Sara Ross and her company provide brain-based tools to decrease stress and exhaustion and increase Leadership Vitality by strengthening the skills of energy management, emotional intelligence, and resilience. Sara’s ideas and research are earning her a reputation as a fresh and thought-provoking voice in the discussions focused on the future of work.

Before founding BrainAMPED, Sara spent a decade immersed in the neuroscience of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and Performance at a leadership training company where she served as their Vice President and Global Head of Leadership Innovation, Research and Training.

As head of faculty, Sara and her team led the development and delivery of award-winning leadership programs, assessments, coaching and accreditation programs helping leaders from across the globe be their best, even in the most complex and pressure-filled moments.

Sara has worked with Fortune 500 companies such as; Microsoft, UnitedHealth Group, Verizon, Sprint, Rogers and Allstate, Procter and Gamble, New York Life, tech companies such as Adobe and Salesforce; financial firms such as Scotiabank, Fidelity, BMO, TD Bank and PwC; pharmaceutical companies such as Sunovion and Bayer; educational institutes such as Smith College and the University of Toronto; Healthcare as well as various associations across North America; and as diversely as the leadership team of the NBA’s Orlando Magic.

Her clients have ranged from surgeons, bankers, lawyers, air traffic controllers and engineers to government agencies, nurses, nonprofits, start-ups and entrepreneurs. This broad perspective and diverse experience help explain why she is often called on to work with some of the most senior, technically sophisticated and skeptical audiences.

Balancing relevance and practicality with a contagious energy, Sara integrates cutting-edge science with real-life stories of success and failures. Her approach is guaranteed to challenge the status quo, provide new insights and inspiration, and most importantly, leave audiences with a blueprint of actionable strategies.

Sara has a Master of Science (MSc.) Graduate Degree. Outside of work, she is a coffee loving, meditation rookie who can’t help but slip in the occasional Canadian “eh” at the end of a sentence. Her husband describes her career as professional eavesdropping-people-watching. She argues that she is merely a dedicated street scientist doing her professional duty to better understand why people do what they do, and why they don’t do what they know they should!

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Videos

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Speech Topics & Descriptions

The Science of Getting Knocked Down & the Skill of Getting Back Up: Raising your Resilience Quotient (RQ) to Manage Everyday Challenges (RQ Focused – All Audiences)

The need for resilience has always been high; however, in today’s world, where stress, ambiguity, and challenge are relentless, resilience is in constant demand. Not just for the significant setbacks and major change, but as an on-going skill to endure everyday frustrations and challenges.

To level-up the skills of resilience, most of the focus is “bouncing” back. Yet, we can all agree that this is only half the resilience equation. To truly strengthen your Resilience Quotient (RQ), you must also learn how to get knocked down – and do that better!

The “best” stand out not because they never fall, but because they fall better, which helps them get up faster, allowing them to consistently stretch their potential to learn, innovate, adapt, and thrive. Nor are those that stand out fearless; instead, they have learned how to use fear as fuel for growth.

In this keynote, Sara Ross will show you how to do both by walking you through a research backed four-step method to raise your RQ, including:

  1. The difference between challenge-stress and crisis-stress and the brain science of emotions triggered by each response.
  2. Three mindset shifts to change the narrative of the story you tell yourself when it’s keeping you stuck, frustrated, and overwhelmed.
  3. An approach to increase your awareness of obstacle-thinking and instead focus on the opportunities those obstacles present, the choices you can make, and how to channel both into positive momentum creating action.
  4. A strategy to address the three thieves of resilience: perfection, comparison, and a fear of judgment.

In a world where success is not always an option, Sara will show you that learning always is when you have the confidence, the courage, and the skill to get knocked down and get back up again!

Decoding the Science of EQ to Stress-Proof You – At Work and at Home (EQ Focused – General Audience)

Never have the skills of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) been as heavily tested and relied upon as right now. With people navigating new ways of working, this is especially true for teamwork and collaboration. The challenge is that with stress, exhaustion, and disconnection on the rise, it has also never been as difficult to practice these skills as it is right now, whether at work or home.

In this keynote, Sara Ross will change that by helping you tap into your EQ skills to go from simply surviving the stress of today to thriving with energy and resilience, in spite of the stress of today.

Building on the science of resilience and performance, as well as her current research and experience coaching leaders and advising organizations as they focus on the future of work, Sara will share the following:

  1. The top two behaviors that make the best stand out from the rest in high-stress environments and how to apply small mindset shifts to help you demonstrate each without exhausting yourself in the process.
  2. How to strengthen personal accountability by exploring the science of emotions to better understand the impact you have when emotions run high, especially through email.
  3. How to use a stress-buffering strategy to help deal with difficult situations and adapt to changing environments with confidence and resilience.
  4. Whether in-person or virtual, an approach to connect and collaborate with empathy to expand your understanding of others, stretch and test new ideas, and address challenges in a head-on, trust-strengthening way.

How to Standout Without Burning Out: Raising your Work Vitality Quotient (WVQ) to Take on the Day (VQ Focused – General/Mixed Audience)

Taking on anything challenging, even when meaningful, involves stress. In a world defined by unrelenting change, it’s not surprising there’s been a spike in stress levels and a drop in energy levels. Leaders and their people report feeling perpetually consumed by work and behind on life.

