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Mary Kelly

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The only female leadership speaker with an economics PhD, 11 best-selling leadership and business books, and 20 years of active military service. Get motivated with military leadership that builds profit.

Fee Range: $10,001 – $20,000

Smart, funny, and high-energy, Mary's audiences request Mary back again and again. Mary provides actionable takeaways that motivate, inspire, and engage. From the C-level throughout the organization, Mary is a hit!

Mary helps business leaders understand current and future economic issues so they can make decisions that facilitate productivity, improve employee engagement, and increases profitability.

A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Mary spent over 20 years on active duty in intelligence and logistics. She retired from the Navy as a commander. She has masters' degrees in both history and economics, and a PhD in economics.

With over 30 years combined teaching experience at the Naval Academy, the Air Force Academy and Hawaii Pacific University, she taught economics, finance, leadership, and management.

Dr. Kelly has extensive experience as a business advisor and executive coach, specializing in interpreting economic data and trends, and providing the leadership advice needed to make the right decisions to move the organization forward. As a CEO, Mary has a track record for success.

In her role as a military leader, Commander Kelly developed a business model for the computer and telecommunications organization for personnel hiring, training and retention that was adopted globally by the U. S. Navy. Managing culturally diverse teams, she orchestrated organizational changes for over 3,000 personnel for 2 military base closures. Her ability to problem solve and provide innovative solutions enabled her to transform the Navy's largest pay and personnel organization from the lowest in customer satisfaction to the highest in the nation in 18 months, with 23% fewer employees and a 19% budget decrease.

As a speaker and presenter, Mary Kelly pulls from her diverse experience to provide keynote presentations that are engaging and compelling, leaving the audience wanting more. With a warm and sincere style, Mary takes her vast knowledge and provides an educational presentation that holds the interest of her audience. She is a popular speaker on topics of leadership, communication, financial planning, and management. As a communicator, she has chaired academic and military panels for economics, political science and historical conferences. She has conducted over 5,000 programs on financial, business, management, and leadership topics.

Productive Leaders maintains sites in Dallas, TX and Denver, CO. Each of Mary's 11 books has its own wine label. Mary happily brings samples. Mary likes skiing, kayaking, time outside with her dogs, and building businesses.

Speech Titles and Descriptions:

The news is full of leadership failures. Many good people, when they rise to leadership positions, fail.  Good leadership seems easy in theory but actually living, executing, and fostering strong, effective leadership in corporations and organizations is tough.

The military focus on leadership is not an accident.  Leadership is most critical during times of crisis.  As Mary says, "Anyone can lead a team of highly-motivated, well-paid, good-hearted employees when there are no problems. That isn't leadership." Leadership happens when things are tough and there are problems to solve.

The program and resulting book, Why Leaders Fail and the 7 Prescriptions for Success, developed from studying over 10,000 military, government, and business people, and analyzing what makes successful leaders.  Mary Kelly and Peter Stark realized that there are 7 overarching reasons why leaders fail.  They created 49 Prescriptions for Success to help well-intentioned leaders become trusted advisors, respected advocates, and highly effective team builders.

  • In this cutting-edge program, participants will gain:
  • Insight into behaviors that may be sabotaging the loyalty of their direct reports
  • Understanding about why their top talent may not be performing up to their potential
  • Tools to align team goals with organizational mission
  • Awareness of how they are perceived by their direct reports, peers, and supervisors
  • The 49 Prescriptions for Success
  • A personalized leadership assessment to help identify leadership strengths and weaknesses

Getting people to work together is challenging. Office tension, competition, gossip, personal agendas and pettiness reduce morale and productivity.

Do you ever wonder how the military recruits people from diverse environments and coalesces them into cooperative, fighting teams?

Find out how you can use military approaches to enhance communication and teamwork, develop integration, and facilitate a positive work environment. In this workshop you can expect to learn:

  • Ways to be more productive in less time
  • Ways to work together to accomplish more
  • How to communicate clearly among all levelsHow to set and exceed expectations
  • Ways to conquer the obstacles that create barriers to effective teamwork
  • To use the strengths of people you work with despite cross generational gaps

The military forges cohesive teams and develops leaders, and you can too!

