Michael Gelb is a One-Man World-Class Leadership Development University!

Each of Michael’s keynotes can be offered in a seminar format ranging from ½ to 5-days.  Seminars are engaging, interactive and can all be customized based on client needs. They can be sequenced and focused to serve as a leadership development program that will promote the evolution of your organization’s culture.

Michael’s seminars are of the highest caliber, and he delivers them in a way that consistently engages our engineering-oriented, time-pressured team.  He offers a unique combination of practical business savvy, original intellectual capital, and inspiring creative teaching skill.

~Sarah A. Murray, SPHR, Hunter Roberts Construction Group

Seminars can be delivered ranging from ½ to 5-days.
Please contact Michael for more detailed information.

Our Most Popular Programs

Create Like Leonardo/Innovate Like Edison

When Innovate Like Edison was published in 2007 a reporter from USA Today asked: “If Da Vinci and Edison got together what questions might they ask each other?”

Michael answered: Leonardo would ask Edison about the nature of light and Edison would ask Da Vinci: ‘Do you want a job?’

Leonardo da Vinci is the supreme role model for creative thinking and Thomas Edison is history’s greatest practical innovator. In this compelling program you’ll learn to apply the 7 Da Vinci Principles and the 5 Edison Innovation Competencies to your most important business challenges.

In the process you’ll discover amazing parallels between the wisdom of these 2 geniuses and their implications for developing creativity and innovation in your team now.

Michael Gelb is a contemporary Renaissance Man. His original insights into the minds of Da Vinci and Edison are a revelation! This program offers a unique opportunity for you to learn how to think like genius.
~Grandmaster Raymond Keene, OBE, Chess columnist of the Times of London

Seminars can be delivered ranging from ½ to 5-days.
Please contact Michael for more detailed information.

Contact Michael

Leading Innovation: Transform Yourself, Your Team and Your Organization

All organizations need one core competence: Innovation.” Culture eats strategy for breakfast.

These two quotes from management genius Peter Drucker are familiar to many. But how do you create and sustain a positive, innovative culture?

First you need a critical mass of people who know how to think creatively. Then you must develop the skills for generating “buy-in” to new ideas.

This program develops the core competencies of Innovation Literacy and Leadership.

You’ll learn:

  • Understand resistance to innovation and change and develop strategies to overcome that resistance
  • Leverage collaboration to “get out of silos” and create a team approach to innovation
  • Become a more powerful and effective Innovation Champion!

You are our secret weapon in our quest to create an innovative culture.

~Marv Damsma,  BP Trust Investments

Seminars can be delivered ranging from ½ to 5-days.
Please contact Michael for more detailed information.

Contact Michael

The Art of Connection: 7 Relationship-Building Skills Every Leader Needs Now

The art of connection — creating and maintaining genuine rapport with others — is the key to building relationships, resolving conflict, and making creative dreams come true.  It is also the secret of health, happiness, and leadership.

The meaningful relationships that emerge from real interaction are the basis of success. This seminar teaches seven skills for developing better rapport in your professional and personal life. Each skill is brought to life with memorable stories, relevant scientific research, and practical exercises.

The 7 skills are:

1. Embrace Humility
2. Be a Glowworm (Emotions are contagious so choose what you want to catch and spread!)
3. Achieve the Three Liberations
4. Transcend Fixations
5. Balance Energy Exchange
6. Be a RARE Listener
7. Turn Friction into Momentum (How conflict can become the fuel of creativity)

A masterpiece! Gelb teaches the skills we all need to bridge the gap between the highest ideals of conscious business and the reality of its practice. In the process, he illuminates a soul-enlivening, transformational approach to deepening all our relationships. An absolute must-read for aspiring conscious leaders.

~Raj Sisodia, FW Olin Distinguished Professor of Global Business at Babson College and coauthor of Conscious Capitalism

Seminars can be delivered ranging from ½ to 5-days.
Please contact Michael for more detailed information.

Contact Michael

High Performance Presentations

Learn and apply the secrets of persuasion and influence, transform anxiety into enthusiasm, and make communication and speaking-skills a long-term career asset.

You gave participants an experience that they are the creators of their own future. Four of my people were able to step up to the challenges of the next grade/role as a result of your program.

~Ketan Patel, KPMG

Seminars can be delivered ranging from ½ to 5-days.
Please contact Michael for more detailed information.

Contact Michael

Team Building

All of Michael’s programs will bring your team together and these have special benefits for esprit de corps.

