Jill Belconis has had the opportunity to be the “first woman” throughout her entire career. Jill has never been one to accept the status quo and is always ready for the next challenge. Her deep passion for leadership has taken her down an extraordinary path. She has shared her journey and her authentic leadership style in her TEDx Talk, “Succeed Like a Man, Lead Like a Woman.”
After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a business degree, Jill became the first woman hired as a salesperson in the Data Processing Division of her IBM branch. Many didn’t believe a 21-year-old woman could succeed in sales at a conservative technology firm in the early ’80s. Despite many challenges, she forged ahead, excelled and learned to lead.
After IBM, Jill entered another competitive field, residential mortgage banking. She quickly became the president of Shelter Mortgage Company, which qualified her to join YPO Chicago, one of the oldest chapters in Young Presidents’ Organization, the premier global organization for chief executives. When Jill joined the Chicago chapter of 180 members, she was one of five women.
Jill became involved in her YPO Chicago chapter and in 2005 became the first woman elected chapter chair. She didn’t stop there. She got the attention of the global community of CEOs and presidents and found herself on YPO’s International Board of Directors. Then in 2011, Jill was the first woman elected as YPO International chairman of the board in its 67-year history. While leading other leaders worldwide, Jill understood the true meaning of servant leadership.
In 2013, Jill was able to successfully sell the nationwide Shelter Mortgage Company and then exit the business a year later. It has allowed Jill to pursue other passions as an executive advisor and a Gazelles International Certified Business Coach. She now can take her vast leadership experience and work with other CEOs to grow, scale and thrive in their businesses.
Diana Kander and her family escaped from the Soviet Union when she was 8-years-old. By the time she was an American citizen, she had perfected her skills as an entrepreneur – selling flea market goods to grade school classmates at a markup.
Today, Diana is the Director of Innovation Culture and Habits for Maddock Douglas, a Chicago-based innovation consulting firm. In this role, she trains executives and Fortune 1000 companies to be more innovative and inspires employees to think like entrepreneurs.
How did she get here? Diana was a Georgetown educated attorney who left her successful law practice to start and sell a number of ventures. The businesses spanned a number of industries: software, real estate, hospitality, construction, staffing and consulting. After the sale of her last company, Diana spent three years as a Senior Fellow at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the largest non-profit in the world dedicated to entrepreneurship and education, and two years as a professor of entrepreneurship in the MBA program at the University of Missouri.
Diana is also the author of the New York Times Bestseller All In Startup, a novel outlining lessons for launching a successful business. The book has been used in over 70 colleges to teach innovation and entrepreneurship.
Diana lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her high school sweetheart and husband, Jason, and their awesome son, True.
Fun fact, Diana recently did an 11.5 minute plank and tore her oblique muscle.
- Creating a culture of innovation
- Identifying and maximizing your innovation “types”
- Reducing the drama of collaboration
- Breeding innovation champions in your organization
- Intrapreneurship and how it can change your business
- Breaking down the myths of innovation labs
- Innovation methodologies — What’s best and what’s buzz?
Contact us for more information on booking Debbie for your next event, or call Stephanie Savage at 630‑563‑6454.
Contact us for more information on booking Michele for your next event, or call Stephanie Savage at 630‑563‑6454.
Gray Rhino Proofing Your Future:
A New Way to Think About Risk and Response
Gray Rhino events are highly probable, give clear warnings and have high impact. Unlike the unimaginable black swan or the unmentionable elephant in the room, gray rhinos give clear signals that many people recognize — and they offer a choice to respond or get trampled. Yet all too often, leaders fail to plan for, recognize or deal with these obvious dangers: financial crisis, market shifts, leadership succession, digital disruption, failing infrastructure, demographic shocks, climate change and more.
Why don’t businesses and governments do better at heading off highly obvious challenges?
Why are the most successful organizations the ones that identify and confront gray rhino threats?
What strategies can you use to manage the gray rhinos at your organization or in your industry?
