The Top 100 Leadership Speakers
- By Brendan Egan
- Jul 04, 2022
President John Quincy Adams said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” That’s the very essence of today’s top leaders. They lead and inspire others to be their best. Leaders grow other leaders.
Our choices for the Top 100 Leadership Speakers excel at helping others grow, evolve, and become a new generation of leaders. Our leadership speakers share their exceptional insight on team building, innovation, and inspiring and motivating their audience.
John C. Maxwell is an ordained minister and author of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. He founded several businesses, including EQUIP Leadership, a leadership development organization to help Christian leaders, and Maxwell Leadership, an organization with training solutions and programs to help employees build leadership skills. His expertise in management and practical leadership skills is undeniable, and in 2014, Inc. Magazine named him the world’s #1 Leadership and Management Expert.
Build essential leadership skills by having Whitney Johnson share her insights on the S Curve of Learning. She’s a LinkedIn Top Voice with almost 1.8 million followers. Her best-selling book Disrupt Yourself shares insights on constantly learning as a tool for growing yourself. Help your team leaders grow in savvy, effective ways by arranging Whiney to talk about “smart growth leadership.”
3. Kara Lawson
Kara Lawson was a fifth overall pick in the WNBA’s 2003 draft. That led to a long career in the WNBA and Olympics, where she won a gold medal in 2008, before she became the assistant coach for the Boston Celtics. As of 2020, she’s been the head coach of the Duke Blue Devils women’s basketball team. In addition to playing, she’s also been a sports broadcaster, including her 2007 role as the first female broadcast analyst for an NBA game and her 2021 position as a 2020 Summer Olympics’ commentator.
4. Daymond John
You may recognize Daymond John from Shark Tank. He’s the founder and CEO of The Shark Group and the clothing company FUBU. FUBU is of particular importance as it’s a company he established in his mom’s home and grew into a clothing and apparel business with more than $6 billion in global sales. In 2015, he co-founded Daymond John’s Success Formula that would become Next Level Success during a rebranding, a program that helps entrepreneurs and business owners create and grow businesses.
One of the most talked about management experts is Subir Chowdhury. His first job was an engineer with General Motors. Five years later, he became an executive VP with a company that provided technical training to manufacturing companies. He published Management 21C with several other management experts. This all led to his best-selling The Power of Six Sigma. Subir’s books help focus on the role of quality in business and how unique approaches to management styles are essential to improving leadership and management within a business.
6. Lonnie Mayne
Lonnie Mayne is the author of Red Shoes Living, a business guide to incorporating positivity to grow in your career, company, and everyday life. The best leaders are able to engage employees and not micromanage. With engaged employees and a positive workplace culture, everyone benefits. It helps empower workers to do their best, and that improves customer experiences. Hire Lonnie to talk about using the Red Shoes Living philosophy to change your organization’s culture.
7. Ichak Adizes
His personal story is one of overcoming incredible odds, and his audience is not going to forget his story or the lessons he has to teach. During WWII, Ichak Adizes and his family pretended to be Muslim. Eventually, they moved to Israel, until he moved to the U.S. to get his doctorate from Columbia University. After teaching for several years, he founded the Adizes Institute, where he created the PAEI (Producer, Administrator, Entrepreneur, and Integrator) model where managers have four roles to fill. For the short-term, managers need to produce results and get organized. For the long-term, managers need to bring out change and build and maintain teamwork.
8. Dwyane Wade
He’s a part-owner of the Utah Jazz. He’s played for the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, and Cleveland Cavaliers. He’s one of the NBA’s greatest players, but he’s also a philanthropist. He founded The Wade’s World Foundation in 2003, which helps at-risk children with matters like health, education, and social skills. Both on and off the court, his leadership skills carry over into his work and personal life. He’s a great speaker to have when it comes to talks on leadership.
9. Jenn Donahue
As a Ph.D. civil engineer, Jenn Donahue has consulted on projects of up to $64 million in size. She’s a military vet and has lectured at UCLA and UC Berkeley. Her MODEL is one reason to have her as your next keynote speaker. MODEL stands for Motivated, Dedicated, and Loyal; all skills the best business leaders embrace. She can help you learn how to build strong teams and become an exceptional leader in the process. You’ll also learn that recognizing your flaws is a big part of self-improvement.
10. Kevin O’Leary
Kevin O’Leary is a well-rounded speaker, author, entrepreneur, politician, and businessman. He’s been on Shark Tank and Canada’s version, Dragons’ Den. He worked for Nabisco before co-founding Special Event Television and progressing to founding a software company, acquiring The Learning Company and Broderbund, and selling those to Mattel. He’s founded several companies since then and invested in many others through his TV show appearances. He brings all of this experience, even the stumbles he’s had, to his talks.
11. Liz Wiseman
She’s the New York Times best-selling author of Multipliers, a business book that shows executives how to recognize all of the brilliance surrounding them and use that intelligence to grow and improve. Liz Wisemen is available for keynote speeches, workshops, coaching, and webinars. She’s experienced and has talked to audiences in more than 160 countries and more than 200 Fortune 500 clients.
What is the most important trait of a successful leader? Some people might say education, while others say money. While there are snippets of the truth in that, creativity is even more important. The best leaders need to be continually thinking and reinventing themselves as they come to new realizations about themselves to help them gain and maintain relevance and develop greatness.
