John U. Bacon

New York Times Bestselling Author, Coach, and Leadership Expert

  • John U. Bacon`s Keynote Speaker Fee This reflects John U. Bacon`s U.S. Speaking Fee

    $10,001 - $20,000

  • Languages Spoken

    English

  • Travels From

    Michigan, USA

  • John U. Bacon`s Keynote Speaker Fee This reflects John U. Bacon`s U.S. Speaking Fee

    $10,001 - $20,000

  • Languages Spoken

    English

  • Travels From

    Michigan, USA

Suggested Keynote Speaker Programs

Motivating Millennials

In his talk on Generation Y, John draws from his experience leading the Ann Arbor Huron hockey team from the school’s worst to best in three years (despite being the worst player in school history — and he can prove that!) and teaching at Northwestern and the ...

In his talk on Generation Y, John draws from his experience leading the Ann Arbor Huron hockey team from the school’s worst to best in three years (despite being the worst player in school history — and he can prove that!) and teaching at Northwestern and the University of Michigan, where he has received only six late papers out of 1700 students. One central lesson: you need to make your workplace special to them – and the best way to make it special, is to make it hard – the exact opposite advice most experts are giving you. Managing them should not be a mystery, and shouldn’t be a headache. John delivers humorous and touching stories about how to motivate through goal setting, accountability, the right incentives and plain hard work.

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The Timeless Fundamentals of Leadership

John highlights lessons from his best-selling book, Bo’s Lasting Lessons: The Legendary Coach Teaches the Timeless Fundamentals of Leadership, which Warren Buffett himself endorsed. He tells stories to underscore how great leaders listen, communicate, and make decisions. ...

John highlights lessons from his best-selling book, Bo’s Lasting Lessons: The Legendary Coach Teaches the Timeless Fundamentals of Leadership, which Warren Buffett himself endorsed. He tells stories to underscore how great leaders listen, communicate, and make decisions. In this fastmoving and fun speech, John gives specific, direct advice leaders can use the next day. Bo Schembechler impersonation guaranteed.

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Hire Better, Fire Less

In this popular presentation, John describes how the best companies – from Zingerman’s famed deli to the Michigan football team to Cirque du Soleil – spend a lot more time, effort and thought hiring their people, and much less dealing with mediocre performers, and ...

In this popular presentation, John describes how the best companies – from Zingerman’s famed deli to the Michigan football team to Cirque du Soleil – spend a lot more time, effort and thought hiring their people, and much less dealing with mediocre performers, and firing them. John lays out a practical guide – supported by fascinating stories — for searching, interviewing, “auditioning,” and ultimately hiring the right people.

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Diversity for Fun & Profit

In this frank and refreshing discussion, John challenges us to face our fears, shines a spotlight on what we need to understand about each other, and makes it clear why expanding opportunities to more people makes us stronger. John’s ideas on diversity come from his ...

In this frank and refreshing discussion, John challenges us to face our fears, shines a spotlight on what we need to understand about each other, and makes it clear why expanding opportunities to more people makes us stronger. John’s ideas on diversity come from his research and writing about sports, from Jackie Robinson to Title IX to the NFL’s Rooney Rule, which requires all teams to interview at least one minority candidate for any head coaching vacancy. His speech is surprisingly, but appropriately, funny — often at his own expense. The bottom line is simple, however: we don’t seek to diversify to be charitable, but to be more successful.

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How to Create Creativity- And Manage It

Every company today must innovate to stay ahead of the pack. But how do you open the floodgates for creativity and still make sure the trains run on time? John explains how Cirque du Soleil does it, and conducts several fun, fast-moving exercises of his own creation to make ...

Every company today must innovate to stay ahead of the pack. But how do you open the floodgates for creativity and still make sure the trains run on time? John explains how Cirque du Soleil does it, and conducts several fun, fast-moving exercises of his own creation to make lasting points – points the participants can put to use immediately to be more creative, without losing the discipline necessary to be effective.

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About Keynote Speaker John U. Bacon

John U. Bacon has worked nearly three decades as a writer, a public speaker, and a college instructor, winning awards for all three.

Bacon earned an honors degree in history (“pre-unemployment”) from the University of Michigan in 1986, and a Master’s in Education in 1994. In 2005-06, the Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellowship named him the first recipient of the Benny Friedman Fellowship for Sports Journalism.

He started his journalism career covering high school sports for The Ann Arbor News, and then wrote a light-hearted lifestyle column before becoming the Sunday sports feature writer for The Detroit News in 1995. He earned numerous state and national awards for his work, including three listings in The Best American Sports Writing.

After Bacon covered the 1998 Nagano Olympics, he moved from the sports page to the Sunday front page, roaming the Great Lakes State finding fresh features, then left the paper in 1999 to free-lance for some two dozen national publications, including stories on Formula One racing in Australia for The New York Times, on Japanese hockey for ESPN Magazine, and on Hemingway’s Michigan summer home for Time.

He has authored ten books on sports, business, health, and history, five of which are New York Times bestsellers. His book, The Great Halifax Explosion: A World War I Story of Treachery, Tragedy, and Extraordinary Heroism, became a national best seller when it was released on November 7, 2017, and is currently attracting interest in Hollywood.

Bacon has also pursued his passions for radio, television, coaching and teaching.  In 2007 he was invited to give weekly sports commentary on Michigan Radio every Friday morning, which he still does. He also appears weekly on Michigan Radio’s Stateside, and occasionally on National Public Radio, which awarded him the PRNDI prize for nation’s best commentary in 2014. He appears often on TV, including HBO, ESPN, Fox Business, MSNBC, and the Big Ten Network, where he is a frequent contributor to both “Icons” series.

Bacon has taught at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, and teaches at the University of Michigan, where the students selected him for the 2009 Golden Apple award, given annually to the University’s top teacher.

On the side, Bacon became the head coach of his former high school hockey team, Ann Arbor Huron. He took over the worst team in school history (0-23-3 in 1999-2000), and helped transform them into the best (17-4-5, #4 in the state, and #53 in the nation), in just three seasons.  In 2007, he was inducted into the Huron River Rat Hall of Fame. He is currently planning a book on the subject, which he’s spoken on coast to coast.

Bacon delivers speeches on the themes taken from his books, and coaching and teaching experiences — including leadership, diversity, motivating millennials, and creativity — to corporations, universities, and other groups around the country and the world.  In 2011, the Michigan Chapter of Meeting Planners International (MMPI) named him “Speaker of the Year.”

Bacon is now an average hockey player, a mediocre Spanish speaker, and a poor piano player – but this has not stopped him from enjoying all three. He lives in Ann Arbor with his wife and son.

Testimonials

Thanks again for being a part of our annual Branch Team Conference for Region 14. I wanted to provide you a few comments from one of our associates: ‘John U. Bacon was superb! I can’t fully express in words how much his speech resonated with me. I wish I could have him talk to my kids and their coaches and teachers. More people need to hear his stories.

Robert E. Heisler, AAMS, Financial Advisor, Edward Jones – Region 14 Branch Team Conference 2014

 

I have received dozens of messages about the CHRC conference being a huge success and in particular your presentation. It really hit home with great lessons and memorable stories…I can’t thank you enough for making the conference so special.

Dr. Valerie Opipari, Chair, University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital Department of Pediatrics – Child Health Research Center Annual Retreat 2015

 

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COVID-19 special virtual keynote fees are available for webinars. Fees listed above are for a live keynote – Please ask your advisor for special pricing on virtual keynote / webinar fees.

The BigSpeak Team

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