What are the global gray rhinos you should be planning for now?
How can you harness your gray rhinos to catalyze innovation and turn challenge into opportunity?
Michele’s provocative talk lays out a framework for recognizing and prioritizing your gray rhinos, and can be customized for your industry or audience. She will leave you with fresh perspectives on the pitfalls and opportunities at the five stages of a gray rhino, from denial to action — not just to avoid highly obvious dangers but also to see opportunities where others do not.
Contact us for more information on booking Jill for your next event, or call Stephanie Savage at 630‑563‑6454.
Expanding Your Influence Through Emotional Literacy
In order to change a mind, lead a team, pitch a concept or change the world, we must first be heard. Influence is tricky because internal and external audiences have humans in them. Humans can be irrational and emotional in making their choices. We each have individual style and preferences that drive our ability to listen and understand. In this keynote, Christina will provide deliberate practices to start increasing your influence based on the five components of influence.
Embracing Conflict To Build Relationships
(aka telling someone he has spinach in his teeth)
Conflict can be a beautiful moment that questions the status quo and moves people toward shared outcomes. Christina provides the room with deliberate practices to:
Reboot the operating system on conflict
Begin a deliberate practice to question the “story in my head”
Communicate the conflict in a way that it is heard and improves the relationship
Quickly discern significant value from the areas of conflict
Bettering In Volatility
Volatility is the new normal in business. Each of us is authoring our future narrative buoyed by the genius of our history. A leader may be unaware of her genius; as when a person is really great at something, he/she does not value it because it comes so easy to him/her. In this keynote, each attendee will learn the physiology behind self-authorship and how to drive personal and organizational performance through nontransactional storytelling.
Getting The Organization You Deserve
How the leader makes people feel drives everything that happens in an organization. The action is just one step of the equation for human alignment. Leaders often develop habits that worked very well in the past — when there were fewer people, when the stage of the business was different, when they were at a different level in the organization or in a different culture. At this stage of the business, what are the new habits that can transform customer happiness and increased execution? Christina helps executive teams understand their current habits and how to create deliberate practices to move closer to the outcome they want.
Additional Keynote Topics
Working with Millennials
Public speaking and presentation skills
Emotional literacy and EQ
Contact us for more information on booking Bernie for your next event, or call Stephanie Savage at 630‑563‑6454.
Tearing Muscle To Build Muscle
To build muscle, you have to tear it. If you tear muscle the wrong way, you injure it. However, if you tear it appropriately, the fibers actually become stronger!
Great leader development organizations make smart “tears” in their people daily. Doing so lies at the core of how you grow competent and principled leaders in your ranks.
How do you grow the leaders you need? How do you grow the right people so you can do what you need (short and long term)? How do you develop the right culture?
Bernie’s presentations address these questions and more. You will learn:
Understanding the importance of experience, feedback, education
Purposely fostering risk in service of engendering growth
Why failure and success are important
How to harness the power of dialogue
How to understand culture and shape it
How to artfully apply scientific principles of leader development in any organization
Contact us for more information on booking John for your next event, or call Stephanie Savage at 630‑563‑6454.
I believe time is our most valuable commodity. I believe the way we experience time is not linear and our perceptions of time are strongly influenced by the stories we tell, and the meaning we make. I believe, absent action to correct it, each summer will feel shorter than the last and life is not just short, it is actively getting shorter. I believe there is a way to slow, stop and reverse the perceived acceleration of time and live summers longer than when we were kids; but it is not easy. I believe by designing lives focused on our strengths, we can increase our resilience and take on larger challenges, face bigger risks and create more meaning. I believe we can innovate our lives to avoid the malaise of modernity, the stifling conventions and muffling routines that lead men to small risks, small rewards and a lack of meaning. The goal of “The Art of Really Living” is to play the role of a chrysalis, breaking the clay of grey men, revealing the colors of the sleeping poet, painter or musician within.
