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Maria  Ross

Maria Ross

INSPIRATIONAL KEYNOTE SPEAKER. BEST-SELLING AUTHOR. SAVVY BRAND STRATEGIST. TRANSFORMATIVE WORKSHOP FACILITATOR.

In-Person Fee Range:
$7,501 - $10,000
Traveling from:
California
Speaker Reel
Maria Ross Brand Strategist, Author, Speaker
Maria Ross- Business Speaker

Maria Ross

INSPIRATIONAL KEYNOTE SPEAKER. BEST-SELLING AUTHOR. SAVVY BRAND STRATEGIST. TRANSFORMATIVE WORKSHOP FACILITATOR.

In-Person Fee Range:
$7,501 - $10,000
Traveling from:
California

Why Book

  • Maria’s unique blend of passion, emotion, humor, and practicality consistently engages and delights her audiences. If your people want to become stronger leaders, create thriving cultures, and build engaging brands, bring Maria in as a keynote speaker, workshop facilitator, or guest speaker. All of her talks blend proven content and an amazing attendees experience, tailored to your event goals. And all can be customized to fit your industry’s specific challenges and language, your vision for success and ensure the talk knocks it out of the park!

Biography

Maria Ross is a speaker, facilitator, author, and empathy advocate who believes cash flow, creativity, and compassion are not mutually exclusive. She’s spent decades helping forward-thinking leaders and teams connect and engage through empathy to accelerate growth and impact. Maria has authored multiple books, including her most recent title, The Empathy Edge: Harnessing the Value of Compassion as an Engine for Success and also hosts The Empathy Edge podcast. Maria understands the power of empathy on the brand and personal levels: In 2008, shortly after launching her business, she suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm that almost killed her and inspired her memoir, Rebooting My Brain. In it, she explores the critical importance of empathy in healing and overcoming adversity. Her next book The Empathy Dilemma: How Successful Leaders Balance Performance, People, and Personal Boundaries, arrives on shelves in Fall 2024.

Maria has appeared in many prominent media outlets, including MSNBC, NPR, Wisdom from the Top with Guy Raz (NPR), Forbes.com, ABC News, Entrepreneur and Thrive Global. She has spoken to audiences ranging from TEDx to SHRM to The New York Times Small Business Summit to BlogHer to Salesforce to The 3% Conference and delivers keynotes and workshops at companies and conferences worldwide. Her thought leadership writing has appeared in multiple publications including Entrepreneur.com, Newsweek, and Huffington Post. Maria lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, young son, and rescue mutt and serves clients worldwide.

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Programs

THE EMPATHY EDGE: Harnessing the Value of Compassion to Boost Innovation, Engagement, and Performance

Every problem that exists in the business world can be traced back to a single, common origin: LACK OF EMPATHY.

Sexism. Ageism. Deep-seated, mind-clouding prejudices. Furious customers and failed business launches. Partnerships abandoned out of fear, projects destroyed by misunderstanding. Every problem that exists in the business world can be traced back to a single, common origin: Lack of empathy. When we are unwilling to place ourselves in someone else’s shoes-unwilling to talk, listen, or understand another point of view-we remain paralyzed. Instead of finding solutions, we repeat the same mistakes. This impacts our professional reputation, team’s productivity, customer’s experience and organization’s performance.

It’s time for a new business paradigm. Learn how you can amplify empathy through your work and bring your organization along with you to create a better world. Empathy speaker Maria Ross reveals exactly how empathy makes leaders (and organizations) stronger and more sustainable, how it accelerates revenue and performance, and she offers five concrete ways to flex your empathy muscles for great success.

This is a great fit for hungry audiences clamoring to align their values with their work and heal the world, starting in the workplace. If your audience or team is struggling to do good while still doing WELL financially, this is the program to choose.

YOU WILL DISCOVER:

  • Why empathy is a competitive advantage. We’ll walk through the financial and organizational benefits of empathy.
  • How to avoid the “empathy veneer.” There are three  levels your organization must address to truly act with empathy and walk your talk rather than simply play to good press. You’ll learn the crucial role you can play to kick this into motion.
  • How to flex your empathy muscle. Discover and practice actionable ways you and your organization can strengthen empathy to achieve radical success.
THE EMPATHY DILEMMA: How Successful Leaders Balance People, Performance, and Personal Boundaries

All across the globe, organizations are becoming more human-centric. They’ve jettisoned old paradigms of success that center on endless overtime and constant employee sacrifice. They’ve tied success to purpose and workforce morale and helped people balance personal and professional needs as their priorities change. They’ve made shifts that are both necessary and positive.

