Ross Bernstein

  • Name:
    Bernstein, Ross
  • Location:
  • Topics:
    Leadership, Motivation, Success, Team Work
  • Fee Ranges:

Best selling author, Outstanding Business Speaker
The best-selling author of nearly 50 sports books, Ross Bernstein is an inspirational business speaker who helps companies and organizations think and act more like champions. Ross and his books have been featured on thousands of television and radio programs over his career, including CNN, MSNBC, FoxNews, ESPN, TSN, ABC, NBC, CBS, and the CBC, as well as in the pages of the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Today.

As a working member of the media in his home state of Minnesota, Ross has a unique behind the scenes access to all of the local sports franchises in the area, including the Vikings, Twins, Timberwolves, Wild and Gophers. As such, he spends lots of his time in dugouts, club houses, locker rooms, and press boxes — and it’s here where Ross has met and interviewed thousands of professional athletes over the past 20 years.

Ross grew up in the small southern Minnesota town of Fairmont and went on to attend the University of Minnesota. It was there where he first got into writing through some rather unique circumstances. You see, after a failed attempt to make it as a walk-on to the University’s top-ranked Golden Gopher hockey team, Ross opted for the next best thing — to become the team’s mascot, “Goldy the Gopher.” His humorous accounts as a mischievous rodent then inspired the 1992 regional best-seller Gopher Hockey by the Hockey Gopher. Talk about making lemonade out of lemons… the rest, as they say, is history!

After graduating from college, Ross spent the next five years living in Chicago and New York City, working as the vice president of marketing for a start-up children’s entertainment company that he co-founded along with several former executives from the Walt Disney Company. Feeling as though he was missing his calling, however, in 1997 Ross took a leap of faith and moved back to Minnesota to pursue his dream of becoming a full-time sports author. Between writing three new books a year and speaking from coast to coast, Ross feels as though he has created his “dream job” and is truly living his passion each and every day.


The Champion’s Code: Life Lessons of Values &; Integrity From the Sports World To the Business World
The DNA of a champion is rare indeed and the code of honor by which they choose to live is truly unique. Ross Bernstein spent five years researching and interviewing more than 500 professional athletes, coaches, referees, umpires and media personalities for his nationally best-selling series of “Code” books, which chronicle the unwritten, unspoken rules in sports. Ross uses that wealth of information to educate, enlighten and entertain his audiences — challenging them to question their own personal and professional principles and values. In his program, Ross identifies more than 100 unique characteristics and traits that are common among champions, which he then ties into poignant stories and life lessons from the world of sports. Ross talks about taking responsibility and about doing things the right way, with respect, to not just survive in the “new economy” — but to thrive in it on your own terms.

Champions win with integrity and without taking short cuts or compromising their standards. They know that anybody can win on any given day. To win consistently over time requires a special work ethic and outlook on life. Their standards and expectations are higher, which is what makes them “true professionals,” or the best of the best. They know how to make critical decisions and to stay focused, even under pressure. They respect the game, they respect the opposition, and they respect figures of authority. Champions view ethics differently, too. They know that winning “at all costs” is fleeting, whereas winning with integrity is meaningful and everlasting.

They also understand that there is a fine line between cheating and gamesmanship, and they know where that line is at all times. You see, the unspoken code of honor in professional sports allows the players to police themselves. If a player cheats or purposely shows up or disrespects an opponent out on the ice, diamond or gridiron — then they will have to be held account-able — or else be prepared to suffer the consequences. From a PGA golfer voluntarily choosing to disqualify himself after winning a major championship upon learning he had inadvertently broken a rule; to an Olympic sprinter illegally taking steroids to gain an edge; to a Major League Baseball pitcher beaning an opponent after catching him stealing the signals to his catcher; to an NHL hockey player dropping his gloves and fighting an adversary twice his size in order to stand up for a teammate that has been disrespected — that “fine line” is both fascinating as well as thought-provoking. It all relates to business though, and that’s what makes this keynote or break-out program so popular — from Fortune 500 sales groups to trade association conferences — the reviews have been nothing short of fantastic.

This action-packed presentation features hundreds of photos and is chock full of inspirational stories, insightful wisdom and valuable takeaways. In it, Ross encourages his audience members to create their own code — or mission statement — which they can take back to the office and start using immediately— in order to be more productive, creative and accountable.

