Sara Canaday, Leadership Development Expert, Speaker and Author and is a recognized expert and author in leadership and career management who helps arm professionals with the strategies and practices they need to succeed in today’s complex and competitive business climate.

She partners with Fortune 500 companies who are committed to helping their employees strengthen their leadership skills, improve business relationships, and enhance their performance.

Sara’s professional career spans 20 years and includes sales, leadership, and executive roles. She served as principal consultant for Empowerment Enterprises before beginning her own consultancy in 2009.

Sara is a member of the National Speakers Association and the Founder and past President of the Austin Chapter. Sara has been featured in a number of publications and broadcasts, most notably ForbesCNBCPsychology TodayWSJ, and the American Management Association’s Leadership Wired. Sara is also the author of two popular business books, You – According to Them: Uncovering the blind spots that impact your reputation and your career and Leadership Unchained: Defy Conventional Wisdom for Breakthrough Performance.

Sara began her journey working full-time while she earned an MBA. As she climbed the ladder of corporate America, she repeatedly observed a surprising phenomenon: the most successful people weren’t necessarily the ones with the highest IQ or best job skills. She recognized instead that career advancement was much more closely linked with how people applied their knowledge and talents — their capacity to collaborate, communicate, and influence others.

Because of this revelation early on, Sara developed an uncanny ability to pinpoint the pivotal attributes that could make or break a career, and she was able to convey that information in a compassionately candid way. Colleagues, subordinates, and superiors alike frequently approached Sara for her advice on overcoming career hurdles and developing strategies to increase their personal market value. Despite reaching an executive position in operations with a major company, Sara realized that helping others to maximize their career potential was truly her life’s work.

Today, Sara is happily fulfilling that commitment as a keynote speaker, author, and executive coach.  These venues have given her the opportunity to mentor and support thousands of people in diverse situations, inspiring many of them to move from insight to action with dramatic career results.

Sara Canaday


Drawing from 15 years of corporate experience, Sara is a recognized expert in leadership development with bottom-line impact. That means she gets results. Tangible, dramatic, measurable results. How? Sara helps companies’ leaders and high-potential employees integrate the elusive leadership skills that research now proves are critical for corporations to succeed. Her most-requested presentation topics include strategic personal branding, next-level leadership, emotional intelligence, professional blind spots, and leadership presence.

As a keynote speaker, award winning author, and executive coach, Sara has a unique gift for connecting and communicating with her audiences to propel them from light-bulb-moment insight to strategic change. Moving far beyond the business-school basics, she helps people identify the barriers that are preventing them from taking their careers—and their companies—to the next level. Better yet, she provides them with specific strategies to remove those barriers and achieve success on a much higher level.

Sara Canaday is recognized as a pioneering thought leader in her industry and throughout the corporate world. Her primary areas of expertise include:

Professional Blind Spots

Sara is known for her uncanny ability to help people uncover the hidden obstacles that are limiting their job performance and their careers. No matter how smart they are, some people just don’t recognize the subtle behaviors or unconscious habits that are holding them back.

Strategic Personal Branding

While some people might think about “personal branding” as a soft, somewhat-vague concept, Sara shifts that notion and turns it completely upside down. Applying a unique and quantifiable process, she helps professionals across the country analyze, measure and refine their brands in a way that increases their own personal market value (as well as the bottom-line benefits they bring to their employers).

Next-Level Leadership

Companies nationwide have discovered that Sara is an extremely valuable resource as they work to groom their high-potential employees for leadership positions and optimal success.

Emotional Intelligence

During her years in corporate America, Sara repeatedly saw that awe-inspiring resumes and superior intelligence weren’t the best predictors of career success. Instead, the people who advanced most rapidly demonstrated exceptional emotional intelligence (EQ) – the ability to communicate, collaborate and connect with others.

Most Requested Keynotes:

  1. Leadership Unchained: Defy Conventional Wisdom for Breakthrough Performance

As the very nature of business rapidly changes, its leaders must be open to change too. Unconventional methods are no longer reserved for processes and procedures alone. To gain competitive ground, leaders have to disrupt the existing ways they think, act and lead.

The Details

As a Leader, How Could you Expand Your Impact If … ?

  • You were willing to sit still, while everyone else was in motion.
  • You were willing to ditch your dependence on what you’ve always done.
  • You were willing to be informed by data, but not driven by it.

Based on her ground-breaking business book, “Leadership Unchained: Defy Conventional Wisdom for Breakthrough Performance”, Sara reveals the conscious practices separating innovative leaders from their counterparts. Using a dynamic combination of insights, examples and research, she outlines the new signature habits that will catapult “by the book” leaders into modern thinkers.

Current and future leaders will be captivated by Sara’s clear roadmap for defying conventional wisdom and adopting unconventional habits for business success in the 21st Century.

  1. How to Lead in our Fast-Isn’t-Fast Enough World

The relentless pace of business today is taking a serious toll on all of us. We might strive to be purpose-driven, impactful and innovative, but we are often hijacked by never-ending to-do lists and constant crisis management. To better manage today’s complexities and make the shift from motion to meaning, we need a new set of strategies.

The Details

In this presentation, Sara will share a powerful and compelling wake-up call that will arm leaders with the practices they need to take back control of their time and their business impact. Blending insights, humor and actionable strategies, Sara takes audience members on a journey to:

  • Gain a fresh perspective about conventional “get-ahead” strategies
  • Adopt new ways of working that add meaning to their performance
  • Seize unexpected opportunities by shedding the chains of “business as usual”
Book this Speaker

Travels from: Austin, Texas

Fee range: From $10,000 – $15,000

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