Leadership Keynote Speakers: Get Inspired

What kind of person makes a great leadership speaker? Leaders and top leadership speakers come in myriad forms with different approaches and styles. Our leadership motivational speakers and leadership conference speakers for business come from all walks of life, from the battlefield to the board room. They get great reviews from audiences, and they are as entertaining as they are informative. These leadership conference speakers for business fuse insights with their energetic, motivational delivery to leave audiences with both the will and the way to affect positive change.

Let us know if you are interested in one of our speakers for your event.

Former Commander of US and International Forces in Afghanistan, Best-Selling Author, & Co-Founder of the McChrystal Group

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    Please Inquire

One of the best leadership coaches and a New York Times bestselling author, General Stanley McChrystal is a four-star general, the former commander of U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan and the former leader of Joint Special Operations Command, which oversees the most sensitive counter-terrorism units. He is widely praised for revolutionizing warfare by fusing intelligence and operations and is credited with the capture of Saddam Hussein and the location and killing al-Qaeda’s leader in Iraq. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates called McChrystal “one of America’s greatest warriors.” McChrystal is leadership speaker and addresses leadership, teambuilding, and geopolitics.

First African American Army Surgeon General and Former Commanding General, US Army Medical Command

Fees
  • Local: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US East: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US West: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • Europe: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • Asia: $75,001 and up*

A trailblazer in female leadership and management, Lieutenant General (ret) Nadja West is the 44th Army Surgeon General and the former Commanding General of US Army Medical Command. She is the first African American woman 3-star General in the Army’s history, the first African American Army Surgeon General, and currently the highest-ranking woman to ever graduate from West Point. West shares her story of grit, perseverance, strength, and breaking boundaries, even when faced with adversity. Taking audiences on her journey to becoming the Army’s first African American woman 3-star General, she motivates them to overcome challenges with self-belief, bravery, and balance. With more than 20 years of experience in executive leadership, crisis management, and disaster response – including crafting the DOD medical response to the Ebola crisis – West speaks expertly on leadership tactics to effectively lead teams through times of uncertainty and crisis.

Former President and COO of Nintendo of America Inc.

Fees
  • Local: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • US East: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • US West: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • Europe: $75,001 and up*
  • Asia: $75,001 and up*

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. Revered by business leaders and gaming fans alike, Fils-Aimé helped bring Nintendo’s greatest successes – including the Nintendo DS, the Wii, the Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, and the Nintendo Switch – to the global marketplace. Using his personal story as an example, he shares with audiences his principles for effective and innovative leadership, including defining a vision, courage in decision-making, and “irrefutable integrity.”

Former CEO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Fees
  • Local: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • US East: $75,001 and up*
  • US West: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • Europe: $75,001 and up*
  • Asia: $75,001 and up*
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. She was formerly the first female chancellor of University of California at San Francisco and spent 14 years at biotech firm Genentech, leading the development of a number of breakthrough medicines. An innovator and leader in life sciences, Dr. Desmond-Hellmann’s diverse training as an oncologist, scientist, and business executive leads to her endless curiosity about the world and her desire to change it for the better. In speeches, she shares her unique insights not only on revolutionizing global health, but also on effective and innovative leadership. Using lessons-learned as a trailblazing female leader of one of the world’s largest philanthropies, Dr. Desmond-Hellmann inspires audiences with her unparalleled perspective on how to foster an environment of collaboration and relentless innovation to drive disruptive solutions that make an impact.

Former Director, Executive Recruiting at Google and Holistic Leadership Strategist

Fees
  • Local: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • US East: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • US West: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • Europe: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • Asia: $35,001 - $55,000*

Dedicated to creating the conscious workplace for tomorrow, Virginia “Ginny” Clarke is a seasoned executive recruiter who has advised at the highest levels of corporate America for decades. A proven expert in driving diverse leadership, she is the former director of executive recruiting at Google, where she led the company’s diversity, non-tech recruiting, and leadership internal mobility teams – finding and hiring senior leaders across the company. She also built a scaled internal mobility program for Google’s senior leaders and designed much of the infrastructure that supports their executive recruiting function today. In speeches, Clarke draws on her unparalleled experience assessing thousands of executives inside corporate C-Suites and boardrooms to bring a unique, holistic five-dimensional approach to true leadership that is essential now more than ever. She delivers “no-holds-barred” discussions on the root causes that lead to a lack of diversity in organizations, and provides the integrated solutions that anyone can use to affect change. Ginny is one of the best management experts and the perfect virtual keynote speaker for any leadership institute looking to increase their knowledge of organizational cultures at a fast company.