Breakout Program
Do You Believe In Miracles? Lessons In Team-Building, Leadership & Motivation

“Do you Believe in Miracles? Well, believe it or not, legendary coach Herb Brooks didn’t. Sure, he was a dreamer, but there were no short-cuts or divine interventions in his vocabulary — for him it was all about hard work, commitment and passion — and through those ideals he truly changed the world. Ross Bernstein is proud to share the inspirational story of the man behind the fabled 1980 gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic “Miracle on Ice” hockey team — which pulled off the greatest upset in modern sports history. Ross, who had actually been working with Brooks on writing a series of motivational/self-help books at the time of his tragic passing in 2003, decided to honor the legacy of his friend and mentor by turning their project into a living memorial. The result was “Remembering Herbie” and “America’s Coach,” a pair of nationally critically acclaimed motivational-biographies which chronicle the secrets of Brooks’ success through hundreds of interviews from former players, teammates, coaches, friends and family. Proceeds from the sale of the books proudly benefit the Herb Brooks Foundation, of which Ross currently serves as the President of the Board of Directors.

In his program, Ross speaks about the influence Brooks had on the world of sports; his unorthodox leadership style; his philosophies on roles and role players; his thoughts on mentorship and community service; how he was able to adapt and change in different work environments; how he fostered team chemistry; and about his unparalleled motivational tactics. Brooks was a winner in every sense of the word and the culture he created with his teams consistently delivered winning results — that was the bottom line. An innovator who wasn’t afraid to try things that were completely revolutionary and even controversial, Brooks demanded excellence from everybody around him and earned their respect through leading by example. He was the ultimate team player who lived by the adage that “the name on the front of the jersey was always more important than the name on the back” — a message any company or organization, big or small, can be proud of.

Putting many of the life-lessons and ideologies he learned from the fiery coach into a practical business application, Ross’ interactive, entertaining and thought-provoking presentation aims to inspire others to follow their dreams and maybe, just maybe, even create their own miracles. If you’ve got any sports fans in your group, or if you got goose bumps watching the Disney movie “Miracle,” which starred Kurt Russell as Brooks, then this uplifting 60-minute keynote will be the perfect way to open or close your next conference.

Breakout Program
Raising Stanley: How Becoming The Best Of The Best In Hockey Translates To Success In Business And In Life
To raise the Stanley Cup means that you have reached the pinnacle of professional hockey success; it means you are a champion — the best of the best. Each player’s epic journey to get to that sacred place has a unique and meaningful story behind it, however, and those stories are at the very core of Ross’ program. For more than two years Ross researched, met and interviewed upwards of 200 players and coaches who all share one common denominator — they had the distinct privilege of hoisting Lord Stanley’s holy grail. You see, to raise it means you have won it. Hockey players are extremely respectful as well as superstitious when it comes to the Cup. In fact, no player will ever even touch it unless he has won it. So, when he actually gets to raise it above his head for the first time, it is undoubtedly one of the proudest and most profound moments of his life.

Some stories will make you laugh out loud; like the one about Shjon Podein, who was so excited about winning the Cup in 2001 with the Colorado Avalanche that he refused to take off his equipment for the next 24 hours. That’s right. Wanting the moment to last forever, he kept his entire uniform on — skates and all — and partied like a rock star all night long throughout the streets of Denver. Some will make you cringe; like the one about Mike Modano, who, despite suffering from incredible pain, insisted upon getting his broken wrist shot up with Novocain between each period of every playoff game because he didn’t want to let his teammates down during Dallas’ 1999 Stanley Cup run. Some will bring tears to your eyes; like the one about Phil Esposito, who talked about how tough it was for him to slip his 1970 Boston Bruins championship ring off his dad’s finger at his funeral just before they had to close his casket. And some will inspire you; like the one about Brendan Shanahan, who took the Cup to his father’s grave site the morning after leading his Detroit Red Wings to the title in 1997 so he could personally thank him for all the sacrifices he had made for him over the years — from 5AM practices to getting a second job — just so he could live out his childhood dream.

The raw emotion and personal stories of determination, courage and perseverance will resonate with your audience as Ross weaves the life lessons and wisdom that he gathered over his two year odyssey into practical business takeaways that can be taken back to the office and put to use immediately. In his program, Ross talks about the “metaphorical Stanley” in all of our lives, that goal or light at the end of the tunnel that we are all pursuing as we climb the corporate ladder, and about how we can all achieve success through hard work, passion and dedication. Audience members will learn about teamwork, toughness, roles and role players, and leadership in ways they simply never imagined. If you’ve got any sports fans in your group, then this uplifting, PowerPoint-photo-packed, 60-minute program will be the perfect way to open or close your next conference or event.

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