Proven Turnaround Leader & Certified Leadership Professional

Dennis Brouwer

Fee Range

< $25,000

Travels From

Washington, D.C.

At a glance:

Dennis Brouwer is a dynamic keynote speaker on leadership, growth, and organizational success. He inspires audiences with actionable tools and inspiring ideas to help them conquer challenges and seize opportunity.

Dennis Brouwer is the CEO of The Brouwer Group LLC, a firm that helps companies achieve peak performance by getting crystal clear on their value proposition, promoting creative leadership behaviors and energizing high-performing teams. He is a former Navy Flight Officer, Mission Commander and Award-winning tactician who started his career as a naval flight officer hunting for Soviet submarines in the north Arabian Sea.  He’s the author of The Return on Leadership, and a self-taught Jeep mechanic, cabin restorer, and brewer of fine beers.

At the height of the Cold War, Dennis created new tactics that enabled a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier to locate an “un-findable” Russian submarine in the Persian Gulf region. As the leader of the $300 million Savvis Enterprise Cloud Network business unit, he built and led a team that out-maneuvered significantly larger competitors and grow the business while others retrenched. Serving in executive roles in sales, product development, and operations, he has used his unorthodox, thoughtful approaches to achieve what others could not.

Brouwer is the author of The Return on Leadership, in which he makes the case that a particular form of leadership – Creative Leadership – sparks business success by identifying and deconstructing the hidden barriers to growth in people, teams, and markets. The book comes to life with examples from Ford Motor Company, global IT services, and his own personal experiences as a Fortune 500 executive, leadership coach and naval flight officer. The social science, case studies, and three step plan are all designed to make you a better leader, your organization a better place to work and a more potent, creative force for sustainable, worthy growth in the world.

As a trusted keynote speaker and a consultant to organizations around the world, Brouwer blends a unique approach of rigor and creativity; research and instinct; thoughtfulness and passion. His insights and methodology are embraced by leaders in sales, marketing, product development and operational roles –all of who face imperatives to find growth where others can’t.

  • Battling Burnout: How to Lead Your Team Back from the Brink

    It’s official – burnout is now a thing…a syndrome, actually. As of May 2019, the World Health Congress has updated its official manual, the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), to include burnout as an occupational syndrome.

    Burnout – as defined by the ICD - is “chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”, the kind of stress that directly impacts our co-workers, our families, and us as individuals. Burnout undermines team productivity, fosters negativity and cynicism, and per the ICD, exacerbates our well-documented problems with employee engagement and anxiety. We’ve reached the point where relentless demands on our time and attention are finally driving us to disengage for our own health and sanity.

    What can we do about it? In this insightful keynote, Dennis Brouwer, a professional innovator who has built and led high-performing teams in sales, marketing, product management and naval aviation, sheds light on this critical challenge. He weaves cutting edge research with his personal experience to illuminate a path forward for hard-pressed teams and individuals.
  • Caging the Caveman: How to Build a Growth Mindset Beyond Fight or Flight

    The science is settled – we, as humans, are descended from thousands of generations of cagey ancestors who tamed fire, invented agriculture and built the world we know today.

    But there’s a problem. Our ancestors lived and died in a world that rarely changed, and where any change that did occur was assumed to be dangerous, and perhaps lethal. But in the modern, post-industrial world, change is everywhere – it’s accelerating – and it’s (generally) improving our lives.

    The results? Our tech-savvy selves are in constant conflict with deeply embedded habits of thought that lead us to subconsciously resist change. Add in the occasional over-the-top, adrenaline-fueled reaction that we experience as ”Fight or Flight”, and you’ve got the full “Caveman vs. Growth Mindset” battle that we face in our work, schools, communities and families.

    There’s got to be a better way. In this thought-provoking keynote, Dennis Brouwer, an award-winning Navy tactician, turnaround leader, and professional innovator, uses a compelling blend of stories, research and personal experience to move beyond the fears and biases that kept our ancestors alive.
  • Innovating Without Einstein

    The basic organizational unit of any elite organization is the team. Faced with accelerating rates of change, global competition and rapidly advancing technology, our best teams are challenged to deliver on a credible, sustainable vision for the future. As the market for products, and services becomes more volatile and uncertain, it is more important than ever for high-performing teams to find new ways to get the job done.

    In this thought-provoking keynote, bestselling author, professional innovator, and proven turnaround leader Dennis Brouwer delivers a remarkable perspective on high-performing teams - how they work, how they're different, and how they seem to achieve the impossible. Brouwer shares his unorthodox, yet practical approach to team development by illuminating the biases that undermine our personal perspectives, exploring the neuro-science of visionary thinking, and sharing startling case studies of what's possible in seemingly dead-end, mature industries and organizations.
The most important things I look for in an executive are leadership, judgment, ego-maturity and self-awareness. Dennis brings those factors to life and makes clear what’s possible with the combination of Creative leadership, a winning business model and a dynamic, resilient culture.

—Peter VanCamp, Executive Chairman, Equinix

In an inspiring and engaging manner, Dennis masterfully puts teeth to the “soft skills” of leadership and deftly defines their value. With a colorful, story-telling flair, he brings these concepts to life and makes them relatable.

—Washington Adventist Hospital

Everyone found Dennis to be interesting and engaging. His message and delivery style hit a home run our audience!

—The Foundation for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award

Dennis Brouwer was the ideal speaker…awe-inspiring and educational. I use these principles to help me every day.

—University of Michigan Medical School

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