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Phone: 904-249-4410
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Availability: California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Florida, Utah, Washington, DC; Boston, Massachusetts; National

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Topics: Business, Change Management, Empowerment, Leadership, Motivational

Area: California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Florida, Utah, Washington, DC; Boston, Massachusetts; National

Titles: Leadership Consultant, Motivational Speaker, Executive Coach


InfoBest-fit Audiences:PresentationsBioTestimonialsBooks

Seasoned leadership consultant challenges business leaders to succeed in a rapidly evolving work environment by conquering their fear of the unknown so they can tap new, innovative solutions.

Do you always opt for the safe and familiar instead of challenging the unknown? Are you letting the winds of change sweep you under the rug and into obsolescence? “In a rapidly changing world, our brains are often hijacked by what I call the ‘drunken monkey,’” says Ted Powell, Jr., who’s led marketing teams at American Express and AT&T. “It’s that part of us that falls back on what’s worked in the past, the ‘tried and true.’ We do this to avoid facing our fear of the unknown—even though the best innovative solutions often reside in that unchartered territory we hesitate to explore.”

If your audience of leaders wants to keep the destructive effects of fearful thinking from influencing their teams and organizations, this talk is for you. “Negative thinking, aka ‘the drunken monkey,’ can hijack and disrupt project meetings, performance discussions, crisis management efforts, decision-making processes, and the execution of virtually any plan requiring a human being,” says Ted.

Ted Powell draws on 34 years of experience in a wide range of industries, including two decades as a leadership and organizational consultant, to connect with his audiences and show how to “stop at nothing” and release their fear of change and the unknown. Then he presents his unique Change Curve model. Illustrating it with real-life stories and case studies of success, he shows how to use its four quadrants to launch change in your organization today.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Identify and disarm nonproductive behavior driven by the tendency to maintain status quo, despite evidence of the need for change.
  • Move people through the most challenging phase of change, where morale and performance take a hit, and where, without the right leadership response, people remain stuck.
  • Recognize when people begin to accept responsibility for making change work, and help them focus their energy on understanding and appreciating the benefits.
  • Integrate change into the organization, creating a “new normal” that brings greatly improved performance and morale; leverage this experience to make subsequent changes easier to assimilate.

“When you recognize the limits of fear-based attachment to the ‘known,’ you begin living a more inspired, creative, expansive life, and let go of the need for assured outcomes that can actually stymie growth,” says Ted. “This new mindset invariably leads to greater happiness, productivity, and success.”

Team leaders and executives leave Ted’s life-changing talk knowing how to motivate employees to adapt to change, confident in their ability to deal with change-related issues, respond quickly to changing circumstances, and take greater control of their lives. Says one audience member: “Ted’s talk showed us how a seemingly chaotic world presents an opportunity for the most transformative thinking.”


Best-fit Audiences

  • Corporations, Business Groups, Nonprofits
  • Executive managers, sales reps, team leaders, HR professionals
  • Baby Boomers, Millennials, Retirees
  • Community Organizations
  • Colleges, Universities, Schools, Youth Groups
  • Parents, Educators
  • Business and civic groups
  • Hospitality organizations
  • Healthcare groups, hospitals, medical offices


Presented as keynotes, breakouts, seminars or workshops (1/2 day, full-day), retreats, trainings, and Webinars. Ted Powell, Jr. is also available as a panel guest or moderator.

Leading Yourself and Others through Change

In this dynamic two-hour session, Ted draws on real-life stories to engage his audience and support his life-altering insights. Besides recognizing their own experiences relative to change, audiences will learn how to adapt their leadership style to pull their team through the process. Audience members will reflect upon the different responses to changes they have witnessed among employees and themselves and learn to anticipate and avoid some of the common mistakes made by those lacking emotional intelligence and self-awareness.

Ted provides his attendees with a copy of the Change Curve model and a Change Management Toolkit—a step-by-step process for using the model to help employees effectively embrace and drive change.

Ted’s audience of leaders will learn how to motivate their employees to adapt to change within their work environment, increase confidence in their ability to deal with change-related issues, and take greater control over the speed and quality of their response to changing circumstances.

When Your Mind Works Against You

Is your brain working for or against you when it comes to change? As part of our basic survival mechanism, our minds are programmed to make the unknown “known.” But in a rapidly changing world, our brains are often hijacked by what Ted Powell calls the “drunken monkey,” which, in order to maintain a false sense of security, compulsively seeks out absolute truths and ignores innovative solutions outside the scope of the “tried and true.”