For 40 seasons, Kathy Delaney-Smith was the head coach of Harvard’s women’s basketball team. When she retired, she was the longest-tenured female head coach at a single NCAA Division I school. Her leadership skills found her team winning 600 games by 2019. She was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003. She won a Gilda Radner Award in 2007 and a Positive Impact Legend by Positive Coaching Alliance in 2020.
14. Derek Fisher
Derek Fisher is a five-time NBA champion and the general manager for the Los Angeles Sparks until 2022. His role as GM was a promotion from his role as head coach. He’s worked as a sports analyst for Turner Sports and SportsNet. He established the Derek Fisher Basketball Academy to help children and teens build life, leadership, and basketball skills.
15. Tommy Spaulding
You need an expert in leadership, and Tommy Spaulding has the expertise you need. He’s the president and founder of Tommy Spaulding Enterprises, a leadership, speaking, training, and executive coaching firm in Denver, Colorado. His book I t’s Not Just Who You Know: Transform Your Life by Turning Colleagues and Contacts Into Lasting, Genuine Relationships topped the best-sellers’ lists and made Inc.com’s Top 100 Business Books in 2015 list. He’s highly sought after for talks on building leadership skills.
16. Arlene Dickinson
One of Canada’s most recognized female business owners, Arlene Dickinson, is District Ventures Capital's general partner. She’s been an investor on Dragons’ Den (Canada) for all but three seasons and has impressive expertise when it comes to business. She’s also an intriguing speaker and hosts a podcast, The Business of Life, with actress and singer Jann Arden.
17. Chris Mullin
Chris Mullin played basketball professionally and was inducted twice into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame (Olympics and his NBA career). He coached basketball at St. John’s University, won two Olympic gold medals, and was the general manager for the Sacramento Kings. He’s led himself, his teammates, and his players to many unbelievable accomplishments, making him a favorite leadership speaker.
18. Chester Elton
One of the biggest lessons a business manager or executive can learn is that employees thrive when they know their efforts are appreciated. Chester Elton’s and Adrian Gostick’s best-seller Leading With Gratitude explores that important practice. He’s had more than 20 years of helping clients like American Express develop strong, engaged teams by improving company culture and innovation. His company Global Gurus is one of the highest-ranking leadership experts, and Chester is also an active member of Marshall Goldsmith’s 100 Coaches Pay-It-Forward Project.
19. Joe Maddon
Joe Maddon managed the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Angels, and the Tampa Bay Rays. He was named the 2015 National League Manager of the Year when the Cubs made it to the National League Championship, and he was still their manager a year later when they won their first World Series title in more than 100 years. He’s one of the best leadership speakers you’ll find as he’s exceptional at teambuilding skills and creating a positive culture within an organization.
On the court, Elena Delle Donne is a two-time MVP for the Washington Mystics. She was named to six WNBA All-Star teams. During the 2019 championship season with the Mystics, she became the first WNBA player to join the 50-40-90 Club. She’s a skilled team player, but her experiences off the court make her a great leader to talk to your organization. She mentors children and teens in the De11e Donne Academy basketball camp. Elena’s the Lyme Research Alliance’s first national ambassador, a disease she’s been battling since 2008, and she’s the Special Olympics’ global ambassador.
21. Adrian Gostick
Along with Chester Elston, Adrian Gostick wrote Leading With Gratitude, a business guide on building positive culture and experiences to improve a business. If workers know they’re appreciated, they’ll put in more effort. Adrian is the founder and CEO of FindMojo.com, a company that assesses organizations to find ways to improve engagement and culture within the workplace. He’s helped many clients, including Bank of America and Danaher, improve their organizations, and he writes a weekly leadership column for Forbes.
22. Heather Monahan
Heather Monahan won a Glass Ceiling Award, which means she’s proven her excellence in leadership, accomplished a lot in her area of expertise, remains ethical, influences others in positive ways, and shows extreme responsibility. She’s the Chief Revenue Officer in Media and is the founder of Boss In Heels. She’s the author of the best-selling business book Confidence Creator and has a lot to say about helping your team and workers gain confidence to thrive.
23. Dave Crenshaw
Though he was diagnosed with an unheard-of level of ADHD, Dave Crenshaw didn’t let that stop him. He took it as a personal challenge to become even more productive and organized. He’s turned his personal experience into a series of training classes through LinkedIn Learning, his best-selling book The Myth of Multitasking, and talks to audiences across the country about turning challenges into amazing accomplishments. His skills help build leaders and improve productivity, which leads to stronger teams, growth, and company revenues.
24. Pamela Hawley
Pamela Hawley is the CEO of UniversalGiving, a non-profit organization, that helps others volunteer or donate to opportunities that have been vetted to ensure they’re legitimate and that 100% of donated time and money go 100% to that cause. She’s also the co-founder of VolunteerMatch, an online marketplace where people can go to see how they can help others. She’s one of the few internet pioneers, having built her organization in the early days of the internet. She’s a leader who has won the Nobel Prize in Community Service (The Jefferson Award) and is a Colburn S. Wilbur Fellow through the Institute for Global Ethics.
