadership

Leadership Speakers

What makes a great leadership speaker? A great leader, of course. We’ve chosen only the speakers who can articulate the leadership experience: how to appreciate leadership skills in others, and how to develop them yourself.

 

31
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David Cote

Leadership Keynote Speaker | Former Chairman & CEO of Honeywell | Author of Winning Now, Winning Later

When it comes to manufacturing, David Cote stands in a league of his own. The most successful leader of a Fortune 100 industrial conglomerate of his era, Cote joined Honeywell after a 25-year-career at GE. Under his leadership, Honeywell’s market capitalization climbed about an astonishing 100 billion dollars. Rather than fixating on either long-term strategies or quarterly results, Cote empowered his organization to pursue both simultaneously. In talks, he shows how leaders can sustain long-term investment, even when pressures to deliver in the present are at their most intense.
Stephanie Mehta

Editor-in-Chief of Fast Company | Former Deputy Editor at Vanity Fair

What makes the world’s most creative people—and companies—tick? The most qualified person to answer the question is Stephanie Mehta. As Editor-in-Chief of Fast Company—the influential magazine championing creativity, innovation, and thriving workplace cultures for a new generation of business— Mehta is the rare editor who talks to pure creatives and corporate leaders in equal measure. In talks, she draws on her decades in business journalism to show leaders how they can reinvent the future of their organizations.
Valorie Kondos Field

Legendary UCLA Women's Gymnastics Coach | Author of Life is Short, Don't Wait to Dance

Veteran UCLA Gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field has never done a flip or played an organized sport. Yet the former ballerina somehow became a celebrated, seven-time NCAA coaching champion, mentoring Olympians such as Simone Biles over the course of her legendary 29-year career. In talks, she shares her unorthodox coaching methods—championing gratitude, ownership, and joy—for leaders, athletes, and anyone who wants to lead a high-performance life.  
Mark Johnson

Co-Founder of Innosight | Author of Lead from the Future and Reinvent Your Business Model

How can you reinvent your business in the face of disruption—and come out stronger, more resilient, and more profitable than before? Just ask Mark Johnson, award-winning business author and co-founder of the innovation consultancy Innosight. There, he helps leaders and organizations develop the visionary ideas that lead to breakthrough change, and execute them with startling efficiency. As practical as it is creative, Johnson’s work not only stimulates new growth, but manages company-wide cultures of transformation. 
Steve Martin

CEO of Influence At Work (UK) | Co-Author of Messengers and Yes! 50 Secrets of the Science of Persuasion

In his groundbreaking book Messengers, behavioral science expert and leadership speaker Steve Martin shows us why seemingly irrelevant details about a person—such as their financial status, or physical appearance—influence whether or not we listen to them. In today’s uncertain world, understanding who we trust and why is imperative for business, politics, and society at large. 
 
Sarah Kaplan

Director, Institute for Gender and the Economy at Rotman School of Management | Author of The 360° Corporation

Today’s businesses have to answer to more than just shareholder demands. Stakeholder pressures have companies pulled in many different directions, from employees who want meaningful work; to consumers who want sustainable products; to activists monitoring companies’ social and environmental footprint. In talks, as well as her book The 360° Corporation, Rotman professor Sarah Kaplan shows us how the trade-offs we make to fulfill these pressures—along with shareholder demands—can be an opportunity for innovation, organizational resilience, and business transformation.
Luke Burgis

Entrepreneur | Author of Wanting: Our Secret Economy of Desire

How can we create things that benefit us as people? That is the question that author, entrepreneur, and investor Luke Burgis asks. His people-first perspective stems from a lifetime of unique experiences: working on Wall Street, founding companies in Silicon Valley, even studying theology. Today, Burgis applies mimetic theory—the idea that desire is a social mechanism—to business. In talks, he shows us the hidden forces behind why we want things, how to break free from destructive desires, and how to cultivate the intentional desires that build a better world.
Joseph Marks

Visiting Lecturer at University of London | Co-Author of Messengers

Presidential Lies. Mass hysteria on Twitter. The surprising success of Brexit campaigners. In his revelatory book Messengers, Joseph Marks explains how the most infuriating phenomena of the modern age can be traced back to who’s delivering the message—and why they are believed, oftentimes regardless of the data. Thoroughly researched, frighteningly timely, and psychologically gripping, Messengers is a profound exploration of influence, trust, and leadership.
Jay Van Bavel

Professor of Psychology and Neural Science at NYU

One of our amazing qualities as human beings is our ability to work together—yet that doesn’t mean it always comes easily to us. In fact, many organizations today prioritize competition over cooperation in an effort to increase their bottom line. NYU Professor Jay Van Bavel studies group identity, team performance, cooperation, and decision-making. His work reveals the benefits of cooperation, and in talks, he shows leaders how to build a cooperative culture that boosts performance and well-being.
Jordin Tootoo

The first Inuk Player in the NHL | Founder of the Team Tootoo Foundation

The first Inuk player in history to be drafted by the NHL, Jordin Tootoo announced his retirement after 13 years in the league to give back to the Indigenous community with a message of inspired inclusivity.
 
