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A global thought leader on corporate culture, employee relations and human resources management, Adrian Gostick has published several successful books on employee engagement. These include The Carrot Principle, a regular New York Times bestseller, as well as 24-Carrot Manager which Larry King on CNN described as “a must read for modern-day managers."

Adrian's latest book, The Orange Revolution, reached the top spot on the Wall Street Journal’s bestseller list. His books have sold over a million copies worldwide and have been translated into twenty languages. His expertise on leadership has been sought by NBC's Today Show, CNN, NPR and many other media outlets. His work has been featured in The Economist, the Financial Times, the New York Times, Fortune and the Wall Street Journal.

Adrian is a guest lecturer on organizational culture at Seton Hall University, from which he earned a master's degree in Strategic Communication and Leadership.

Full Profile

Adrian Gostick is a global thought leader on workplace strategy and the author of several successful books on employee engagement. The Carrot Principle by Simon & Schuster has been a regular New York Times bestseller, and 24-Carrot Manager has been called a “must read for modern-day managers” by Larry King of CNN. His latest book, The Orange Revolution, was a #1 Wall Street Journal bestseller.

His research has been called a “must read for modern-day managers” by Larry King of CNN, “fascinating,” by Fortune magazine and “admirable and startling” by the Wall Street Journal. Adrian’s books have been translated into 20 languages and have sold more than one million copies worldwide. As a leadership expert, he has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CNN, National Public Radio and others, and has been quoted in business publications such as The Economist, Financial Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Fortune.

Adrian earned a master’s degree in Strategic Communication and Leadership from Seton Hall University, where he is a guest lecturer on organizational culture.

Adrian Gostick ON Speaking Back to top


Every leader, manager and employee is responsible for creating a culture where people thrive, and want to give their full ingenuity and energy to the enterprise.

SPEAKING.COM: What do you want people to learn / take away from your presentations?

GOSTICK: My top priority is to help managers know that employee engagement is everyone’s responsibility. Engagement isn’t owned solely by the CEO or Human Resource department. Every leader, manager and employee is responsible for creating a culture where people thrive, and want to give their full ingenuity and energy to the enterprise. My goal at the end of any talk is to have given enough “how-to” examples from real case studies that managers leave thinking “I can do that.”

SPEAKING.COM: What kind of special prep work do you do prior to an event? How do you prepare for your speaking engagements?

GOSTICK: I’ve had some speakers tell me they don’t do a lot of pre-work, they customize “during” a presentation. Sorry, but that’s pretty lazy. As a researcher, my goal is to come in and sound like I understand the audience’s troubles, challenges and people issues, while also bringing in data, case studies and ideas that are fresh. I’ll have a few calls with a group beforehand to prepare, by learning their language and business issues. I also pour through through their employee engagement data and anything else they send my way. We do pre-event surveys to uncover specific challenges the organizations are facing so I can speak directly about them in the speech.

SPEAKING.COM: Have you had any particularly memorable speaking engagements / unusual situations arise while on the road?

GOSTICK: Years ago, at one of my first speaking engagements, the CEO got up and absolutely berated his people for half an hour. Saying things like they were worthless, slothful, and incompetent. Then, without any fanfare, he said, “Now, here’s your motivational speaker.” Um. Okay. Hi everyone. Thankfully, today I work with a lot of senior-level audiences in some amazing companies, but there’s always something interesting that happens.

For instance, I did an engagement just a few weeks ago for a Fortune 10 company, where the organizer was very stressed, so we went through every bit of my presentation many times. I was happy to do it to help her feel comfortable. She explained, “These guys are all PhDs, scientists, engineers, Harvard and Wharton MBAs. They are geniuses.” By the time the presentation rolled around I was getting a little nervous. But you know what, the session started and within five minutes these folks were hooting with laughter and participating. Some were even shouting to have their voices heard on employee engagement. We are all just people.

SPEAKING.COM: What types of audiences would most benefit from your message?

GOSTICK: Most of the audiences I speak with are manager-level or senior leaders. I also address conference audiences. About 20 percent of the time I’ll address an employee group, but my message is more suited to people who lead people.

SPEAKING.COM: Which of your keynote speaking topics are your favorites and why?

GOSTICK: My favorite subject is “All In.” It’s a message about how to get employees fully engaged, full of how-tos and laughter and takeaways. Sometimes I’m given a little more time and add a few exercises. It’s always interesting to hear from the group members, and I always learn a lot. The message is inspiring and practical at the same time, and I always customize it to the audience I’m speaking to.