25. Joel Manby
In his 25+ years of business leadership, Joel Manby has been the President, CEO, and Director of SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment; the President and CEO of Herschend Family Enterprises; and the CEO of Saab. He used all of this experience to write Love Works. Seven Timeless Principles for Effective Leaders. His leadership skills embrace creating a positive workplace culture where positive relationships improve employee engagement, which improves customer and client satisfaction.
26. Lora H. DiCarlo
Lora H. DiCarlo’s leadership talks involve a personal experience that she had when launching a new product. She’d presented her new product at the CES and won an innovation award, but that award was taken away after the Consumer Technology Association deemed her new product “obscene.” She argued that sexual wellness products are important for a person’s well-being and should be included as general wellness products. By taking the initiative to fight for her innovative product, the award was reinstated. She’s an amazing speaker on leadership skills. She has more than 10 pending patents based on her award-winning technology.
27. Alyssa Petersel
She’s the best-selling author of Somehow I Am Different. Alyssa Petersel is also a licensed therapist and founded MyWellBeing, a website that helps people find the right therapist or coach for their mental health needs. People answer questions, get three potential matches, and have free consultations with some or all of those therapists to find the best fit. MyWellBeing has helped more than 28 million people get the mental health therapies they need.
28. Simon T. Bailey
Simon T. Bailey is one of the world’s most respected public speakers. His LinkedIn online course has helped leaders in more than 100 countries build their skills. For more than 30 years, he was a sales director of the Disney Institute. He’s one of SUCCESS Magazine’s top 25 individuals to help achieve their business and personal goals. He’s one of the best keynote speakers to bring in to talk to your company about leadership.
29. Dean Stott
After sixteen years of service with the British Special Forces, Dean Stott worked in private sector security. He helped develop the TV franchise SAS Who Dares Wins, where everyday people and some celebrities and athletes undergo military training to see who can do it. He’s a TV and film consultant working on movies like Captain Phillips. He’s also an engaging leadership speaker with plenty of personal stories involving missions where he had to help safely evacuate military personnel and diplomats from a Canadian embassy, evacuate more than 1,200 Afghanistan people, and assist in kidnappings, extortions, and military coups.
30. Charlen e Li
Charlene Li wrote the best-seller The Disruption Mindset, a business guide that resets what leaders think about industry disruption driving growth, instead, growth creates disruption and needs to be considered. She’s the founder and Senior Fellow at Altimeter, a Prophet Company, that helps leaders develop the mindset and tools to change and grow in areas like technology, customer experience, and innovation.
31. Stephanie Cartin
She’s built her own business from the ground up after leaving her corporate career. Socialfly is a digital and influencer social media marketing agency in NYC. She’s also the co-founder of Markid, an online marketplace for parents to sell gently-used baby and children’s items. She’s the co-author of Like, Love, Follow: The Entreprenista’s Guide to Using Social Media to Grow Your Business and the co-host of the Entreprenista’s Podcast. Have her talk about the leadership skills that helped her start and grow her businesses.
Courtney Spritzer co-founded Socialfly, a social media marketing firm for influencers, with Stephanie Cartin. She’s won a Smart CEO Brava Award, made it to Inc’s. Female Founders 100 List in 2021, and is on Drum’s 50 Under 30 Digital Marketing list. She’s continued to create innovative ideas, inventing DigiCards in 2020 to help people come up with ways to build engagement during video calls. She also created WorkRobe in 2021, a company that creates robes women can wear during video meetings. Courtney has appeared in many major publications including Bloomberg and Entrepreneur.
33. Steve Farber
Huffington Post calls Steve Farber the “#1 Business Speaker to See.” He’s also one of Inc’s Global Top 50 Leadership and Management Experts. He was the vice president of the Tom Peters Company, but he used that experience to found The Extreme Leadership Institute and is the president of Extreme Leadership, Inc. He has several business books focusing on growing leadership and business growth. One, The Radical Leap, was named one of the 100 Best Business Books of All Time.
34. Dr. Liz Wilson
Dr. Liz Wilson holds a Ph.D. in organizational culture and behavior. She specializes in building workplaces where everyone is valued, no matter their gender, race, etc. After seeing a loved one experience discrimination, she established her program, “The 8 Specific Needs of All People.” After securing venture capital, she created Include, an enterprise software that helps businesses and people make inclusive decisions. Her keynote speeches are praised for being extraordinary and not like the average talk. She strives to make sure all are included, so her talks include everyone to create an unforgettable presentation.
35. Angela Ruggiero
As a four-time Olympian and gold medalist in hockey, Angela Ruggiero is the first female to play a position other than goalie on a men’s hockey team. One can only imagine the leadership skills required to be an Olympic Hall of Fame, IIHF Hall of Fame, and the fourth woman to enter the Hockey Hall of Fame, as well as being called the “Best Player in the World” by The Hockey News. Her leadership skills lead to her being the co-founder and CEO of Sports Innovation Lab and the Chief Strategy Officer for the effect of bringing the 2028 Olympics to California.
Marcus Buckingham has a degree in Social and Political Science from the University of Cambridge. He’s used that experience and training to write more than half a dozen business books, two of which hit the best-seller list. His book The One Thing You Need to Know…About Managing, Great Leading, and Sustained Individual Success is just one of the reasons he’s a sought-after leadership speaker. He also has plenty of sage advice as the CEO of the Marcus Buckingham Company, a Californian firm specializing in management training.
