Austin, Texas, United States
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. She has been featured in a number of publications and broadcasts, most notably Forbes, CNBC, Psychology Today, WSJ, and the American Management Association’s Leadership Wired.
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.
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.
Leadership Unchained: Defy Conventional Wisdom for Breakthrough Performance
How to Lead in our Fast-Isn’t-Fast Enough World
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Pat Jackson-Hal03/07/2022 at 2:03 pm
“I had an opportunity to see Sara in action, delivering the keynote address at Working Mother’s Multicultural Women’s National Conference in New York City. Her message was so powerful. She inspired the attendees and challenged them to think about their career goals in a whole new way. I knew immediately that I wanted the women in my company to also benefit from hearing Sara’s unique insights, entertaining stories and actionable strategies. We have already booked her to speak at an October event.”
Pat Jackson-Hall, Vice President, Chubb
Liz Lathan03/07/2022 at 1:50 pm
Liz Lathan compliments Sara Canaday’s actionable approach
Justin Foster03/07/2022 at 1:49 pm
Justin Foster talks about Sara Canaday’s grit and grace
Julia Kennedy Kirkland03/07/2022 at 1:49 pm
“Sara is an engaging, knowledgeable speaker. She is witty and disarming, forming an almost immediate rapport with her audience. The information she presents on leadership qualities, professional presence, and non-verbal communication are both timely and classic. I never pass up an opportunity to work with Sara, or to seek her advice.”
Julia Kennedy Kirkland, Writer & Marketing Consultant
Elizabeth Pires03/07/2022 at 1:49 pm
“Sara’s Career Acceleration program is perfect for anyone desiring to clearly and succinctly define their competitive advantage. Her program is thorough and easy to follow, enabling you to work through the process in a short time. It provides insight that can help you position yourself for a promotion in your current role or if you are looking to advance externally.”
Elizabeth Pires, Director, Global eCommerce
Dr. Lillian Mills03/07/2022 at 1:48 pm
“She listened carefully to my goals and immediately helped me exceed them… I wish all service professionals could communicate and deliver so faithfully.”
Dr. Lillian Mills, Professor & Department Chair, McCombs School of Business, The University of Texas
Christi Davidson03/07/2022 at 1:48 pm
“You were absolutely FABULOUS at our Keller Williams Luxury Homes Retreat at the Four Seasons on Monday!! Everyone was raving about your presentation and information : ) Thanks so much.”
Christi Davidson, Keller Williams
Myndi Garrett03/07/2022 at 1:48 pm
“Sara’s presentation to the Hispanic Leadership members was a critical component to our opening retreat. Her presentation set the tone for the entire year: Leadership. Our goal is to provide tools to the class that will enable them to be leaders in Central Texas. In order to accomplish this goal, a primer in “Leadership Presence” was an essential building block in the process. Sara’s presentation provided valuable information and her use of behavioral science helped solidify the importance of first impressions and non-verbally communication. The class buzzed about this presentation the rest of the day and through the following week.”
Myndi Garrett, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Nichelle (Taylor) McLemore03/07/2022 at 1:48 pm
“We have invited Sara Canaday to deliver Professional Presence presentations. She received very positive feedback and the group was genuinely interested in the research that she provided. She grabbed their attention immediately and was able to involve the audience. We received glowing feedback and would like Sara to continue to share her message with others in our firm.”
Nichelle (Taylor) McLemore, Senior Manager, Deloitte Consulting LLP
Sue Collard03/07/2022 at 1:48 pm
“Sara Canaday was a workshop speaker for our marketing rotation program at the annual Dell Global Connect Conference. This annual event provides focused development opportunities for our high-potential Dell employees from around the globe. Sara’s leadership expertise got top reviews from attendees and senior management. Her sessions were highly interactive, engaging and effective. Sara has proven herself as a valuable leader in this area, and she has definitely been an asset to our program.”
Sue Collard, Career Development Director, Global Marketing Talent & Capabilities, Dell
Lisa Hannusch03/07/2022 at 1:47 pm
“Sara is a tremendous asset to our company. Although she is a contractor to us, she feels like a part of our team. She learned the culture and value of our company and models her services as if she were on our executive staff. She provides well rounded services including executive coaching, business consulting, and leadership training. Her style is a great balance between the science and passion of leadership where she understands the diversity of management and bridges those differences with productive and insightful training and coaching. Her well rounded career offers ‘real life’ scenarios that take the ethereal training into practical and useful terms. Sara is an invaluable part of our team to ensure we are focusing on the right goals with the right people. I would highly recommend her services to any company of any size!”
Lisa Hannusch, CEO, Unimed Direct
Janet Wigfield03/07/2022 at 1:47 pm
“It was truly wonderful having Sara as our keynote speaker in New York for the Multicultural Women’s National Conference sponsored by Working Mother Media. Her message was chock-full of tips and insights that were perfect for our audience, and the response was outstanding. Sara really helped to set the tone for the whole conference.”
Janet Wigfield, Vice President & Executive Director, Conferences & Events, Working Mother Media