Founder of Ancestry.com, Tech Entrepreneur & Innovation Expert
Paul has said that if he has one entrepreneurial superpower, it’s asking questions at scale. He first asked how we can connect to our past – the answer? Founding Ancestry.com. He now asks how we can connect to our future. He answers, as he usually does, in grand fashion – by becoming the world’s foremost thought leader on the Strengths Movement. First at Gallup and now at Soar.com, Paul is on a mission to help every person, executive, team, and company understand their unique abilities.
Paul is best known for founding Ancestry.com in 1997 (now worth 2.6 Billion). He was its original CEO and he created the content subscription business model and marketing strategies. He served in many executive roles as Ancestry became the leading genealogy company in the world.
From 2012-2017 Paul was Global Strengths Evangelist for Gallup, helping lead a worldwide movement to bring strengths psychology into schools and workplaces. The StrengthsFinder 2.0 customer base grew from 7 million to 16 million during that time.
Paul taught entrepreneurship and marketing at the university level for 4 years. He serves on the National Advisory Board for the Utah Valley University School of Business. He is a director of the Human Justice Foundation, which aims to change the emphasis in the criminal justice system from punishment and retribution to compassion and rehabilitation.
Paul has traveled and spoken extensively about how to unlock potential in individuals and build positive, strengths-based cultures. Through a unique blend of current, topical data and personal, moving storytelling, Paul gives his audiences both the motivation and the information they need to turn his keynote into action.
You Win - I Win: How Unlocking the Strengths of Your Employees Allows Them & Profits to Soar
When employees win, companies win. When employees are given a chance to do their best work, productivity and profitability increase. But only 25% of American workers say they have the opportunity to do what they do best every day. This means that your greatest asset is likely being severely underutilized, leading to both lack of engagement and opportunity cost for the whole organization. So how do you ensure that the right employee is in the right role, every time? As the global Strengths Evangelist for the last 6 years, Paul has become the preeminent strengths expert and champion. Using both personal experiences and comprehensive research from Gallup and other organizations, Paul makes an impassioned and moving case for the Strengths movement. He introduces both the theory of the strengths movement and practical solutions you can use tomorrow. He is determined to see every company, every team, and every employee empowered to do what they do best.
See Strength Not Stereotypes: How Positive Psychology & the Strengths Movement Can Combat Bias & Help Your Organization Achieve Real Diversity & Inclusion
Dr. Stephen R. Covey wrote, “one of the most important things we can do… as leaders is to affirm people—to believe in them, see their innate potential, and treat them accordingly, to elevate them in their own eyes.” In this keynote, you will see data and examples that suggest we can successfully confront bias with tools from positive psychology such as strengths assessments, strengths-based conversations with managers and employees, and individual and team coaching interventions. Strengths-based interventions have been shown to increase self-efficacy confidence, and hope. Some organizations have used identification of common strengths to create “communities of practice,” which both amplify individual contributions and break down silos, leading to cross-functional teams and relationships. Gallup data show that only 20% of American employees consider their workplaces among the most inclusive. And yet the most inclusive workplaces generate high employee engagement and the most loyal employees. How do we build inclusive workplaces in a world that is inherently and destructively inequal and divisive? Introducing Dr. Clifton’s strengths-based psychology into workplace cultures changes the paradigm from a focus on what is wrong, to a focus on what is right. Dr. Clifton spent more than 50 years of his life studying what is right with people. The StrengthsFinder 2.0 assessment is a powerful tool to quickly identify a person’s innate talents—their natural patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving that can be productively applied. While this assessment is best-known for boosting employee engagement and improving team productivity, many practitioners are finding it useful for supporting diversity and inclusion. One expert coach in New York said he felt Dr. King’s dream of a nation that evaluates people on the “content of their character” could be reached if we all knew and valued each other’s strengths.
Sparking a Strengths Movement in Your Organization
A full two-thirds of American workers say they are disengaged at work. We’ve all seen what that looks like: glazed eyes, gaunt exhaustion written across the face. Work is a hated grind, and so even the most basic day-to-day work tasks can feel that they require almost insurmountable effort. Because of this, disengaged employees put in the bare minimum of effort required to get a paycheck. Now what about that engaged one-third? What do they look like? They are excited to come in to work because they get to do something they’re good at, and this builds remarkable satisfaction. These employees are invested in the company, and motivated to find traditional and creative ways to contribute. Since “Now Discover Your Strengths” was published in 2001, 17 million people have discovered their own unique Strengths. A work environment where employees personal strengths are acknowledged, utilized, and cultivated changes the entire work environment and culture from disengaged to fully engaged. Not only is employee engagement doubled or even tripled, but teams that use their strengths are 8-18% more productive. This is why 94% of Fortune 500 companies have joined the global Strengths movement. Establishing this Strengths-based Culture takes leadership, training, conversation, and coaching. In this keynote, you will learn how the Strengths Movement has sparked in thousands of locations world-wide, and how they’re achieving this remarkable result. You will learn all the steps necessary to spark a Strengths-based Revolution in your own company.
A Life of Books in an Age of Distraction
In our modern, technological world, where the near entirety of libraries like those in Cambridge and Oxford are digitized and available online, it is a sad but truthful irony that the same technology has allowed comparatively meaningless and mindless distractions to seep into our everyday lives. We are accustomed to budgeting our money, but do we also budget our Intellectual Capital? The extent of the possible damage to our individual lives and the wider culture in general when we ask ourselves a simple question: What will your life look like in 10, 20, or 30 years if you spent the same time you spend ingesting social media content reading from the very best books instead? Of course, social media and other forms of entertainment have their place and value, but the danger is in allowing ourselves in being caught up in mindless distractions rather than mindful content. Our future existence depends more than any of us realize on the information we choose to consume on a daily basis. Leaders are readers. Book lists from people like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg show how invested they are in learning from the best sources. Warren Buffett famously spends up to 80% of his day reading. The content of a single book or article, read at the right time, can help a company reinvent itself, and become more innovative and efficient. Books can also deepen understanding, build motivation, and create empathy. The very best of humanities history, wisdom and knowledge is right there in front of us. We just have to choose to embrace it.
IN ADDITION, PAUL SPEAKS ON:
Marketing Technology, StrengthsFinder, Economic Development, Unlocking Human Potential, Workforce Development, Leadership Development, Strengths-based Leadership, Strengths-based Marriage, Strengths-based Management, Innovation Using Strengths