In my 20 years of attending this conference and from comments made by audience members, you were the best keynote speaker who has ever presented.
— Eastern Shore of Maryland Education Consortium

A natural-born teacher and story-teller, Jim uses current research and real-life examples and anecdotes with a dash of humor to encourage and motivate audiences to think differently. From business, executive, and government leaders to superintendents, principals, teachers, and school board members, Jim has worked with leaders and practitioners across industries and has a knack for connecting with audiences’ hearts and minds.

Jim has presented keynotes on a variety of topics, from leadership, to culture, to staff and student engagement. Or, he can customize a presentation to meet your organization’s needs. 

"You illustrated perfectly why leadership matters, providing inspiration to our attendees. We were thrilled to have a former educator and current innovator deliver such remarks." -Kimberly Miller-Smith, Ohio School Boards Association


Popular topics include:

Jim Mahoney and expertise in school culture

Culture Over Strategy

Culture sets the tone for any organization or business. And research confirms that culture contributes to employee productivity and morale. So why do many organizations take a passive approach to creating an engaging culture? In this keynote, Jim will share data and research to support the importance of organizational culture and easy-to-implement strategies on creating a culture that fosters a sense of belonging and motivates people to do their best. Learn more about investing in people’s strengths, the importance of appreciation and recognition, and the power of communication.

Jim Mahoney and expertise in educational leadership

5 Senses of Leadership  

Leaders are both born and made. While we each have certain strengths, we can always learn and grow. This keynote is about using common sense and keeping a sense of perspective on being a leader and leading people. Jim will explore the five senses of leadership, including the senses of perspective, common sense, humor, leading, and calling using research and powerful stories that will inform, illustrate, and inspire! Discover how you can tap into the five essential senses of your leadership practices and leave with practical strategies on how to motivate and engage people and how to enlist followers. Because there is no leadership without followership, and motivation is about creating followers.

Jim Mahoney and motivating educators

Dare to Learn Without Limits

How can we dare to make education about learning, not tests; about improvement, not judgement; and about relevance, not limits? In this keynote, Jim shares insights into three things that we should de-emphasize in education, including test scores, the idea that school is not a place, but what is taking place, and structures. These are the things that hold educators back and discourage learning without limits. Instead, schools and educators should emphasize the importance of personalization, participation, and not having a one-size-fits-all approach to teaching. Leave this keynote inspired to action with examples of best practices and practical examples of how to inspire and encourage learning without limits.

Jim Mahoney and selfless leadership

Becoming a Magic Dragon 

Leaders have the opportunity to touch people’s lives in many ways. Whether you’re the CEO of a large company, the president of a small non-profit, or a principal or classroom teacher—you are a leader to those you serve, no matter what capacity. And the act of selfless giving is the epitome of true leadership—when a leader strives to get others to think more highly of themselves than of himself. In this keynote, Jim will share strategies for becoming a magic dragon—a selfless leader who gives what he/she expects in return. With an emphasis on the power of communication, cooperation, change, compassion, and commitment, Jim will share powerful stories and strategies that can be applied to anyone serving in a leadership role.