37. Ron Garan
Colonel Ron Garan is a decorated NASA astronaut, humanitarian, and social entrepreneur. Being up in space isn’t the only amazing location he’s explored. He also went to the bottom of the ocean to an undersea research lab. He helped develop an open-source platform for organizations around the world to work together. He also co-founded Manna Energy Limited, a water purification company developed to help create a safer, cleaner world.
38. Mathew Knowles
Many people have heard of Beyonce and Destiny’s Child, their father, Mathew Knowles has a long career in music as a record executive. He has a degree in business and economics from Fisk University in Tennessee. His career in businesses started in sales but shifted to music 30 years ago when he created Music World Entertainment, where he was the producer and manager for Destiny’s Child. In 2002, he founded Spirit Rising Music, which is now known as Music World Gospel. His accounts of helping musicians grow and win awards resonate with audiences of all ages.
39. Amanda Kessel
Amanda Kessel won three Olympic medals with Team USA, and Amanda Kessel also won gold in the 2011 and 2012 Four Nations Cup and four medals with the IIHF Women’s World Championship. While her leadership skills shine in a stadium, she became the first member of the Pittsburgh Penguins Executive Management Program in 2022, a fellowship designed to help women and minorities prepare for management jobs in the NHL. Her experiences in hockey make for engaging talks.
40. Siya Kolisi
As the captain of the South Africa Springboks, Siya Kolisi has tremendous leadership skills. The team holds the #1 Men’s World Rugby Ranking as of March 2022 and has competed for the World Cup seven times and won three times. During the pandemic, Siya and his wife founded The Kolisi Foundation, an organization dedicated to addressing inequality in South Africa, particularly in the area where he grew up.
41. Lisa Bodell
Lisa Bodell is one of the Top 50 Speakers Worldwide and the author of several business books, including Why Simple Wins. She’s popular with the media and has been seen in or on CNN, Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, WIRED, and many others. She’s the CEO of FutureThink, a business management consulting firm that specializes in simplifying operations, innovation, and growth.
42. Jennifer Watson
Jennifer Watson coaches leaders to build an “Extraordinary Life.” She’s the owner of Watson Wellness and Jennifer Watson Leadership, both designed to help others achieve their dreams without losing sight of their well-being. She holds an undergraduate degree in kinesiology and a Master’s in physical therapy and has helped leaders across the country become empowered and break free of obstacles keeping them from being their best.
As the founder of the ActOne Group, Janice Bryant Howroyd is the first African-American woman to establish a multi-billion dollar business. Her company offers workforce solutions and staffing to companies around the world. Her leadership skills are undeniable, and she brings so much experience to a talk or presentation. She sat on the Presidential Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the FCC’s Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment.
44. Smiley Poswolsky
Smiley Poswolsky is an engaging motivational speaker who’s given keynote speeches, leadership trainings, and presentations around the world and in businesses like Apple, Google, and TED. He specializes in attracting and retaining millennials in a multigenerational workplace. He’s a counselor at Camp Grounded, a summer camp for adults to become kids again, and he launched The Women Speaker Initiative in 2017 to boost the number of underrepresented speakers, including women and people of color, to get competitive pay for their speaking engagements.
45. Ryan Harris
He’s a Super Bowl champion with a ten-year career with the NFL. He’s a host of CBS’s Fantasy Football Hour. He’s a radio commentator for Notre Dame football. Ryan Harris may have had a long career in football, but there’s so much more to him. He’s the director of the Notre Dame Monogram Club and spends time helping organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and Wish of a Lifetime. He also holds degrees in political science and economics from Notre Dame, which makes him a well-rounded leadership speaker.
46. Jeremy Roenick
For 18 years, Jeremy Roenick played in the NHL for the Chicago Blackhawks, Los Angeles Kings, Philadelphia Flyers, Phoenix Coyotes, and San Jose Sharks. He was part of Team USA in the 1998 and 2002 Winter Olympics, winning silver. He’s in the top 45 all-time leaders for goals and points, making him one of the best American hockey players. Jeremy is comfortable in front of crowds and knows how to captivate his audience.
47. Warren Moon
Warren Moon spent almost a quarter of a century playing professional football in the CFL and NFL. He started with the CFL’s Eskimos for six years before heading to the Oilers in 1984. During his 17 years with the NFL, he was in nine Pro Bowls, seven playoffs, and became the NFL’s Man of the Year in 1989. He has so many stories to share about his days in football, but he’s also an entrepreneur. He’s the co-founder and president of Sports 1 Marketing, a firm that creates relationships between brands, celebrities, and athletes.
48. James Beck
James Beck specializes in building relationships. He grew up with an abusive father and experienced anxiety and PTSD as a child. He used those experiences to frame new ways to grow as an adult. This led to his career as a Structural Integration Therapist and creator of the Beck Balance Wellness Workshops. He helps leaders and individuals learn how to build relationships in beneficial, kind ways while overcoming anxiety and adversity to shape a new path.
