Founder & Former CEO, Tesla Motors
The glass ceiling didn’t know what hit it when Carly Fiorina was named CEO of Hewlett Packard. From leading HP out of a tech recession to her run for the world’s most powerful position, Fiorina has always been a fearless leader. Her bestselling books, sought-after consulting work, and effective philanthropic initiatives only add to her legacy. Events devoted to leadership at its most intrepid put Fiorina’s gripping keynote addresses front and center.
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The first woman to lead a Fortune 20 company, business speaker Carly Fiorina has defied expectations throughout her storied career. A stirring and inspiring keynote speaker, Carly Fiorina relates the wisdom she has earned from a lifetime of accomplished leadership.
Carly Fiorina draws on her careers in business, politics, and philanthropy to help leaders find innovative solutions to persistent problems. A pioneer who obliterated the glass ceiling as CEO of Hewlett-Packard, Fiorina believes that everyone has untapped leadership potential.
Fiorina is Chair of Carly Fiorina Enterprises, which delivers leadership training to individuals and organizations around the world. She also created the Unlocking Potential Foundation to provide similar training to community leaders and nonprofit organizations. Through her immensely popular podcast, By Example, Fiorina offers conversations with today’s most prominent leaders.
Firstly, Fiorina began her career as a secretary in a small real estate firm and worked her way up the corporate ladder. When she was named HP’s CEO in 1999, the tech industry was mired in its worst downturn in a quarter century. Fiorina grew revenue, jumpstarted innovation, and quadrupled HP’s growth, making HP the 11th largest company in the US.
She also cultivated a world-renowned culture at HP. The company won awards from Working Mother magazine and the Human Rights Campaign. The Financial Times and PriceWaterhouseCoopers named HP one of the world’s most respected companies. For her efforts, Business Ethics magazine named Fiorina one of the world’s 100 best corporate citizens.
Following the 9/11 attacks, Fiorina was appointed by President Bush to chair the External Advisory Board of the CIA. Her experience in government oversight inspired her to run an influential campaign for president in 2015.
Fiorina’s bestselling books include Tough Choices, Rising to the Challenge, and Find Your Way. Additionally, she is Distinguished Clinical Professor in Leadership at The Catholic University of America.
Secretary to CEO: A Story of True Leadership
Solving problems, effectively empowering employees, and driving results are not easy tasks, but they are required of leaders. As CEO of the world’s first $100 billion information technology company, Carly Fiorina is all too familiar with the complex, difficult path of leadership – and the far-reaching strategic decisions that must be made with finesses and fortitude. She has grappled with many of these same tensions and faced these same challenges.
A passionate leader who made tough choices to grow her organizations, Carly delivers a powerful, pragmatic presentation on how leaders can be clear-eyed about their current state, optimistic about their future, and deliberate about getting the results they want. Carly began her business career as a secretary and ultimately became the first woman to lead a FORTUNE 50 company, as the CEO of Hewlett-Packard. She made this journey by solving the problems in front of her and unlocking the potential of those around her. She passionately believes that leaders are made, not born, and that leadership potential exists at every level of every organization. “Anyone can lead, at any time, from anywhere. Leadership is not about title, position, or power. It is about making a positive difference.
As the CEO of HP, Carly Fiorina tackled issues of strategic focus, product innovation, and mergers and integration – all during the dot.com boom and bust and the worst technology recession in 25 years. She recognized that, if the company was going to survive, she had to transform the complacent culture at HP into a dynamic, innovative environment that would allow the company to become the industry leader. This successful transformation was driven by Carly’s solid management philosophy, commitment to building a diverse team, and a set of proven tools and practices.
From this experience, Carly shares her personal account of what it takes to create a high-performance culture. She openly discusses the difficult path of major acquisition, integration, and transformational change. As many organizations adjust to the new realities in the aftermath of the financial crisis, navigating uncertainty, managing change, and building a high-performance culture are critical to empowering organizations and driving results.
Carly has spent her life building leaders and problem-solvers in nearly every context, including for-profits, non-profits, faith-based-communities, and academia. As the CEO of Hewlett Packard, the chair of two internationally-recognized non-profits, and a trusted advisor of executives around the world, she has inspired and empowered diverse groups for decades. She recognizes that leadership is not about how impressive your title is or how big your office is – but how you effectively solve problems and unlock the potential of those around you.
Today’s workforce is increasingly interested in accessing regular growth and development through their professional communities, and companies in every industry are continuing to explore how to meet those demands. Carly delivers a powerful presentation that inspires, empowers, and connects employees at every level. She introduces her proven leadership philosophy, which is based on a set of human behaviors and characteristics of leadership (traits that everyone can develop and deploy), as well as a set of practical, accessible tools that enable effective problem-solving.
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