The challenge is that the traditional well-intentioned advice of “ease up and slow down” to tackle stress is often impossible to apply. Worse, it inadvertently results in people feeling they need to compromise their drive and dedication in the processes. There is a better way.

In this keynote, Sara Ross will share her research showing you that raising your Work Vitality Quotient (WVQ) will help you pursue bold goals without burning out in the process.

Sara will take you through a process to increase your WVQ, making it your distinct competitive advantage in the future of work by:

  1. Differentiating healthy standout-stress from unhealthy sacrifice-stress.
  2. A method to spot and avoid the most deceiving “Brain Traps” that disguise themselves as paths to success but instead negatively influence your decisions, effectiveness, vitality, and relationships.
  3. A Key Vitality Indicator (KVI) system to monitor your mental, emotional, and physical energy helping you identify the tipping point where more work becomes counterproductive with ways to replenish your energy when you don’t have an abundance of time.
  4. Strategies for better energy management in virtual environments, setting workhome boundaries, and dealing with digital depletion exacerbated in virtual work.

If you feel like you’ve been running on fumes to just get through the day, Sara will give you the tools to get you back to firing on all cylinders to help you take on the day, so you stand out in the work you do, the leader you want to be, and the positive impact you want have both at work and at home.

Decoding the Science of EQ for Standout Leadership: Leading with Energy and Resilience in High-Stress Environments (EQ Focused – Leadership Audience)

Faced with constant uncertainty, intense scrutiny, leading virtually, and on the heels of a pandemic, never has strong leadership been as essential or as difficult to practice as it is now.

Two areas being most heavily tested; how leaders leverage and evolve their emotional intelligence (EQ) skills and how leaders manage their energy to show-up day after day in a purposeful way, defined as their vitality quotient (VQ). The combination of these two is the difference between good but exhausted leaders surviving the stress of today versus leaders that stand out and thrive, in spite of the stress of today.

Building on the science of resilience, as well as her current research and experience coaching leaders and advising organizations as they focus on the future of work, Sara will share the following:

  1. The top three behaviors that make the best stand out from the rest and the mindset barriers that must be overcome to demonstrate each in high-stress environments.
  2. The science of how emotions influence leadership presence and how to ensure your vision translates into your desired impact and why this can be especially hard in virtual environments.
  3. How to use a stress-buffering strategy to help deal with difficult situations and adapt to changing environments with confidence and resilience.
  4. Whether in-person or virtual, an approach to balance empathy and accountability to expand your understanding of others, empower others to stretch and test innovative ideas, and address challenges head-on, so performance is lifted without exhausting yourself in the process.

Standout Leadership in a Worn-Out World: Raising your Leadership Vitality Quotient (LVQ) to Take on Bold Goals (VQ Focused – Leadership/Executive)

Taking on anything challenging, even when meaningful, will involve stress. In a world defined by unrelenting change, it’s not surprising there’s been a spike in stress levels and a drop in energy levels. People report feeling perpetually consumed by work and behind on life. For leaders, there is an additional layer of pressure – managing their stress, their energy, and their work as well as that of the people they lead.  

The challenge is that the traditional well-intentioned advice of “ease up and slow down” to tackle stress is often impossible to apply. Worse, it inadvertently results in people feeling they need to compromise their drive and dedication in the process. There is a better way.  

In this keynote, Sara Ross will share her research showing you that raising your Leadership Vitality Quotient (LVQ) will help you stand out as the leader you want (and need to be), without burning yourself or your people out in the process. 

Sara will take you through the steps to increase your LVQ, making it your distinct competitive advantage in the future of work by:  

  1. Differentiating healthy standout-stress from unhealthy sacrifice-stress. 
  2. A method to spot and avoid the most deceiving “Brain Traps” that disguise themselves as paths to success but instead negatively influence your decisions, effectiveness, vitality, and relationships. 
  3. A Key Vitality Indicator (KVI) system to monitor your mental, emotional, and physical energy helping you identify the tipping point where more work becomes counterproductive with ways to replenish your energy when you don’t have an abundance of time. 
  4. Highlight the amplification effect of vitality-boosting and depleting practices to help you understand how to lead more energized teams and organizations. 
  5. Strategies for better energy management in virtual environments, setting work-home boundaries, and dealing with digital depletion exacerbated in virtual work. 

What people are saying

“I do not say this lightly – Sara is one of the most engaging speakers I have ever listened to. I have heard her speak three times and every time I learn something new but even more notable, I am taken in by her openness, energy and insight. I promise you can count on Sara to over-deliver.”

Vice President of L&D Scotiabank

“Sara exceeded our expectations! What really made her stand out was how amazing she was to work with in the lead up, she was so dedicated to understanding our challenges and needs and that really came through in her talk. She is one of the best!”

Environics Communication CEO

“Wonderful! Sara has the passion and the energy but her “in the leadership trenches” experience made this stuff applicable. Our senior leadership team couldn’t stop talking about her impact which is the highest of compliments!”

Fidelity Investments

“Would I recommend Sara Ross? Are you kidding – I want to be her! Seriously, Sara was awesome!!! She was so real and authentic that I felt like I was in a 1-1 conversation with her not sitting in the audience. Some of the stories she told and examples she shared were so relatable I felt like they were about me! She gave me a game plan to use with my team!”

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation

Work with Sara Ross

book Sara for your next event
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