I’ve flown 2 million miles around the globe and have spoken to audiences from China to Nigeria, from Kuwait to Kalamazoo. In what other job can you take an hour or two and make a difference in 200 people’s lives?

SPEAKING.COM: What inspired you to start doing speaking engagements?

GOSTICK: Chester Elton and I wrote our first leadership book more than 15 years ago, and after that the phone just started to ring. It’s a natural extension of our work as writers and researchers, and we love to make audiences laugh and change their behavior. I’ve flown 2 million miles around the globe and have spoken to audiences from China to Nigeria, from Kuwait to Kalamazoo. In what other job can you take an hour or two and make a difference in 200 people’s lives? My favorite emails are a few weeks or even months after a presentation, when a leader emails and says things are better because they have tried my ideas out.

SPEAKING.COM: How much do case studies, personal stories and/or humor factor into your keynote speech content?

GOSTICK: As to humor, if they aren’t laughing they aren’t listening. I had a woman say to me recently that she couldn’t leave to go the bathroom because she was terrified of missing something. Score! I do tell a couple of quick personal stories, but mostly I’m bringing a lot of real case studies from leaders in real companies that faced similar challenges to theirs. They are usually more powerful and relatable for the senior-level audiences I’m speaking to.

SPEAKING.COM: What are some of the successes you've helped clients make?

GOSTICK: What is most rewarding is when I get to work with a client and then they have me come back and speak to a few more of their groups. That’s when we go deep and really start helping them with their employee engagement solutions, when we start to feel we are making a real difference. We’ve had a chance to work with American Express for years now, Bank of America, Danaher, GE, and so many others.


Adrian Gostick Speaker Videos Back to top

Adrian Gostick: Demo Video


"Employee engagement was the Holy Grail, but what we found is that this is not the case any more, particularly in the current economy," explains Adrian Gostick as he analyzes the challenges of changing workplaces. "What we found in the highest performing environments is that employees were not only engaged (which is important) but they were also enabled and energized."


Speeches / Speaking Engagements Back to top


Adrian Gostick explains how to introduce the Orange Revolution into your company; through exhaustive analysis of the key traits of the world's most successful management teams, he explains how you can boost productivity, engagement, loyalty and innovation by taking a number of simple steps.

Drawing on the study of over 200,000 people undertaken for the New York Times bestseller The Carrot Principle, Adrian demonstrates how great managers use constructive praise and meaningful rewards to create powerful motivation for their employees.

Orange Revolution Keynote
High-energy Teamwork Keynote

The New York Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal bestselling authors Chester Elton and Adrian Gostick have once again transformed the corporate playing field with The Orange Revolution, recognized worldwide as the premiere book on how breakthrough teams and teamwork revolutionize a company, a community, and the world. The Orange Revolution Keynote highlights the key traits found inside the world’s most stellar teams.

Drawing on startling research and case studies from leading teams at Zappos, Pepsi Bottling Company, The Blue Angels, Texas Roadhouse, Apple, and numerous others, the Orange Revolution Keynote shows how true teamwork produces results that change the world and can immediately increase:

  • Productivity
  • Engagement
  • Loyalty
  • Innovation
  • Bottom-line Results
  • This must-see presentation introduces the simple steps to inspiring an Orange Revolution in your organization—through easy, prescriptive, outcome-based applications that can be implemented today.

    The Carrot Principle Keynote
    High-Energy Recognition Keynote A New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller, The Carrot Principle has become the preeminent source on employee engagement and recognition. Based on Gostick and Elton's runaway bestseller, The Carrot Principle keynote reveals the ground-breaking results of one of the most in-depth management studies ever undertaken, showing definitively that the central characteristic of the most successful managers is that they provide their employees with frequent and effective recognition.

    This breakthrough study of 200,000 people over ten years found dramatically greater business results when managers offered constructive praise and meaningful rewards in ways that powerfully motivated employees to excel.

    Drawing on case studies from leading companies including Disney, KPMG and the Pepsi Bottling Company, our presenters show how the transformative power of purpose-based recognition produces astonishing increases in operating results and how great managers lead with carrots, not sticks in order to achieve higher:

  • Productivity
  • Engagement
  • Retention
  • Customer Satisfaction
  • This exceptional presentation introduces the simple steps to becoming a Carrot Principle manager and to building a recognition culture in your organization; it offers a wealth of specific examples, drawn from real-life cases, of ways to do recognition right. Following these simple steps will make you a high-performance leader and take your team to a new level of achievement.



