Todd Henry

• Author, international speaker, consultant, advisor and podcaster

Todd Henry teaches leaders and organizations how to establish practices that lead to everyday brilliance. He is the author of five books which have been translated into more than a dozen languages, and he speaks and consults across dozens of industries on creativity, leadership, and passion for work.

His book Die Empty was named by as one of the best books of 2013. His book, Louder Than Words, is about how to develop an authentic voice that resonates and creates impact. Bestselling author Tom Rath called it “ of the best guides to living a meaningful life I have ever read.”

Herding Tigers: Be the Leader That Creative People Need (2018) has been called an "urgently needed manual for managers doing important work" by Seth Godin. His latest book is The Motivation Code: Discover the Hidden Forces That Drive Your Best Work (2020).

Speech topics

Herding Tigers

Leading highly creative people, who are doing highly creative work, is a difficult challenge. However, the upside to getting it right is huge. In this talk, Todd Henry shares the core things talented, creative people need from every leader, the common places where leaders unknowingly fail to provide them, and the handful of conversations, practices, and rituals that can set you and your team up to do its best work every day.

(This talk is based on Todd’s book Herding Tigers: Be The Leader That Creative People Need.)

Key Takeaways:

  • Why every team needs stability and challenge, and how to diagnose which your team needs more of.

  • The three ways that leaders forfeit trust, and don’t even know it.

  • How to establish a leadership philosophy that builds clarity and trust.

  • How to shape and prune your culture, and create an environment that talented people love to work in.

  • Why most brainstorming sessions are ineffective, and how to do them differently.

Unleash your best work every day

No matter how talented and driven your team is, there is always a danger of getting stuck in ruts. You have to be mindful of some of the common areas where even the most focused and successful teams eventually trip up, and build practices to help you avoid them.

In this talk, you will learn a practical process for recognizing those “watch points” organizationally, identifying personal and organizational passion areas, and ensuring that the people in your organization are bringing their best focus and energy every day.

(This talk is based on Todd’s book Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day.)

Key Takeaways:

  • The seven “deadly sins” that lead to organizational stasis.

  • How to avoid aimlessness, especially in busy times.

  • Why “ghost rules” can limit your organization’s productivity.

  • How to identify core personal and team passion areas.

  • Tools for defining your battle lines and building your daily activity around them.

  • Tactical questions that help you surround problems and avoid “busy boredom”.

  • How daily choices build a body of work that you’ll point to with pride.

How to be Brilliant at a Moment's Notice

Can you improve your odds of having great ideas when you need them most? Yes! While creative ideas can be elusive, with a few

purposeful practices you can set yourself up to have great ideas, even under pressure. Learn the basics of life and work rhythm, and how to build an infrastructure that supports your personal and team creative process.

(This talk is based on invaluable insights from Todd’s book The Accidental Creative.)

Key Takeaways:

  • How to spot the three assassins that rob people and teams of creative firepower.

  • How to build predictable rhythms and practices that unleash your best work.

  • The elements of rhythm (focus, relationships, energy, stimuli, hours).

  • How to use challenges and “the big 3” to gain focus for yourself and your team.

  • The five kinds of conversations you need to have for healthy collaboration.

  • How to prune and manage your energy.

  • The kinds of stimuli that lead to brilliant ideas.

  • How to avoid the “efficiency trap”, and invest in long-term effectiveness.

The Power of an Authentic Voice

Your work tells tales. It speaks about you, your values, your hopes, your ambitions, and ultimately what you deem worthy of your energy

and attention. The key to making your work speak loudly and resonate with others is to uncover, develop, and then bravely use a voice rooted in authenticity.

In this talk you’ll discover how to develop the core drivers of an authentic, resonant voice (authencity, uniqueness, precision, consonance, empathy, timing), and why some voices connect deeply while others simply miss the mark. You’ll also learn why your most resonant work results when you are mindful of three key factors: what you care about, what your audience cares about, and ideas already gaining momentum.

Those people and teams who are brave enough to cultivate an authentic voice are impervious to cultural noise. They are the ones who change the game and resonate deeply with their intended audience.

(This talk is based on Todd’s book Louder Than Words: Harness The Power Of Your Authentic Voice.)

Key Takeaways:

  • Why authenticity is more important now than ever for leaders and creative pros.

  • The three drivers of the Voice Engine (Identity, Vision, Mastery).

  • The six markers of resonant voices (authenticity, uniqueness, precision, consonance, empathy, timing).

  • How to build “dailies” that build skills and improve your ability to connect with others.

  • The questions that help you refine your personal passion areas.

  • How to define your Intended Audience, and refine your vision for serving them.

  • The specific steps involved in cultivating empathy in your work.

The Essentials of collaboration

Lack of effective collaboration kills teams, but it’s easier to default to old habits and familiar systems when the pressure is on. If you want to do brilliant work, you must understand why collaboration breaks down, and what to do about it. In this talk, you’ll learn how to effectively engage in conversation about process, gain a better understanding of your co-workers’ motivations and goals, and how to set yourself up for long-term success in the marketplace of ideas.

Key Takeaways:

  • The three unhealthy dynamics that cause teams to go off the rails.

  • How to spot unhealthy habits and “relational residue”.

  • How to lead a team through a project, and establish accountability and clear expectations.

  • The five conversations that lead to brilliant collaboration.

  • How to refine the team’s focus by establishing clear challenges.


The Motivation Code: Discover the Hidden Forces That Drive Your Best Work

From the author of Die Empty and The Accidental Creative, a new framework for understanding what motivates us and why.

What drives us to unleash our best work? And how do we tap into that drive to get superior results?

As Todd Henry reveals in this illuminating book, drawing on decades of research and interviews with over 100,000 people, the answer is not one size fits all: some people are energized by a race against the clock, while others put in extra effort only when they feel part of a team. For still others, nothing is as motivating as the possibility of public recognition.

Herding Tigers: Be the Leader That Creative People Need

A practical handbook for every manager charged with leading teams to creative brilliance, from the author of The Accidental Creative and Die Empty.

Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day

Embrace the importance of now, and refuse to allow the lull of comfort, fear, familiarity, and ego to prevent you from taking action on your ambitions...The cost of inaction is vast.

The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment's Notice

It isn't enough to just do your job anymore. In order to thrive in today's marketplace, all of us, regardless of our role, have to be ready to generate brilliant ideas on demand

Louder than Words: Harness the Power of Your Authentic Voice

Are you doing your best work, or are you just getting by? Are you fulfilled at the end of the day, or are you just glad the day is over? In today's marketplace, you don't have the luxury of going with the flow.

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