Aaron McDaniel Profile

  • Rich Corporate Experience - Aaron worked at AT&T for nearly a decade managing large organization and becoming one of the youngest ever to serve as Regional VP (at age 27). He is also a graduate of AT&T’s flagship Leadership Development Program (an MBA-grad program he joined with only an Undergraduate degree). Aaron is also an AT&T “Diamond Club” honoree, being part of the top 1% of sales leaders worldwide. His advice to audiences is based on real corporate experience

  • Proven Innovator - Aaron has founded, built and sold 3 technology companies based in the Silicon Valley. He has scaled businesses and is a sought-after teacher of innovation & intrapreneurship.

  • Engaging Teacher - Aaron is one of the youngest members of the faculty at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, one of the top business schools in the world, where he teaches entrepreneurship and innovation.

  • Diverse Client Experience - Drawing from his own experiences in both the corporate and startup worlds, he has worked with clients across 4 continents to build innovation ecosystems and has impressed audiences at The Ritz Carlton Leadership Center, Deloitte Consulting, UnitedHealth Group, and the United Way with his natural ability to connect with everyone in the room.
  • Millennial expert Aaron McDaniel delivers timely aha moments and viable solutions on how to bridge generational gaps in the workplace and marketplace. Drawing from his own experience as a Millennial in the corporate world, McDaniel has floored audiences with his ability to connect to attendees of all ages while giving them tools and insights to understand each other better and collaborate more effectively.

    McDaniel is the author of The Young Professionals series. The first book of the series, The Young Professional’s Guide to the Working World, is an international top 10 listed book that has been translated into multiple languages. He’s spoken to groups ranging from recent grads to senior executives at The Ritz Carlton Leadership Center, Deloitte Consulting, UnitedHealth Group, and the United Way. He has also been heard on CBS Radio & NPR, and seen on ABC’s Shark Tank.

    McDaniel draws from his own experience learning the ropes during the early years of his career. At age 27, he became one of the youngest regional vice-presidents in AT&T history. He has since launched various entrepreneurial ventures, including the e-commerce company Pong360 which he successfully sold in 2012 and the crowdfunding platform, Tycoon Real Estate, which was acquired in 2015.

    He got his start focusing on Millennials, teaching a highly rated student course “Leadership and Organizational Dynamics” at the Haas Undergraduate School of Business at UC Berkley while he was is still a student. Ten years later, UC Berkley continues to teach the course based on the curriculum that McDaniel created.

    • View Extended/Alternate Bio

      Aaron McDaniel is a globally recognized corporate manager, speaker and author with a passion for helping organizations innovate and attract, engage & retain top talent. Aaron began his corporate career at AT&T, as part of its flagship Leadership Development Program. He rose to become one of the youngest to serve as Regional Vice President (at age 27) and was part of AT&T’s Diamond Club, Top 1% of sales leaders worldwide. Aaron is currently one of the youngest faculty members at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business (where he is also an alumnus) and is the co-founder of 10X Innovation Lab, an international consulting firm helping corporations and governments across 4 continents build and leverage innovation ecosystems.

      Aaron is a serial entrepreneur, having founded 3 companies that were acquired, one of which he turned down an offer for on ABC’s Shark Tank. Aaron is the author of The Young Professional’s Guide to the Working World (an international top 10 listed book printed in multiple languages, with a foreword by New York Times Bestseller Marshall Goldsmith) and The Young Professional’s Guide to Managing (foreword by co-author of The Leadership Challenge, Jim Kouzes), has been featured in numerous media outlets including: Forbes, Inc., Bloomberg BusinessWeek, CBSRadio, and US News & World Report, and is trusted by top companies including: the Ritz-Carlton, Deloitte Consulting, Wells Fargo and UnitedHealth Group.

    Aaron McDaniel Speaking Videos

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    Aaron McDaniel's Speech Descriptions

    Whether he’s addressing intrapreneurship, management techniques, or empowering your Millennial talent, Aaron McDaniel works hard to make sure each of his presentations meets the needs and interests of his audience. Primarily focused on bridging the generational gap between Millennials and their older counterparts, McDaniel delivers viable solutions for leveraging this young generation’s strengths and engaging them as customers. Additionally, he guides Millennials in taking control of their careers, teaching them how to navigate corporate waters, collaborate with their senior co-workers, and make the tricky the transition to management.

    Aaron can also include a Q&A Segment in his presentation, if you prefer.