General Reynold N. Hoover is a retired Deputy Commander of U.S. Northern Command and current Principal of RNHoover Consulting LLC. He coaches clients regarding matters of national and homeland security. His skills as a keynote speaker cover topics like security, communication skills, leadership, and planning for emergencies.
50. Stephen Drum
Twenty-seven years of experience as a Navy SEAL Master Chief shaped Stephen Drum’s leadership and team development skills. He helped create the U.S. Navy’s Warrior Toughness training program and uses that experience to help special ops forces and leaders develop strategies to ensure top performance.
Beyond the Runway is a first-of-its-kind online shopping platform where users create a virtual avatar to try on clothing before purchasing them. Margaux Avedisian is also a specialist in blockchain. Her nickname “The Queen of Bitcoin” relates to her relaunch of Tradehill, America’s first Bitcoin exchange. She’s also the co-founder of Alphapoint and Monetago. Her skills led her to the role of executive vice president for the blockchain PR firm, the Transform Group, from 2016 to 2018. She’s helped so many tech startups and cryptocurrency entrepreneurs connect with leaders, technology experts, creatives, and policymakers. Her talks are surprising as she’s also a stand-up comedian with plenty of experience in front of audiences.
52. Mike Acker
Mike Acker is a coach and keynote speaker specializing in leadership skills, organizational management, and communication. With more than 20 years of experience in corporate training, he also helps international organizations fight poverty. When he talks to audiences, the size doesn’t matter, he’s just as comfortable in front of 10,000 people as he is in front of a small, intimate group.
53. Joseph Michelli
Dr. Joseph Michelli is an organizational consultant and popular leadership speaker. He’s a best-selling author of books that include The Airbnb Way: 5 Leadership Lessons for Igniting Growth Through Loyalty, Community, and Belonging . He’s a Certified Speaking Professional (National Speakers Association) and is a five-time Global Gurus “Top 5 Thought Leaders in Customer Experience” pick.
54. Renee Smith
Renee Smith has a new way of inspiring and empowering workers. Her methods have helped businesses around the world improve performance and satisfaction within a company. Instead of using fear as a tactic, she tells business leaders to “put love at the center of work.” She’s the founder and CEO of A Human Workplace, a company that provides meaningful ways for executives and leaders to embrace their workers and build stronger teams in the process.
55. Cy Wakeman
Cy Wakeman is a best-selling author and global thought-leader who’s helped companies like Dr. Pepper, NBC Universal, and Viacom reset the workplace and boost innovation by getting rid of workplace drama and boosting personal accountability with all employees. She holds Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association and is ranked #1 on Global Gurus’ Top 30 Leadership Professionals in 2021.
56. Jill Ratliff
For more than 25, Jill Ratliff has held HR management roles in Fortune 100 companies. She’s a leadership expert and used that experience to build her own consultancy firm. She’s also the Senior Leadership Advisor for Beecher-Regan’s Leadership Results Practice. She also mentors women through Pathbuilders and was the Co-President at EMERGE, a non-profit that helps women get the education they dream of.
57. Chef Andre Rush
Chef Andre Rush enlisted with the U.S. Army in 1993 and remained in the Army until 1997 when he took a role as a White House cook under four presidents. While cooking in the White House, he also worked in the Pentagon. After his Ramadan meal went viral, he signed a contract to produce Chef in the City. He continues to cook for military vets and other organizations, and he’s working on a cookbook. He’s a delightfully engaging and powerful speaker, especially on topics like leadership and mental health.
58. Dr. Tim Elmore
More than 500,000 leaders have listened to Dr. Tim Elmore’s talks. As the founder and CEO of Growing Leaders, a non-profit that helps develop leadership skills, he brings the lessons he’s learned as a business owner and while working with his mentor Dr. John C. Maxwell. He’s spoken around the world to universities and taught leadership at companies like Cici’s Pizza and Home Depot.
59. Jolynn Swafford
Jolynn Swafford is a Certified Motivational Coach and Certified NLP Practitioner. Through life experiences like addiction, divorce, and bankruptcy, she’s been resilient, took control, and bettered herself. She talks to audiences about living their dreams by building a life and career they love.
60. Tracy Litt
As the creator of Mind Magic, a methodology that melds neuroscience, quantum law, metacognition, and spirituality to grow, Tracy Litt shares her experiences and knowledge with business leaders around the world. She’s also the founder of The Litt Factor, a business and personal development firm that shows workers how they need to find themselves before they can increase their success. She’s happy to talk in large conferences, professional retreats, or small business meetings.
61. Chad Foster
In his 20s, Chad E. Foster lost his sight. He didn’t let that slow him down, and he became the first blind graduate from Harvard Business School’s Program for Leadership Development. He took a job in technology where he created the first customer relationship software for the visually impaired. He’s a fabulous leadership speaker and enjoys sharing his story with audiences around the world.
62. Stephanie Norman
Since 2012, Stephanie Norman has been an associate head coach for the Louisville Cardinals and helped lead them to 11 Sweet 16 appearances, seven Elite Eight appearances, and four Final Four appearances. Her role landed her the 2020-2021 WBCA Assistant Coach of the Year.