But now, those striving to be empathetic leaders and colleagues are experiencing the dark side: Taking on extra work, avoiding conflict, spending too much time on personal issues, or simply burning out from trying to balance concern for colleagues with the needs of the business.

How can we remain human-focused and still maintain high performance, set personal boundaries, and avoid burning out, without being treated like villains?

In this timely talk by empathy advocate, TEDx speaker, podcaster, and strategist, Maria Ross, author of The Empathy Edge, you’ll discover how empathy benefits your organization’s performance and why your perception of empathy might be false and leading you astray. You’ll also learn about 5 valuable pillars to being an empathetic and effective leader or colleague and how they will enable you to find success in the new world of work.

TAKEAWAYS:

  • DEFINE what empathy means in a work context and clarify confusing terminology. Bust common empathy myths that hold leaders back.
  • DISCOVER how empathy helps you do good while doing well financially: Empathy is not just good for the world but it can be a competitive advantage. We’ll walk through the financial & organizational benefits of acting with empathy-and how you can persuade others in the organization to do the right thing.
  • EXPLORE what empathy is – and more importantly, what it is NOT
  • DISCOVER and PRACTICE the five pillars of effective empathy and how to balance people, performance, and personal boundaries.
THE ROI OF EMPATHY: How to Create an Empathetic Culture to Boost Innovation, Productivity, and Talent Attraction

Workplace culture has changed, but some organizations are struggling to keep pace — yet wonder why sales or growth is stagnant.

Join Maria Ross, author of The Empathy Edge: Harnessing the Value of Compassion as an Engine for Success, as she shares evidence and case studies underlining the importance of cultivating empathetic cultures in the business world. You’ll learn how empathy makes organizations stronger, discover what the next generation of talent is demanding in their workplace, and get actionable ways to create a more empathetic culture where your people can thrive.

This discussion will open your eyes to the value of empathetic culture on tangible business results, and help you begin cultivating that culture within your own workplace.

YOU WILL DISCOVER:

  • How an empathetic culture leads to a market-conquering brand
  • How to build a corporate culture that attracts top talent and boosts engagement
  • Actionable ways to flex your empathy muscle as a leader, even if you don’t think this is your strength
  • Strategies to create a more empathetic culture
  • How to avoid the “empathy veneer” so that you can genuinely walk your talk
CREATING AN EMPATHETIC BRAND IN A DIGITAL WORLD

Today’s savvy customers demand empathy from the brands they choose. In fact, doing business online and social media requires us to be more empathetic than ever before — if we want to keep customers, gain market share, and thrive.

Most organizations pay plenty of lip-service to “putting the customer first” and operating from a place of compassion, but far fewer actually deliver on this promise. In a world where companies prioritize shareholder returns over employee safety and profit over purpose, many people worry that empathy has abandoned the corporate world for good.

Fortunately, we have the power to turn that tide. Everyone from CEOs to programmers to middle managers can take steps to imbue their company culture, offerings, and customer interactions with genuine empathy.

Frankly, today’s savvy customers are demanding it from the brands they choose.

Especially in the ever-evolving online sphere. In fact, doing business online and in social media demands that we be even more empathetic than ever before if we want to keep customers, gain market share, and thrive.

In this compelling talk, speaker, facilitator, and empathy advocate  Maria Ross—author of The Empathy Edge: Harnessing the Value of Compassion as an Engine for Success—will explore the value of compassion as a competitive advantage. Learn how you, as leaders and marketers, can amplify empathy through your work, create a more empathetic experience online, and bring your organizations along with you to create a better world.

With fascinating stories from founders, change-makers, and brands we know and love, Ross reveals exactly how empathy is not just good for humankind, but actually makes brands stronger and more sustainable.

YOU WILL DISCOVER:

  • Why empathy is great for business and how it gives you a brand edge over your competitors, resulting in fierce customer loyalty and smash-hit products and services
  • How to avoid the “empathy veneer” so the public knows your brand is authentic and genuine, and you are not just cranking out publicity stunts
  • Actionable ways to infuse empathy into your marketing, sales, and digital communications with customers, as well as colleagues and community so you can better engage and create a loyal brand tribe
  • Ways to align your personal values with your work to achieve unimaginable success

 

HOW TO “TROJAN HORSE” LEADERS TO EMBRACE EMPATHY

This keynote, based on my popular TEDx talk, presents the business case for skeptics to encourage more empathy to take root and transform people from the outside in. And inspires listeners to smash outdated success paradigms for a more hopeful and connected future.

Is it right to trick leaders into being more empathetic?

