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Interview with Todd Dewett

Dr. Todd Dewett is an energetic speaker, author, trainer, advisor, and the go-to leadership expert. In this interview he tells about his experiences as a speaker and a Lynda.com author, as well as sharing some great advice on leadership and motivation.

What types of results do clients experience after your programmes & keynotes?

They tell me I am the antidote to burnout.  I often say that I help people realize that more is possible.  It’s one thing to state that I know how to motivate others, but what does that really mean.  For me, it’s knowing that more is possible.  For years professionals have been asked to do more with less.  Goals and expectations are always increasing while resources are often shrinking.  If you can help someone understand how to view and interact with others more effectively, regardless of resources, you are helping them discover more gas in the tank.  In fact, more is possible.  Clients report that attitudes change, teams begin talking at a higher more productive level, and a new rapport emerges between managers and employees.  


What do you think is the most important quality for a leader to possess?

A desire to personally improve.  This feeds a desire to learn, to understand and develop others, and ensures time spent seeking needed feedback for growth.  One of the main keys to leadership is avoiding the trap of thinking that you are super smart and know everything.  You might be smart, but someone else is smarter.  You might know a lot, but in the big picture you have a ton left to learn.  


Do you have a favorite experience from your speaking career?

When audience members, live or via electronic messages, share with me stories about how what I do moved them to engage positive change in their lives.  I have heard from professionals who decided to change careers, others who figured out how to have very difficult conversations with their boss, people who decided to forgive others, people who realized their approach to leadership was not yet close to being optimized, and many people who just wanted to say thanks for pushing them to be a little more honest and emotionally open.  These are always moving and fulfilling experiences and, believe it or not, these outcomes can happen after hearing just one speech.


How do you motivate yourself when facing difficult challenges?

I remember my many past setbacks and failures.  I take stock of what I learned and how most of them helped me grow as a person and a professional.  I choose to laugh knowing that we all face difficult circumstances, but the real trick is how you choose to deal with the situation.  I am quick to apologize if needed.  Quick to admit my mistakes.  I also seek feedback and insights from people smarter than me!  Finally, I just remember that all big challenges are not sprints, they are marathons successfully completed one step at a time.


What made you choose Lynda.com and LinkedIn learning as a platform for your writing?

They chose me!  I was a happily tenured management professor when they found me in 2012, called me, and asked me to consider working with them to create courses on various management and life skills-related courses.  I was smart enough to listen.  I also love reading the news, in my profession and beyond, so I knew the online world was rapidly growing in many different directions.  My research told me Lynda.com was a true leader in the field so I said yes.  Not surprisingly, LinkedIn bought them, and now Microsoft has purchased LinkedIn.  The database of courses to which I belong is now being shared around the world.  My courses alone have now been viewed by over 10,000,000 people in over 170 countries.  I am terribly lucky to have been discovered by the team at Lynda.com.  


Why do clients typically hire you to speak?

Very often they heard of me from other clients.  Many times they have watched some of my material at Lynda.com / LinkedIn Learning.  Ultimately, they hire me because I’m very different.  Yes, I have world class expertise, serious experience, and great credentials.  However, that’s true of many speakers!  What makes me different is how I look (e.g., jeans, tattoos) and, more importantly, how I deliver – raw, honest, authentic, personal stories that grip people with the power to change lives.  I have been blessed with the ability to stand on stage, look people in the eyes, and grip them emotionally to the point they honestly believe more is possible.  Being a part of that is priceless.  

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