Jazerai Allen-Lord, aka NerdLikeJazzy, is a big name in the world of sneakers. In 2009, she wrote for a sneaker blog Kicks on Fire, where she interviewed celebrities about their sneakers. She partnered with Eric “Shake” James of Run DMC to open a conceptual Adidas boutique. She had a Reebok design in 2019 that sold out and has since been entered into the Bata Footwear Museum’s Black designers’ archive. She’s one of The Root’s 2021 and Most Influential African Americans, AdAge for Creative Excellence’s Top 18 Women Transforming Sneakers, and Business Insider’s Top 28 BIPOC Transforming the Industry.
64. Richard Verma
Richard Verma was the U.S. Ambassador to India from 2015 to 2017, and the Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs from 2009 to 2011. He was named to the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board in 2022. Through his legal work and government work, he’s an expert in diplomacy and trade and also brings military experience to every leadership talk he gives.
Brigadier General Roger Machut received a Civil Engineering degree from Tulane University in 1982 after receiving an NROTC scholarship. He joined the Marine Corps Reserve in 1988 where he worked his way up to Colonel in 2004 and Brigadier General in 2010. He retired from the Corps in 2015, gaining several personal decorations, including the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. He's developed strong leadership skills during his career and has a lot he can share with the audience.
66. Jim Harbaugh
From 1987 to 2001, he played football for the Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, Baltimore Ravens, San Diego Chargers, Detroit Lions, and Carolina Panthers. He moved to coaching professionally after that. Jim Harbaugh is one of four Big Ten coaches with more than 10 wins in his first two seasons. He’s also one of two head coaches to achieve 10-win seasons consecutively. His leadership with the University of Michigan NCAA football led to him being one of the college’s most successful coaches.
67. Randy Hetrick
He created the Suspension Trainer during his Navy SEAL years while he was on deployment and needed a way to continue his workout. He used parachute webbing and a jiu jitsu belt to create his system, and soon other team members wanted one of their own. He holds more than 30 patents and is the CEO of a company that’s been named one of Inc. 500 Fasting Growing Companies and Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work. Randy is one of Entrepreneur Magazine’s 50 Most Daring Entrepreneurs. Whether he’s hosting his reality fitness TV series Sweat Inc. or talking to audiences about leadership, being an entrepreneur, or workplace culture, he’s a speaker that audiences love.
68. John Lynch
John Lynch is the San Francisco 49ers General Manager. From 1993 to 2008, he played professionally for the Buccaneers, Broncos, and Patriots. During that time, he won a Super Bowl, was a nine-time Pro Bowl member, and Bart Starr Awards winner in 2007. He became the 49ers General Manager in 2017 and was named Pro Football Writers Association’s NFL Executive of the Year in 2019.
69. Amy Trask
The UC Berkeley Foundation awarded Amy Trask the 2018 Campanile Excellence in Achievement Award. She also won the Women in Sports and Events (WISE) Woman of the Year in 2017. Her leadership skills are indisputable as she worked her way from an internship to her noted role of CEO of the Oakland Raiders for 16 years. She was the first woman to make it to a front-office executive role within the NFL.
70. Deborah Metts
Along with Margaux Avedisian, Deborah Metts founded Beyond the Runway, an online shopping platform where shoppers create a virtual avatar to try on items before they buy them. This was a game-changer for online shopping, which is why you often find Deborah talking at fashion tech events. She’s talked to organizations like Forward-Thinking Founders and Gals Talk Tech. She also teaches Fashion Merchandising and Technology at LIM College.
71. Matt LaFleur
Matt LaFleur knows a lot about team building and leadership. He was a quarterback’s coach for Notre Dame and two NFL teams before taking jobs as the offensive coordinators for the Rams and Titans. He became the head coach for the Green Bay Packers in 2019.
72. Aaron Rodgers
Back in 2005, Aaron Rodgers was chosen in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft. In just a few years, he’d prove himself as one of the NFL’s greatest quarterbacks after throwing 28 touchdowns in his first season as a starter. He’d lead the Packers to Super Bowl victory in 2010 and was named the Super Bowl MVP. He and David Gruber created and founded itsAaron, a foundation that helps organizations and people on a path to change the world.
73. Nate Boyer
Nate Boyer is a former Seattle Seahawks player and active-duty Green Beret. He’s traveled the world and helped lead the path to change in many communities. He believes that “Anything is Possible,” and he lives up to that goal. He’s helped fundraise for clean water in Tanzania by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro with a wounded vet. He’s helped refugees in the Darfur region. He brings dedication and passion to his talks, which makes him a favorite of audiences.
74. Alden Mills
At 12, Alden Mills was told he wouldn’t be able to play sports due to his health. He proved his doctor wrong and became an Olympic gold medalist. He’d enter the U.S. Naval Academy and become a captain of both freshman and varsity teams. He went on to become a Navy SEAL. He shares his story of dealing with asthma and achieving things his doctor said he could never do and gives powerful talks about being “Unstoppable.”
75. Richard Sherman
He’s a five-time All-Pro and Pro Bowl player. Richard Sherman led the league in interceptions in 2013. He’s played for the Seahawks and 49ers, winning a Super Bowl with the Seahawks. Currently, he’s a free agent, balancing his football time with his work for a charity he created, Blanket Coverage, that helps low-income children gain opportunities and focus on their education.
