Finding Speakers for Your Leadership Meetings

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Are you researching ideas for an upcoming leadership event, team meeting, or conference call? If you are looking for executive leadership meeting ideas, agenda topics, or speakers, we would love to introduce you to names and topics that are trending right now. Take a look at these keynote speakers for your next leadership meeting or board of directors meeting. 

Not only are our speakers made up of executives and hugely successful business people but also industry pioneers, and high-level government personnel, all having a story to tell and remarkable leadership skills to show for it. Booking one of these powerhouse industry leaders to speak with your team is incredibly valuable to your company. Learning from these amazingly knowledgeable keynote speakers in the comfort of your own conference room or even at a packed conference is an incredibly unique opportunity that most companies don’t have.


You don't want to invite just any speaker to your event -- you want to pick an event keynote speaker who speaks on leadership and teamwork in a way that your audience understands and relates to. You also need to consider what your event/meeting will be about, the primary goal of the meeting, and what the purpose of the speaker will be. Once you've answered these questions and sought out some potential inspiring speaker candidates, you should then watch the speaker in action and visit their website and social channels. This will help you gauge a better understanding of what type of speaker they are and whether or next they are the right fit for your user conference. Additionally, learn more about what type of speaker is right for your event to help in the speakers business decision-making process.


You've decided that you want to bring an outside source into your organization to deliver insights to your event. You believe that a speaker will be more beneficial than an entertainment act, but you still need to convince your boss as meeting planners that a speaker is really the best thing that will elevate your meeting. Some of the benefits of brining a business speaker to business meetings are:

  • Speakers are a source of inspiration. It's one thing to try to motivate employees with work perks and bonuses, but it's another to bring in someone who connects and resonates with people. It is always inspiring to hear of someone who does more than talk the talk but actually walks the walk - someone who can speak from experience and share how they persevered during their difficult situations.
  • Speakers increase employee engagement. There's nothing more captivating than hearing another person share their life story. Event keynote speakers have the ability to captivate audiences and allow listeners to feel like they are standing in the speaker's shoes - and vice versa. This then make employees more interested and more engaged in a speaker's presentation.
  • Speakers increase employee performance. After hearing a motivating and inspiring story, employees want to amplify their output. Whether they want to improve areas of their personal, public, or professional life, employers typically see an increase in employee performance overall.
  • Speakers engage value alignment. From learning how to be more sustainable to understanding how to engage with coworkers in a digital world, a speaker on leadership help employees better align their values with what they want to achieve both personally and professionally within an organization.


The following top motivational speakers are several of the most in-demand and top-rated keynote speakers for leadership and board of directors meetings: 

  • General Stanley McChrystal, World-Renowned Commander of U.S. and International Forces in Afghanistan
  • Sarah Robb O’Hagan, Former CEO of Flywheel Sports, Former Global President at Gatorade, and Former Marketing Director at Nike
  • Reggie Fils-Aimé, Former President and COO of Nintendo of America Inc.
  • Susan Desmond-Hellmann, Former CEO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Sue Gordon, 30-Year National Security Leader, Former Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence
  • Carla Harris, Vice Chairman Of Global Wealth Management & Senior Client Advisor At Morgan Stanley
  • Andrew McCabe, Former Director of the NSA and former Commander, U.S. Cyber Command
  • Dawn Hudson, Former CMO of the NFL and Former President and CEO of Pepsi-Cola North America
  • General John Allen, Former Commander of NATO and US Forces in Afghanistan, Former Presidential Special Envoy to the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, and President of the Brookings Institution
  • Erik Weihenmayer, Holds a record for the most people from one team to stand atop Mt. Everest’s peak in a single day
  • Jim Donald, President and COO of Albertson's, Former CEO of Starbucks, Haggen Food & Pharmacy, and Extended Stay Hotels
  • Angie Bastian, Founder of BoomChickaPop
  • Rear Admiral Scott Moore, Former Commander of Navy SEAL Team Six, Naval Special Warfare Development Group
  • Laila Ali, World-Class Athlete, Fitness & Nutrition Expert, & TV Host
  • Chris Fussell, Managing Partner at the McChrystal Group, Former US Navy SEAL Officer, & Best-Selling Author
  • Mick Ebeling, CEO of Not Impossible Labs, Two-Time Winner of SXSW Innovation Award, and Author of Not Impossible: The Art and Joy of Doing What Couldn't Be Done
  • Susan O’Malley, First Female President of a Professional Sports Franchise
  • Matthew "Griff" Griffin, Former US Army Ranger & Founder/CEO of Combat Flip Flop
  • Steve Robinson, Legendary Chief Marketing Officer and EVP, Chick-fil-A 
  • Jake Harriman, Founder of Nuru International
  • Col. Nicole Malachowski, America's First Female Thunderbird Pilot & Combat Veteran
  • Vernice Armour, First African American Female Combat Pilot
  • Jeff Eggers, Organizational Performance Expert and Executive Director of the McChrystal Group Leadership Institute
  • Steve Farber, Best-Selling Author of The Radical Leap and a Sought-After Leadership Coach
  • Michael Abrashoff, Former Naval Commander & Author of It's Your Ship

