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David Irvine

The Leader's Navigator


Are you committed to attracting and retaining the best talent to reach your organization’s fullest potential? If the answer is yes, then David Irvine―a mentor whose work has contributed to the building of hundreds of vital and engaged organizations throughout North America―can give you the competitive edge. With a vision to create workplace cultures that unleash greatness, Irvine clarifies complex issues and offers pragmatic solutions to renew and rekindle the vitality of your organization, your work, and yourself.

As one of Canada’s most respected voices on leadership and organizational culture, Irvine  has authored five bestselling books, has taught courses at three universities, including at the Banff School of Management. He has advanced degrees in human development, science, and social work. With more than 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur, workshop facilitator, psychotherapist, professional speaker and advisor to executives, he has developed a unique, personal and practical approach to transforming leaders. Every year, thousands of people attend his inspiring and thought-provoking programs on authentic leading and living, culture alignment, and accountability.

Irvine consults with and presents to thousands of people each year across North America in a wide range of venues—from huge conventions to small retreats. He has worked with government officials and staff, CEOs and senior executives, as well as all levels of management, front-line service providers, salespeople, educators, and health care professionals.

Irvine is a formerly nationally-ranked distance runner and trained with the US Olympic team, but today exercises more slowly.

Topics & Categories
  • Business Management & Strategy
  • Change | Change Mgmt.
  • Employee Engagement
  • Health & Wellness
  • Health Care & Medicine
  • Human Resources & Workplace Culture
  • Leadership
  • Performance & Productivity
  • Team-Work & Collaboration
  • Trust & Ethics
  • Virtual Presentations

Leading Through Disruption – The Power of Authenticity +

As we continue to evolve through the COVID-19 pandemic, new challenges lie ahead. The unprecedented disruption that now surrounds us provides an opportunity for reflection, as well as a renewed approach to our leadership. These times of chaos create the perfect chance to explore new ways to connect with ourselves and our staff in a positive, productive, and engaging manner. Let’s be sure we don’t waste this crisis.

Be inspired with a renewed perspective on how to re-engage staff, stay focused amid continual disruption, and stay connected in this time of remote working. This thought-provoking, inspiring virtual session is intended to strengthen your leadership, so you are able to engage your employees and ensure trust with your teams in a new world of both virtual and face-to-face workplaces.

  • Leadership: Learn key leadership strategies through the continued disruption that ensure a renewed sense of trust, engagement, and accountability.
  • Personal Wellness: Leave with practical insights and strategies to stay strong mentally so you can be there for those who depend on you.
  • Authenticity: Discover the true source of leadership power – your authentic self – and how to use this time of chaos to amplify your ability to connect --

Authentic Leadership +

You’ll leave this thought-provoking, inspiring session with practical insights and strategies for developing leadership in all areas of your life. Based on David Irvine's book The Other Everest: Navigating the Pathway to Authentic Leadership, it won’t just move you – it will get you moving.

You will:

  • Gain a new perspective on leadership that can be applied to all aspects of your life, particularly as you get more confident in your abilities.
  • Discover the true source of leadership power – your authentic presence. Learn how to make a more significant impact by connecting more deeply with your authentic self.
  • Understand how a strong leadership presence can inspire trust and loyalty, engage people, end entitlement, and create sustainable results.
  • Increase your ability to achieve the four fundamental leadership tasks:
    • building trust
    • enrolling people in a compelling vision
    • engaging talent
    • achieving results through those you serve

Why it matters

True leadership comes from the identity and integrity of the leader. It’s about who you are and how you live. It’s about PRESENCE, not position.

Now more than ever, the world needs leaders who are committed to substance over the superficial, character over charisma, and service over self-interest. We need authentic leaders – people whose inner compass guides their daily actions and who inspire trust by being honest and real. --

The Missing Accountability Factor +

Accountability can sometimes be seen as a negative, but it’s at the heart of every great organization. Be inspired and learn a new approach to accountability with this session. At the end of it, you will:

  • Gain a positive perspective on accountability and what it means to keep our agreements with each other consistently.
  • Leave with practical tools to build a sense of accountability throughout your team.
  • Understand how to transform blame, entitlement, and fear into courage, personal responsibility, and commitment through the power of agreement.
  • Discover how to make conflict constructive. You’ll learn how to close the gap between intention and success, which leads to sustainable results.
  • Inspire your employees to think like owners and foster accountability at every level of your organization

The results of accountability

It’s important to understand that working on accountability doesn’t stem from problems in your organization, but from a commitment to constantly improving. It’s not about blame and punishment. It’s about creating mutual ownership and clarity around your agreements to each other, which benefits both you and your people:

  • They’re clear about what’s expected of them and what they expect from the people they depend on.
  • They can make clear agreements about those expectations – and honor those agreements.
  • They’ll view their workplace as a safe, caring, and supportive environment, where they’re inspired to do their best work, can be honest, and are respected.
  • These behaviors get realized consistently and repeatedly throughout the organization’s culture.
  • Unproductive behaviors (which are usually unknowing) can be discussed openly, and there’s a clear, constructive process to resolve the issues. --

Create a High-Engagement Culture +

Step back and be inspired with a renewed perspective on organizational culture. In this inspirational, thought-provoking session, you’ll:

