Your Favorite Speakers

Ken Blanchard’s session today at Taleo’s user conference in
Orlando was one of the better conference talks I’ve heard.
 
Blanchard talked about the kind of leadership that results in profits but that doesn’t view profits as a goal, only a result of a focus on such things as on customer service and safety.
 
He included glowing references to Chick-Fil-A, a jab at the previous day’s speaker Carly Fiorina, and a subject he has increasingly mingled with his work: religion.
 
I asked an executive who had flown over from Europe whether a speech that included such religious undertones would, in Europe, conclude with as vigorous a standing ovation as Blanchard received in Orlando. “No, no,” she said. “He’d have to give a different speech.”

 

Some of the others who have given keynote speeches I’ve liked: Billy Beane (in my mind, he’s easily one of the most creative talent-acquisition leaders in America); Robert Reich, though I don’t always agree with him; Tom Peters, Magic Johnson; and Christopher Reeve.

 

Who are some of your favorites?

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