Jack Ismail – Keynote Speaker

Partnership Director at Specsavers

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Specialist Subjects

  • The Story of Specsavers
  • The World of Work is Changing!
  • How building a ‘Growth Mindset’ can help


  • English


Jack Ismail is currently the Partnership Director at Specsavers who are the world’s largest privately owned optical retailer trading across 11 countries.

Looking after the sight and hearing of 41 million customers globally Specsavers have traded for over 40 years and have built market leading positions in almost all the countries in which they operate. They have most recently expanded into Canada.

All of Specsavers 2300+ businesses are locally owned and operated joint venture partnerships which presents a unique challenge. The success of Specsavers is because these partnerships with local business owners bring their own unique flair and leadership to each location. Yet the need to engage, inspire, and gain alignment across the organisation is critical – especially where your business partners are not your employees!

Jack’s role is central to achieving this. His focus is to get all the businesses pulling in the same direction and working positively towards a common cause. From his experience working with senior leadership, he will teach your audience how Specsavers achieves such outstanding results and secures buy in and engagement across the estate.

These are skills that every leader needs where groups of people need to unite towards a common goal – whatever your organisational structure may be. His message will resonate with both the public and private sector.

Recognising that high performance is often the result of how leaders approach their challenges influencing the way they think is key. Jack brings humour and energy to his talk sharing the work he has led to build a ‘growth mindset’ culture across the Specsavers organisation. This mindset focuses on growth, learning, performance, and a desire to continually do better. Jack explores and shares ideas on how to achieve this.

People and culture are the new battleground in this uncertain and unpredictable world. In his thought-provoking keynotes Jack will show how introducing a ‘growth-mindset’ to your teams will build a positive culture and help employees feel more valued and involved.

Jack works closely with the client to tailor his presentation to their needs. Understanding the client’s priorities or key focus areas will help Jack to craft a presentation that aligns with the client’s key messages.

His experience and real-life insight on leadership from Specsavers and the other major brands he has been part of (Marks & Spencer, B&Q, Home Retail Group, Dominos) help Jack to demonstrate how thinking differently can impact performance. A charismatic and powerful presenter who will entertain and inspire your audience.

Popular Talks by Jack Ismail

The Story of Specsavers

Jack starts with one of those funny, iconic ads that made Specsavers famous. He then challenges the audience consider how they would launch a new retail brand to the high street and grow that brand from one store to a chain of over 2000. In doing so they need to employ 40,000 staff but critically their work should genuinely improve the lives of their customers.
That’s the story of Specsavers!

Jack shares how founders Doug and Mary Perkins built the world’s largest private optometry chain to become the giant it is today. His anecdotes will fascinate the audience as he points out that 95% of Specsavers employees don’t work for them! They are employed by the joint venture partners who own and run each business locally.

How do you influence, engage, and inspire business partners who run their business under your brand, have their own ideas and don’t work for you? The skills required to do this, Jack says, are critical for all leaders to understand.

The World of Work is Changing!

Influencing those who are not your employees is challenge enough but Jack then reflects on how the world of work is changing. The balance has shifted. Prospective employees are interviewing you as much as you may be interviewing them! How do the culture and the credentials of your business stack up?

Being an ‘average’ employer is no longer good enough. Employees have a voice and want to be heard. Your organisational culture has never mattered so much. So ‘what’s it REALLY like to work around here?’ is a question he poses to the audience.

Your people need to be inspired, engaged, and included if you want to be successful and Jack then shares a tool to help you do this.

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