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Betsy Myers

Chief Operating Officer, Barack Obama Presidential Campaign, 2007-2009; Former Executive Director, Center for Public Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School of Government

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Fee Range:
$15,000 - $25,000

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Center for Women and Business


Betsy Myers is dedicated to a new kind of leadership. A public servant, mentor, speaker and budding author, Betsy believes that the hardest person you will ever manage is yourself and that great leadership navigates through conflict to facilitate change. Most recently, Betsy served as the Chief Operations Officer and the National Women's Chair of Obama for America, Barack Obama's Presidential campaign.

Prior to that appointment, Myers was the Executive Director of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. She also served as the first Director of the White House Office for Women's Initiatives and Outreach as Deputy Assistant to President Clinton, the President's senior advisor on women's issues.

Speech Topics

So many people have a difficult time accepting the realities of their workplace today. The driving theme of this speech is that it’s irrelevant whether you like a boss, colleague, constituent, or donor. What is relevant, however, is navigating every situation to achieve the best possible outcome while preserving your integrity. This is the only way to prosper in your company. It all starts with you. True leadership is when you step into who you really are, when you discover, understand and embrace your own personal story. In addition to being your true self, successful leadership is also learning about the people around you and what they need. This combination enables leaders to create an environment and culture in which people offer their best selves to a team, partnership, or relationship in order to achieve desired results. This speech will share strategies and best practices that will help you become an authentic leader who establishes meaningful relationships in order to drive your career forward.

Every company today is grappling with a staggering statistic — 50-70% of American workers are disengaged in the workplace. Clearly, the old masculine model of command-and-control leadership is no longer effective in this new environment; so a new leadership model must take hold in order to recruit and retain vital and vibrant talent at all levels of the organization. Indeed, as this speech explains, leaders today must be conscious about their behavior and its impact on others. More specifically, they must be self-reflective and try to understand their strengths and weaknesses. In addition, they must ask questions, not just provide answers, in order to build relationships and facilitate teamwork and collaboration. And, finally, they must bring out the productive feelings in the people around them. When people feel valued, supported, appreciated, and understood, they do their best work. Based on Betsy Myers’ book, Take the Lead: Motivate, Inspire, and Bring Out the Best in Yourself and Everyone Around You, this speech will explain what leaders must do differently and better if they want a workforce that is both happy and profit-driven.

Most companies aren’t making real progress when it comes to gender equity today. Indeed, women’s issues often appear to be pushed to the side. Unfortunately, though, the old strategies and continuing lack of focus aren’t helping organizations recruit, retain and advance talented women. Women currently hold just 10%-15% of the senior leadership (C-Suite) positions in corporate America, even though they hold 50% of the middle-management positions. This speech offers a sweeping new approach for boosting gender equity in US companies — engaging men on behalf of women. In addition to offering strategies that will help men effectively mentor women, the speech will also show how to establish trust-based professional relationships between men and women that will lead us to a gender progress that has been elusive for so many years.

Unfortunately, no one escapes life without occasional failure, heartbreak, betrayal, disappointment or unwanted change. But the critical issue is what we do and how we manage ourselves in the midst of this pain — whether it’s in our personal or professional sphere—that create a path to resilience.

Betsy Myers, the author of “Take the Lead: Motivate, Inspire, and Bring Out the Best in Yourself and Everyone Around You,” will explore this in an empathetic and path-breaking keynote speech that shows how resilient people lead themselves and others when life’s disruptive and disorienting changes invade their lives and take them down a rabbit hole of grief, anguish or disbelief.

After talking with many resilient leaders in recent years, Myers will explain their commonality and how they ask themselves, “What is the gift in this troubling situation? What can I learn from it, and how can I help others?” She will also share a host of strategies and action steps that resilient leaders employ when they’re dealing with life’s setbacks – how to hug the pain, instead of avoiding or ignoring it; how forgiveness and acceptance lead us to unconditional happiness; how learning to embrace failure as a gift guides us to our authenticity; and how the search for meaning, in the unwanted, can bring a mission and purpose to our lives.

This informative and inspirational speech shows how the resilient muscle is built, and it exhorts people to become the leaders of their lives, in both good and bad times. As Myers says, “It’s not how we bounce back, but, more importantly, how we bounce forward when unexpected challenges and opportunities present themselves.”

Many books, including “The Art of the Deal,” have tried to explain Donald Trump’s unique approach to management. But Trump’s leadership style wasn’t fully examined until recently, when he ran for the presidency. And now, after several months in the White House, we have a much better sense of how this entrepreneur-turned-politician really operates.

What have we learned? And what leadership lessons can corporate executives garner from this extraordinary chapter in U.S. political history? These are the two central questions that will be addressed in a provocative keynote speech by Betsy Myers, the author of “Take the Lead: Motivate, Inspire, and Bring Out the Best in Yourself and Everyone Around You,” and a former advisor to Presidents Clinton and Obama.

In addition, Myers will explain why so many voters gravitated to candidate Trump. Will we ever look at politics quite the same? What were the blind spots that led so many people to get blindsided by the results of the election including: journalists, pundits, pollsters, campaign operatives and Hillary Clinton’s campaign? How can we be more aware of our own blind spots to avoid being blindsided in our own leadership?

It’s too early to predict whether President Trump’s approach to managing and governing will succeed. But, as Myers will make clear, there are five core leadership take-aways from this president’s early success and failure with historical perspectives that corporate leaders can learn from as our nation’s newest occupant of the Oval Office begins his term of office.