Take a closer look at each of these in-demand keynote speakers for leadership meetings or board of directors meetings and check out each of their individual speaker profile pages by clicking on the links over the speaker's names below:


Former Commander of US and International Forces in Afghanistan & Author of Best-Selling Books, Team of Teams and My Share of the Task

Top-reviewed TED leadership speaker, General Stanley McChrystal inspires your team to bring their best selves to work every day. From his charismatic presence and easy command of the room to his dedication to events (meticulous testing of A/V equipment, highly-personalized anecdotes, willingness to attend dinners), McChrystal delivers 110%. If you are planning for 2023 leadership meetings aimed at increasing adaptability, building momentum, or crafting a new team of empowered leaders, General McChrystal is a top recommendation. 

General Stanley McChrystal


Former CEO of Flywheel Sports, Former Global President at Gatorade, and Former Marketing Director at Nike

If you have an upcoming event focusing on transforming your business from the inside out, collaborative innovation, or creating new growth runways, we encourage you to give Sarah Robb O'Hagan a look. A disruption powerhouse, Sarah speaks passionately about disrupting your own business from the inside out. She’s known for transforming Gatorade from a declining sports drink company into a booming sports fuel company, and is the author of the new book, Extreme You. Twice named to the Forbes “Most Powerful Women in Sports” list, Sarah brings leadership experience to improve your team’s performance in the work place. 

Sarah Robb O'Hagan


An award-winning innovator and disruptor, Reggie Fils-Aimé is a proven expert on transforming companies, re-vitalizing brands, and reshaping industries to solve daunting challenges and achieve ‘the impossible.’ Most recently, he was the president and chief operating officer of Nintendo of America – the first American and African-American to hold this position.

Reggie Fils-Aime


Former CEO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

With a medical, scientific, and philanthropic career that spans more than 30 years, Dr. Sue Desmond-Hellmann has devoted her life to improving the human condition through innovation. Most recently, she was the CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, leading the organization’s vision for a world where every person has the opportunity to live a healthy, productive life.

Susan Desmond-Hellmann


30-Year National Security Leader, Former Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence

One of the most accomplished leaders in the history of national security, Sue M. Gordon is the former Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence (PDDNI) – the country’s number two ranking intelligence official. As the fifth PDDNI, she co-led the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and oversaw the entire Intelligence Community (IC), comprised of over a dozen agencies that collect information on threats against the United States. In particular, Gordon’s transformative leadership focused on integrating intelligence across the organization, expanding outreach and partnerships, driving innovation, and advancing diversity and inclusion throughout the Community. Gordon’s decades-long career reached some of the most senior roles within US intelligence, leading the way for other women to do the same. Her profound leadership that she put on display throughout her tenure makes her not only an invaluable resource to learn from but also a phenomenal leadership consultant for your next business meeting. 

Sue Gordon


Vice Chairman Of Global Wealth Management & Senior Client Advisor At Morgan Stanley

Carla Harris is the Vice Chairman of Global Wealth Management and Senior Client Advisor at Morgan Stanley. Her numerous accolades throughout her academic and professional careers are not only breaking the glass ceiling for women of color in an industry traditionally dominated by men but also have given her the expertise to enrich and inspire an entire workforce. Carla Harris speaks powerfully about the proven strategies that have helped her get ahead on Wall Street. With this presentation, she shares her hard-won "Pearls" to help audiences maximize their chance for success in the seat they are sitting in as well as their odds of reaching the seat they aspire to sit in. She is a powerhouse for your next speaker meeting.