Renowned Leadership Expert and Colonel, USAF (Ret.)

Fees
  • Local: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US East: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US West: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • Europe: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • Asia: $55,001 - $75,000*

Described by Dr. Brené Brown as one of her “leadership heroes and a total badass,” U.S. Air Force retired Colonel, DeDe Halfhill is a proven leader and communications executive who draws on her 25-year accomplished military career to provide a transparent, real-world perspective on the power of embracing humanness and vulnerability in leadership. During her time with the Air Force, DeDe became a trusted advisor to some of our nation’s highest-ranking military leaders, including the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Secretary of Defense. Deployed twice during the Iraq War, DeDe gained first-hand experience leading and advising through the most difficult circumstances, often when lives were at risk, and when there were no easy answers. She understands leadership, not just from studying it, but by actually living it. Weaving in both humorous and heartwarming stories, she demonstrates the practical strategies for any organization to authentically connect, build trust, and empower others in a meaningful way – and that leading with vulnerability and humanity is the path to true courage and exceptional leadership.

Pulling on lessons learned from Brené Brown and her time as a world's leading business speaker and leadership expert, DeDe makes a great virtual speaker for any event.

Decorated Combat Leader, Trust & Leadership Advisor, & Creator of No Fail Trust

Fees
  • Local: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • US East: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US West: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • Europe: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • Asia: $20,001 - $35,000*
A decorated combat veteran, U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jason O. Harris is revered for his distinguished track record leading his air crews on successful missions and instilling a culture of trust in which each person owned his or her role in keeping the team out of harm’s way. Lt. Col. Harris brings his unique battlefield experience to his talks. Using real-world examples, he empowers audiences to unleash their untapped potential and sheds light about the invaluable talent each person brings to an organization and how this talent can be harnessed to positively impact the organization’s greater mission. His experiences served as the launching point for “No Fail Trust™,” a methodology Lt. Col. Harris created to empower executives and employees to foster an environment of mutual trust, responsibility, and productivity that uplifts organizations as they set out to achieve their goals.

Life Sciences Leader, Former EVP, Chief Medical Officer, & Chief Patient Officer at Pfizer, Inc.

Fees
  • Local: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US East: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US West: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • Europe: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • Asia: $55,001 - $75,000*
A pioneer in medicine and leadership, Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall has been on the frontlines of healthcare for more than four decades as a clinician, researcher, and leader in the biopharmaceuticals and life sciences industries. Dr. Lewis-Hall is an incredible storyteller with a flair for well-timed humor who shares with audiences her powerful story and inspiring path to becoming a leader in the healthcare industry. Her talks motivate audience members to embrace pressure and determine their own destinations, just as she did on her path to being the first in her family to attend college, becoming a physician and, subsequently, a biopharmaceutical executive. Dr. Lewis-Hall’s message of perseverance, tenacity, equity, inclusion, and transparency is one that resonates with all audiences and diverse backgrounds.

Transformational Leader and Former Chairperson, President, & CEO of Jamba Juice

Fees
  • Local: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • US East: $75,001 and up*
  • US West: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • Europe: $75,001 and up*
  • Asia: $75,001 and up*

James is a founding member and board chair at Directors Academy, a national not-for-profit organization with the mission of identifying, developing and advancing the next generation of diverse board members and leaders. Previously, he was Chairman, President, and CEO of Jamba Juice, which he transformed from a smoothie shop to a leading global, healthy active lifestyle brand. Prior to joining Jamba Juice, he held senior executive roles at Safeway Stores, the Gillette Company, Nestle-Purina, and Coca-Cola. James currently serves on the boards of leading brands including The Honest Company, Affirm, Medallia, Simply Good Foods, Schnuck Markets, and Bay Club. James is a passionate champion for diversity and inclusion and has been recognized with numerous awards including the American Heart Association Corporate Citizen Award (2014) and Junior Achievement’s Northern California Lifetime Achievement Award (2013). In 2010 the San Francisco Business Times named Mr. White as the Bay Area’s Most Admired CEO.