In this interactive presentation, Ted’s audience of leaders learns how to keep the destructive effects of fearful thinking from influencing their teams and organization. Negative thinking, aka “the drunken monkey,” can hijack and disrupt project meetings, performance discussions, crisis management efforts, decision-making processes, and the execution of virtually any plan requiring a human being.

Likely events that trigger the drunken monkey can be significant changes, poor results, mistakes, conflicts between individuals, upset customers, and other high-pressure moments, such as monthly operations reviews. Ted puts forth the following related questions for group discussion:

  • What team events or circumstances are likely to trigger the Drunken Monkey?
  • What adverse reactions have we observed, and how do we propose to keep the drunken monkey at bay when these things happen in the future?

Following Ted’s talk, small roundtable discussions are held with audience members, who exchange ideas and experiences and ask questions tailored to their specific situations.

You’ll leave this fun, informative presentation with confidence to respond to a seemingly chaotic world, knowing that seeking solutions in the “unknown” and avoiding negative thinking are some of the most liberating, transformative human experiences we can have.


Meet Ted Powell…

Ted Powell, Jr. is an expert consultant with over 20 years of experience facilitating Stop at Nothing’s High Impact Leadership Seminars, Peak Performance seminars, leadership team development, and individual executive coaching. Based on three decades of experience serving hundreds of companies in many different industries, Ted facilitates the improvement of an organization’s success, while enabling employees to lead more fulfilling lives. He also empowers groups to realize that they can create healthy, active, and productive environments. “It’s great to watch people come together within teams in ways they never imagined. And to learn that they can create without the burden of those internal dynamics and dysfunctions that tend to impede everyone’s progress,” says Ted.

His motivation to speak publicly was inspired by the diagnosis of his wife Nancy’s aggressive breast cancer, at which time her prognosis was unknown. During this information void, Ted lived in a state of helpless fear until he met a wise oncologist who challenged him to start living in the “unknowing”—to accept the questions for which there were no answers, and to grow his inner strength so he would be prepared for any outcome pertaining to his wife’s condition. Thereafter, Ted spent more time praying and meditating and less time thinking, so that he could be the strong leader his family and organization required.

Ted Powell, Jr. has given hundreds of speeches and numerous speaker training sessions. In October 2014, he was a featured TEDx speaker in Jacksonville, Florida, where his audience responded enthusiastically to his message about how to live joyfully in a chaotic world despite constant bombardment by negative thought patterns and information overload.

Ted grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of Virginia, and continues to apply his organizational development experience to his personal life, where it’s contributed to the health and well-being of his wife and three college-age children: Laura Jane, Teddy, and Scott. He and his family live in Jacksonville, Florida.

What people are saying…

“That was a fantastic message, Ted, thank you for delivering it. I will utilize the ‘drunken monkey’!”
—Daryl Martin, Regional Operations Manager, American Tower Corp

“Your TEDx speech was excellent. You brought a fantastic energy to the stage, and your opening story to introduce the ‘drunken monkey’ was awesome. Well done!”
—Jim Young, COO, Crown Castle International Corp

“Exactly what I needed to hear today. Meaningful and very important message for humanity. Thanks, Ted!”
—Victoria MacMillan

“Ted Powell’s talk, ‘Reject the Label,’ was just amazing!”
—Sherif Elfa, Twitter user

“You did an excellent job conveying such an extremely difficult personal story and relating it to valuable and original life lessons from which anyone can benefit.”
—Len Ferman, President, Ferman Innovation

“Recognize what we can control and what we can’t control, and get on with it! Real Talk for everyday life by Ted Powell.”
—Cari Holland, Twitter user

“A seemingly chaotic world presents an opportunity for the most ‘transformative’ thinking.”
—Crystal Freed, Twitter user

“Excellent speech on controlling the fearful thought that can often control us.”
—Jocelyn Tolbert, Twitter user

“I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your time and effort in presenting an outstanding session at our convention. When I looked in on your first session, I noticed how engaged and interested everyone was. Also, every seat was taken, and people were sitting on the floor. Your sessions were very much in line with our theme: Beyond Walls.”
—Cathy Hardage, Retired Head of School, St Mark’s Day School