Carla Harris


Former Director of the NSA and former Commander, U.S. Cyber Command

Few people have more relevant experience securing our nation at the highest levels of the US government than Andrew McCabe. Author of the book, The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump, he spent 22 years at the FBI before assuming the role of Acting Director in May 2017. A sharp and witty storyteller, McCabe talks about assuming a leadership role in a time of transition. He is candid about the challenging side of leadership, and shares the specific, step-by-step path he used to chart a course forward during one of the most turbulent times in FBI history.

Andrew McCabe


Former Chief Marketing Officer at the National Football League (NFL) & Former President and CEO of Pepsi Cola North America

For a practical and thought-provoking look at leading through change, consider Dawn Hudson for your next leadership meeting. A veteran marketing and advertising executive, Hudson has more than 20 years of strategic brand-building experience behind some of the world’s best-known brands, and she is a champion of smart innovation and growth. Listed as one of Fortune’s “50 Most Powerful Women in Business,” Hudson addresses marketing and branding as a leader in challenging business environments. 

Dawn Hudson


President, The Brookings Institution & Former Commander of NATO and US Forces in Afghanistan

Personally appointed by President Obama as the first American to the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, General John Allen is a fresh and thoughtful thinker on what’s happening in the world. What General Allen does so well is translate how security challenges will likely play out while captivating audiences with powerful stories from his time leading the military. If your group is concerned with the major trends and power competitions that will influence business over the next generation, General Allen offers an incredibly in-depth and thought-provoking speech that can also be hosted as a fireside chat with a CEO or a panel discussion. We highly recommend General Allen for his professionalism, charisma, and ability to translate major issues into day-to-day takeaways for executive meetings.  

General John Allen


Holds a world record for the most people from one team to stand atop Everest’s peak in a single day

Erik Weihenmayer defied all odds when he became the first blind person to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. He also holds a record for the most people from one team to stand atop Everest’s peak in a single day. Weihenmayer speaks to the importance of creating a common vision that brings together varied talents and skills to create a “no barriers” mindset.

Erik Weihenmayer


President and COO of Albertson's, Former CEO of Starbucks, Haggen Food & Pharmacy, and Extended Stay Hotels

Jim Donald has been called a “Turnaround King” for his ability to take flailing brands back from the edge of bankruptcy (and was named one of the Top 25 CEOs in the world). He has a new speech all about creating a culture that forever captures the excitement you feel on your first day of work in a new job. He talks about why “the biggest threat your company faces is from inside your four walls,” how to unlock untapped “gold mines” within your corporation, and how to build better attitudes and increased execution. 

Jim Donald


Founder of BoomChickaPop

Entrepreneur, co-founder and namesake of Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP, Angie Bastian took a kernel of an idea and popped it into one of the fastest growing brands of natural popcorn. She founded the snack company out of her Minnesota garage in 2001, and it’s now one of the fastest-growing and most-successful popcorn brands in the market. Bastian talks honestly about what it takes to differentiate a product and make a powerful connection with the consumer. Speaking from experience, Bastian also talks about changes in the retail space, why authenticity matters, and how to weigh big marketing, sales, and branding decisions. 

Angie Bastian


Former Commander of Navy SEAL Team Six, Naval Special Warfare Development Group

Having served 30 years as a SEAL leader, retired Rear Admiral Scott Moore is a master in organizational leadership and team-building. He served in every leadership position in the SEAL teams, including the former commander of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, and closed out his career as the number two leader in the entire SEAL organization. Moore shares what it takes to lead high-performing teams. Believing that the art of leadership is empowering an organization’s ground-level employees to drive solutions and results, he focuses on how to tailor leadership to different groups, build truly cohesive teams, and develop real trust – the ultimate key to success. 