    Adrian Gostick Speaker Testimonials Back to top

    “Adrian Gostick is the undisputed thought leader in employee motivation.”
        John Mullen, Global CEO DHL

    “The best speaker on the two-day agenda. Adrian Gostick’s presentation was so personalized for us. Our CEO was just blown away.”
        CACI Senior Leadership

    "The amount of feedback/buzz for Adrian Gostick’s presentation is rare at Boeing. For the key leaders it was a home run.”
        Boeing

    "Great workshop! There are a lot of tools and useful suggestions in the materials. You're funny and can really hold and audience. We were richly rewarded!"
        Maureen Gahan




    Exclusive Interview with Adrian Gostick

    "Energized employees know someone cares about their well-being, receive regular recognition for their great work, and have a strong sense of purpose at work."
    In this interview Adrian Gostick discusses:
  • How employees must be enabled and energized.
  • The Orange Revolution.
  • The types of recognition that employees value.

  • * Please note that while this speaker’s specific speaking fee falls within the range posted above (for Continental U.S. based events), fees are subject to change. For current fee information or international event fees (which are generally 50-75% more than U.S based event fees), please contact us.

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    “Adrian Gostick is the undisputed thought leader in employee motivation.”
        John Mullen, Global CEO DHL

    “The best speaker on the two-day agenda. Adrian Gostick’s presentation was so personalized for us. Our CEO was just blown away.”
        CACI Senior Leadership

    "The amount of feedback/buzz for Adrian Gostick’s presentation is rare at Boeing. For the key leaders it was a home run.”
        Boeing

    "Great workshop! There are a lot of tools and useful suggestions in the materials. You're funny and can really hold and audience. We were richly rewarded!"
        Maureen Gahan


    The Orange Revolution: How One Great Team Can Transform an Entire Organization
    From The New York Times bestselling authors and renowned leadership consultants Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton comes a groundbreaking guide to building high-performance teams. What is the true driver of a thriving organization’s exceptional success? Is it a genius leader? An iron-clad business plan?

    Gostick and Elton shatter these preconceptions of corporate achievement. Their research shows that breakthrough success is guided by a particular breed of high-performing team that generates its own momentum—an engaged group of colleagues in the trenches, working passionately together to pursue a shared vision. Their research also shows that only 20 percent of teams are working anywhere near this optimal capacity. How can your team become one of them?

    Based on a groundbreaking 350,000-person study by the Best Companies Group, as well as extraordinary research into exceptional teams at leading companies, including Zappos.com, Pepsi Beverages Company, and Madison Square Garden, the authors have determined a key set of characteristics displayed by members of breakthrough teams, and have identified a set of rules great teams live by, which generate a culture of positive teamwork and lead to extraordinary results.

    Using a wealth of specific stories from the breakthrough teams they studied, they reveal in detail how these teams operate and how managers can transform their own teams into such high performers by fostering:

      • Stronger clarity of goals
      • Greater trust among team members
      • More open and honest dialogue
      • Stronger accountability for all team members
      • Purpose-based recognition of team members’ contributions

    The remarkable stories they tell about these teams in action provide a simple and powerful step-by-step guide to taking your team to the breakthrough level, igniting the passion and vision to bring about an Orange Revolution.

    The Invisible Employee: Using Carrots to See the Hidden Potential in Everyone
    There is a crisis in business today: the invisible employee. Feeling threatened, ignored, and unappreciated, invisible employees fight back the only way they know how—by staying hidden in the corporate shadows, doing just enough to get by, grumbling about this and that, and passing these techniques along to new workers. After all, why bother shining when no one notices your achievements? Why bother trying when you could be let go in the next batch of layoffs?

    A business fable packed with hard-won wisdom, The Invisible Employee follows a group of people who live and work together on a mysterious island. In this second edition—updated with new case studies and current survey results—managers learn how to combat one of the most common negative attitudes in business: that smart employees keep their heads down and never do more than is asked.

    Bestselling authors Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton show how effective leaders change this mind-set by engaging their people in their cause—setting clear goals, encouraging productive behavior, and celebrating every success along the way. The end result is an organization of productive employees who feel noticed, valued, and appreciated. In other words, they feel visible.

    In today's competitive environment, all of us are looking for the next big product, the next big capability or solution. But great managers are finding that recognizing people leads to a more engaged workforce and a more successful business. The Invisible Employee shows you how to bring out the hidden potential in your team and your business.


