Keynote Speaker Drew Kugler

Drew Kugler

Communication & Leadership Counselor

  • Speaker's U.S. Fee Range
    $10,001 - $20,000 i
  • Languages Spoken
  • Travels From
    California, USA

Since entering the work of coaching and teaching over 35 years ago, Drew Kugler has served dozens of organizations in the fields of professional services, consumer products, entertainment and media, technology, non-profits, and charities.

The dominant question that guides Drew’s work is what individuals and groups must do to build trust, respect, and strategic optimism, especially in the face of changing ways of successfully working with others.

Why Drew Kugler?

“In 1984, I held a part-time job in graduate school teaching public speaking to undergrads. On my first day of class, I turned to that first group of students and told them that, with all due respect to their Business, Science, and Math professors, my class on Communication skills was THE MOST important learning they would undertake in their college career. It would, I claimed enthusiastically, more deeply affect their work, their relationships and the world around them than any other topic of study.

The nearly thirty years of teaching and coaching that have followed from that experience have only convinced me more of the prime importance of communication in our lives. To this day, all my professional work has been grounded in the core belief that becoming genuinely better at communicating is better for your life. I’ve seen first hand how conversations foster or damage the relationships, ideas and commitments that people bring to the organizations and causes they belong.

From that unique vantage point, I’ve developed a way of working with clients and audiences that reflects the same urgency that guided me to the front of that classroom. Now the sense of importance is accompanied by a set of insights, honed from thousands of teachable moments, about what works and what doesn’t when we communicate not only with others but with ourselves.

I revere the capability that humans have to create emotion and meaning through their spoken words. I’ve seen the best and the worst and much in between. And I strive every day to help others learn from what I see. -DK

Inevitably, his work articulates the difficult choices about communicating vision and genuine collaboration, grounded in a proprietary framework, mindset, and methodology he developed called Constructive Candor.

Over the years, he has advised:

  • Major law firms to better communicate their commitments and actions to practices; office and administrative leaders toward improving firm performance
  • Entertainment studios and companies to develop and deliver feedback and coaching for major executives and divisional teams in the context of radically changing business structures and climates
  • Consumer product companies to define and implement initiatives, to inculcate core values as a practical vehicle for guiding individual performance, and brand and product development
  • Non-profit teams in charities and schools to link their mission-driven culture to specific organizational outcomes
  • Administrations, faculty and students in schools and universities about the glaring deficiencies in educating communication and collaboration skills

In addition to extensive coaching experience, Drew Kugler has held management positions with Nordstrom and Marriott Corporation.  He received his Master’s Degree from San Diego State University in Communication Studies, where he was recognized as an Outstanding Lecturer.  He has been published in the American Lawyer and appeared on CBS, ABC, and NPR, and has been a guest lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Stanford Law School, NYU’s Stern School of Business and the Freeman School of Business at Tulane University. Drew is also honored to have coached and spoken on Leadership and Communication in many Jewish communities including synagogues, numerous agencies, and as a faculty member at Hebrew Union College.


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