Rear Admiral Scott Moore


World-Class Athlete, Fitness & Nutrition Expert, & TV Host

Laila Ali is a world-class athlete, fitness and nutrition expert, TV host, cooking enthusiast, founder of the Laila Ali Lifestyle Brand and mother of two. The daughter of late beloved global icon and humanitarian, Muhammad Ali, she is a four-time undefeated boxing world champion, whose stellar record includes 24 wins (21 of which were "knockouts") and zero losses. Laila is heralded as the most successful female in the history of women’s boxing.She motivates young women to find their strength, spirit, and power from within and uses her life experiences as examples of how to achieve success through courage, passion, and a positive mindset. 

Laila Ali


Managing Partner at the McChrystal Group, Former US Navy SEAL Officer, & Best-Selling Author

For leadership events focused on transforming your culture and becoming more agile, consider Chris Fussell. His new book, One Mission: How Leaders Build a Team of Teams, was released last year. It’s a road map for breaking down silos, increasing collaboration, skillfully implementing organizational change, and building a “team of teams.” It was named one of the top three books on leadership in 2017 by Strategy + Business and was on Forbes’ summer reading list. Chris shares incredible stories from his time as a SEAL to illustrate bigger points about adapting in the midst of chaos, collaboration, teamwork, and strategic leadership.

Chris Fussell


CEO of Not Impossible Labs, Two-Time Winner of SXSW Innovation Award, and Author of Not Impossible: The Art and Joy of Doing What Couldn't Be Done

Named by Fortune Magazine as one of the "Top 50 World’s Greatest Leaders," Mick Ebeling lives by the motto, “If not now, when; if not me, who?" Ebeling founded Not Impossible, a multiple award-winning social innovation lab and production company, on the premise that nothing is impossible. He moves his audiences to tears with emotional stories of using technology to assist ALS patients, Sudanese amputees, deaf musicians, blind skateboarders, and more. 

Mick Ebeling


Former President of the Washington Capitals and the Washington Wizards & First Female President of a Professional Sports Franchise

Susan O'Malley was the first female president of a professional sports franchise (the Washington Bullets—now Wizards), and is one of our most-popular motivational speakers. She led the largest ticket revenue increase in the history of NBA franchises by taking the season ticket holder renewal rate from 64% to 90%. Susan knows what it takes to be a leader in a tough business environment and how to create an organization from the ground up. Now a business professor, she almost always gets standing ovations. During her presentations, Susan speaks about leadership and thriving in a male-dominated field, calling on anecdotes and lessons learned from her life of unprecedented success. 

Susan O'Malley


Former US Army Ranger & Founder/CEO of Combat Flip Flop

Matthew Griffin is a former US Army Ranger and the founder of Combat Flip Flops, a shoe and accessories brand, backed by Mark Cuban, whose proceeds help educate women in developing nations. In speeches, Griffin talks about leadership as a responsibility to better yourself and those around you, and encourages audiences to ask themselves the tough questions they may be avoiding and to take on more as they grow. 

Matthew Griffin


Legendary Chief Marketing Officer and EVP, Chick-fil-A 

Steve Robinson led Chick-fil-A’s global marketing efforts for three decades, overseeing a transition from a small chain of mall outposts to a booming nationwide fixture (and one of America’s most-loved brands). He takes audiences behind-the-scenes at Chick-fil-A, talking in great detail about how the organization weathered identity crises, carefully stewarded wildly-successful product launches and partnerships, flipped the script on industry standards in marketing and corporate culture, and created an ecosystem of happy employees, raving fans, and leaders who serve more than the bottom line. 

Steve Robinson


Founder of Nuru International

A visionary and innovator whose new approach to leadership has been recognized by the White House and the Dalai Lama, Jake Harriman has a story that will make you want to get up and do something. He’s a former Marine Commander who founded a unique non-profit aimed at ending extreme poverty in war-torn areas. Run by fellow former Special Ops officers, Nuru International worked with the Obama White House to set up a new outpost in Boko Haram territory in Nigeria. Jake has combined his service as a Marine with principles learned in Grad school at Stanford to create an NGO that is committed to creating opportunities and local leadership in the world’s poorest communities. Jake talks about servant leadership, empowering a new generation of leaders, and restoring great American leadership. 

