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Jeff Leitner is a highly skilled and gifted speaker. He goes beyond bringing knowledge and expertise. He brings character, integrity, energy, and ability to connect with his audience. In 2018, Jeff was rated in the top 10% of all Speakers at the CoreNet Global North American Summit and is a recipient of the Luminary Award for Excellence in speaking.

— Vice President, Corenet Global

Jeff Leitner's talk on unwritten rules was as insightful and thought-provoking as it was entertaining and engaging for my global marketing organization. It has inspired us to think more deeply about how we can successfully drive cultural change to better prepare us for success in the future.

— Chief Marketing Officer, MetLife

The Rules That Matter Most

You will see what shapes people’s behavior and beliefs, and will be provided a set of tools to tackle your most important challenges. This talk is ideal for audiences seeking impactful change, profitable growth, disruptive innovation, and the ability to solve the nearly unsolvable issues.

Jeff Leitner provides a rare insight into how people and organizations really work — namely that they’re complying with hundreds of unwritten, unspoken rules. Armed with social science, real-world experience, and humor, he tells leaders how these rules work, about the relationship between unwritten rules and official policies, and how to leverage these mysterious rules to greatly improve outcomes and change behavior in companies, markets, and society.

  • The Rules That Matter Most for Change and Innovation - Leitner turns the tables on the dismal success rate of organizational change and market innovation, explaining the all-important role that unwritten rules play in crippling our best efforts. Then he walks the audience through what they can do immediately to begin to shift conditions and set themselves up for success.

  • The Rules that Matter Most for Social Impact - Explore the biggest obstacle to real social impact: unwritten, unspoken rules that shape our behavior and doom our best efforts to solve big problems. Leitner will guide the audience through new insights — the foundation of the nation’s first doctorate in social innovation, which he designed — that will prepare them to make significant and lasting impact.

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Unwritten rules are the most important thing you never think about.

Jeff Leitner has an uncanny and effortless ability to uncover that thing you know is in there, to scratch that mental itch, and to pull out the best from a group. I literally feel smarter when I’m in a room with Jeff - that sense of crazy possibility is palpable.

— Senior Vice President, Panera Bread

Jeff Leitner's ability to understand the subject matter, command a meeting and facilitate a meaningful conversation—with results—is incredibly impressive. I couldn’t recommend Jeff Leitner more as a thought partner, collaborator and colleague.

— Director, National Endowment for the Arts

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The best thing I’ve ever read about this was by Frank Zappa: Life is like high school with money.


Akerman Law
Association of Performing Arts Presenters
Chicago Kent College of Law
Corenet Global (Spain)
Design for Action Conference
Electronic Resources & Libraries
HATCH Global
Interim Execs
Junto Institute
Iowa Association of Business & Industry
Kellogg Innovation Network (KIN)
Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA)
University of Southern California
Wilton Park (UK)
World Information Architecture Day

what if we use the STS video you made here as an ad for my writing page? does that work here? and then we can take that video off the writing page?

Jeff Leitner gets to the heart, soul and guts of what it takes to make organizational change stick, by first taking us through the many clever and cute ideas that sound good – but don’t actually work. He had our audience of corporate executives riveted and wanting a lot more of Jeff.

— CEO, Interim Execs

We keep inviting Jeff Leitner back to facilitate or speak for our organization because he has an extraordinary talent for engaging an audience. He masterfully combines intellect with humor, thinking with doing, advocacy with contrarianism, and ideas with stories.

— Founder & Managing Partner, Junto Institute

Moderator / Facilitator / Idea Engineer

Jeff Leitner has led groups in unpacking and solving difficult challenges around the world — both on and off stage. Asked about his moderating style, he said: “I try to push beyond what people usually say to help find new, more productive ground that even they didn’t know about before. If there’s a panel, I look to produce big, new ideas where everybody’s work overlaps. In short, I want the kind of combustion that comes when expertise meets expertise.”

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
Carnegie Endowment of International Peace
Harvard Medical School
Illinois Commerce Commission
International Federation of Art Councils and Culture Agencies
National Endowment for the Arts
U.S. Department of State
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Jeff Leitner has consistently inspired and enlightened law students in my class “Lawyers as Social Innovators” with his deep substantive knowledge and relatable delivery of dynamic content. He regularly ranks as the students’ favorite guest lecturer every year.

- Professor, Chicago Kent College of Law

Jeff Leitner’s superpower as a speaker and facilitator is the ability to communicate NASA-level constructs with sharp wit and refreshing insight that are totally consumable for the audience and that activate the audience’s genuine desire to keep learning well after the program has concluded.

Trust me. You will like who you are better and have more confidence in your leadership abilities after you have been inspired by Jeff’s one-of-a-kind speaking and facilitation experiences.

— Managing Director, GrowthPlay

Jeff Leitner has a rare combination of gifts that weave years of experience, razor-sharp intelligence, empathy, and the ability to provoke and instigate so that passive listeners are ready to take action. Regardless of the challenge, Leitner ignites those around him and dares them to think beyond what would otherwise seem possible.

— Founder & CEO, HATCH Global

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In 2019-20, Leitner and Jan Johnson, head of workplace strategy for Allsteel, are speaking at companies and conferences around the US about the role unwritten rules play in productive spaces. For dates, see