Speaking

S. Chris Edmonds and Mark S. Babbitt are well known for their engaging, experienced work on the stage, at conferences, and in meeting and board rooms.

Their interactive presentations—including in-person keynotes, virtual appearances, and solution-focused leadership group sessions—present compelling concepts that help audience members learn how to build and sustain an uncompromising work culture. And by uncompromising, we mean...

"In this company, we equally respect respect and results."

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Mark and Chris’ keynotes present their proven culture process, robust research, and client successes (and failures) with culture change—all delivered with humor and actionable inspiration. From start-up founders to non-profit directors to Fortune 100 CXOs, audience members learn a purposeful, positive, and productive company culture doesn’t happen by default; it only happens by design.

Leaders routinely see 30 to 40 percent improvements in traditional business metrics like retention, employee engagement, customer service ratings, productivity and profits.

Mark and Chris, both recognized as Inc. Magazine’s “Top 100 Leadership Speakers,” have done more than 5,000 presentations for audiences as large as 2,500. And they are ready to inspire audiences at your next event, conference, or corporate meeting.

Clients typically include copies of Good Comes First for each attendee; we're happy to facilitate a discounted purchase for your bulk order of our book. After our presentations, Chris and Mark are delighted to sign copies of the book for those interested.

Take Their Word For It

"Chris Edmonds is an engaging speaker who doesn't just talk about culture change - he's built a proven process for culture change! His stories and examples help his audience understand how to embed values and results in their businesses."

– Hyrum Smith

Co-Founder, Franklin Covey

"Mark's views on leadership are not just incredibly inspiring... they are actionable. Mark not only lives and breathes his message, he inspires the audience to believe that they can make a real impact."

– Julia Gabor

Tiger Woods Foundation

"Chris Edmonds is a terrific storyteller and a powerful speaker. Chris clearly outlines how leaders can build purposeful, positive, productive work cultures - which every organization needs right now.'

– Ken Blanchard

Co-Author, The New One Minute Manager

His humor, warmth, and depth of knowledge were clearly felt by all. Even better, Mark's interactive and inspiring approach meant our audience was completely engaged."

– Ed Rusch

Elemica

"As a school district with a historically rich culture, it's easy to become content with the status quo. Chris' engaging keynote to our administrators outlined practical, actionable strategies that will ensure our district's culture is not just good, but premier."

- Baron R. Davis

CEO Superintendent, Richland School District Two

“Mark’s message is relevant, timely and on point… and his presentation style? Well, let’s just say he ROCKS the room.” 

- Lisa Snodgrass

Purdue University

“I was in the front row during our association’s Credit Congress. Thank you, Mark and Chris, for a stellar keynote! I love the title of your book, Good Comes First!"

- Jennifer Walsh

CEO, NACM Commercial Services

Keynotes Presented by Chris and Mark:

Today’s business leaders aren’t facing “The Great Resignation.” When millions of people quit en masse, that is nothing short of “A Quiet Revolution.” 

Like most revolutions, this one started simply enough. At first, employees were happy-ish. After all, our idea of work had not dramatically changed for several decades. The pandemic changed all that. For the first time, employees had a say in where, when, and how work got done. They enjoyed a level of freedom and autonomy never felt before; many finally found a sense of balance between work and life. 

Suddenly, for the 48 million US workers that voluntarily quit in 2021 alone, the “old normal” was no longer good enough.

In this high-energy talk that focuses on the tactical and practical, Chris Edmonds and Mark Babbitt—based on their bestselling book, Good Comes First—show today’s leaders how they can win the war for talent through the creation of an uncompromising company culture while simultaneously increasing any company’s bottom line.

We don’t have a so-called labor shortage. Instead, we have a respect shortage.

The data is clear: When it comes to today’s employee experience—and the retention of attraction of top talent—nothing means more to an employee than feeling respected. In fact, workplace respect is a better indicator of a quality employer than pay, perks, benefits, and training—combined. 