    Ignite your Innovation: Building an agile culture and processes to harness your organization’s entrepreneurial spirit and thrive in a rapidly changing marketplace

    Many industries have experienced tectonic shifts that unseat traditional market leaders through the implementation of technology and use of new innovation frameworks, from both startups and the existing competition. From change to retail because of online sales, to transportation with the growth of Uber, to new models for financial services and beyond, almost every industry has been affected. Using strategies that he teaches at one of the top 10 business schools in the world (UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business) and that are used to build global innovation ecosystems through 10x Innovation Lab, Aaron will help your organization understand how to innovate to stay ahead of the competition and disruptive forces in your market. From developing the right mindset and culture to foster innovation, to how to implement practical frameworks to allow for stakeholder buy-in and participation in innovation initiatives - your audience will leave empowered and well equipped to help your company adapt in today's ever-changing marketplace.

    Thriving in a Multi-Generational Workplace: Amplify your ROI from engaging your Gen Z/Millennial employees and learn how to inspire collaboration in a Multi-Generational workforce

    There are currently 4 different generation's of employee in today's workplace, each with their own unique perspectives and skill-sets. Learn how to encourage collaboration and take advantage of your organization's age diversity. Did you know that while 47% of young professionals want to stay at the first company they work at for 5-10 years, a majority last less than 2? Companies are dedicating tens of thousands of dollars of resources into someone who takes those skills to another company before you get a return on your investment. Over 80 million strong, Millennials also represent the largest and fastest growing target customer segment in the market. I am an experienced corporate leader and generational dynamics expert, who happens to understand what it is like to be a Millennial firsthand. Instead of basing my advice on reading research reports, my insights come from being in the trenches, working for nearly a decade at a Fortune 10 company and rising to become one of the youngest ever to serve as Regional Vice President. Through speaking, consulting and coaching I work with executive leaders and managers to understand Millennials in order to better attract & engage Millennial customers and empower & retain Millennial employees, helping companies preserve their top young talent and delight their biggest future customer base.

    Millennial Career Success (Pitch for Millennial Audiences & Young Managers)

    Do you ever worry about the future of your organization and what will happen to your legacy when the next generation takes over? Many leaders today are struggling with preparing the Millennial generation to carry the torch, since we think so differently and have very contrasting views on careers and work than wiser generations. I am an experienced corporate leader and generational dynamics expert, who also happens to be a Millennial that helps companies train their Millennial employees to be the next generation of leaders in their organizations. Instead of basing my advice on reading research reports, my insights come from being in the trenches, working for nearly a decade at a Fortune 10 company and rising to become one of the youngest ever to serve as Regional Vice President. Through speaking, consulting and coaching I work directly with your top young talent to increase retention, transition them into leadership roles and help them build the foundation for a successful career at your company.

    Maximize your Gen Y ROI
    Combination of "The Future of Customer Engagement" and "Empowering Your Millennial Workforce" (listed below)- most popular among clients.

    Addresses how to attract/retain Millennial customer and empower Millennial employees (executive audiences)

    The Future of Customer Engagement
    Learn how Millennials think, what they value, how to appeal to them and how to develop Millennial customer loyalty (executive audiences)

    Empowering your Millennial Workforce
    Gain key insights and practical advice into how to get the most out of your Millennial employees and set them on the right track to be the future leaders of your organization (executive audiences)

    Work-Life Integration
    It's no longer work/life "balance" - the two are fully intertwined with the demands of today's market and mobile technology. Learn how to deliver top results at work while maintaining the life outside of work that you have always wanted (all audiences)

    The Young Professional's Guide to the Working World
    College doesn't teach you how to be successful in professional work environments. Get the proven playbook for how to build the foundation for a successful career (Millennial/Young professional audiences)

    How to Be the Boss
    Being a young manager is tough, especially when you are managing your ex-peers and people your same age or much older and with more experience than you; excel as a young manager using the framework discussed in this session (Millennial/Young professional audiences)

    60 Days to Success
    People change jobs every 2-3 years. With each change you are expected to hit the ground running and contribute to your organization, which is often difficult. This session outlines the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How of getting any new job on the right track from day 1. (all audiences)

    Innovation & Intrapreneurship
    Make your organization and team more successful and adaptive it today's fast-changing business world
    - Learn how organizations large and small can implement innovation strategies to grow their business
    - Develop the right culture to harness the entrepreneurial spirit and foster innovation
    - Implement frameworks that allow for stakeholder buy-in and participation in innovation initiatives

    Aaron McDaniel on Speaking

    When hearing me talk, audiences come away with…WHO Millennials are, WHY they got that way, WHAT they want, and HOW to maximize what I refer to as their Gen Y ROI.