Major MJ Hegar

Author of Shoot Like a Girl | Leadership Speaker | Foreign Policy 100 Leading Global Thinker

Major MJ Hegar is a force to be reckoned with. While piloting her third tour of Afghanistan, she took a bullet to her helicopter’s windshield. Badly injured, and under heavy fire, she flew her team to safety, conducting a near-impossible landing. An incredible story—soon to be a major motion picture—Hegar’s bravery inspires audiences to persevere through change, hardship, and any obstacles in their way.
 
Maureen Chiquet

Former Global CEO of Chanel | Former President of Banana Republic

As Global CEO of Chanel—and, earlier, as President of Banana Republic—Maureen Chiquet steered global brands through a decade of disruption, and she did so with traditionally ‘feminine’ skills of empathy and communication. Now, she speaks on the value of having women in top leadership positions—and what we can all learn from injecting more compassion and collaboration into the workplace.
 
Wayne Baker

Management Professor at the University of Michigan | Author of All You Have To Do Is Ask

The biggest barrier to success is our inability to ask for help when we need it. Wayne Baker, a Professor at the University of Michigan, believes that leading with generosity and reciprocity helps increase employee satisfaction, engagement, productivity, and success. Drawing from the insights found in his employment software company—co-founded with Adam Grant—and his upcoming book All You Have To Do Is Ask, Baker teaches leadership how to tap into the incredible power of giving, building strong organizations along the way.
Peter Mansbridge

Chief Correspondent for CBC News and Anchor of The National for 29 Years

Peter Mansbridge is one of Canada’s most respected and recognizable figures. For five decades, including 29 years as anchor of CBC’s The National, he has guided us through the political, economic, and cultural events that have shaped the country. In keynotes, he highlights the very real contribution of Canada, and its citizens, in building a better world.
 
Sue Gardner

Executive Director of The Markup | Former Director of Wikimedia Foundation

The fight to keep the internet democratic and easily-accessible is one of society’s most urgent battles. Sue Gardner, the former Executive Director of Wikimedia, offers a clear-eyed take on why a robust, transparent, and unobstructed internet, with the free flow of ideas and information, is essential to a healthy democracy. 
Michael Pinball Clemons

CFL Legend | General Manager of the Toronto Argonauts

CFL legend Michael “Pinball” Clemons is an icon of sporting excellence, community leadership, and personal integrity. With boundless energy and moments of quiet introspection, he talks about teamwork and the potential each of us has to achieve anything we set our minds to. 
Waneek Horn-Miller

Olympian, Activist, and Speaker on Indigenous Health and Reconciliation

Waneek Horn-Miller has overcome discrimination and trauma to emerge as one of North America’s most inspiring activists and Olympians. She empowers our communities to overcome adversity, and helps us turn reconciliation—justice, healing, and dialogue—into a cornerstone of our national institutions. 
Minette Norman

Former VP of Engineering Practice, Autodesk | Speaker on Transformative Leadership

At Autodesk—a world leader in software tech—the most qualified person to lead 3,500 engineers and transform company culture isn’t yet another male engineer. It’s Minette Norman, a Liberal Arts major and living proof that women are transformative leaders. In talks, she demonstrates how radical empathy and diverse teams can demolish silos and unlock entrenched attitudes—especially in the STEM fields. 
Yvonne Camus

A Motivational Speaker on Grit and Performance | COO of SPINCO

How can an average businesswoman and mom outperform US Navy Seals? Through grit, determination, and resilience. Yvonne Camus is one of the world’s most trusted speakers on teamwork and perseverance. Deeply relatable, Camus interweaves her personal experiences into revelatory talks.
 
