8 Leadership Speakers Ideal For Inspiring Business Progression

Chris Sutton
Digital Copywriter
Team on Mountain

Leadership is an important facet in every team, whether it be at work, in sport, or in life-or-death situations such as the frontline of war. Individuals have to be able to step up to the plate, keep calm in the face of adversity, manage their teammates and make the right decisions.

Any trainer worth their salt will recognise the difference between leadership and management; a leader and a mere boss, and millions of coaches, speakers and experienced leaders have contributed their own thoughts to the subject. For example, John Maxwell says:

“Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others.”

Here at The Motivational Speakers Agency, we have hand-picked eight individuals who specialise in different leadership styles. Let's take a look.

1. Lord Sebastian Coe

World Record Holding Athlete

The London 2012 Olympic Games was among the most successful events in British sporting history - and behind that success was a highly-skilled team. Leading the Olympic bid was Lord Sebastian Coe whose influence proved pivotal in putting the illustrious tournament in British hands for the first time since the second world war.

Not since 1948 had London hosted the games and after unsuccessful UK bids from Birmingham and Manchester in previous games, Lord Coe was drafted into chair the British Olympic Association. The appointment was rewarded, as Lord Coe's strong leadership skills, and 'impressive presentation' was enough to win over the International Olympic Committee. Leading the process from beginning to end, Lord Coe was inspirational in putting on an event to remember.

Lord Coe's speaking topics:

  • The London 2012 Olympic Bid
  • The Organisation of an Olympic Games
  • Leadership within British & International Athletics
  • Themes of Teamwork & Leadership

2. Linda Moir

Head of 'The Dream Team'

Linda Moir

Linda Moir was one of the other big name leaders associated with the success of London 2012. Employed to oversee the customer experience at London 2012, Linda built a team of 'games-makers' who became central to the whole experience at the games.

Known affectionately as the 'dream team' - the 15,000 strong team composed of contractors, employees and volunteers underwent many hours of training under Linda's expert leadership. At the close of the Olympics, the team was lauded as one of the great success stories. It was her dedication and drive to uncover excellence among the 'games-makers' that ensured Britain re-established a waning reputation for quality customer service.

Linda's speaking topics:

  • Business Management
  • Motivating Your Staff
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Organising the 'Games Makers' at London 2012
  • Customer Experience
  • Incentivising a Team

3. Ben Hammersley

Technologist & Futurist

A futurist and technology speaker who has inspired countless corporate audiences with his fascinating command of technology as we know it, and the advancements and problems we face in the future, there is no doubt Ben Hammersley has become a masterful journalist in the technology space.

Having penned bestselling books including a series on Hacking and worked as a digital correspondent for The Times and editor for the UK's Wired magazine, Hammersley's speeches are especially sought at conferences and university events worldwide.

Ben's speaking topics:

  • Business Development
  • Social & Cultural Trends
  • Digital Innovation
  • The Future of Technology

4. Brigitte Scheffer

BBC World Arabic Correspondent 

Brigitte Scheffer

A BBC Correspondent in the Middle East, Brigitte Scheffer has for many years covered current affairs and politics in the Middle East. She has covered devastating terrorist attacks, as well as some of the most high-profile conflicts.

She previously held a directorial role for the Government of Saudi Arabia, leading media relations for the government and royal family. Speaking six languages including Arabic, Brigitte is one of the most extraordinary journalists and broadcasters in the world today.

Brigitte's speaking topics:

  • International Relations
  • Current Affairs
  • The Middle East
  • Politics
  • Media Relations

5. Lance Corporal Johnson Beharry VC

Military Leadership Speaker

A military hero, Lance Corporal Johnson Gideon Beharry VC was awarded the Victoria Cross in recognition of two selfless acts of bravery while on duty in Al-Amarah, Iraq. Twice he was in army vehicles attacked by missiles and enemy fire, and twice he steered his colleagues to safety.

The first time Johnson had to stick his head out of the vehicle so he could see where he was going, exposing himself to sniper bullets. Despite this, he led his crew and five other vehicles to safety, then got his wounded colleagues out of the vehicle. The second time, just a month later, he was hit in the head by shrapnel, later needing brain surgery to remove it.

Johnson was the first recipient of the VC since it was awarded posthumously to two soldiers who took part in the Falklands War in 1982 and he was its first living recipient since two soldiers received the award for their services in Vietnam in 1969.

