John Izzo

Awakening Corporate Soul

Bestselling Author and Thought Leader



Perhaps the best way to describe Dr. John Izzo is that of a modern philosopher on work and life. Like all philosophers he brings unique insight into the challenges corporations and individuals face but unlike many philosophers, he brings us practical, useful ideas on how to create better workplaces, better lives, and ultimately a better world. He is a leading business advisor, a best-selling author, a community leader, and an avid conservationist.

Izzo has devoted his life and career to helping leaders create workplaces that are capable of bringing out the best in people and helping people discover more purpose and fulfillment in life and work. From his early days as a minister to his 20 years in organization development, his focus has been to improve the quality of work and life. He was a pioneer in the movement on soul and engagement at work, a pioneer in exploring shifting values at work, and a leading voice for social responsibility among leaders. He has become one of North America’s most sought after voices on creating workplaces that engage and retain employees as well as how each one of us can find more purpose in life and work.

We are at a unique time in human history. Competition and change have created the need for organizations to adapt and evolve at an accelerated pace. These demands have taken their toll on the workplace and on those who work. At the same time, many of us are yearning for a simpler, more balanced life, one where relationships, play and contribution are balanced with achievement, career, and material success. A growing number of us have a desire for a different experience, one where our work has more meaning and our life a more human pace. So we live in a time of great paradox-leaders need more from their people but people want more from leaders. We want our work to have more meaning but we want to find more time for play and relationships.

One of these paradoxes is that we have 18th century organizational philosophies and 21st century workers. Based on the work of Frederick Taylor, many organizations still operate in top down, hierarchical models while the new workforce expect to be treated like partners.

Dr. John Izzo is uniquely qualified to address the concerns of both business leaders and the professional individual with emerging desires for our lives and work to be more purposeful.

Over the last 15 years he has worked with thousands of leaders, professionals and front line colleagues to foster more responsibility, purpose, and spirit at work. His clients have ranged from high tech to high touch, from hotels to hospitals, from government agencies to entrepreneurial start-ups. In each case, his wisdom and experience has helped people discover practical ways to create engaged teams and more fulfilling lives.

He is the author of two highly acclaimed business books: Awakening Corporate Soul and Values Shift: The New Work Ethic & What it Means for Business. In his first book, he identified four paths to more soul and engagement at work. He has given hundreds of talks to leaders and front line people on how spirit is created at work and what each of us must do to create that for ourselves and others.

In Values Shift, he identified six major shifts in our values at work and created a blueprint of the 21st century workforce. These shifts towards balance, partnership, trust, community, growth and development, and work as noble cause, represent the values that must be embodied by the successful organization of the present and future. He offers both an insightful look at how values are shifting as well as practical ideas on how to win this new workforce.

Today’s employees are looking to be inspired, to work in places of deep trust, places of integrity, and places where their development and growth is nurtured and valued. Yet our research shows that employees are also deeply distrustful of organizations and leaders. Dr. Izzo helps leaders discover how to gain the trust of people and create organizations where values are real and lived. Such organizations inspire deep levels of commitment from people.

Leaders have said that Dr. John Izzo is that unique combination of practical ideas and high level “big picture” thinking that leaders want. In one talk he will inspire your people to greater vision, challenge them with new insights, and leave them with practical things they can do to create the organization of the future.

But John Izzo is more than a thinker about great organizations, he is a person capable of inspiring your audience to more authentic, purposeful lives. Drawing on his early work in ministry and thousands of workshops on soul in work/life, Dr. Izzo challenges audiences to live a life that matters, an uncommon life, where lasting legacy is balanced with every day fulfillment.

With topics like Living a Life that Matters and What Matters Most? (Aligning Your Life with Your Values), his work will inspire everyone to discover a life filled with purpose, where we can re-discover the sacred in the simple moments of life. In the big stuff and in the small stuff, he challenges us with insight and practical ideas on living a more intentional life and leaving a more significant legacy.

His third book, Second Innocence—Rediscovering Joy and Wonder, explored how each of us can keep our sense of wonder and hope in four areas of our lives—work, daily life, relationships and the spiritual journey. The book featured Dr. Izzo’s unique ability as one of North America’s leading storytellers.

In April, 2007, Dr. Izzo was featured in a five hour TV series on the Biography Channel which featured him speaking before a live audience on The Five Thing We Must Discover before We Die. The show was based on 230 interviews Dr. Izzo and his colleagues conducted with people over the age of sixty who were identified by others as having found “wisdom.” These five themes form the foundation of his newest book, Wise before Your Time.

Sigmund Freud once said that the primary human motivation is the avoidance of pain. Dr. Izzo believes that the primary human drive is the search for significance, the desire to know that our life and our work have mattered. His work has been devoted to that human desire and to the development of communities that are up to the challenges of our age.

Most of all Dr. Izzo shares a life time of learning. The great Yankee baseball player and manager, Yogi Berra, once said “you can see a lot by observing.” During the last thirty years Dr. Izzo has sat at the bedside of dying people, conducted weddings and funerals, consulted and advised some of the most admired companies in the world, taught at major universities, conducted leading edge research on workplace values, and spoken to over one million people from Brazil to Russia, from New York to London.

Dr. John Izzo has spent two decades working with individuals and leaders who were trying to find purpose and fulfillment in their lives. He has worked with some of the most admired and greatest places to work in North America. It is this insight, gained from two decades of consulting and coaching that makes him such a valuable resource.

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