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

    MCDANIEL: When hearing me talk, audiences come away with the Who/Why/What/How: WHO Millennials are, WHY they got that way, WHAT they want, and HOW to maximize what I refer to as their Gen Y ROI. I share specific strategies that help them maximize the return on investment they get from focusing on retaining and empowering Millennial employees and engaging Millennial customers. People get practical advice that is customized for their industry, company and unique business objectives and they leave feeling inspired to take action.

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

    MCDANIEL: I always customize my talks for my audience. In addition to spending my own time doing my own research, I ensure that I understand my client’s objectives and confirm that they are achieved with my speaking material. I also connect with 3+ audience members to fully understand the biggest issues they are facing so that I can address them in my talk.

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

    MCDANIEL: Earlier this year I had the chance to speak at the Intercoiffure Atelier conference (the international salon and beauty industry owners association). Besides the fact that the audience was very different from my typical corporate clients, speaking at the conference gave me a unique opportunity to honor someone very important to me. For over 70 years, until the age of 91, my grandmother was a professional hair stylist working at a high-end salon near Stanford University. I found it only fitting to dedicate my talk to her and the amazing example she set for me in how to live a successful life. Standing in front of peers from her industry was a tremendous treat.

    The success of your business or organization will be directly affected by your ability to engage Millennials.

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

    MCDANIEL: The audiences who would benefit from my message are those that currently have or plan in the future to employ anyone from the Millennial generation, as well as anyone who wants to sell their products and services to Millennial customers. (So basically every company in every industry would benefit from hearing my message!) The success of your business or organization will be directly affected by your ability to engage Millennials. Let me show you how.

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

    MCDANIEL: While I love sharing about innovation, work-life integration, effective management tactics and more, the topic of Millennials and Inter-Generational Teamwork is my favorite because I have seen the profound effects my message has had on my clients’ organizations.

    As I sat in the audience I always imagined myself on stage. I love helping people and engaging with them, helping them solve their problems and learn how to improve their business.

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

    MCDANIEL: This will probably reveal to everyone that I am a big nerd, but I actually love conferences. When I sat in the audience at conferences back when I was working at AT&T, I was always energized, not only hearing the messages spoken on stage, but also the ideas that would come to me. I was able to take a breather from the day-to-day work I was doing to look above the clouds while learning something new.

    As I sat in the audience I always imagined myself on stage. I love helping people and engaging with them, helping them solve their problems and learn how to improve their business. Then one day, I decided to go for it and share the messages I had; and I have never turned back since.

    SPEAKING.COM: How do you keep your audience engaged and actively listening during your keynotes? Do you use case studies, personal stories and/or in your speeches?

    MCDANIEL: As I mentioned before, part of how I keep my audiences engaged is by speaking their language. I customize the case studies and references to be applicable to their industry and I use the homework I do (talking to audience members ahead of time) to help me learn the right lingo and re-enforce my message the proper way.

    I use video and other interactive content (with personal stories, pop culture references, humor and classic business references) to make sure everyone is engaged. If the time and speaking format permit, I love to have a Q&A session with the audience at the end of my talks (which I have done with audiences of hundreds of people), so I can really address what is on everyone’s mind and tie-in the message I just shared with their day-to-day challenges and objectives.

    SPEAKING.COM: What are some of the successes you’ve helped clients achieve?

    MCDANIEL: While I always love to hear about far reaching executive-sponsored initiatives that spark positive change and affect hundreds or thousands of people all stemming from hearing my message, I also love to hear about the little things that people take from my talks. Those little “ah-ha” moments that lead someone to change how they manage that 1 Millennial on their team, or how my message sparks the implementation of one simple successful marketing strategy or new operational strategy that someone never considered before, are what really motivate me.

    The fact that my message can help entire organizations but can also help individuals make little changes in how they do their job and approach work – that is what really inspires me to continue working hard for my clients. Exclusive Interview with Aaron McDaniel
    Maximizing your Millennial ROI, with Keynote Speaker Aaron McDaniel
    In this interview, Aaron McDaniel discusses:
  • How to secure the loyalty of Millennial talent and customers.
  • What Millennials need to understand about work.
  • Tips for Millennials who are taking on leadership roles.
    Read the Full Interview
  • "Many people label Millennials as disloyal, but this is not entirely true; it's just harder to earn a Millennial's loyalty."
    - Aaron McDaniel

    What People are Saying about Seeing Aaron Speak

    Rating Entries

    We value speakers who can deliver dynamic content; that’s why we’ve booked Aaron for three events, speaking to three different audiences. If you’re looking for a speaker who commands the stage, engages the audience, & offers the practical and tactical tools necessary for sustainable success, Aaron is the speaker for you.
    – Gina Stratos, Vice President, Western Bankers Assoc.

