Dan Coughlin's Keynotes and Seminars on Leadership, Execution, Innovation, and Branding

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All of Dan Coughlin's keynote presentations and seminars are based on the idea that one person can make a meaningful and positive difference in an organization regardless of its size.

Committed to gaining a deep understanding of his customers and customizing his message.

Dan Coughlin feels that every keynote speech and seminar has to be built around an understanding of the customer's desired business outcomes. Once he clarifies those outcomes he then customizes his message through a combination of in-depth interviews with employees, on-site visits, being the customer and/or studying the organization's materials, website, and customers. His presentations focus on the role of a business leader in improving execution, innovation, and branding.

Dan Coughlin's four primary programs are:

Accelerate Your Impact as a Business Leader

      Can one person make a real difference in a business? In this highly interactive, high-impact session, Dan Coughlin explains why the answer is a resounding yes. Leadership is influencing how other people think so they make decisions that improve results. Coughlin explains practical ways to lead in any size organization. Based on his 3,000 hours of on-site observing and advising of executives in over forty industries and on the more than 2,100 Executive Coaching sessions he has provided, he debunks the traditional myths of leadership and shows how any employee can impact the way other people think and drive better sustainable business results.

Learning Objectives:

  • See the enormous impact of value and values.

  • Answer the 4 Critical Leadership Questions and how your answers can sustain high performance throughout your organization.

  • Understand ten ways to influence how other people think.

  • Realize the ten disastrous leadership approaches that ruin your impact as an influencer.

  • How to effectively give candid feedback to employees about poor performances and still maintain a strong working relationship with them.

  • How to leverage your strengths and passions as an individual to effectively create greater value for your organization and your customers.

  • How to maintain the genuine, daily, and purpose-driven enthusiasm necessary to guide a lasting impact in your organization.

  • Retain your ability to choose how to deal with major changes.

  • Answer the four questions in The Raise Your Performance Bar Process.

Every attendee will receive a copy of Dan Coughlin's Leadership Action Guide that will help him or her convert the ideas from this session into a personalized plan of immediate action upon returning to work.

Feed Your Brand Every Day

      Your organization's brand is like a person. It needs to be fed intelligently every day in order to stay healthy for long-term success. In this session you will learn practical ways to feed your brand every day to differentiate your organization in the marketplace. A great brand is a magnet that attracts people to you who want to buy from your organization. When your brand is strong, it makes selling exponentially easier. When your brand is weak, it makes selling exponentially harder. Your brand is the value customers think they receive when buying from your organization or potential customers think they will receive if they do buy from your organization. Your brand is not what you want to be. It's what customers and potential customers believe you are right now.

Dan Coughlin, who has worked with executives at such great brands as Toyota, McDonald's, Marriott, GE, Coca-Cola, Subway, RE/MAX, Jack in the Box, Shell, Abbott Laboratories, and the St. Louis Cardinals, provides penetrating insights into the dos and don'ts of building the brand you want. He explains the importance of defining and owning a performance category that matters deeply to customers and will generate the financial outcomes your organization desires. He demonstrates how an obsession with undisciplined experimentation can ruin a brand and destroy the sustainable, profitable growth of an organization.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand thirteen brand-feeding approaches you can use today. (Just don't try to use all of them each day.)

  • Establish how to differentiate your organization by answering the question, "Why us?"

  • Use The Wagon Wheel Approach that guides every spoke in your business into a central hub of value for your customers.

  • Realize the long-term financial strength in sustained, value-added relationships.

  • Clearly define what your brand is and what it is not.

  • See how long it takes to build a brand and why a sustained, consistent effort is critical to success.

  • Leverage a brand audit to strengthen decision-making throughout your organization.

  • Value the importance of staying true to what got your organization to where it is today and understand why good business leaders are good historians.

Every attendee will receive a copy of Dan Coughlin's Branding Action Guide that will help him or her convert the ideas from this session into a personalized plan of immediate action upon returning to work.

Build Teamwork that Works to Win

      Many business groups are not teams. They're a collection of silos. Teamwork happens when individuals support one another toward achieving meaningful objectives. This requires focused collaborative effort and open, honest, and respectful communication over the long term. At the heart of debilitating communication is a lack of respect for other members of the group.

Dan Coughlin has worked closely with business teams in more than forty industries and interviewed more than 800 people to understand what they feel makes their organization effective and ineffective. He has seen the disciplined, selfless attitude necessary to win consistently in a constantly changing marketplace as well as the multiple issues and drama that bubble up from self-centered behaviors that ruin business performances.

