Organizations rarely rise higher than the quality of their leaders.
Group failure is usually leadership failure;
group success is always leadership success.

Leaders frequently make one of two mistakes: either paying too much attention to the latest fad in “leadership” or sticking to what they think they know, no matter what. But as organizations face rapidly changing times, leaders need a skillful outfitter who can provide the tools best suited to their ventures. John Stackhouse knows how an expedition might succeed or fail long before such outcomes are obvious. And he equips his audience with honest, realistic advice on what leaders can do—and can’t do—to help their organizations innovate and thrive.


John Stackhouse has studied colleges, charities, NGOs, congregations, and businesses throughout North America. He has published a variety of articles and books pertaining to leadership, and has consulted with major organizations such as World Vision and the Young Presidents Organization as well as with large congregations on both sides of the border. He has addressed university presidents in Liverpool, business executives in Seoul, pastors in Bangalore, scholars in Shanghai, lawyers in Colorado, CEOs in Michigan, students and faculty at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and political and media leaders in Ottawa.

John Stackhouse has a unique ability to translate the ancient wisdoms into truths that are useful in the everyday workplace. He uses humor and an entertaining speaking style to demonstrate that there's nothing new about today's problems--and that the solutions have already been found.
Bruce Annan, Media Consultant and former President, Electronic Media, Toronto Star Newspapers

talks and seminars

Killing with Kindness: How Leaders Hug Their Organizations to Death

Organizations thrive when they do something worthwhile in an effective way. Note that nowhere in that definition of success is the clause, “and everyone is pleased, validated, and fulfilled all the time.” The point of leadership is to help the group accomplish its mission, not to keep every stakeholder happy. This talk outlines the several most common ways in which well-intentioned executives both originate and perpetuate practices that confuse and frustrate their organizations, and what they can do—courageously, calmly, and constructively—instead.

Communication: Making It Work Before It Works You Over

Communication is like water in a landscape. It’s either on the surface or underground. It’s either fresh and sunlit, or dank and dark. It’s either being intentionally directed or left to carve its own way. Leaders can’t make the water disappear nor can they stop it flowing, even if they want it to. Their choice is only between channelling it productively or enduring its unexpected effects. This talk teaches leaders fundamental principles of healthy, helpful organizational communication both within their groups and between their groups and others.

Connect! How to Stop Being a Nervous, Defensive Narcissist and Become a Successful and Beloved Public Speaker

Public speaking should always be an exciting encounter, not a nightmarish threat. We can reframe public speaking from “unloading your message” or “protecting your ego” to giving a gift to an appreciative group of new friends and colleagues. And you can be equipped to handle stage fright, focus on the 2 key elements of every speech, identify the kind of microphone you should always avoid, prepare for any question you might get, and never be underpaid or underappreciated again.