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Chester Elton

Employee Engagement & Teamwork Expert

One of today’s most influential voices in workplace trends, Chester Elton has spent two decades helping clients engage their employees to execute on strategy, vision and values. In his provocative, inspiring and always entertaining talks, Chester provides real solutions to leaders looking to manage change, drive innovation and lead a multi-generational workforce. Elton’s work is supported by research with more than 850,000 working adults, revealing the secrets behind high-performance cultures and teams.

Summit, New Jersey, USA


All In: How the best leaders develop a culture of belief & drive big results
While most leaders understand their most reliable competitive advantage comes from their people, few know how to get their teams “all in”—convincing employees to buy into the strategy they’ve put forward. If a culture is clear, positive, and strong, then people will believe what they do matters and that they can make a difference. If a culture is dysfunctional—chaotic, combative or indifferent—employees will spend more time thinking about why the people sitting next to them should be fired than getting fired up themselves. Audiences will learn: the 3 research-based characteristics of the world’s most profitable, productive organizational and team cultures; the 7 steps today’s most successful leaders use to generate buy-in; and how managers at any level can build a productive workgroup culture of their own where employees commit to the culture and give an extra push of effort. Designed for senior leaders and managers (although sometimes tailored to include all employees), the session is typically customized to an organization’s specific culture challenges.

Carrots 2.0: How today’s managers use recognition to engage their people, retain talent, and accelerate performance
Most managers want to create cultures where their teams achieve above-and-beyond results, but for a culture to really take off teammates must encourage each other on a daily basis. The answer is in rooting for each other: having each other’s backs, appreciating strengths, and recognizing strategic behaviors. Audiences will be introduced to new generational and industry-specific data from a survey of 14,000 working adults—helping managers link recognition to what is most meaningful to their employees. They introduce practical concepts that help managers encourage excellence, including ideas such as appreciation vs. recognition, effort vs. achievement, and praise vs. rewards. Designed for managers, this session is typically customized to an organization’s specific recognition needs and can also include the organization’s available R&R tools.

What Motivates Me: How to lead and retain generations in the workplace
By 2024, 75 percent of the workforce will be Millennials and Gen Z. The best leaders are retaining more of their key, young talent by creating meaningful career discussions from day one, and are helping younger workers understand their impact on the greater purpose of the organization. In addition to learning how to help team members of all generations work together more effectively, leaders in this session will discover ways to reduce employee attrition by helping each employee understand their core motivators and sculpt the nature of their positions to better match those drivers. The truth is very few leaders know what is really motivating to their people or, even if they do, don’t know how to apply that information to day-to-day work.

Be a Better Manager by Friday: Real skills for inspiring employees, leading a team, and winning in today’s transformative marketplace
For leaders looking to drive innovation, diversity, and inclusion in their teams, many established management practices are doing more harm than good. Too many leaders are dampening their employees’ exuberance and refreshing diversity with old-school management approaches that are killing their cultures. This fresh, funny and challenging keynote presentation will debunk myths such as The Smartest Person in the Room, Treating Everyone the Same is Fair, Appreciation Comes in a Paycheque, and We’ll Let You Know if You Mess Up. Audiences will learn how to lead in such a way that today’s employees will follow—including establishing a clear future vision, enhancing diversity, increasing trust levels, and providing opportunity and growth development paths. Designed for senior leaders and managers, this session is typically customized to an organization’s specific leadership challenges.


Global Gurus | World's Top 30 Leadership Professionals

  • Chester was a huge hit and personally inspired me to be a better leader! Not only did he bring relevant, factual data into his presentation about driving business results through engaging the workforce, he used humor and audience participation to keep the team motivated and invested!

    - Chief Communications Officer, General Mills
  • The sign of a great motivational speaker is someone who lives on well after they have left and yesterday was a great indication of how impactful & meaningful your message was to us. You were 'brought to life' through your quotes, non-verbal WOW gestures and lots of other great examples. Even I went home and cheered on my entire family!

    - Johnson & Johnson
  • Folks at various levels throughout our organization are still raving about Chester’s session. He received the highest marks of any speaker. Not only was he entertaining, but he put time into getting it right and the content really resonated with this group. That says a lot for such a quiet and cynical crowd.

    - Vice President Leadership Development, Fidelity
  • Chester - You were the “WOW” at our conference. Your “All In” principles aligned to every aspect of our key messaging and reinforced the effectiveness of this approach. We can¹t wait to continue this momentum and enthusiasm.

    - Head of Strategic Planning, Aetna
  • You were simply outstanding. Specifically, your suggestions on low-cost-no-cost appreciation were well worth stealing – the car wash in particular. Thank you for inspiring us and entertaining us, for making us laugh and for making us sing. We have been talking about how much we thoroughly enjoyed the show, for you are quite a performer — delivering both steak and sizzle. Thank you forever, on behalf of all who were inspired.

    - Former Governor of Michigan

Summary Profile

Chester Elton has been called the “apostle of appreciation” by Canada’s Globe and Mail, “creative and refreshing,” by the New York Times, and a “must read for modern managers,” by CNN. Chester is co-author of the New York Times and #1 USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling leadership books All In, The Carrot Principle and What Motivates Me. His books have been translated in more than 30 languages and have sold more than 1.5 million copies worldwide.

Elton is often quoted in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Fast Company, and the New York Times. He has appeared on NBC’s Today, CNN, ABC, National Public Radio, and CBS’s 60 Minutes. In 2017, he was ranked by Global Gurus as number 15 in the world’s top leadership experts and in the top 10 world’s top organizational culture experts.

Chester is co-founder of The Culture Works, a global training company, and is a board member of Camp Corral, a non-profit for the children of wounded and fallen military heroes. He serves as a leadership consultant to firms such as American Express, AT&T, Avis Budget Group, and Procter & Gamble. He is most proud, however, to be the father of four exceptional children—more exceptional now they’ve grown up and left home.