Wine Drinking for Inspired Thinking: Uncork Your Creative Juices

Discover how the love of wine inspired the Ancient Greeks, Renaissance Masters and America’s Founding Fathers as you become part of this enlightened wave of culture:

  • Understand the relationship between wine appreciation and creativity
  • Have fun as you discover that your colleagues are much more creative than you thought
  • Bring more Dolce to your Vita

This delightful program can be offered as an evening team building event following one of Michael’s keynotes or seminars, or as a stand alone, complete program.

Michael will guide your group through a comparative wine tasting (we usually arrange for a chocolate tasting for those who don’t drink wine) and poetry contest Although most groups don’t think of themselves as poetic, they invariably discover that after the second glass of wine everyone is a poet!

In my all my years of participating in team building events I’ve never experienced anything like this! My group of biochemists and pharmacologists all enjoyed the wine, and then translated their experience into poetry. In the process we all WOWed our colleagues into a new dimension.

~Emily Hickey PhD, DVM  Merck

Seminars can be delivered ranging from ½ to 5-days.
Please contact Michael for more detailed information.

Contact Michael

Music for Creative Inspiration

Music is well said to be the speech of angels. ~Thomas Carlyle, Poet

Deborah Domanski is one of the world’s great musical talents. She made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2005, after winning Marilyn Horne’s national competition. Praised by NY Times opera critic Anthony Tommasini for her “luscious sound & lyrical refinement” Deborah will transform your event with a song.

She has crafted a recital inspired by the Da Vinci principles that we offer as the highlight of our most compelling team experience: The Renaissance Evening of Genius, Wine, Poetry and Music! This unforgettable event combines Michael’s Da Vinci keynote with Wine Drinking for Inspired Thinking and music from Deborah.  The result as described by the Education Chair of WPO/YPO Oklahoma City: “Amazing…You brought us laughter and tears.  It’s an evening we will never forget.”

Seminars can be delivered ranging from ½ to 5-days.
Please contact Michael for more detailed information.

Contact Michael

Juggling Your Way to Success

This program creates a fun, cooperative learning environment. Participants coach one another in the art of juggling, and pick up the balls for each other as they drop! In the process, everyone learns the core principles of accelerated learning and organizational high performance.

  • Use teamwork to create a cooperative learning environment
  • Become a more effective coach
  • Learn how to juggle!

Manage complexity and thrive on chaos by gracefully keeping a number of things “up in the air” at the same time. And learn to approach mistakes creatively as you learn to “let the balls drop.”

(This engaging program can be offered as a complement to seminars, or as a stand alone, complete program. Michael has taught groups of more than 1000 people how to juggle and how to learn!)

More than just a metaphor to inform your inner life, this approach to learning provides insights into personal and organizational change that may surprise you.

~Michael Murphy, author of Golf in the Kingdom

Seminars can be delivered ranging from ½ to 5-days.
Please contact Michael for more detailed information.

Contact Michael

Custom Seminars/Partner Programs

Custom Programs & Seminars

Michael leverages his unique intellectual capital and decades of high-level facilitation experience to customize programs to focus on your most important priorities.

For example, Michael recently designed and conducted a 3-day program for a client who wanted to develop more creative collaboration between their internal marketing and R&D departments.  There’s a summary outline of the program below.

These topics were complemented with teambuilding activities Wine Drinking for Inspired Thinking (on the second evening) and Juggling Your Way to Success (after lunch each day).

The course organizer wrote afterwards: It’s amazing what our team accomplished in just a few days: A dramatic expansion of our repertoire of creative thinking methods, stronger alignment and improved morale, and much greater confidence in our ability to promote innovation within our organization. And, we made real progress on what had been a thorny issue.

Recent programs designed and delivered successfully by Michael J. Gelb based on the following actual client requests:

We are growing much faster than we expected. Can you help us keep our entrepreneurial culture alive as we get bigger?
We are having a rough year and need to get our people inspired.
Can you help us be creative despite the constraints we face from regulators?
Our CEO has asked for a 2-day program on Creating and Managing Innovation Teams.
We recently merged with another company and there are historical animosities. Can you help us work together creatively?
Can you design a program to support our Diversity Initiative?
Our sales team over-promises and our production folks get behind (and upset). Can you get them to cooperate?
“Creative thinking” and “Managing the full innovation cycle” have been identified as critical competencies for our fast track leaders. Can you design a module to develop these in the framework of our Leadership Development Program?
We have a huge sales presentation coming up. We need to win! Can you help us get ready?
We are launching a new venture and want to get the culture aligned from the beginning.
Our Vision, Mission and Values statements were written by consultants and they don’t resonate with our people. Can you help us generate something more creative and authentic?
Our people are burned out, fatigued and increasingly cynical. Can you get through to them?