76. David Fizdale
After earning degrees in communications and sociology, David Fizdale was an assistant coach for three NBA teams one of which had him coaching Team Shaq at the 2013 Rising Stars Challenge in the NBA All-Star Weekend. He’s been a head coach for the Knicks and the Grizzlies. Most recently, he was an assistant coach for the Lakers. He’s an NBA analyst for ESPN and has a lot of stories to share about teamwork and leadership.
77. Dr. Saralyn Mark
Dr. Saralyn Mark is the American Medical Women's Association COVID 19 Leader. She’s a woman’s health specialist and the founder, president, and CEO of SolaMed Solutions, a consulting firm focused on worldwide health and safety. She’s also the founder and president of iGIANT, a non-profit focused on the research on how gender design, or lack of, impacts different areas and activities of daily living and life in a workplace.
78. Jann Freed
Jann Freed created The Breadcrumb Legacy concept, which helps people improve themselves and find meaning through small actions, which in turn makes it better for others. She’s a leadership development speaker ready to coach businesses in leadership, employee engagement, and change management. Her specific interest is in helping people 50 or older find what interests them the most.
79. Daron K. Roberts
Daron K. Roberts entered Harvard Law School after earning his Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School of Government. During his third year of law school, he volunteered at the Steve Spurrier Football Camp, which led him into the world of football coaching. His first official role in the NFL was as a defensive quality control assistant with the Chiefs and progressed to positions with the Lions and West Virginia University. He founded 4th and 1 in 2010, a non-profit camp that coaches teens in life skills and football, as well as offering free tutoring for the ACT. He received the 2011 “Outstanding Young Texas Ex” because of his camp.
80. Mike Sarraille
He’s retired from the Navy SEALs and is the founder and CEO of Talent War Group. With Talent War Group, he’s a management consultant and an executive search firm. He offers rock-solid leadership solutions to businesses that need guidance. He’s also on the VETTED Foundations, a program for veterans transitioning to leadership roles.
81. Tom Flick
He played in the NFL for seven years before leaving the NFL to become a motivational speaker. He founded Tom Flick Communications in 1989, being mentored by Kotter International’s executive vice president, Dennis Goin, and the founder, Dr. John Kotter. He’s built a career talking about leadership and change management and talking to businesses like Boeing, Microsoft, and Starbucks.
82. Erik Qualman
He’s the creator of Socialnormics and has talked about his digital leadership program on 60 Minutes and many other media platforms. His animation studio, Equalman Studios, wrote and produced Social Media Revolution and has produced many other projects for companies like Disney and IBM. His best-selling books are used in hundreds of colleges and universities and have given him the honor of being chosen as the “Second Most Likable Author in the World.”
83. Marcus Sheridan
IMPACT is one of the nation’s most successful digital sales and marketing companies, and it’s owned by Marcus Sheridan. Forbes called him “One of 20 Speakers You Don’t Want to Miss,” and New York Times called him a “Web Marketing Guru.” He’s also the owner of Marcus Sheridan International, Inc. and travels the world talking to audiences about sales and marketing, communication skills, and business leadership.
84. Rod Carew
He was the 16th member of the 3,000 Hit Club, an 18-time All-Star, and was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991. Before he placed professional baseball, he was in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, and he says that helped him learn the discipline he needed for baseball. He played in MLB from 1967 to 1985 and coached from 1992 to 2001. After suffering a heart attack and needing a heart transplant, Rod Carew went on to found Carew Medical Wear and launched the Heart of 29 Campaign in 2016 to raise funds for the American Heart Association.
Zoltan Istvan is a National Geographic journalist and a humanitarian activist. He’s described as a modern-day Ayn Rand and young Al Gore. He’s written for many publications and has a best-selling book. He’s also won two documentary awards for Pawns of Paradise, a documentary on the Kashmir conflict. All of this helped shape his leadership skills, and he continued them when he invented the extreme sport “volcano boarding” that appeared on the National Geographic Channel.
86. Caroline Johnson
Her memoir JET GIRL: My Life in War, Peace, and the Cockpit of the Navy’s Most Lethal Aircraft, the F/A-18 Super Hornet offers an in-depth look into Caroline Johnson’s military experience. And, it’s an amazing experience as she’s in the less than 2% of women to fly a Navy fighter jet. She uses those personal stories to help others develop leadership skills, team building, and finding personal strengths. She frequently works with Fortune 500 companies to help them grow their leadership skills.
87. Ryan Estis
As the McCann Worldgroup’s chief strategy officer, Ryan Estis brought fresh ideas to the businesses. He’s written business articles forEntrepreneur, Forbes, Inc., Yahoo Business, and many others. With more than 20 years of experience in leadership and business performance, he’s knowledgeable on team building, improving sales, and change management.
88. Sarah Greer
Sarah Greer’s career started in sales and progressed into sales management. Her duties as a sales manager included hiring, coaching, mentoring, and training. She soon realized that she had the passion and drive to help others achieve their dreams. She uses personal stories and humor to engage and inspire her audiences to be their best and do more than they ever imagined.
89. Sara Ross
She’s the founder and Chief Vitality Officer at BrainAMPED, a company that helps people ease stress and feelings of being exhausted and overwhelmed by building emotional intelligence, energy management, and resilience mindsets, all part of her trademarked Leadership Vitality Quotient. Sara Ross helps leaders stop and assess if their hard work is really working for them and coaches leadership skills using her expertise in neuroscience to embrace being both emotionally and physically energized at work.