  • Understand why culture is critical to the long-term success of your organization and how to approach culture alignment.
  • Understand how the accountability of every leader in your organization helps create a healthy culture. And why organizational health trumps everything else in business.
  • Leave with practical “culture health habits,” and a five-step process to create a healthy culture, from behaviors and conversations to agreements and accountability.
  • Discover the power of alignment and why your organization’s culture is the key to:
    • attract and retain the best talent
    • keep your people engaged
    • create a remarkable customer experience
    • get a grip on meaningful results
    • remain profitable
    • reach your fullest potential as an organization

Why it matters

Operational excellence is built on the foundation of a strong, healthy organizational culture. It’s the greatest advantage any company can achieve. Tending to your culture is about intentional actions, daily disciplines, and defined habits. Clarifying your cultural attributes is the crucial first step. Then identified behaviors need to actually be put into practice every single day. Without a clearly defined process for accountability and action, cultural attributes become rhetoric and can breed skepticism and disengagement. --

The Leader in All of Us +

Leadership isn’t defined by a person’s role or title, the size of their office, or the letters behind their name. Leaders are defined by their attitude, actions, and impact. In short, it comes not from position but from presence.

In this personal, provocative, and practical session, you’ll get a profoundly human view of personal leadership, culture building, and life.

  • Leave with renewed energy, a new outlook, and practical applications for personal leadership.
  • Learn the three decisions that turn every employee into a leader and difference-maker in any organization. (After all, a healthy, vibrant, engaged organization starts with healthy, vibrant, engaged employees.)
  • Leave with practical ideas, strategies, and tools for implementing personal leadership.
  • Learn the difference between caring and pleasing and how to sustain your energy as a leader. --

Caring Is Everything +

We all recognize and understand the power of caring. But caring – to be sustainable – must come from overflow, not emptiness. In this inspiring, thought-provoking session, you’ll:

  • Understand why caring needs to be examined through the lens of accountability so that it sustains, supports, and renews the human spirit.
  • Discover why it’s vital to make the shift to principle-centered caring – and how to make this real in your organization and personal life.
  • Learn the true work of caring: to empower those you care about in a way that’s sustainable for everyone in your organization and life.
  • Get to the root of caring in your life and ways to care that support and sustain your own well-being and the wellbeing of those you love and serve. --

The Possibilities of Change +

Building resilience, capacity, and accountability amid constant change – while keeping people engaged – is now a fundamental requirement for leadership. But where’s your road map? What are your strategies? Where are your tools?

To thrive, you must use change productively. We’ll leave you with practical insights, renewed clarity, and the confidence to lead yourself and others through managing change. This session, based on David’s most recent book, The Other Everest: Navigating the Pathway to Authentic Leadership , will help you:

  • Learn to embrace and lead change with greater clarity and resilience.
  • Develop the necessary self-awareness to use change productively.
  • Create a roadmap for change that builds clarity, confidence, and compassion, enabling you to lead those you serve through the stages of change.
  • Understand how to make change inspiring, productive, and creative. --

Leading With Purpose +

If we aren’t mindful, our work as leaders can be mostly spent responding to the demands of stakeholders. While good leadership is about being of service, one of the crucial choices of leadership – and life – is whether to live in reaction to circumstances or whether to lead with a clear purpose that will inspire others. People are drawn to leaders with a compelling vision for the future. Leaders start with why and that must come from within.

In this session, you will:

  • Step back and focus on your own why – your reason for being – as a leader. Discover and respond to your inner call, the voice of purpose.
  • Learn the difference between an outer purpose and an inner purpose, and how to get clarity and alignment about both.
  • Leave with a practical roadmap for clarifying your why.
  • Leave with concrete strategies for inspiring a why with those you serve. --

Raising Accountable, Capable Young People +

Guiding young people in today’s self-indulgent, entitled, and materialistic world isn’t easy. It’s never been more important to instill accountability and capability early on so kids will grow into adults capable of facing life with self-reliance and a commitment to serve society.

In this session, you’ll gain insights and tools to help you with the challenging and important work of influencing children in this rapidly changing world.

  • Learn to balance support and demands by nurturing accountability in young people.
  • Discover how to instill an accountable mindset in youth – a commitment to full citizenship instead of consumerism.
  • Learn to lead young people with a new understanding of rights, responsibilities, and contributions.
  • Understand how you can have a more positive, productive impact by clarifying accountability – yours and theirs.

With over 20 years of experience as a family therapist and youth leader (and as a parent), I understand the importance of raising responsible, resourceful, and resilient children who treat themselves and others with dignity and respect. You’ll leave with a new awareness of your role in influencing and guiding young people and get practical tools for reaching children – of any age. --

David Irvine is represented by K&M Productions. For more information, David Irvine's speaking schedule, speaking fees & booking David Irvine, contact us.

What Clients are Saying

David, you contributed to nursing leadership in our province… thanks again for such a wonderful sharing and challenging us to find our centers and reflect on what leadership means for not only others or our profession but importantly within ourselves and our families.

–Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association


David, you contributed to nursing leadership in our province… thanks again for such a wonderful sharing and challenging us to find our centers and reflect on what leadership means for not only others or our profession but importantly within ourselves and our families.

–Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association

David’s presentation challenged everyone to look at things differently and focus on our values. David shared his personal insights and experiences on how to create a balance between one’s work life and personal life. His presentation stimulated a lot of thinking among our staff of how we can do things differently to achieve a better balance.

–Province of Alberta

I found your presentation to be entertaining, stimulating and provocative… and you can quote me.



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