Seminars can be delivered ranging from ½ to 5-days.
Please contact Michael for more detailed information.

Partner Seminars

Michael partners with thought-leaders to design special programs for you. Some of Michael’s seminars with partners include:

Seminars can be delivered ranging from ½ to 5-days.
Please contact Michael for more detailed information.

Other Seminars Offered by Michael J. Gelb

Body Learning:  The Real Secret of Executive Presence

Paul Newman, Julie Andrews, Paul McCartney, Sting, Patrick Stewart, Kevin Kline, John Cleese, James Earl Jones, Judi Dench, Ben Kingsley, Hillary Swank, Pierce Brosnan and James Galway.

What do all these great performers have in common?

They’ve all studied the Alexander Technique! Renowned as the “trade secret” of world-class performers (It’s part of the curriculum and the Royal Academy of Drama and Music in England and the Julliard School in the US) and often called “the method for keeping your eye on the ball applied to life,” the Alexander Technique is a simple, profoundly powerful method for developing grace, poise and presence on stage and in everyday life.

Michael offers individual and group programs for clients who wish to learn the Alexander Technique.

Practical knowledge concerning the balance of brain and body is tremendously important to humanity today.  I recommend Michael Gelb as a teacher of this work.
~Prof. Raymond Dart M.D. Trailblazing Anatomist and Anthropologist

Aikido in Action: Creative Negotiation & Conflict Resolution

Transform your approach to conflict resolution.

  • Learn how to find and keep your center under stress.
  • Understand your conflict style and develop new options.
  • Bond with your team.

The highlight of the workshop is a demonstration of the martial art of Aikido (“the way of harmonious energy”), including audience participation (safe, fun and team-building!).

This unique approach to conflict management will then be applied to your specific business issues related to negotiation, inter-personal problem-solving and leadership.

Michael Gelb embodies the creative principles of the internal martial arts at the highest level.  He is an ideal role model for all who wish to balance body, heart, mind and spirit.
~Tony Buzan, creator of Mind Mapping

Mindfulness at Work

Learn and apply the skill that leverages and enhances all other learning.

  • Understand the scientific basis for the benefits of mindfulness practice.
  • Learn 3 of the most effective practices for cultivating mindfulness.
  • Apply mindfulness to improve all work related functions.

Michael’s network also includes many of the world’s finest master teachers* of mindfulness, meditation, wine appreciation, art history and the Alexander Technique. Please contact Michael for a customized program.

* Mindfulness and Meditation: Jodie Katz MD. Medical Director of Valley Hospital Integrative Medicine Center and Dean Sluyter author of Natural Meditation.

* Wine appreciation: Benjamin Lewin, PhD, M.W. author The Wines of France.

* Art History: Martin Kemp, PhD, Elaine Ruffalo, PhD.

* Alexander Technique Master Teachers: Anastasia Forsythe Siena, Beret Arcaya, Michael Frederick and Giora Pinkas.

Seminars can be delivered ranging from ½ to 5-days.
Please contact Michael for more detailed information.


Michael inspires students, teachers, administrators, librarians and parents to accelerate learning and apply genius thinking. Please Contact Michael to arrange a program for your school.

Recent School/Education Programs include

  • Keynote at The National Principal’s Leadership Institute in NYC (twice!).
  • Innovative Thinking Program for High School and College Students in Ankara, Turkey.
  • Francine C. Rosenberg Memorial Lecture at The Frances W. Parker School in Chicago.
  • Keynote commemorating the 25th anniversary of Gimnasio Fontana in Bogota, Colombia.
  • James M. Coyle Endowed Visiting Scholars Program at Greens Farms Academy in Westport, Conn.
  • Pacific Ridge School in Carlsbad, California: Day of da Vinci Learning and Teaching (including a Juggling Class for 500 Students).
I was going to wait until the "buzz" around here died down a little to was shoot you a note on your visit last week.  BUT, it just has not!  You created the BUZZ we were definitely looking for to kick off this year of creativity, the arts, and fun.  Parents, students, and trustees are STILL talking about it. Thank you very much.

It was such a pleasure to meet you and so gracious of you to spend so much time with so many parts of our community.  We are still all in awe how you pulled off teaching 500 teenagers on the gym floor with 750 tennis balls.  A story to go down in our history for sure!

~Kari Perry, Director of Philanthropy Pacific Ridge School

Seminars can be delivered ranging from ½ to 5-days.
Please contact Michael for more detailed information.