Learning Objectives:

  • Determine a cause that resonates more than individual rewards.

  • Establish who is going to do what when and why that is going to happen.

  • Understand how effective collaboration can become the highest form of business acceleration.

  • Use the ten approaches of effective communication that build stronger working relationships.

  • Avoid the ten approaches of ineffective communication that ruin working relationships.

  • Clarify your communication needs and meet the communication needs of your team members.

  • Know you are unlikely to change at your core, and know it is impossible for you to change anyone else.

  • Be aware of and accept your strengths and passions and the strengths and passions of other people.

  • Don't resent differences in other people, leverage them.

Every attendee will receive a copy of Dan Coughlin's Teamwork Action Guide that will help him or her convert the ideas from this session into a personalized plan of immediate action upon returning to work.

Innovate to Generate Sustainable, Profitable Growth

      A business innovation is the creation of more appropriate value for customers that they will pay for at a profitable margin to the organization. It has to be both: more appropriate value than the customer already has and a profit-generator for your business. One without the other is insufficient. Companies that avoid continuous innovation put themselves at risk of becoming extinct.

Dan Coughlin demystifies the process of innovation, and makes it simple, clear, and practical. He explains how successful business innovators boldly walk away from a lot of good ideas so they can focus on a few great ideas. He explains the importance of prototyping to save time and money. If you want your organization to propel itself beyond today's performance level to generate sustainable, profitable growth, this is a must-attend session.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the Five Myths of Innovation and why innovation is a necessary daily activity.

  • Know the four steps in The Process of Innovation and how the creation of value is based on carefully studying your desired customers.

  • See how to search for hot spots of too much value or too little value for your customers in current products and services. A hot spot is the starting point of a new innovation.

  • Leverage conversations, observations, experiences, and connections to improve performance.

  • Realize the power of iterating and eliminating existing products and services.

  • Learn how to master the four phases in The Cycle of Innovation that produce a steady flow of profit-generating ideas for sustained excellence.

  • Learn how to find the profit-generating gap between a customer's expectations and desires.

  • Learn to schedule thinking and non-thinking time and how they drive innovations month after month.

  • Learn how sacrifice accelerates innovation and why "N" and "O" are the most important letters in i-n-n-o-v-a-t-i-o-n.

  • Learn how to find organizations that have matching definitions with yours and how they provide a steady stream of ideas for improving your performance.

  • Learn to study Centers of Excellence and how to extract useful ideas from them for your organization.

Every attendee will receive a copy of Dan Coughlin's Innovation Action Guide that will help him or her convert the ideas from this session into a personalized plan of immediate action upon returning to work.

Dan's experience as a keynote speaker and seminar leader includes:

  • McDonald's National Leadership Council
  • GE Capital National Leadership Conference
  • BJC HealthCare Annual Leadership Summit
  • Marriott International Sales & Marketing Western Region Conference
  • American Cancer Society National Impact Conference
  • Anheuser-Busch InBev National Brewery Support Conference
  • RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Broker/Owner Retreat
  • The Prudential Forum International Conference
  • Shell Retail Oil North American Marketing Conference
  • Toyota Financial Services National Sales Conference
  • Abbott Laboratories Global Regulatory Conference
  • Boeing St. Louis Leadership Association Annual Conference
  • Denny's Franchisee Association International Conference
  • Kiewit Construction Leadership Conference
  • Land O'Lakes National Marketing Conference
  • BMC Software International Sales Managers Conference
  • Jiffy Lube Association of Franchisees Annual Conference
  • SolidWorks International Sales Conference
  • Bodycote Global Sales Conference
  • Shawnee Mission Medical Center Board & Management Retreat
  • Jack in the Box International Conference
  • Parker Drilling International Conference
  • Many, many more

Testimonials on Dan Coughlin's Keynote Speeches and Seminars from Senior Executives

BJC HealthCare

    "Dan, on behalf of the entire leadership community at BJC HealthCare, I want to thank you for your inspiring keynote session. The top 300 leaders in our organization greatly benefited from your messages and actionable steps presented during your ‘Lead the Way’ presentation. Personally, I enjoyed the way you connected the tenants of leadership between today’s leaders and historical leaders whose styles and approaches have stood the test of time. As we continue to transform our organization, these leadership lessons will help us lead the way to success. Thank you again for a wonderful session."

