Sara Ross
Featured Keynote Programs

Stand-Out Leadership - Thrive with vitality in the future of work

Taking on anything challenging—even when meaningful and exciting—will involve stress, discomfort, and struggle. In a world defined by uncertainty, the most powerful way to raise the bar and get to the next level is to boost the collective potential of how people work together. That starts by helping leaders and their people build awareness of their behavior, learn to embrace the emotions that come with challenges, and strengthen the skills of empathy to thrive collectively together, whether in-person or virtually.

Sara Ross, Chief Vitality Officer of the leadership research firm, BrainAmped, studies the influence of emotional intelligence, vitality-generating energy, and organizational culture on leadership, performance, and teamwork. Combining these areas and looking at them through the lens of brain science, Sara uses humor and storytelling to ensure people have actionable strategies they feel empowered to start using the moment they leave their seats.

Specifically, Sara will share the following in her keynote:

• It’s less about what you know and more about how you lead; learn the key behaviors that differentiate the best from the rest for creating stand-out leadership, performance, and teamwork.

• Knowing what to do and doing what you know are not the same; establish an in-the- moment emotional management strategy to strengthen personal accountability, make better decisions, and respond more skillfully—even in the most challenging circumstances.

• Trust is both a science and a skill; uncover the brain science of trust and how to use it to create more collaborative, innovative, and diverse cultures.

• To demonstrate empathy, you need to first develop it; learn an approach to extend empathy, especially in difficult conversations that get to the heart of the matter while strengthening relationships and driving results.

• Caring for people is not the same as carrying people; embody a mindset to shift leadership fatigue into leadership vitality.

It tends to be the best fit for groups looking for tools and insights around:

• Helping people strengthen their emotional intelligence and creating high-trust environments.

• Creating collaborative cultures where people feel cared about, respected, and part of something bigger.

• Strengthening leadership, relationships, and teamwork.

• Addressing change, getting buy-in around change initiatives, and creating cultures that foster innovation.

• Helping people build self-awareness and take personal ownership of their actions.

• Strengthening emotional-management strategies to help people approach and deal with

difficult conversations, feedback, and relationships.

• Increasing the skill of empathy to strengthen diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.

• Bettering listening, communication, and coaching skills, particularly in virtual and hybrid


• Insights on how emotional intelligence influences recruitment, retention, and psychological safety.

Activate Your Aliveness Factor - The unmatched advantage to reshaping how you lead and refueling how you live

We all want to put the last few years behind us. Unfortunately, with stress spiking, energy dropping, and levels of languishing—that motivation-dulling sense of blah-ness—lingering, we can’t ignore the toll things have had on people.

Based on the research and principles shared in her book, “Dear Work, something has to change,” Sara Ross shows that addressing these challenges and navigating the changing world of work requires a new question. Instead of asking how to help people feel less stressed and tired, Sara transforms the traditional approach by asking how can we help people feel more ALIVE. After all, the antidote to languishing isn’t to languish less—it’s to flourish more.

Looking through the lens of brain science, Sara teaches organizations, leaders, and their people how to boost their work vitality quotient to activate their Aliveness Factor. In addition to learning, this keynote will leave audiences laughing, inspired, and feeling recharged with actionable take aways to create more human-centered organizations, energized leaders, and healthier, happier, high-performing people.

Specifically, Sara will share how:

• Beliefs can be the biggest barriers; identify three common misconceptions people hold regarding work, success, and rest that keep them stuck in the survival zone and how to shift them into aliveness activators.

• Surviving the day is not a strategy; learn a mindset to work better with stress and how to use it to fuel the energy needed to pursue bold, meaningful goals, invest in important relationships, and live a full, energized life.

• Boosting vitality requires intentionality; build physical, mental, and emotional fitness and fortitude by practicing more strategic self-care both at work and outside of it.

• Standing out does not require burning out; highlight the vitality amplification effect of incorporating three simple yet empowering questions that leaders can use to help their people work from their stand-out zone, while moving themselves from feeling leadership fatigue to leadership vitality.

• This is the era of work-life blur; break the cycle of over-working and under-living by managing work-life boundaries (yours and others), while simultaneously contributing to an organizational culture that supports vital work and people—particularly in hybrid environments.

It tends to be the best fit for groups looking for tools and insights around:

• Addressing stress, burnout, well-being, and happiness.

• Building resilience, fortitude, and mental/emotional/physical health.

• Reigniting a sense of purpose, possibility, and a positive mindset to overcome the inevitable obstacles and embrace the undeniable opportunities of the future.

• Establishing healthy work-life boundaries and habits for better productivity and effectiveness, including creating better screen-life balance.

• Practicing more strategic self-care and energy management through breaks and time off – even without an abundance of time.

• Working and leading in virtual/hybrid work environments that are based in empathy and empowerment.

• Managing leadership energy to better engage, motivate, and support their teams (even when both are maxed out).

• Setting clear expectations for teams creating healthier and happier workplace cultures.

• Insights on how organizational vitality influences retention, recruitment, and psychological safety.

The Confidence to Get Knocked Down and The Resilience to Get Back Up

What would you do if you could not fail?" This is a good, thought-provoking question, but unfortunately, it is inherently flawed. If you are going to take on bold goals, get outside of your comfort zone, try new things, and build new skills - it will be hard and you will fail along the way.

Instead, "What would you do if you knew that even if you failed, you'd be okay?" This is what it means to have the confidence to get knocked down and the resilience to get back up; stronger, faster, and healthier each time.

While researching for her upcoming book, “Dear Work, something has to change” Sara Ross found that in a time of record-setting stress, uncertainty, and change, those most successful didn’t fail less often. Instead, they learned better. It’s the connection between confidence and resilience that free’s people to consistently stretch their potential to innovate, adapt, and thrive – even in the most stressful times.

Too many people miss out on opportunities in work and life because they lack the confidence to try. It might be taking on a new role, adjusting to changing client expectations and competitive market landscapes, or simply seeking feedback. All because they fear that they aren't equipped to handle the obstacles that come with each.

In this session, Sara will change that by taking the audience through a practical four-step method to strengthen their confidence - resilience loop by:

• Explaining the brain science of emotions under stress and sharing a strategy to address the three thieves of confidence: perfection, comparison, and the fear of judgment.

• Addressing common misconceptions about what confidence and resilience are and how each is built and maintained.

• Identifying where mindset shifts will help change the narrative of the story people tell themselves when it's keeping them stuck, scared, discouraged, and overwhelmed.

• Building a “resilience resume” to highlight strengths and experiences to draw from when faced with obstacles and channel both into positive, momentum-creating action.

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Sara Ross

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