NASA Astronaut, Navy SEAL, CEO and President of the National Medal of Honor Museum

Fees
  • Local: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • US East: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • US West: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • Europe: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • Asia: $35,001 - $55,000*
A decorated veteran of the sea, air, land, and outer space, Captain Chris Cassidy is among the leaders of an exclusive and distinguished group of accomplished military astronauts who have made an impact on and beyond this world. Recognized for his leadership and achievements as a United States Navy SEAL and a NASA astronaut, CAPT Cassidy’s various military deployments and spaceflight missions provided the catalysts for an action-packed career where he made the most of every opportunity presented to him, even in challenging and high-stakes environments.

Former Chief of Police in Seattle, WA

Fees
  • Local: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • US East: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US West: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • Europe: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • Asia: $35,001 - $55,000*

The first African-American woman to hold the top policing job in Seattle, Washington, Carmen Best served with the Seattle Police Department for 28 years. In 2018, Best was promoted to Chief of Police, a job she called “a dream of a lifetime.” Best quickly began efforts to diversify the police force, which had long been less diverse than the city, recruiting more than 40 new officers of color. Chief Best speaks on diversity, inclusion, and leadership lessons-learned guiding a police department during times of crisis.

Former Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence

Fees
  • Local: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US East: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US West: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • Europe: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • Asia: $55,001 - $75,000*
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, 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. With nearly four decades of legendary and dedicated service, Gordon has led at every level of the Intelligence Community with roles spanning numerous organizations and disciplines – drawing on this experience to inspire audiences to challenge the status quo, adapt to changing environments, and apply innovation to their business.

Former SEAL Team Six Leader, Naval Special Warfare Development Group, & New York Times Best-Selling Author

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    Please Inquire
Rob O’Neill is one of the most highly-decorated combat veterans of our time. He was a team leader and operator with the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (SEAL Team Six). He has held combat leadership roles in more than 400 missions, but with most of his career shrouded in a classified cloak, O’Neill served his remarkable career in the shadows. Through incredible stories drawn from lessons learned during some of the country’s most headline-stealing conflicts, he shows audiences how to approach strategic planning when mission failure is not an option.

Legendary Business Leader, Fmr. CEO of Flywheel Sports, & Fmr. President of Nike, Gatorade, & Equinox

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Executive, activist, one of the NY Times bestsellers, and entrepreneur, Sarah Robb O’Hagan is described by the media as everything from “Superwoman undercover” to the “Queen of the Jocks” to the ultimate example of where fierce business woman, mother, and fitness fanatic combine. Named among Forbes “Most Powerful Women in Sports” and recognized as one of Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business,” Sarah's career includes leadership roles at some of the world’s most iconic brands. She is the former CEO of Flywheel Sports, former President of Gatorade, former Director at Nike, and an internationally recognized re-inventor of brands. She has written bestselling books and is the founder of Extreme Living, a consultancy focused on bringing the best out of individuals and organizations, and CEO of Exos, the world leader in elite performance training that helps people reach higher and achieve more. As one of the top executive coaches, leadership experts, and consultant and speaker, Sarah is the perfect speaker/author for your event.

Innovator and CEO, Uncharted

Fees
  • Local: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US East: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • US West: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • Europe: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • Asia: $75,001 and up*
Jessica O. Matthews is the Founder & CEO of Uncharted, an award-winning energy and data technology company that develops infrastructure solutions for communities, facilities, and Internet of Things. The company was founded by Jessica when she was only 22 years old. Jessica’s research and career centers around the intersection of disruptive technology, renewable energy, human behavior, and the psychology of self-actualization. A dual citizen of Nigeria & the U.S., Jessica has a degree in Psychology and Economics from Harvard University, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and is listed on over 10 patents and patents pending—including her first invention of the SOCCKET, an energy generating soccer ball, at the age of 19.

Admiral, U.S. Navy (Retired); Former Commander, U.S. Pacific Command; Former U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea

Fees
  • Local: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US East: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US West: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • Europe: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • Asia: $55,001 - $75,000*

As the highest-ranking Asian American in the history of the U.S. Navy, Ambassador Harry B. Harris Jr. oversaw all military operations for more than half of the world’s geography as Commander, U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM). Widely regarded for his leadership, Amb. Harris was selected to serve by two presidential administrations – first to lead in one of the military’s most challenging roles at a critical time when the U.S. confronted the rise of new world powers and nuclear threats, and later as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea.

