About Dan Coughlin

Dan Coughlin giving the keynote address at the Shell Oil North American Marketing Conference.
Dan Coughlin's core belief is that one person, regardless of his or her title, can make a positive difference in an organization of any size. He works with leaders in business and healthcare to accelerate sustainable success for their organizations by impacting teamwork, execution, innovation, and branding.


His client list includes McDonald's, Toyota, BJC HealthCare, Marriott, Coca-Cola, GE, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Cisco, Subway, Kaplan Higher Education Group, RE/MAX, Abbott, Prudential, Jack in the Box, Washington University, Boeing, St. Louis Cardinals, Cardinal Health, and Shell Oil. Since 1998 he has worked with more than 200 organizations.

Keynote Speaker/Seminar Leader

As a keynote speaker and seminar leader from Maui to Budapest and everywhere in between, Dan is a pragmatic business teacher who combines real-life stories from his management consulting work with in-depth research of the audience.

Dan's experience as a keynote speaker includes Shell Oil North American Marketing Conference, Marriott International Sales & Marketing Western Region Conference, GE Capital National Leadership Conference, The Prudential Forum, Toyota Financial Services National Sales Conference, Abbott Laboratories Global Regulatory Conference, McDonald's USA National Leadership Council, BMC Software International Sales Managers Conference, Denny's Association of Franchisees International Conference, Prudential Capital Group National Team Leader Conference, Jack in the Box International Franchisees Conference, Ace Hardware Retail Group Leaders National Conference, Jiffy Lube Association of Franchisees National Conference, Land O'Lakes National Sales Conference, Kiewit Construction Leadership Conference, Boeing St. Louis Leadership Association, Rockwell Collins Leadership Club, Shawnee Mission Medical Center Board & Management Retreat, Annual Meat Institute National Conference, Roush Fenway Racing Annual Sponsor Summit, and many more.

    "Dan, on behalf of the entire Toyota Financial Services Team, I'd like to personally thank you for your keynote presentation at this year's National Sales Conference. You left an outstanding impression on everyone you worked with at TFS. Your passion, follow-up and attention to detail are tremendous and helped to make this year's sales conference a success. In fact, in the feedback survey from the conference attendees, we received excellent remarks on your efforts. Thank you again for your personal commitment to accelerating TFS to even greater levels of success! Oh yes, driven by the enthusiasm generated from the sales conference, we had the best all-time month in sales of both finance and insurance products! It was great and you helped 'accelerate' us to get there!"

Dave Pelliccioni
Toyota Financial Services
Group Vice-President
Sales and Marketing


Business Leadership Coaching

Dan has invested over 3,000 hours on-site observing and advising executives and managers in a wide variety of business functions and in more than fifty industries. As a Business Leadership Coach, he has provided more than 1,500 coaching sessions for presidents, vice-presidents, and senior directors in Fortune 500 companies, major privately-owned firms, and small businesses.

    "I have had the pleasure of working with Dan Coughlin for 4 years. He has a unique ability to provide both individual and group development. As my Business Coach he has developed tools that I use which challenge my thought process and enhance the effectiveness of my decisions. While his perspective is wide ranging, he also is very effective with specific situations. He customizes processes based on your specific needs and then stays focused on using the process effectively to help you achieve the desired result. He does a thorough job of understanding his audience when working with a group. The amount of prework and preparation including getting to know each player has been very effective. His style of coaching leaves the group feeling that they solved the issue and truly own the process. Dan's ability to partner with an organization through focusing on opportunity is one of his many strengths that help you get to the result."

Lee Renz
McDonald's USA
Sr. Vice-President
Central Division President


Committed to gaining a deep understanding of clients and customizing the approach.

Dan feels that every keynote speech, seminar, and executive coaching relationship has to be built around an understanding of the client's desired business outcomes and his or her unique work situation. He gains an understanding of customers through a combination of in-depth interviews with employees, on-site visits, being a customer of the organization, and studying the organization's materials, website, and customers.