Dr. Friedland’s latest book:
Leading Well From Within:
A Neuroscience and Mindfulness-Based Framework for Conscious Leadership
Successful entrepreneurs, business executives, professionals and health care providers are confronted with massive amounts of stress, overwhelm and burnout on a daily basis. It can be both debilitating and lead to a culture of disengagement and fear.
But what if you could make a shift that could transform stress, overwhelm and burnout to become a more energized, compassionate, values-based, high-performance leader, create a culture of engagement in your organization and feel like you’re making a difference in the world?
You can if you learn how to Lead Well From Within. Get the book to discover how!
Contact us for more information on booking Dr. Friedland for your next event, or call Stephanie Savage at 630‑563‑6454.
Leading Well From Within
What distinguishes high-performance leaders from low-performance leaders? An ability to leverage stress into awareness, emotional intelligence, resilience and purpose. Discover neuroscience and mindfulness-based steps to Lead Well From Within so you can lead well in the world.
Transforming Health Care Provider Burnout Into Resilience
With over 50 percent of health care providers experiencing symptoms of burnout, it’s time for a change. Explore four evidence-based steps to transform burnout into resilience so you can rediscover the joy and meaning in your life’s work — and find more happiness with your family at home.
Engaging Conscious Leadership
Discover how you can become a conscious leader, leveraging internal and external awareness, combined with an optimal mindset to inspire and engage key stakeholders in service of a higher purpose and shared vision.
The Power of Wellness and Wellness Empowerment — How to Be the CEO of Your Health
Did you know that many health conditions that negatively impact work performance and absenteeism can be significantly reduced by simple lifestyle changes? Discover four easy steps to become the CEO of your health so you can take control of your health and wellness and live a happier, more productive and fulfilling life.
Our energy is our most valuable resource, yet most people fail to manage it effectively. The SYNERGY series of programs teaches strategic energy management principles and techniques for busy professionals, including topics such as nutrition for performance, physical activity guidelines, sleep strategies, relaxation and recovery training, and optimal oscillation practices.
Contact us for more information on booking Heidi for your next event, or call Stephanie Savage at 630‑563‑6454.
Participants will learn how to train the brain to manage energy more efficiently in order to radically improve resilience, productivity and performance. Energy management is discussed from a holistic, inside-out approach, starting first with techniques to balance brain chemistry, build brain health and boost brainpower. With the brain in an energized state, we are then able to bring our best attention and effort to the task at hand.
The SHARP Solution
Participants will learn the critical components of brain health that provide a foundation for improved cognitive functioning throughout the life span, understand the power of mental and physical training to stimulate energy, and create an actionable plan for implementing a sustainable brain-body fitness program that can be applied to their everyday life. Real-world solutions currently being used successfully within organizations will be discussed in order to develop a brain healthy toolbox for both individuals and groups.
Participants will recognize the impact of chronic stress on the human operating system, learn how a simple shift in mindset can dramatically alter physiological responses to stress, utilize brain-training techniques for mental strength, flexibility and endurance, practice simple techniques for altering daily stress patterns to improve natural rhythms, and create an action plan to support personal energy management.
Contact us for more information on booking Diana for your next event, or call Stephanie Savage at 630‑563‑6454.
Innovative Leadership: The new mindset required for leaders to survive in today’s economy
Question: Are your leaders fostering a culture of innovation, or are they just managing? There’s a big difference and it might mean the life and death of your company.
Description: The fast pace of change in today’s economy requires that ideas for innovation (whether they are internal improvements or new sources of revenue) come from all parts of the organization. But the training of traditional managers stifles innovation and often forces innovative employees out of the company. This interactive presentation will demonstrate the mindset today’s innovative leaders have to possess.
Key Outcomes and Takeaways:
Learn the new skill set required of the innovative leader
Discover common pitfalls of innovative leadership
Understand how to create an internal culture of innovation so that every employee is a resource to the effort