President at McChrystal Group, Best-selling Author, Leadership Expert, and Former US Navy SEAL Officer

Fees
  • Local: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US East: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US West: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • Europe: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • Asia: $35,001 - $55,000*
Chris Fussell is a former Navy SEAL Officer and the current President at McChrystal Group, a premier leadership and management consulting firm founded by General McChrystal and fellow SEAL David Silverman. Fussell leads the company’s sales, branding, and client relations teams, bringing his Special Operations experience and his expertise in cross-functional collaboration and knowledge sharing within large, dispersed organizations.

US Navy SEAL Rear Admiral (ret.)

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    Please Inquire
Rear Admiral Scott Moore is the former deputy commander of Naval Special Warfare. From the mountains of Afghanistan to briefings in the Oval Office, he is the man our nation’s leaders trust when failure is not an option. Whether leading a group of men or interfacing with Pakistani military leaders, he directed more than 2,000 missions and was involved in the marquee moments of our nation’s history. His presentations are a nail-biting, adrenaline-pumping glimpse into what it takes to create and lead high-performing teams.
Choose the Right Leadership Keynote Speaker for Your Event

Choose from leadership conference speakers that led military forces, steered political parties, drove corporate turnarounds, advanced scientific teams, increase employee engagement, and launched ground-breaking startup companies. Because we’re one of the largest premier leadership speakers bureaus, we represent some of the top leadership speakers available.

At Leading Authorities speakers bureau, we’re in the business of “wowing” event attendees. To find the perfect in-person, hybrid, or virtual keynote speaker on leadership, we collaborate with you. Tell us your budget, theme, and target audience, and we’ll take care of the rest. Our team helps with handling logistics and bundling extras into your event package, like a meet and greet or book signings, to ensure your event is seamless and makes you look good. 

If you are looking for a leading expert on business growth, a social entrepreneur, extreme leadership, emotional intelligence, or future trends, you've come to the right place. A motivational keynote speaker can come in the form of a founder and CEO, a Navy SEALs member, a leadership consultant, a serial entrepreneur, a bestselling author, or a national speaker. Additionally, check out the different types of leadership keynote speakers we recommend.

Types of Leadership Keynote Speakers

Choosing the right leadership keynote speaker for your event is important. Wow your audience with some one these leadership speaker types.

New York Times Bestselling Authors

A New York Times bestselling author is most beneficial to audiences that are looking for reading material to go along with what their speaker is sharing with them. For some, knowing that a speaker has the credibility of being on the New York Times bestselling list makes them more reputable.

Leadership and Management Speakers

Leadership and management speakers are best suited for audiences looking for guidance in leading and managing their organization. High level managers, directors, and CEOs would benefit from the knowledge that a leadership keynote speaker or management keynote speaker has to share with real-life experience from their respective field of work.

Speakers on Business Growth

Speakers on business growth are perfect for any audience and event type. Every organization is interested in growing their business, and it isn’t just the CEOs that should be concerned with this. Every person within the organization has the potential to advocate for change that can lead to growth, making speakers on business growth a great fit for any audience.

Motivational Keynote Speakers

Motivational keynote speakers are typically the most common type of leadership keynote speakers. They are the people who can mix in the good and fun aspects of leadership with the not-so-fun and tough situations that leaders are sometimes forced to face. Motivational keynote speakers know how to engage an audience and motivate listeners to lead with gravitas.

Find Your Next Keynote Speakers On Leadership

Contact our team today if you want to learn more about the leadership experts, speakers, and authorities we represent for speaking engagements or if you have any questions we can help you address about the speaker booking process.

To get in touch with a member of our team right away about the fee range for top leadership speakers, public speakers, international speakers, or business authors, you can also fill out the form below, email us at Contact@lauthorities.com, live chat with a member of our team online, or call us at 1-800-SPEAKER.

If you are looking for specific keynote speakers on leadership who deliver TED Talks not listed above, we still encourage you to contact our team as we specialize in placing hard-to-find and in-demand keynote speakers from all around the world, which may not be listed on our website.