Top 10 leadership keynote speakers

Top 10 Leadership Keynote Speakers

Leadership style and the role of leaders within all organisations and teams has always been a critical aspect of performance and success. With the nature of organisations changing in structure and ethos, it is also important for leadership to evolve with it. The following individuals are expert leadership keynote speakers, either through their own experience at the top of governments and corporate organisations or by analysis of leadership styles through work with CEOs and governmental leaders. Each of these leadership keynote speakers has different insights to offer on leadership and how leaders can achieve the best results from their teams.

Baroness (Sayeeda) Warsi

Baroness Warsi became the youngest peer in Parliament when she was elevated to the House of Lords aged 36.


She is a lawyer, author, business woman and member of the House of Lords. She was Britain’s first Muslim Cabinet Minister; Chairman of the Conservative party 2010-12 and Foreign Minister 2010-14.


Warsi spearheaded the Conservative party’s Social Action agenda both domestically and internationally. She also Chairs a Foundation, focusing on three programme areas: social mobility, gender equality and freedom of religious belief.


Read more on Sayeeda Warsi here.

Tom Avery

Tom Avery is best known for his record-breaking polar expeditions which have taken him to the furthest corners of the planet.  Tom is part of an elite group of less than ten people in history to have completed the polar trilogy; the South and North Poles and a crossing of Greenland.


In April 2005 Avery and his five-strong team electrified the exploration world by recreating Peary and Henson’s controversial 1909 expedition to the North Pole, travelling with teams of Eskimo dogs and replica wooden sledges. Avery’s ambitious aim was to prove the sceptics wrong and match Peary’s 37-day journey to the Pole. After an epic dash across the most unforgiving environment on the planet, his exhausted team rewrote the history books by making it to the Pole with five hours to spare.


As expedition leader, Avery was responsible for ensuring that all members of his team felt responsible and integral to the success of the expedition. Including the Eskimo dogs with whom he spent time with every evening to keep every member of the team, both animal and human, motivated.


Read more on Tom Avery here.

James Kerr

An expert in high performance, James Kerr is the author of the bestselling book, Legacy, which unpicks the secrets of the world’s most successful sporting team, the All Blacks.


James Kerr addresses the specific challenges faced by larger, more diverse organisations today: including the impact that female leaders can have in previously male dominated environments, the challenges of engaging millennials, the shift from a transactional towards a transformative leadership style, personal leadership, ethics and integrity, marginal gains and incremental improvement, values and vision-setting, and resilience in adversity.


Read more on James Kerr here.

Hans-Dieter Hermann

Hans-Dieter Hermann is the sports psychologist to the German national football team, accompanying the team during the FIFA World Cup in Brazil 2014.


Having worked so closely with one of the most successful national football teams in the world, Hermann is well placed to explain the psychology behind performance, leadership and teamwork. Hermann applies this to various contexts, unpicking the psychological aspects of achieving the most from your team.


Hermann has also worked with the Austrian ski racing team, the German gymnasts, boxers and hockey players.


Read more on Hans-Dieter Hermann here.

Tommy Weir

Dr Tommy Weir is a CEO coach and author of the bestselling Leadership, Dubai Style: the habits to achieve remarkable success. The book describes how Dubai grew against the odds (and how you can as well).


This global supercity, which just five decades ago was a cholera-plagued backwater, might just be the picture of a dream becoming reality. But how, exactly, did this incredible transformation take place? Weir explains that it was leadership, but not your run-of-the-mill government leadership, nor typical corporate leadership, nor leadership taught in classrooms.


Weir retraces the city’s journey and draws out the leadership habits that emerged over time. For decades Dubai brought in–imported–leading minds from every field to learn from them.


Read more on Tommy Weir here.

Robert Hannigan

Robert Hannigan is the former Director GCHQ, the world’s leading cyber security agency.


He drew up the UK’s first Cyber Security Strategy and outlined the government’s ambition of making the UK ‘the safest place to live and do business online’. He set up the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre as part of GCHQ and launched the active cyber defence programme for the UK in 2016.


Hannigan strongly promoted technical skills in his leadership team and his term as Director saw the biggest internal transformation of GCHQ since the end of the Cold War.


Read more on Robert Hannigan here.

Jeroen van der Veer

Jeroen Van der Veer is the former Chief Executive (2004-09) of Royal Dutch Shell.


Van der Veer became a Managing Director of Shell Nederland in 1992. He led major restructuring initiatives, including a $2 billion upgrade of the Pernis refinery. He was Vice-Chairman and Senior Independent Director of Unilever and is currently Vice-Chairman of ING Group (since 2009) and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Philips (since 2011).


In 2004 Shell was facing an oil reserves crisis that hammered its share price. The situation was compounded by the abrupt departure of the oil group’s chairman, Sir Philip Watts. The new group chairman, Jeroen van der Veer, believed that in order to survive, the corporation had to transform its structure and processes.


Under his leadership, the main message of the change team, led by van der Veer, was that simpler, standard processes across all countries and regions that benefited Shell globally trumped local, individual needs. That meant everything from common invoicing and finance systems to bigger more centralised distribution networks.


Read more on Jeroen Van der Veer here.

David Miliband

David Miliband possesses experience in leadership within UK government as well as leading the International Rescue Committee as President and CEO. IRC employs 16,000 people around the world and works in 40 countries where lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster. This means that Miliband’s leadership is integral to steer the organisation to provide aid where it is needed most.


In terms of leadership in UK government, Miliband was UK Foreign Secretary 2007-10, where he was responsible for a global network of diplomats in more than 160 countries.  He established a distinctive voice for an internationalist Britain, from the war in Afghanistan to the Iranian nuclear programme to engagement with the world’s emerging powers.


Read more on David Miliband here.

Helen Clark

Helen Clark has held various leadership positions including serving nine years as Prime Minister of New Zealand, three successive terms from 1999-2008.  Later she was the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme from 2009-17.


Under her leadership, New Zealand achieved significant economic growth, low levels of unemployment, and high levels of investment in education and health, and in the well-being of families and older citizens. She and her government prioritised reconciliation and the settlement of historical grievances with New Zealand’s indigenous people and the development of an inclusive multicultural and multi-faith society.


Read more on Helen Clark here.

Farah Pandith

Farah Pandith was the first ever Special Representative to Muslim Communities for the United States Department of State.


Under Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton’s leadership, Pandith travelled to nearly one hundred countries under both Secretaries Clinton and Kerry launching youth-focused initiatives. Meeting with thousands of Muslim youth at the grassroots and designing innovative platforms, initiatives and networks


Pandith’s leadership saw her create the Women in Public Service Project, a first of its kind global movement launched at the US Department of State in 2011 to bring women into the public service sector.


Read more on Farah Pandith here.

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