Steven Lipstein
President and Chief Executive Officer
BJC HealthCare


Anheuser-Busch InBev

    "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


American Cancer Society

    "Dan, I want to thank you again for your compelling presentation ‘Accelerate Your Impact as a Leader’ at the American Cancer Society Corporate Impact Conference. I continue to use and re-use the information and material to improve my leadership capabilities. The Conference Planning Committee, as well as my many colleagues at the session, agreed that your practical advice, along with the Leadership Action Guide, hit the mark. As leaders, one of our primary roles is to have an impact on how other people think, and you provided excellent insight and actions to help us make that happen. After the session, many participants talked about the various styles you presented, and how this will help them tremendously in the future. Your passion on this topic, the pre-work you did in getting to know the audience, and your partnering with us along the way, are only some of the reasons for your success. We definitely walked away with a new enthusiasm in our roles as leaders. Thank you."

Marla Langenhorst
Director, Ameren and Planning Committee Member
American Cancer Society Corporate Impact Conference


Integra Enterprises Corporation RE/MAX Ontario-Antlantic Canada, Inc.

    "Dan Coughlin was a pleasure to work with and was very well prepared when he spoke to our group. Dan took the time to ask the right questions long before his speaking engagement and had several in-depth conversations within our membership educating himself on the challenges within our business. Our Broker/Owners are a tough crowd to please, but Dan connected with them immediately and most importantly held their attention and the group was deeply engaged during the entire session. Dozens of positive comments afterwards about a morning well spent. I look forward to working with Dan again in the coming years."

Pamela Alexander
CEO Integra Enterprises Corporation
RE/MAX Ontario-Antlantic Canada, Inc.


National Jack in the Box Franchisee Association

    "Dan, on behalf of the Jack in the Box Franchisee Association and myself, we appreciate your full of energy and interactive presentation at our annual convention in Hawaii. I have seen and heard many keynote speakers, but your presentation and content were aligned with what we are facing in today's environment. We loved the fact that you actually worked in one of our Jack locations in order to prepare. You truly understood our culture and process. As a speaker, your back-to-basic and specific approaches to our daily challenges were perfect. You also shared many useful ideas on continuous improvement and reminded us all of the importance of collaborating in order to improve and sustain long-term business results. Our group walked away with a refreshed enthusiasm around how we can accelerate our impact as leaders."

Anil Yadav
National Jack in the Box Franchisee Association



    "Dear Dan, I want to thank you once again for your compelling presentation to our East Division leadership group of franchisees and staff at our Division Leadership Council meeting. All of us agreed that we walked away with a refreshed enthusiasm around how we can accelerate our impact as leaders. One of the most insightful concepts from my perspective was the idea of owning our leadership styles versus trying to be chameleons. It's not about trying to be everything to everyone, but instead it's imperative to listen, engage, be transparent and collaborate to drive results. In addition, the idea that 'great business leaders are great historians' - meaning we need to remember what and who got us to where we are today - really resonated with me and I think the reminder was key for everyone in the room. Your simple, actionable direction re-grounded us and reminded us to focus on what we're all trying to achieve. Thank you for sharing your insights and spending the afternoon with our leaders."

Karen King
McDonald's USA
East Division President



    "Dear Dan, thank you for your keynote speech at The Prudential Forum in Scottsdale, Arizona. I have received terrific feedback regarding your presentation based on our theme of Accelerate, Generate, Innovate as well as your follow-up workshop. We're still collecting audience feedback, but some of the comments were:

'He is one of the best presenters I have ever seen. Lots of 'steak' with the sizzle.'

'He really did his research and the audience was really engaged.'

'Great speaker ... very inspirational and it was helpful that he left us with tools to apply.'

"The extensive research that you did to not only tie your message to ours, but to make it relevant and timely to our audience showed in everything, up to and including the handouts that you formatted to support our secondary theme of Sustainability."

"Thank you again for sharing your boundless energy and insights with our audience… your presentation not only lifted spirits, but also provided focus to deliver results in a very challenging market environment."

Jim Mallozzi
Chairman and CEO
Prudential Real Estate & Relocation Services


GE Capital

    "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


Abbott Laboratories

    "Dan Coughlin took time to understand our needs and challenges through interviews and discussion prior to the meeting, then tailored his talk on accelerating leadership to us in a very engaging manner and gave us approaches that we could readily put to use to improve our leadership skills. He received the most positive and highest remarks on our feedback survey for relevance and engagement. One attendee said, 'I have already used the information that was provided to us by the Keynote speaker to accelerate the leadership of a new issue to help us move the business forward.' Thanks again for your excellent talk at our Global Regulatory Conference."

Cecilia Kimberlin, Ph.D.
Vice President
Abbott Laboratories
Medical Products Group
Quality, Regulatory, & Compliance


Toyota Financial Services

    "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


To read many more click here to read client results and testimonials.


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