Jann Freed

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Jann Freed, PhD is a leadership development consultant and speaker organizations hire to improve employee engagement, navigate change management, or develop leaders at all ages and career stages. She is particularly interested in helping employees 50+ find meaning and purpose beyond their careers. She does this through the use of a concept she developed -- The Breadcrumb Legacy™ -- in which people create new meaning for themselves and others through small daily actions.


A partial list of her clients includes American Enterprise Group, Drake University, IMT Insurance, and UnityPoint Health. 


Dr. Jann is the author or co-author of five books. In her most recent book, Leading with Wisdom:  Sage Advice from 100 Experts, she interviews prominent leadership gurus such as Jim Autry, Marshall Goldsmith, Sally Helgeson, Dan Pink, and Margaret Wheatley. One of the book’s key insights: to be a powerful leader you must keep your ego in check. In other words, it’s hard to be a good leader if you’re not a good person. 


On her website, Dr. Jann blogs weekly about leading, living, and sage-ing or conscious aging.  She also has a monthly podcast series, Becoming a Sage, where she interviews top thought leaders in the field of conscious aging.


Dr. Jann is Professor of Business Management Emerita and the former Mark and Kay De Cook Endowed Chair in Leadership and Character Development at Central College, Pella, Iowa. After 30 years of college teaching and administrative responsibilities, she left to become a senior consultant with the organizational development firm, the Genysys Group.


In addition, Dr. Jann is an adjunct professor for the University of Iowa. 


Community involvement is a priority. Dr. Jann is a Director for the Bank Iowa Board and a member of several community organizations, including the Planning and Zoning Commission for the city of Des Moines, Eat Greater Des Moines, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa, Women United of United Way of Iowa, and Nexus Executive Women’s Alliance.  


Dr. Jann has been married for 30+ years and is proud of her three adult sons who are all employed and self-sufficient. 

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The most compelling message that Dr. Jann delivers is to think about what you want your legacy to be – not at your job but after your job. Over 70% of those team members who attended one of Dr. Jann’s sessions wanted more information, so we’ve scheduled some more in depth sessions later this year.

Joyce E. McDanel, VP of Human Resources and Education, Unity Point

Dr. Freed did an excellent job presenting at our AARP volunteer recognition ceremony on ‘Why Purpose is Powerful.’ Her presentation was insightful, and she wove in personal anecdotes making it entertaining as well. I would recommend Dr. Feed to anyone looking to inspire a group and help them identify their purpose at any stage in life.

Brad Anderson, AARP Iowa State Director

With gratitude and excitement, I recommend Dr. Jann Freed as a speaker. Jann gave the most inspiring message about becoming a sage, mentoring, and keeping relevance to senior careers at the Legacy Members meeting at SIOR (Society of Office and Industrial Realtors). Jann helped our group focus on what goals and objectives will be long into our group’s future.

Kevin Crowley, COO/Manager, SIOR