Jake Harriman


America's First Female Thunderbird Pilot & Combat Veteran

Col. Nicole Malachowski (USAF, Ret.) defies stereotypes. Yes, she was a jet fighter pilot, but if you think you know her based on that, you’d be wrong. A leader, a combat veteran, the first woman pilot on the Thunderbirds Air Demonstration Squadron, a White House Fellow, and an inductee into the Women in Aviation International Pioneer Hall of Fame, Nicole’s distinguished 21-year Air Force career exceeded her wildest dreams. But the dream came to an end when a devastating tick-borne illness left her unable to speak or walk for ten months. An indomitable spirit, Nicole fought back against overwhelming odds and prevailed. Drawing on stories from her career and personal life, Nicole inspires audiences to rethink the challenges they face every day.  

Nicole Malachowski


First African American Female Combat Pilot

Leveraging her “Breakthrough Mentality” and “Get Gutsy” mindset, Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour propelled herself from beat cop to combat pilot in a record-breaking three years and became America’s First African American Female Combat Pilot. Her fresh, edgy style, high, contagious energy and unique, gutsy essence jump off the stage, page, and screen to move people to action. Since 2007, she has inspired countless organizations and individuals to make gutsy moves and create breakthrough results.

Vernice Armour


Organizational Performance Expert and Executive Director of the McChrystal Group Leadership Institute

Jeff Eggers is a senior policy advisor, security professional, executive coach, and leadership consultant with more than 20 years experience leading high-performing teams for the White House, Department of Defense, and US Navy. A trusted advisor to senior US government officials, Eggers served as President Obama’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs, where he oversaw critical and sensitive aspects of US foreign and national security policy. Eggers explains why humble leadership is more important than heroic leadership, why leadership’s role is to cultivate rather than control, how a sense of “we” is the common thread amongst all high-performing teams—ranging from Formula One Racing to the Tokyo String Quartet to Navy SEALS—and why the most significant risk factors to a corporation are internal. 

Jeff Eggers


Best-Selling Author of The Radical Leap and a Sought-After Leadership Coach

Huffington Post has named Steve Farber as the #1 Business Speaker to see. Listed as one of Inc.’s global Top 50 Leadership and Management Experts, Farber is a Leadership Pioneer, Strategist, Keynote Speaker and Bestselling Author on Extreme Leadership. His expertise is in creating organizational cultures where leadership is not just an opportunity and obligation for those in authority, but for everyone at all levels.

Steve Farber


Former Naval Commander & Author of It's Your Ship

Mike Abrashoff was the most-junior officer in the Pacific Fleet when he took command of the near-worst performing ship. Twelve months later, the USS Benfold was the best ship in the entire Navy – using the same crew. The story of that stunning transformation has lessons for every organization: leadership matters – and culture is everything. Mike’s written three books – his first, It’s Your Ship, has sold over 1 million copies. His Leadership Roadmap offers clear, battle-tested, and actionable steps. Mike shows people at every level of the organization how to engage and take incremental steps toward change that can make a dramatic difference at work. Mike is clear, “I didn’t turn the ship around – my crew did that.  What I did was to create an environment where they felt safe, empowered and supported. When you do that, anything is possible.” 

Michael Abrashoff


Looking for someone to get your team excited for a big undertaking at one of your upcoming leadership speaker meetings? Please let us know!

These speakers and celebrity talent, top business experts, conference speakers, innovation speakers, authors of a bestselling book, talent from Harvard business school, and business speakers are experts on future trends, peak performance, extreme leadership, and emotional intelligence.

Sharpening and refining current leadership practices should be a goal of businesses around the world. A company that provides the tools to be a great leader and encourages leadership throughout the framework of the company will see its workplace culture drastically improve, as well as greater business successes on the backend. Empathetic and empowering leadership is an incredibly important skill that our speakers have perfected throughout their respective careers at some of the world’s biggest companies. Learning from this remarkable talent is an opportunity that any audience can benefit from. Our speakers are flexible for board meetings, company retreats, executive training or video conferences, adapting to your needs.

Contact our team today if you are interested in checking out fee range, a speaker's fee, speaker availability, or booking any of these amazing speakers.

Our conference speakers provide not only valuable insights into leadership but also industry trends, motivation, and knowledge that can benefit audiences' professional development.

Want to see more personalized speaker options from the speaking business? Simply reach out to us, and we can send you a customized list of speaker recommendations tailored specifically to your event's topic, theme, audience, and more. Get your customized speaker list.

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