Keynotes to Ignite and TransformLots of speakers inspire the audience for a day. You want a speaker who ignites them for a lifetime.
An innovative leader in the field of strengths-based change process and resiliency, Chris empowers organizations, businesses and individuals to understand and leverage their strengths to achieve extraordinary outcomes, both internally and externally.
Diverse audiences from South Central Los Angeles to rural Canada have been moved to action by Chris’ challenge to habitual ways of thinking and perceiving that have not served them well. Equally at home with CEOs or helping professionals, Chris has that rare ability to reach audiences through both head and heart. He moves effortlessly from foundational research (which somehow never feels “research-y”) to stories that speak directly to the unique experience of each audience member. “The shelf life of Chris’ insights, and his profound impact on an audience, are measured not in days or weeks, but in years.”
How to be an Inspired Personal Leader
This dynamic keynote explores the big ideas that have transformed so many leaders in Chris signature day-long workshop.
The Big Shift: Is your brain serving you or surviving you?
OK, not everything, but some very important stuff. Strengths are not necessarily what you are good at. It won’t be better “as soon as…” Happiness and success are not a result of circumstances. In this fun and fascinating keynote, Chris explores our new understanding of how the brain works and how we can leverage these new insights to live and work with greater vitality, creativity and responsibility. What may have seemed exasperating will, in fact, feel like very good news indeed.
Thrill of the ride vs bugs in your teeth
Life (and work) happens. This you know for sure. In times of intense or unwanted change, it is easy to feel powerless and disconnected from why you do the work you do. In this engaging and poignant keynote, Chris will help you connect with the source of your passion and power, no matter what the circumstances. You’ll leave feeling strong, resilient and focused on what matters most.
Got Strengths? Follow the energy from ordinary to extraordinary
That thing you are good at – is it a strength or weakness? Here’s how you can tell: Strengths create energy; weaknesses drain energy. When you learn to tell the difference, extraordinary is right around the corner. In this surprising and energizing keynote, Chris helps you tune into this remarkable navigation system and answers the questions that follow: Is it time for a change or can I tilt the world in favor of my strengths in any job? How do we get the right people in the right positions? Can I/we really wake up excited and energized for the work every day? This changes everything.
The Power of AND. (You are not a but.)
Let’s face it. We are all walking, talking contradictions – between what we know and what we do, what we intend and what we live. It’s called being human – and our incessant focus on “fixing” this shuts us down, sets up unrealistic expectations, and distracts us from moving forward. In this deceptively simple but game-changing keynote, Chris shares how inserting “and” in place of “but” can transform everything from relationships to time management to critical decision-making.
Bring It On! The power of the rest of the story
We get stuck in our own stories – about ourselves, others and the world around us. In this practical and moving exploration of how resiliency works and how mindset changes everything, Chris challenges the audience to move past habitual thoughts to see “the rest of the story,” then take action from that new place. Bring It On is a feeling that relies not on history and circumstances, but on choice and focus.
Tailoring to your unique needs (click to open)
While Chris’ core insights and message remain consistent, he tailors his focus to align with the unique needs and present-moment dynamics of your group. Similarly, sometimes a title that reflects these specifics is just what is needed to build anticipation and energy before the event. These decisions will be part of your early conversations with Chris as you prepare for an event that will change lives.
Special topics for educators and social service professionals (click to open)
Chris proudly continues the innovative work that launched the Strengths in Focus journey: fostering strengths and resiliency in children, youth and families – especially those who have faced adversity or other special challenges. (In fact, each of the topics above, began as keynotes and workshops designed for educators and social service professionals.)
Chris brings stories and insights born of nearly three decades of in-the-trenches work with diverse populations in both school and community settings. He is happy to tailor any of the topics above to speak directly to the unique needs, perspective and experiences of your group, and can provide trainings, ranging from two hours to two days, that include a focus on:
- Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). (Chris has contracted extensively with the Maine Resilience Building Network (MRBN) to provide both educational and skill-building trainings on ACEs/Resiliency throughout the state of Maine.)
- Identifying and fostering strengths. (Particularly in challenged and challenging children, youth and adults, including those in the criminal justice system, alternative education programs, foster care and other difficult circumstances.
- Building resilient organizations and staff.
- Other topics of interest.
Please feel free to call Chris to discuss your needs.
Please feel free to contact me at
Keynotes & workshops
I loved it!
Audience member Carol Hendricken, Alberta, Canada
Grounded in research.
Audience member and client
I felt, “This guy gets me.”
Anonymous audience member
Different from anything.
Audience member and client Carol L., Alberta, Canada
One of the best
Christine McNulty Grant, Portland, ME
Strongly impacted me.
impacted me, both personally and professionally."
Audience member Lucy Pulitzer, New York
It’s the way he lives.
Audience member and client
He helps you trust the process.
Chris’ “Yeah, But…” Breakout Session
This follow-up to Chris’ keynote presentation is the opportunity to ask the hard questions that come with every change in perspective. “What do you do when…?” “What about people who…?” “I’ve tried that, but…!” Chris will respond with stories and exercises that get down to the brass tacks of choosing a new perspective – moment to moment, even in the face of little support, challenging circumstances and too little time.
This is when the “aha’s” become “ah, yes, I see what to do now!“