Speech Themes


Click to expand the sections below:

Managing Self

Emotional Intelligence

In order to lead others, you must lead yourself. In order to respect others, you must respect yourself. In order to understand others, you must understand yourself. Dan shares methods and tactics to become more emotionally intelligent that results in building faster and deeper connections with others. It can be learned!


When talking to front line employees and managers, lack of effective communication is typically in the top 3 concerns that employees have about their organizations and leadership. Dan shares his tips on how to communicate effectively to all levels of your organization. Guess who the most important person is that you need to communicate with effectively? Your boss!


Many articles have been written about what life balance is, how to define it, and how to attain it. Dan believes that balance is about prioritization and sacrifice. He will explain his approach to balance and the concept of the “gap,” the space between who we want to be, and what we actually do.

Organization Skills

80% of success is showing up at the right place, on time. However, even the most talented leaders have trouble doing this. People underestimate the limitations they put on themselves by not planning, prioritizing or having a system to manage their life. Dan will share approaches, tactics and tips on how to manage your whole life.


The Johari Window shows that we all have blind spots that limit us from being 100% self-aware. Having a sense of confidence in your talents and being self-aware of your shortcomings is essential to leading a team.


We all leave some part of ourselves at home. The more of our authentic selves we can bring to work, the more credibility we have. Dan will share his best practices on being an authentic leader who is not afraid to exercise his strengths, and showcase his shortcomings.


The strongest bosses have the ability to lead, at times, with strong command, and at other times are willing to defer to their teams, and admit that they do not have the answers. Dan will share stories about both.

The Corporate Athlete

Professional athletes and corporate athletes experience the same mental and emotional stresses; however, their approach is much different. Professional athletes train 95% of the time and compete 5% of the time. Those of us in business do the opposite. Dan will talk about his approach to taking care of mind, spirit, and body in order to deliver a top performance.


Are some people luckier than other people? Dan says yes and will explain how you can create opportunities for yourself in business and life.

Managing Others

It’s not just about your people, it’s all about your people

Creating the right environment for your team to thrive in is your number one job as a leader. Dan will share his insights and experiences on how he led a 12,000-person team to consistently create magic for millions of people every day of the year.

Training & Development

What is the difference between training and development? And how do you put plans in place to be sure you are providing both to your team members to improve their performance, their results, and their retention? Dan shares his views on both training and development, how understanding the difference between the two matters, and how providing them at the right time to the right people can drive long-term performance in your organization.


Technology, design, intelligence, and creativity are important to success; however, as a leader, nothing can get done if not through people. How do you manage your relationships proactively and with the same focus and detail as you manage projects? It can be done.


Understand that talent selection is the most predictive indicator of success. Dan discusses the importance of understanding how you connect your talent to your job, and how to think about recognizing talent of those who work for you, and position them to do what they do best every day.


We spend 8-10 hours a day with our teams, and expect that they will understand our expectations through osmosis. It does not work this way. Dan will talk about the importance of clarity at every level of the organization, how to create it, and how to reinforce it.

Reward / Recognition

Why is reward and recognition important? To improve morale? To make people happy? No, it is to reinforce behaviors that you value. Dan will share his approach to reward and recognition, and how it can drive continuous improvement.

Leading Teams

Work teams mirror sports teams. There are work horses, super stars, unsung heroes, introverts, extroverts, big and small egos. You are not there to lead these teams. You are there to work for them, guide them and make sure they are successful individually and as a group. Dan will share stories of successes and whopping failures from his career.

Accessibility / Approachability

In most companies, big and small, hierarchy is used to structure the business. This limits the boss’ ability to find out “what is going on” on the front lines. Dan will share his approach and tips to become a more accessible and approachable leader, and how to use that information to improve your business and the team’s morale

Performance Expectations

Do your direct reports know what you expect of them? Have you told them, or just assume that they know. Have them make a list of what they think great performance looks like to you. If they cannot, you have some work to do. Dan will share his approach to setting expectations for your team.

New Teams

Once you select – or, more likely, inherit — a new team of direct reports, a dance happens over multiple months for everyone to figure each other out. Dan will share his approach to accelerating the transition phase, building trust faster, and getting to high-performance in half the time.

Leading, Managing, and Improving the Organization

Safety and Wellness, the base of Maslow’s pyramid

If your employees are injured and unhealthy, all other goals get harder to reach. Creating a world class safety culture requires not only expertise, planning, and prioritization, but most importantly requires visible leadership support, and an eye on leading indicators. Dan shares his experience of leading and improving a safety culture at Disney.

Metrics and Alignment

If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it. If it is not aligned it is not effectively contributing. Dan shares his thoughts on performance metrics, how to use them, how not to use them as well as how to link the organization’s structure and resources with its strategy and business environment.


The best results are achieved when there is diversity of input. Time constraints and reluctance to share information often get in the way of attaining this. Dan will share examples of the value and power of collaboration.

Strategic Speed

In order to move quickly, organizations must slow down. In their book “Strategic Speed”, Jocelyn R. Davis Henry M. Frechette Edwin H. Boswell discuss the importance of clarity and unity in order to attain agility. Dan will discuss examples of how this approach has proven successful in his experiences.

Lagging / Leading Indicators

Most metrics that we pay attention to are lagging indicators. They simply report what has happened in the past. If you want to drive results, you must identify what your leading indicators are in order to change the results you expect. Dan will talk about how to approach the business through this lens.


In Dan’s opinion, “strategy” is the most overused and least understood word used in business. Dan will share his approach on creating a strategy for an organization and the tools he uses to create a roadmap to guide your business to deliver results every day.


When people are held accountable for delivering results, then results get better. However, clarity, relationships and candor need to be part of the process. Dan talks about successes and missteps in his career around accountability.

Customer Satisfaction

The customer pays our salary. We had better give them the experience they want and then some, to insure they talk about their experience in a positive way, and come back again! Dan talks about his approach to understanding your customers, and staying in sync with their changing expectations.

Big Mistakes: Fast Recovery, Fast Learning

We all talk about our successes but do not spend enough time studying our failures. Dan talks about mistakes and failures he has experienced in his career and how he recovered from them.