90. Tom Rath
Tom Rath spent more than a decade at Gallup where he specialized in building employee engagement, leadership, and strengthening the organization. He’s now a Gallup Senior Scientist and is the co-founder of a publishing company and has published many best-sellers, including StrengthsFinder 2.0 and How Full Is Your Bucket? He’s also a vice-chair for a cancer organization, having battled VHL, a rare genetic disorder that causes cancerous tumors.
91. Dave Crenshaw
His LinkedIn Learning courses (Improving Your Focus and Time Management Fundamentals) draw a lot of activity on LinkedIn. He also has several books, including the best-selling The Myth of Multitasking. All of this knowledge comes from personal experience as Dave Crenshaw has ADHD and used his life experiences to find ways to become more productive and organized. The methods he created for himself have helped many Fortune 500 executives build solid leadership skills.
92. Devon Harris
You may not even realize that you’ve heard Devon Harris’ story. He was one of the original members of the Jamaican bobsleigh team that surprised many when they participated in the Winter Olympics. Their participation stood out because they’d never seen snow or experienced icy cold weather, but they ended up in Canada on a snowy mountain. Their determination and grit led to them being in the top 25 in the first two runs. They may not have won, but they captured the world’s attention and admiration. Devon is the founder of the Keep On Pushing Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping children in disadvantaged communities gain an education. He’s a mesmerizing speaker on leadership, building strong teams, and determination.
93. Libby Gill
Libby Gill was an assistant at Norman Lear’s Embassy Communications, and that started her long career in public relations and corporate communications. After over a decade with companies like Sony, Turner Broadcasting, and Universal, she left to start her own executive coaching and leadership consulting firm. For over 22 years, Libby Gill & Company has helped companies engage employees, build strong leadership, and tackle issues that arise with positivity and her “hope-driven leadership.”
Dr. Shawn Andrews is the author of The Power of Perception: Leadership, Emotional Intelligence, and the Gender Divide . She’s spoken to audiences and organizations as a keynote speaker, business school professor, and consultant. She holds an Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership and a B.A. in Psychology. She uses her education and decades of experience in the corporate world to help executives develop strong leadership skills using her EQ-I 2.0, EQ 360, and Insights Discovery Colors certifications.
95. Janice Perkins
Janice Perkins and her company Capacity Communications build strong leaders using a four-step process. Through Empty, Examine, Expand, and Excelerate, organization leaders, executives, and managers learn vital teambuilding and leadership skills. Go Deeper Coaching helps people realize what’s holding them back and overcome it. She’s spoken around the world and is one of the Association of Corporate Executive Coaches SMEs. She’s certified in Process Communication Model and Kansas Leadership Center’s Teach Leadership Intensive.
96. Ozan Varol
Your next leadership speaker could be a rocket scientist, lawyer, award-winning professor, and best-selling author. He uses his career as a rocket scientist to help organizations and people develop critical thinking skills. His book, Think Like a Rocket Scientist: Simple Strategies You Can Use to Make Giant Leaps in Work and Life , is one of Inc.com’s “Six Business Books You Need to Read in 2020.” It’s also gotten high praise from leaders like Susan Cain and Adam Grant.
97. David Meltzer
He’s the co-founder of Sports 1 Marketing. Before that, David Meltzer was the CEO of Leigh Steinberg Sports & Entertainment, a company that inspired the movie, Jerry Maguire. His goal in life is to help empower people. He’s the best-selling author of Game-Time Decision Making and offers keynote speeches, meet-ups, and more on topics like brand building, leadership development, strategizing, and talent acquisition. He brings more than 30 years of first-hand experience to the table when you book him as your speaker.
98. John Foley
He’s one of the ten most in-demand speakers and has talked to professional sports agencies (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, etc.) and many, many big companies (Cisco, Google, Intel, Mass Mutual, etc.), and at universities, colleges, and CEO summits. John Foley is a best-selling author and lead solo pilot of the Blue Angels. He’s an energetic speaker with stories to tell and lessons on being your best, leadership, and teambuilding.
99. Rudy Ruettiger
Rudy Ruetliger was one of 14 children and had a harder time in school due partially to dyslexia. He joined the Navy after high school before applying to Notre Dame, who turned him down the first three times. He was accepted on his fourth attempt and moved towards his next goal, making it onto the football team, despite his small stature. That’s where he made his noted play of sacking the Georgia Tech quarterback, leading to him being one of two players in Notre Dame history to get carried off the field by teammates. After his football days, he developed a property maintenance company and sold real estate. These experiences led him to his experience as an author and motivational speaker.
100. Melissa Agnes
Melissa Agnes created the Crisis Ready program to help businesses, brands, and organizations take negatives and turn them into positives by being ready ahead of time. Mistakes happen, but a business can turn those situations into learning lessons that strengthen company culture, mitigate risk, and find a positive path forward by learning strong communication and management skills.
Leadership is a skill best learned from other great leaders. Engage has helped hundreds of companies book leadership speakers to help better their employees and workforce. To book a top leadership speaker, click on their name above to submit a direct request, or for white glove service click here to contact Engage Concierge!
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