And what happens when people feel disrespected? When they grow tired of working unfulfilling jobs for lousy bosses within uninspiring company cultures? They walk. And they keep walking until they find a company where they systemically feel respected and validated for their ideas, efforts, and contributions—every day.

In this interactive discussion, Chris Edmonds and Mark Babbitt, co-authors of the bestseller Good Comes First, show leaders a proven method for making respect as important as results. In fact, through the use of real-world examples and case studies, they’ll demonstrate that in the post-pandemic workplace: Respect = Results.

Keynotes presented by Chris or Mark:

For years, leaders have posted their organization's core values on the walls of their lobbies and in their conference rooms. And yet leaders rarely live up to those values. Even worse: As they choose to focus almost exclusively on driving results, far too many leaders ignore values and tolerate destructive behaviors. 

The natural consequence: Employees don’t live those values, either. The result: The stated company culture becomes a contradiction. 

This is why today’s best leaders are building accountability systems to make core values—and the human behaviors that demonstrate alignment to those values—countable.

In this insightful keynote, Chris or Mark prove that before leaders and team members can be held accountable for living a company’s core values and creating a respectful workplace, core values must become countable. Specifically, leaders must define values in observable, tangible, measurable, coachable, and changeable terms.

The net result: Leaders see across-the-board improvements of 30 to 40 percent in employee engagement, customer satisfaction, retention, productivity, and profits.

For decades, talented team members have tolerated old-school leaders who put results before respect and rationalize destructive, demeaning behaviors while chasing higher profits.

But as “The Great Resignation” and ill-fated attempts to return to the pre-pandemic “old normal” have has proven, those days are over. Today, as companies struggle to recover from the impact of COVID-19, employees are expressing a desire (and are proving they deserve) workplaces where they are respected and validated for their ideas, efforts, and contributions—every day. 

To retain and attract talented, engaged staff, leaders, from small business owners to Fortune 100 CEOs, must make the creation of a work culture where respect is as important as results their top priority. 

The challenge? We rarely ask leaders to change work cultures. And most leaders don’t know how. 

So in this interactive conversation, Chris or Mark provide the actionable inspiration needed to help leaders build a team of good people... doing good work... in a good company. We share the impact of an inspiring servant purpose and of respect-based workplace values and behaviors and drive optimal results while, at the same time, focusing on the doing of good.

In this era, mistrust, mistruths, and disrespect—not only in interactions with toxic bosses and toxic colleagues in the workplace but also in back-channel communications and on social and digital platforms—are rampant. So it has never been more critical for leaders to demonstrate respect as they earn the respect of their employees. 

Not in some insincere way; certainly not in the same way management has attempted to manipulate employee engagement over the past several decades. Instead, the goal for leaders today is to create a workplace where respect is contagious, validation is pervasive, and employees are treated with dignity while driving results.

In this presentation, designed to offer time for reflection and self-awareness, Chris or Mark show that today’s most valued leaders are exceptional relationship builders, respectful collaborators and engaged mentors. Moreover, those same leaders consistently show employees they matter by demonstrating genuine care for both the work and the people doing the work. 

At the end of this discussion, leaders will know they must deliberately create a company culture where good comes first for employees, customers, and all stakeholders—and those players know they are trusted to do exceptional work.

See Chris And Mark In Action

Don't Hesitate!

Mark and Chris are in-demand speakers. They’d love to bring the power of a Good Comes First culture to your company or association event.

Complete the contact form below. Chris and Mark will respond personally (really!) to learn more about your event and your needs.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS, VENUS’ FOREWORD, INTRODUCTION, AND CHAPTER ONE

Good Comes First from S. Chris Edmonds and Mark S. Babbitt is set for release September 28, 2021 by Matt Holt Books, an imprint of BenBella Books. Sign up for monthly updates, actionable culture advice, and a copy of the book’s table of contents and foreword by Venus Williams.