Although we are currently experiencing an empathy deficit in our world, smart leaders and teams have found that compassion, creativity and cash flow co-exist in balanced harmony. Let’s Trojan Horse the skeptics into embracing empathy with actionable steps that transform them from the outside in. How? By showing people that empathy is not just good for society, it’s good for business.

General directives to “be more empathetic” or “be kinder” don’t help anyone, but actionable steps do. How about we start flexing our empathy muscle in the place where we spend the bulk of our time: AT WORK.

This keynote presents the business case to skeptics, encouraging them to embrace empathy and  transform from the outside in. It  inspires listeners to smash outdated success paradigms for a more hopeful and connected future.

REBOOT + REFRAME: How A Freak Aneurysm Flipped My Entrepreneurial Switch + Reframed My Life

Come hear Maria’s powerful, inspirational, and humorous story as she shares her journey back to strength and success. Her hard-won insights into life balance, work, stress, gratitude, time management, and focus are guaranteed to give you new perspective and insight on your own life and work. Maria’s tale of deep resilience will have you laughing and crying, and the practical lessons she shares will show you how to handle adversity … rather than waiting for a life-threatening crisis to hit.

Shortly after moving to a new city and starting her own business, Maria Ross was struck down with a brain aneurysm rupture at the age of 35. About 40% of people who experience her type of hemorrhage die as a result, and 4 out of 7 will suffer disabilities. But Maria bounced back better and braver than ever. Doctors dubbed her recovery “miraculous.”

And after months and years of healing, she re-booted her brain and business and COMPLETELY reframed her life.

Since her injury, she’s written many books, traveled extensively, had a son, and built up her thriving business … but not without some powerful lessons learned along the way.

Maria’s experience there was so overwhelmingly supportive, and positive it showed her the power of empathy to heal. And got her thinking about how any business can scale empathy, no matter how bureaucratic, which led to her current work as an empathy advocate who shows progressive, people-centric organizations and leaders how to achieve radical success through empathy.

She turned tragedy to triumph, and used this life-disruption as a spark to fuel a brand new path for her purpose-driven work.

Come hear Maria’s powerful, inspirational, and humorous story as she shares her journey back to strength and success. Her hard-won insights into life balance, work, stress, gratitude, time management, and focus are guaranteed to give you new perspective and insight on your own life priorities. Maria’s tale of deep resilience will have you laughing and crying, and the practical lessons she shares will show you how to appreciate each day … rather than waiting for a life-threatening crisis to hit.

YOU WILL DISCOVER:

  • The importance of focus for your brand, business, and sanity
  • Why saying “No” can lead to more of the right “Yes”
  • A surprising twist on how to view acceptance in business and life
  • Why “patience” is not a dirty word for ambitious people
  • How humor is essential to make your business, spirit and physical body thrive

Maria Ross Reviews

Maria Ross was not only a true professional both on stage and leading up to the event, but a very down to earth person who makes you feel like you’ve known her forever- even when you’ve just met. You can’t beat it when someone is easy to work with and also gets rave reviews when up on stage!”

— Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce

“Maria is always a wonderful guest speaker. No matter the situation, whether presenting, speaking or providing support materials and resources, she’s always highly professional and informative. She’s become my go-to expert on the topic of branding, because I know she’ll deliver engaging and helpful content for my audience each and every time.”

— Rock Your Genius and Upstart Smart 

“Maria was our keynote speaker at a recent Wedding Network USA monthly meeting. She was able to inform our membership and guests on ways to work on our brand strategy through a series of questions to ask ourselves and to do it without spending a lot of money. Many of our members thought it was one of the best presentations they heard on the topic. If you have the chance, have Maria speak to your group, you will not be disappointed.”

— Wedding Network USA

“Maria Ross provided a patient testimonial in front of 500 UW Medicine leaders at a recent Leadership Institute training. Ms Ross was poised, articulate, and highly effective with her presentation. She made her experience come to life in a most impressive way. The segment received rave reviews and was considered the corner stone of this important 2-day session.”

— University of Washington Medical Center

“Maria was one of the Puget Sound Business Journal’s speakers in our BizDev series. Maria puts on a lively and informative workshop that leaves the attendees with more than just tips but action items that can be implemented immediately. She was a joy to work with and I recommend her highly.” Puget Sound Business Journal “I had the pleasure of working with Maria Ross, who was our guest speaker at Words @TheWoodmark. She is a true professional in every way and has a talent for demystifying branding to an audience.”

— GreenRubino

“Maria is a favorite speaker at Ladies Who Launch events and always delights, educates and sends us home with practical actions to implement. Her most recent presentation, “Who’s your Audience?” skillfully engaged the entire audience in a participatory exercise that was illuminating and helped us focus our conversations with customers.”

— Ladies Who Launch

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