One of Mary's most popular presentations! In this informative, engaging and entertaining program you'll learn what it takes to be a great leader, which will, in turn, result in a great team. Leadership is all about creating a vision as well as executing the strategy. Leadership is also why people, and companies, succeed or fail. Some people believe leadership is limited to the people at the top, but real leadership happens at all levels in every organization.

True leaders strategically plan and implement long-term programs to take advantage of talent and increase morale throughout the organization.

Everyone benefits when leaders apply three core techniques, and then refine them with seven critical applications. Mary can't wait to share these key pieces of leadership knowledge with you! This program is engaging and immediately applicable. Master Your World is packed with templates and tools so leaders can achieve optimal results.

So what can you expect to learn by selecting this inspirational program?
In this presentation Mary will teach you:

  • What most employees are not getting from their leaders and managers that they need in order to be more effective and successful in the workplace
  • How to implement actionable items to create cohesive teamwork and better engage those around you
  • How to improve personal and professional productivity with less stress
  • Ways to best use your networks and relationships to further your influence and your business
  • How to find the keys to being happier and more productive at work (and at home) by applying the Master Your World techniques

Great leadership is an upside down pyramid. You as the leader are there to support the people working for you. Great leaders build effective teams and remind managers and leaders to communicate, develop employees, listen, and strategize for optimal results.

The military asks employees to sleep at work, but your organization doesn't expect your people to work for several weeks without a day off. Learn the secrets of leadership and motivation from a 21-year Navy veteran who lead multi-cultural teams all over the world in this thought-provoking, action-packed session.  This program is designed for teambuilding, experienced managers, and senior management.

Is the 360° of Leadership the right program for your group? In this powerful and thought provoking session, you will learn the following:

  • What to consider as you assume a new role with new responsibilities
  • How to communicate effectively with your diverse workforce
  • What most employees wish their leaders knew
  • Ways to use the strengths of your workplace demographics
  • How to motivate employees even without a budget

Let Mary help you navigate the waters of the workplace, we promise you won't even need a floatation device!


Change is fun for some people, but miserable for others. Personality type, job position, seniority, and past experiences all determine how different people react to the idea of changing the way they conduct business. Understanding how people will react and addressing their concerns in advance of implementation can determine the success or failure of the new process.

Change management is a critical part of any organization that leads, manages, or enables people to accept and embrace new processes, technologies, systems, structures and values. This fun and interactive experience explores how health care professionals can maximize new opportunities and help others understand the change process.

The intent of effective change management is to:

  • Address the concerns and barriers of the people who will need to adopt the new methods.
  • Address the concerns and trepidation of the supporting roles
  • Overcome the uncertainty obstacles that impede necessary change to achieve greater effectiveness.
  • Ensure that everyone in the organization is ready, willing, and able to perform his or her role in the new environment.

Outcomes: Through this entertaining and interactive session focusing on leadership at all levels, we increase productivity. Participants learn how to enact change, how to explain why the change is being implemented, how it is going to benefit them, and why adapting to the new system is in their best self-interest. We overcome ambiguities, barriers, resistance, and reluctance to change behavior and methodologies.

You are wonderful with clients, you understand what you need to do to stay current in your field, and you have a great staff, but running a business is tough.

Wouldn't it be great to prosper all the time? Would you like to grow your business regardless of the economy? Do you want to be recession-proof?

In this fast-paced, dynamic, and fun session, renowned economist, speaker and leadership expert Mary C. Kelly, PhD covers 15 ways to assist business owners in more effective marketing, enhanced productivity, and achieving greater profits all the time. Mary would love to help you grow your business!

  • Learn how to put together a dynamite, well-organized business plan that defines your business strategy with Mary's easy-to-use, fill-in-the-blank templates
  • Discover how to use your business relationships to further your business with a structured referral system
  • Be able to track the strengths and weaknesses of your teams to best assign tasks, align goals, and achieve optimal outcomes
  • Implement actionable items to create cohesive teamwork, improve personal and professional productivity, and better engage those around you using a daily tracking tool
  • And 11 other actions that grow your business
Speech Topics:

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