    In these days after I have heard Aaron quoted AT LEAST 6 times, from the CEO to HR to Engineering. Thanks for making a difference!
    – Beth English, VP of Marketing, Truck-Lite

    I saw Aaron speak at a conference I attended and immediately knew he would be perfect for an event I was hosting. Based on the 100% positive feedback we received, it turns out I was right – Aaron was perfect for our conference. I can recommend him to you without reservation.
    – Ron Balmer, Managing Director, Greenwich Assoc

    In today’s business climate, a new message is a must, and Aaron’s delivery of the “thinking of the millennial” opened my eyes to how I need to change me! Aaron is the Stephen Covey of his generation!
    -Frank Gambuzza, President, Intercoiffure America/Canada

    I have found few that can top Aaron McDaniel. His topic around hiring, coaching and nurturing millennial talent is most timely and he executes on stage with style and grace. From the initial meeting to his post-session follow up, Aaron is world class… He does it all with humor and an easy to listen style that keeps people engaged regardless of age. If you are looking for someone to discuss how to blend millennials into the workplace, hire Aaron McDaniel, hire him now.

    -Jack Hubbard, Chairman & Chief Sales Officer, St. Meyer & Hubbard

    Aaron was amazing to work with from start to finish. He worked with me to customize his talk for our group and really focused on what would be interesting and relevant for the audience. His session was really dynamic and engaging with multiple people coming up immediately to me after the talk to compliment the session. We would love to bring Aaron in again to speak to our group!

    –Jenna Chen, Chief of Staff, Deloitte Consulting

    Aaron did his homework and customized his presentation to be relevant to the industry and to my company specifically. His understanding of and discussion around the Millennial generation is critical knowledge for every company and manager in today’s workplace. Aaron’s presentation style is relaxed and confident, which allowed him to really engage with the audience individually and as a group. Aaron was a true pleasure to work with, start to finish.

    –Al Giobbie, Sr. Vice President, Provident Bank

    In his session “Redefining Age in the Workplace: Diversity is More Than Just Ethnicity and Gender,” Aaron McDaniel provided workable solutions… Participants learned tips that would be beneficial throughout their careers. McDaniel helped them understand the importance of being patient, stepping outside their comfort zones, making careful decisions and being open to career coaching. Attendees also left with a clear understanding of the value of collaboration among different generations in the workplace. In his session, McDaniel inspired millennials to become engaged and empowered to succeed and helped prepare them to lead those who will eventually follow in their footsteps.

    — Sheron Rose, Vice President, Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce

    We had the opportunity to feature Aaron McDaniel at one of the Young Professional Networking events. Our members left feeling inspired to enact the strategies he presented during the event. His strong communication and facilitation skills were impressive. He provided invaluable insight and we look forward to collaborating in the future.

    — Perrine Zen, President, Wells Fargo Young Professional’s Network- San Francisco

    Outstanding! Thank you for taking part and being a part of our leadership conference. [Aaron’s] thoughtful presentation hit the minds and the hearts of all assembled. Clearly [his] message added the dimension to our gathering that was at the center of our vision for the organization.

    — Donn Wadley, Rotaract District Manager

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    Books by Aaron McDaniel:


    School does not teach you how to be successful at work.

    The Young Professional’s Guide to the Working World provides important insights on the topics essential to success within the first 5-10 years of any corporate career, including:

    • – How to get promoted faster and drive results not matter what your industry or job title
    • – The 25 attributes all successful young professionals possess
    • – How to avoid being a DOPE (someone who Disses Opportunity, Potential & Earnings)
    • – The keys to becoming a STAR in your career (someone who is Savvy, Tenacious, Adaptive & Resourceful)
    • – How to create and implement a career development plan
    • – Leveraging mentoring to ensure career success


      One of the hardest challenges in anyone’s career is transitioning from being a employee responsible yourself to a manager responsible for others.

      The Young Professional’s Guide to Managing fills this void with a mix of relevant tips and stories. It is an essential guide for all new managers and emerging leaders, providing insights, including:

      • – How to successfully transition to being a manager, from the very first day
      • – The 10 skills all young professionals must develop to thrive as STAR managers
      • – Managing people of different generations
      • – How to hire, develop, and lead teams to incredible results
      • – Advanced strategies for young managers, including how to fire under-performing employees and how to squash office politics

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