Examples of client research include:

  • Working in a McDonald's restaurant for eight hours.
  • Working in all parts of a Marriott Hotel for two days.
  • Visiting a GE Capital Call Center for six hours.
  • Riding with a Cassens Transport truck driver for eight hours.
  • Working inside a Subway restaurant for three hours and a Jack in the Box restaurant for three hours.
  • Spending seven hours at a Kiewit Construction site in New Orleans as they built a new levee.
  • Visiting Toyota dealerships in four different cities across the United States.
  • Visiting an Anheuser-Busch InBev brewery operations for eight hours.

    "When I first met with Dan Coughlin to talk about my team, I had no idea what I was getting into. I was surprised and ecstatic with the depth of research Dan used to plan our day-long seminar on leadership. The day flew by thanks to Dan's enthusiasm, willingness to listen, and the diverse plan of activities. Dan has a very simple approach to leadership and provided my team with some good, repeatable strategies to improve performance. The feedback I have received has been all positive. I look forward to working together with Dan in the future."

Greg Suellentrop
Anheuser-Busch InBev
North American Zone Director


Embrace simplicity.

If you're looking for the latest management fads or fancy business jargon, you've come to the wrong place. That's not Dan's approach. He doesn't dazzle people with complexity. His focus is on helping you achieve your desired business results faster and in a sustainable way. He believes simplicity trumps complexity when it comes to making real progress. He and his clients constantly work to hone simple processes that will improve performance throughout their organizations.

    "Dan, I want to thank you for the tremendous job you did presenting at our recent GE Capital Retail Finance HR Leadership meeting. Your session, "Accelerate Your Strengths: Practical Ideas to Boost Business Momentum", provided numerous insights for the team to work on personally, and actionable ideas for them to take back and implement into the organization. The extensive pre-session research you conducted into our organization prior to our meeting proved to be a great investment of your time. In addition to our conversations, you spoke with 12 members of our group on the phone, received e-mail input from more than 25 attendees, and spent five hours at our Merriam, Kansas site to learn more about the Retail Finance business. You were able to take learnings from those interactions and seamlessly weave them into your session, which made it all the more impactful.

As you know, we're big proponents of process and believers in simplification. Importantly, your session gave us numerous practical process-orientated exercises that will help us further develop our strengths to accelerate performance and deliver results for the business. Thanks to your pre-session work and your straightforward teaching approach, the presentation was tailored to our audience and business, and, as a result, the team was fully engaged for three-plus hours - no small feat.

Finally, I want to personally thank you for the help you provided after the session with respect to our forthcoming Develop U Week. Your willingness to sit down and be videotaped for an interview immediately following the session after a long day was greatly appreciated, as was your follow-through in writing a whitepaper article for use during our learning and development week. On behalf of the organization and our team, thank you again for helping make our meeting such a success."

Cynthia Tragge-Lakra
GE Capital Retail Finance
Senior Vice-President
Human Resources


    "Dan is a great presenter and a master of 'simple'. In his keynote speech, he delivered 7 crisp suggestions to our sales group - and they ate it up. His 'Business Action Accelerator Guide' offers practical ideas that will help us move the ball forward in an increasingly cluttered world. Nice job Dan!"

Jerry Kaminski
Land O'Lakes
Executive Vice President and Group Executive
Dairy Foods


Ideas need to be reinforced to become habits that drive sustainable, profitable growth.

Whether a person hears a good idea during a keynote speech, a seminar, or an executive coaching session, we believe the idea needs to be reinforced consistently over time in order to truly impact that person's behaviors. Too often good ideas get left behind when the rush of day-to-day business activities set in. Consequently, Dan provides regular follow-up articles, customized letters, phone conversations, and on-site visits with clients to help them convert the ideas they've heard from him into new behaviors that impact their organization's highest priority outcomes.

Business Author

Dan Coughlin's books on business leadership include:

Quoted in USA Today, the New York Times, Investor's Business Daily, The Journal of the American Management Association, and dozens of other publications, Dan Coughlin has written articles that have been published in more than 100 trade association publications.


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