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Lance Secretan          

Top Leadership Speaker & Former CEO of a Fortune 200 company

Dr. Lance Secretan is one of the world's foremost thinkers about leadership and a renowned pioneer in innovative methods of inspiring people and organizations. The former CEO of a Fortune 200 company and an acclaimed business school professor, Dr. Lance Secretan works with a gifted worldwide faculty changing the lives of people and transforming companies and revolutionizing the way they think about leadership.

Thirty of Fortune's Most Admired Companies, and 11 of Fortune's Best Companies to Work for in America, are his clients. Dr. Lance Secretan is the international best-selling author of fourteen books on leadership, an award- winning columnist, teacher, philosopher, corporate coach and mentor, and one of North America's most sought-after keynote speakers, retreat leaders, and business advisors. Voted one of the nation's top ten speakers, and one of the "top 21 speakers for the 21st century" (Successful Meetings), he addresses audiences around the world. Dr. Lance Secretan was the Chairman of the Advisory Board of the 1997 Special Olympics World Winter Games and former Ambassador to the United Nations Environment Program.

In recognition of a lifetime of caring about people and the planet, Dr. Lance Secretan was awarded the prestigious International Caring Award (often referred to as the US equivalent of the Nobel Prize), whose other recipients include Mother Teresa and Jane Goodall. The International Management Council has also recognized his contribution to leadership with the McFeely Leadership Award. Lance has several degrees including a Masters in International Relations from the University of Southern California (magna cum laude) and a Ph. D. from the London School of Economics.

Speech Topics

Reclaiming Higher Ground.

Based on Dr. Lance Secretan’s worldwide bestseller, Reclaiming Higher Ground: Creating Organizations that Inspire the Soul, this presentation inspires a new way to think about leadership and work. The vast majority of people are deeply dissatisfied with their work lives and this affects the bottom line. Lance Secretan describes how leaders can serve the needs of their employees and how this improves performance.

Loyal, productive, creative employees inspire profits. Employees are eager to bring more than their bodies to work, and because work and the company represent such a huge commitment in a person’s life, they don’t want to bring stress and unhappiness home. There is a lot of productive common ground here—Higher Ground, Secretan calls it—when organizations answer this eagerness and desire with Higher Ground Leadership®.

He lays out a detailed and pragmatic process for organizational transformation that goes much deeper than compensation to address the hearts and minds of individuals, and their vision and goals for their organization. He talks about inner life, trust, courage, values and community as indispensable to the health of a business. And he sets the record straight about competition, profit, teams and structure in ways that inspire leaders and employees alike.

The New Story of Leadership.

An established trend is gathering momentum: the hunger to experience spirit in the workplace is gaining the force of a movement. The old story of leadership will no longer satisfy this hunger. Followers—employees—are leaving their leaders behind as more and more of them come to work with a new set of expectations.

Fortunately, some leaders—like Lance Secretan—are answering this hunger with a New Story of Leadership that connects employee fulfillment to the bottom-line in concrete ways. In this presentation, Lance proves that the trend is, in fact, mounting, why it matters, and how you can become a New Story Leader.

Here are the harbingers of the New Story of Leadership in business:

Leadership. Many of us are yearning for an alternative to business-as-war and leaders-as-warriors. We yearn for spirit in the workplace and for servant-leaders—people who lead with their hearts as well as their heads and wills.

Values. Business has more opportunity to influence the future than any other institution in the world. New Story Leaders choose to make business an instrument for positive change.

The End of Competition. The root meaning of ‘compete’ is to strive together—exactly the opposite of its usual meaning. The New Story Leader respects our interdependence—our oneness—and sees how it opens opportunities for growth, both within the organization and out in the marketplace.

The Cause. People want to work for a Cause that inspires the soul. A Cause acts as a magnet for passion. It articulates the higher purpose of an organization, it describes how we serve.

The New Customer. The New Story Leader devotes even greater attention to meeting the needs of employees as they do for customers. This goes beyond the usual incentive and reward systems —to practices that awaken passion and satisfy the soul. The result is a dramatic improvement in profitability.

Integration. The New Story Leader creates an environment in which “work” and “life” are not just “balanced,” but blended into an integrated, seamless whole.

The Calling. People are looking for more than a paycheck. They seek joy, meaning and fulfillment from their work. A Calling results in work that engages, nourishes and expresses our souls. The leader’s mission is to enable each follower to find, grow and excel in her or his Calling.

Soulspace. We ask people to contribute to the highest standards of which they are capable while putting them in the dreariest, most uncreative environments in their lives. Imagine the extraordinary work that could flow from sacred workspaces designed to inspire the soul.

Technology. The Internet, as an example—can be a medium for the web of human consciousness, described by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin as the noosphere. New Story Leaders will reinvent their organizations within this context.

  1. Learning. The most important ‘fringe benefit’ is no longer healthcare or a pension; it is the right to learn. Learning inoculates against irrelevance and positively feeds the soul.

  2. Inspiration. The role of the New Story Leader is to inspire others. This ability grows organically from one’s own inspiration.

Inspire! What Great Leaders Do.

The need to inspire has never been greater than it is today, as many people feel afraid, cynical, and resigned. In fact, most companies try to motivate their people with traditional leadership models. Secretan’s keynote, Inspire!, offers an alternative way to inspire from within and use self-knowledge to inspire others. It starts with the individual and spreads to transform organizations. This transformational process is Higher Ground Leadership®.

Inspire! teaches business leaders how to ignite superior performance by speaking to the deeper needs of business relationships, and by aligning their desires with your organization’s cause. Inspire! is full of proven methods for connecting with the soul, the real self. The keynote provides valuable guidance and shares a host of stories that illustrate how inspiring leaders have transformed their business environment from places of fear and resignation to powerhouses of effective performance.


Eighty percent of North Americans do not look forward to going to work on Monday mornings. Surveys suggest the public perception of business leaders, professionals and government employees has never been lower. Now, Dr. Lance H. K. Secretan takes a look at what has gone wrong. He addresses your deeper and unique needs and helps you shift the personal and organizational culture from looking outside for solutions to finding answers from within.

He understands that people everywhere are tired of bringing their exhausted minds to work, while leaving their hearts at home. They are seeking much more from their working lives. In short, it is time for a total quality program for employees that will inspire their souls, and their customers.

You will learn how to meet the needs of your soul as effectively as you are meeting the needs of your personality. He will change the way you think about your life and work.

While discovering the inner attitudes and values of individuals who will pioneer the evolution of organizations into the next century, you’ll get fresh and fascinating ideas that will help you integrate the heart, the mind and the bottom line.

You will get a detailed program that helps you achieve and learn:

  • New models of organizational culture and values
  • New awareness of the meaning of your communications, written and verbal, and its effect on others
  • How to achieve grace with associates, customers and suppliers
  • How to replace the negative energy of fear, competition and hostility, with compassion, excellence and service
  • How to romance outstanding performances from colleagues and loyalty from customers and suppliers
  • How to develop new reward systems for employees and new forms of partnerships with suppliers
  • New concepts of Decision Making, Employee Equity, Profit, Relationships, Learning, Creativity, Communicating Information, Truth-Telling and Promise-Keeping, and Workplace Design
  • How to inspire the soul

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