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Kurt Larson  

Life and death decisions call for a special kind of leadership. Kurt guides your organization on its journey to answer that call.

Author, adventurer, and award-winning firefighter, Kurt Larson has energized hundreds of people. Kurt strives to motivate those around him to better handle the everyday challenges and adventures of life. Kurt has been involved in the fire and emergency services since his first exposure during recruit training in San Diego, California. His experience includes positions with both career and volunteer fire departments, advancing to Fire Chief in both avenues of service, community leader, business leader, and coach. He is a graduate of the National Fire Academy's Executive Fire Officer Program – the Harvard of the Fire Service and holds both Bachelor and Master’s Degrees in Engineering.

Kurt is an innovator and a leader. As a speaker and lecturer, Kurt has presented training and educational programs to organizations around the World. He will take you on a journey that will inspire you to face your own personal and professional fires. Kurt draws analogies between his firefighting adventures and the challenges we face both personally and professionally. He sends the message to excel and live life to its’ fullest. He challenges the audience to take their own risks and turn dreams into reality. “We all have a fire burning in us to do something spectacular in our life” he says. As one person wrote, “Kurt is unique, inspiring, and speaks to your heart with a sincere passion for his message.”

Not many people have experienced the world as Kurt has. He has seen the world at its best and its worst traveling not only as a firefighter, but as a member of Up With People. Traveling internationally, he stayed in homes rather than hotels, visiting one on one, learning about people not through a diplomat’s eyes, but as a guest in their homes.

Kurt has been honored by being named to Who's Who, and was a recipient of the Instructor of the Year in 2006 for the State of Florida. In addition to garnering awards for this service to his community, Kurt has shown his leadership in a variety of ways. He has been on the cutting edge as the first certified fire officer in Colorado, and as an author presenting ideas about service improvement models before they became corporate "buzzwords." On an international scale, he was active in the Professional Development Committee of the International Association of Fire Chiefs as well as the President for the Southeast Association of Fire Chiefs.

Kurt has received the title Chief Fire Officer from the Center for Public Safety Excellence, and “Fellow” of the Institution of Fire Engineers, international organizations which recognize and individuals training, education and professional contributions as public safety professionals.

Today, Kurt continues to push the envelope by encouraging young people in what he calls "STEAM" - Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. Not satisfied that an engineer simply needs to design and built an innovative structure - but to push the boundaries by including aesthetic design.

Speech Topics

Achieving Excellence - One step at a time

Why do we need leaders? How do you get to be a leader? While there are many avenues to become a leader how do we become the effective leader? In this presentation Kurt takes us on a journey of discovering many of the facets of leadership. Whether it is as a company CEO or President of the PTA, leaders take different forms and have different responsibilities. Yet all leaders strive for excellence.

So what are the steps to achieving excellence? In his presentation, Kurt will show how passion and doing worthwhile work help to make a difference.

Achieving Excellence One Step At A Time covers:

  • How do you recognize the good leaders?
  • How do you get to be a Great Leader?
  • Do you believe you can make a difference?
  • Are you prepared?
  • What are the traits of a good leader?
  • “How can I help you?”
  • A great leader has vision and shares that vision with others.
  • Tools for Great Leaders

While it sounds daunting at first, this lively presentation seeks to bring out the person hiding inside. We all have hopes and dreams; learn the execution to make those dreams a reality.

I need a Hero

Searching for that hero to save the day? Kurt’s presentation takes you on a journey of discovery to find the hero in all of us. Teacher, Nurse, Doctor, Lawyer, Baker, Coach or Mom – each is a hero. Don’t believe it? In this presentation Kurt talks about the essential elements of a hero. It’s not a red cape or a mask. It is simply having passion, doing worthwhile work, and a desire to make a difference.

This message is designed to take you out of your comfort zone and show you from another perspective the impact you have on your family, co-workers, community and the world.

There truly is a hero in each of us. Kurt will give you a chance to see just how everyday people can be heroes.

Operation Hope (Help Our People Excell)

We all hope to be successful at any endeavor we undertake. And there are many times we find we cannot do it alone. In this presentation, Kurt takes you on a journey of discovering how relationships, both business and personal, depend upon a set of principles to make success possible.

To be successful organizations need great teams; colleagues, who pull together, work hard, stay positive and are resilient. A challenging economy and an uncertain future make it difficult to stay focused, so our leadership skills will be critical to our success.

Kurt provides real world skills for being optimistic and staying focused on performance. This presentation inspires and energizes while providing actionable skills to:

  • Commit to excellence
  • Measure the importance things
  • Build a culture around service
  • Create and develop leaders
  • Focus on employee satisfaction
  • Build individual accountability
  • Align behaviors with goals and values
  • Communicate at all levels in a positive framework
  • Recognize and reward success

And lastly, keep your focus when things don’t turn out as planned. From his experience as a leader of first responders, Kurt knows first-hand, when handling emergencies, things don’t follow a plan. How do you handle yourself and your team when this happens to you? At this point how you respond is critical to your success.

Power of Passion

What makes you tick? Is it the paycheck? Time off? Or something else? Kurt’s presentation takes you on a journey of discovery to find your passion. Whether it is sailing the seven seas or baking cookies at home – everyone has something that truly sets them on fire.

Kurt Larson is a fire starter. Workplace activities take on new meaning and the things we do when we have “free time” mean all that more when we realize what are passion is. At this point in your career or life, don’t you want to do the things you want to do? Don’t you want to excell at what your passionate about.

Kurt gives you the chance to see just how much more you can do if you only engage your skills with your passion.

Leadership Lessons from America's First Responders

As the leader of first responders, Kurt and a multitude of “heroes” took on towering infernos. How did these responders defeat an enemy which didn’t have a strategic plan much less a mission statement? How do the principles they used to face those challenges help us in the world of 21st century business?

His presentation takes you into the lives of these first responder’s as he talks about how an ordinary person can face adversity and answer the question of “why.”

Leadership Lessons covers:

  • Leadership Triangle – What are the traits of great leaders?
  • Know their names before you send them into the flames – How you create strong connections with your people.
  • Making the right call when the heat is on – how do you make the right decisions?
  • Fired up performance – how do you get people to be fully engaged?
  • Can’t leave in the middle – How do you lead for execution?

In today’s competitive business world, companies need to go where they have never gone before. "Leadership Lessons from America’s First Responders" shows you how, while developing the hero within you.


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