What makes Johnson a particularly motivational speaker is that audiences feel his stories of incredible bravery, not just on the battlefield but when he came home to recover as well. And he tells people about the war as it was, rather than how it is portrayed by others who weren’t there - making him a truly inspirational leadership speaker.

Johnson's speaking topics:

  • Inspiring a Team
  • Bravery
  • Challenging
  • Leadership
  • Drive & Determination

6. Pen Hadow

Arctic Expedition Leader

Pen Hadow offers unique insight into exploration as well as the plight of the Arctic Ocean, and the threats posed to both the eco-system and the ice caps. His incredible real-life experiences are ideal to impress guests, with the information he can provide able to spark exciting debates.

There are few in the world as experienced in this area as Pen Hadow, who remains the only person in history to have trekked solo from Canada to the North Pole.

In addition to his solo experiences, Pen Hadow is able to discuss the intense dangers and importance of strong situational leadership from his challenges of leading an award-winning international research programme and arctic mission.

Pen's speaking topics:

  • Goal-setting and setbacks
  • Team Performance & Improvement
  • Pioneering Mindset & Breakthroughs
  • Motivation – Finding It & Keeping It
  • Risk vs. Rewards
  • Leading an Expedition
  • Global Environmental Change & Corporate Sustainability

7. Pete Cohen

Corporate Leadership Coach

Pete Cohen is one of the UK’s leading corporate performance and motivational business speakers, a published author and an established media personality with more than 20 years’ experience in addressing and inspiring business leaders, executives, employees and the general public.

Highly regarded by some of the foremost companies in the world including IBM, Pfizer, BAA, Royal Bank of Scotland, Boehringer Ingelhelm and Thomas Cook, Pete’s interactive, humorous and engaging style has always gone down a treat with his audiences.

Gifted with an impressive ability to inspire, motivate and galvanise people, Pete truly understands the way the human mind works. Using this exceptional skill, he is able to maximise potential and unlock talent in any individual. His motivational capabilities have extended to helping people with weight loss, fitness and self-esteem.

In addition, Pete is the author of 14 best-selling books with titles such as Shut the Duck Up!, Life DIY and Sort Your Life Out, and has even worked with a host of sports giants like Ronnie O’Sullivan, Ellen Macarthur and Arsenal Football Club, instilling them with a sense of confidence, discipline and leadership.

Pete's speaking topics:

  • Keeping Your Customers Happy
  • Being Exceptional in Business
  • Maximising Your Motivation
  • Loving Your Work
  • Getting The Balance Right
  • The Art Of Wining
  • Coping With Change
  • Being Part of a Great Team

8. Gareth Davis

Business Management Speaker

Gareth Davies

Officially one of the most successful active CEOs in the world, Gareth Davis spent 38 years at Imperial Tobacco in several roles, including Director of Finance and Executive Director, and helped transform the company into one of the most efficient in the world.

He initially retired in 2010, but after a three-month break he went on to become chairman of bookmaker William Hill and, by 2012, added two more chairmanships to his name; FTSE 100 plumbing supplier Wolseley, and packaging firm DS Smith. An internationally renowned business speaker, Gareth delivers comprehensive talks on issues that include corporate transformation, as well as management and leadership of large companies with an emphasis on business and finance expertise.

One of his recent speaking engagements was for the Merchant Risk Council at the world's largest e-commerce and payment conference in Paris, where 95 per cent of the audience rated him excellent. Gareth’s years of expertise in the industry and confident presenting style allow him to tailor his speeches to suit different audiences all over the world, making him an ideal speaker for any corporate event.

Gareth's speaking topics:

  • Lessons in Leadership
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • The Art of Success
  • Maximising Efficiency In Your Workforce Through Organisation & Motivation
  • The Importance Of Consumerism
  • Corporate Transformation
  • Cultural Integration

You can enlist the services of great speakers from a number of areas, from sustainability to artificial intelligence, politics to exploration. Our team are on hand to pair you with the best and can come up with a dynamic shortlist inline with your brief and budget.

To book leadership speakers to appear at your corporate event, function or conference, simply contact The Motivational Speakers Agency by emailing motivationalagent@championsukplc.com or by calling a booking agent directly on 0207 1010 553.