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Douglas Conant            

Chairman, Avon Products; Founder & CEO, Conantleadership; Chairman, Kellogg Executive Leadership Institute at Northwestern University; Former CEO & President, Campbell Soup Company

Douglas R. Conant is a New York Times bestselling author and keynote speaker with over 35 years of leadership experience at world-class global companies. In 2011, he founded ConantLeadership, a growing community of people dedicated to improving the quality of leadership in the 21st century. Deeply committed to leadership, he also serves as Chairman of the Kellogg Executive Leadership Institute (KELI) at Northwestern University as well as Chairman of Avon Products.

From 2001 to 2011, Conant served as CEO and President of the Campbell Soup Company. He was the 11th leader of this iconic company’s 141-year history – faced with reversing a precipitous decline in market value. Conant dramatically transformed the global leadership team, reconfigured the portfolio, cut costs, and made integral strategic investments. These visionary changes resulted in cumulative shareholder returns in the top tier of the global food industry. Conant’s mission to achieve superior employee engagement levels was a crucial contributor to the company’s exemplary performance. Under his leadership, employee engagement at Campbell Soup went from being among the worst in the Fortune 500 to being consistently among the best. The company was also celebrated as a leader in social responsibility and ethical leadership during his tenure. A lifelong advocate for ethical practices and corporate responsibility, Conant remains actively involved with many non-profits and advocacy programs.

Conant earned his BA degree from Northwestern University and his MBA from the J.L. Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern. Before serving as CEO of Campbell Soup, Conant worked for three of the world’s best food companies. He began in marketing at General Mills, held leadership positions in marketing and strategy at Kraft, and served as President of the Nabisco Foods Company where he led his team to five consecutive years of double-digit earnings growth.

Conant speaks widely to people and organizations on effective and enduring leadership practices for the modern age. He is the co-author with Mette Norgaard of the New York Times bestseller "Touchpoints: Creating Powerful Leadership Connections in the Smallest of Moments." He is a featured blogger on leadership issues at Harvard Business Review online and also writes extensively about leadership on the ConantLeadership Blog and on LinkedIn.

Speech Topics


TouchPoints: Creating Powerful Leadership Connections in the Smallest of Moments

Today the information age has morphed into the "interruption" age. People are swamped with work and emails. And just when they hunker down to get something done, a colleague knocks on the door. Or the phone rings. People tend to push these interruptions aside to focus on the "real work." But in this counter-intuitive keynote Doug shows us how these brief interactions are the "real work" today and they will be even more so tomorrow. Highlights include how to contribute to a TouchPoint in a meaningful way, the importance of Declaring Yourself, and Walking the Talk.

"The action is in the interaction." – Doug Conant

LEADERSHIP: A CEO Perspective - Lessons Learned from a Lifetime of Transformation

Just as Gandhi advised that we must be the change we want to see in the world, leaders who wish to profoundly transform organizations must lead by example. In this keynote, turnaround CEO Doug Conant shares his perspective based on a lifetime of effectively leading organizations towards renewal and growth. Highlights include his guiding principles for leading change and his personal "leadership lessons" from over 35 years of corporate experience and his personal leadership model which provides listeners with the tools needed for enduring transformation.

"You can't talk your way out of something you behaved your way into." – Doug Conant

PERFORMANCE: A CEO Perspective - Creating a High Performance Organization

In this inspiring keynote the cornerstone of effectively leading others to high performance is revealed. At the heart of an optimally performing organization is the abundant notion of leadership which teaches us to be tough-minded on standards and tender-hearted with people. Highlights include the genius of the "and" and the "Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing" model for excellence.

"My ambition is to help build world class organizations that defy the critics and thrive in the face of adversity." – Doug Conant

ENGAGEMENT: A CEO Perspective - It's All About the People

How do we engage employees in the most impactful way? In this keynote Doug addresses his "people-first" approach to making work meaningful and building powerful organizations. Learn the tools to effectively and genuinely acknowledge success and show people you "have their back" while also keeping a critical eye on performance. Hear anecdotes that illustrate the notion of visibly energizing and supporting stakeholders so they will vigorously fight for the good of the company. Highlights include Conant's CEO tips for Attracting, Developing, Engaging, and Retaining the best employees and the profound effect of a personal thank you.

"To win in the marketplace, you must first win in the workplace." – Doug Conant

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