    The Carrot Principle
    Got carrotphobia? Do you think that recognizing your employees will distract you and your team from more serious business, create jealousy, or make you look soft?

    Think again.

    The Carrot Principle reveals the groundbreaking results of one of the most in-depth management studies ever undertaken, showing definitively that the central characteristic of the most successful managers is that they provide their employees with frequent and effective recognition. With independent research from The Jackson Organization and analysis by bestselling leadership experts Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton, this breakthrough study of 200,000 people over ten years found dramatically greater business results when managers offered constructive praise and meaningful rewards in ways that powerfully motivated employees to excel.

    Drawing on case studies from leading companies including Disney, DHL, KPMG and Pepsi Bottling Group, bestselling authors Gostick and Elton show how the transformative power of purpose-based recognition produces astonishing increases in operating results—whether measured by return on equity, return on assets, or operating margin. And they show how great managers lead with carrots, not sticks, and in doing so achieve higher:

      • Productivity
      • Engagement
      • Retention
      • Customer satisfaction

    The Carrot Principle illustrates that the relationship between recognition and improved business results is highly predictable-it's proven to work. But it's not the employee recognition some of us have been using for years. It is recognition done right, recognition combined with four other core traits of effective leadership.

    Gostick and Elton explain the remarkably simple but powerful methods great managers use to provide their employees with effective recognition, which all managers can easily learn and begin practicing for immediate results. Great recognition doesn't take time—it can be done in a matter of moments—and it doesn't take budget-busting amounts of money.

    This exceptional book, sure to become a modern-day classic, presents the simple steps to becoming a Carrot Principle manager and to building a recognition culture in your organization, offering a wealth of specific examples, culled from real-life cases, of the ways to do recognition right. Following these simple steps will make you a high performance leader and take your team to a new level of achievement.


    Orange Revolution Keynote
    High-energy Teamwork Keynote

    The New York Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal bestselling authors Chester Elton and Adrian Gostick have once again transformed the corporate playing field with The Orange Revolution, recognized worldwide as the premiere book on how breakthrough teams and teamwork revolutionize a company, a community, and the world. The Orange Revolution Keynote highlights the key traits found inside the world’s most stellar teams.

    Drawing on startling research and case studies from leading teams at Zappos, Pepsi Bottling Company, The Blue Angels, Texas Roadhouse, Apple, and numerous others, the Orange Revolution Keynote shows how true teamwork produces results that change the world and can immediately increase:

  • Productivity
  • Engagement
  • Loyalty
  • Innovation
  • Bottom-line Results
  • This must-see presentation introduces the simple steps to inspiring an Orange Revolution in your organization—through easy, prescriptive, outcome-based applications that can be implemented today.

    The Carrot Principle Keynote
    High-Energy Recognition Keynote A New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller, The Carrot Principle has become the preeminent source on employee engagement and recognition. Based on Gostick and Elton's runaway bestseller, The Carrot Principle keynote reveals the ground-breaking results of one of the most in-depth management studies ever undertaken, showing definitively that the central characteristic of the most successful managers is that they provide their employees with frequent and effective recognition.

    This breakthrough study of 200,000 people over ten years found dramatically greater business results when managers offered constructive praise and meaningful rewards in ways that powerfully motivated employees to excel.

    Drawing on case studies from leading companies including Disney, KPMG and the Pepsi Bottling Company, our presenters show how the transformative power of purpose-based recognition produces astonishing increases in operating results and how great managers lead with carrots, not sticks in order to achieve higher:

  • Productivity
  • Engagement
  • Retention
  • Customer Satisfaction
  • This exceptional presentation introduces the simple steps to becoming a Carrot Principle manager and to building a recognition culture in your organization; it offers a wealth of specific examples, drawn from real-life cases, of ways to do recognition right. Following these simple steps will make you a high-performance leader and take your team to a new level of achievement.



    Adrian Gostick: Demo Video


    "Employee engagement was the Holy Grail, but what we found is that this is not the case any more, particularly in the current economy," explains Adrian Gostick as he analyzes the challenges of changing workplaces. "What we found in the highest performing environments is that employees were not only engaged (which is important) but they were also enabled and energized."


    Boosting Employee Productivity and Engagement with Adrian Gostick

    By Adrian Gostick

    A global thought leader on corporate culture, employee relations and human resources management, Adrian Gostick has published several successful books on employee engagement. These include The Carrot Principle, a regular New York Times bestseller, as well as 24-Carrot Manager which Larry King on CNN described as “a must read for modern-day managers.” Energized employees know ... more

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