David Fleischer

Director of Leadership Lab | Community Activist

Prejudice is on the rise. Isn’t it? If so, then speaker David Fleischer is doing the impossible: reducing prejudice by knocking on strangers’ doors and offering them the opportunity to form new opinions. The effect is tangible—real, data-verified change. And he’ll teach you how to make it happen, too.  
 
Darby Allen

Former Fort McMurray Fire Chief | Crisis Leadership Speaker

During the catastrophic Alberta wildfires, fire chief Darby Allen shot to global acclaim for guiding the 88,000 residents of Fort McMurray to safety with no loss of life—the largest evacuation in Canadian history. Now, he offers guidance on how to be a stoic, quick-thinking leader in tough situations.
Tom Wujec

World Renowned Expert on Innovation | Former Chief Disruptor at Autodesk | Author of The Future of Making

New disruptive technologies are permanently changing the way we conceive, design, manufacture, and sell products. To veteran innovator Tom Wujec—Autodesk’s former ‘Chief Disruptor’—this revolution isn’t intimidating, but an exciting opportunity. As each industry is forced to adapt and learn new skills, they’ll need a guide—and Wujec is our most valuable. 
 
Bill Strickland

An Extraordinary Business and Community Leader

Bill Strickland created an empire by stoking genius in those who believed they had nothing. As founder of Manchester Bidwell, Strickland fuels hope, generates jobs, and empowers the poor and underprivileged to become experts in their field of choice. His tactical talks show you how to defy convention so that you too can create a culture of understanding, social restoration, and profit with a conscience. 
Bonnie Brooks

CEO of Chico's FAS | Former CEO of Hudson’s Bay Company

“Leadership is about finding ways to get things done,” says Bonnie Brooks, the first female President and CEO of Hudson’s Bay Company, who, with sweeping, institutional changes, brought North America’s oldest company back from the brink of failure. Brooks’ impactful talks instruct on anticipating customers’ needs and desires—never following them. 
Adam Bryant

Decade-Long Author of The Corner Office Column in The New York Times | Managing Director, Merryck & Co.

What happens if you interview over 500 of the world’s top CEOs, and instead of asking them about their companies (about share prices or bottom lines), you ask them expansive questions about how they lead, motivate, and hire employees? You get Adam Bryant’s decade-long “Corner Office” column in The New York Times.    
 
Marc Weinstein

Consultant Featured in Netflix Documentary Fyre | Entrepreneur | Expert on Influencer Culture

Entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and start-up advisor Marc Weinstein is known as the voice of reason from Fyre, the Netflix documentary about the unparalleled disaster that was Fyre Festival. You can learn from mistakes before they’re made, engage ethically and meaningfully with the attention economy, and push back against the pressures of “toxic entrepreneurship.” 
Mike Babcock

Toronto Maple Leafs Head Coach | Stanley Cup and Olympic Gold Medal Winner

Mike Babcock is one of the most successful coaches in professional hockey history, and the only coach ever to win an Olympic Gold Medal, a Stanley Cup, and a World Championship Title. As a speaker, Babcock shares lessons on leadership, teamwork, and determination like only a coach of his caliber can.
 
Karl Subban

Leadership Speaker, Educator, and Father of NHL Star P.K. Subban | Author of How We Did It

Karl Subban is a former school principal in one of Toronto’s toughest neighbourhoods, and the father of five children, including three NHL players. In his gregarious, powerful talks, he explores teamwork and leadership and offers a fresh take on what it means to succeed. 
 
Shawn Achor

Author of The Happiness Advantage

Happiness speaker Shawn Achor has earned over a dozen distinguished teaching awards at Harvard, and is the CEO of Good Think, Inc. On stage, he shows us emphatically that it’s possible to change not only our happiness, but also, and consequently, the way we view education, business, and personal growth. 
 
Anthony Tjan

Author of Good People and Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck | CEO and Managing Partner, The Cue Ball Group

Anthony Tjan, entrepreneur and New York Times bestselling author, shows leaders how to put goodness into practice in order to deepen relationships and revive the purpose of our work. For Tjan, goodness is also a critical way to boost the bottom line—creating work cultures that prosper and endure.
 
Lewis MacKenzie

One of the World’s Most Respected Military Heroes

Lewis MacKenzie has commanded troops from dozens of countries in some of the world’s most dangerous places, from Vietnam to the Gaza Strip. Considered the most experienced peacekeeper on the planet—he has not one, but two Meritorious Service Crosses— the retired Major-General shares the practical and enduring leadership lessons that arise out of crisis: how to negotiate, make challenging decisions under pressure, and manage conflict with ease.