Dennis Brouwer is the CEO of The Brouwer Group LLC, a firm that helps companies achieve peak performance by getting crystal clear on their value proposition, promoting creative leadership behaviors and energizing high-performing teams. He is a former Navy Flight Officer, Mission Commander and Award-winning tactician who started his career as a naval flight officer hunting for Soviet submarines in the north Arabian Sea. Over a three-decade career of achievement in the military and business, Dennis has developed and leveraged a model of Deconstruction to tackle the impossible, including turning around a $300m global services business that had been left for dead. He’s the author of The Return on Leadership, and a self-taught Jeep mechanic, cabin restorer, and brewer of fine beers.
The Eleven Essentials of Leadership
Train Your Brain to Think Like an Elite Leader, Starting NOW
In a world where the playing field has been leveled – where every organization has access to the same capital, technology, people and resources, leadership is the last great point of leverage.
The problem with humans, however, is that as we struggle to keep pace with unprecedented levels of change, we’re doing battle with our own brains. Modern neuroscience tells us that the human mind is incredibly adept at reinterpreting the immediate past, present and future in ways that help us justify our inaction and silently undermine our capacity for change.
As we consider changes in everything from personal habits to strategic initiatives, our brains, which have evolved over tens of thousands of years to be risk-averse, filter the information around us to convince us that we’re fine, our judgments are solid, and we can stay the course, just as we’ve always done. But there is hope. In this captivating keynote, bestselling author, U.S. Navy veteran, and multi-decade business executive Dennis Brouwer shows us a surprising path forward by building on the fact that most learning takes place NOT under the watchful eye of a tutor or mentor, but in the daily cruciple of events, where we try new things, fail quickly and move on. Leadership is no different.
- Understand the neuro-science that limits our creativity, and how to routinely sidestep habits of thought that hold us back
- Understand the mechanism by which “The Eleven Essentials” have the potential to change the way our brains work, starting today.
- Apply the a subset of the Eleven Essentials in real-time.
- Develop an easy to understand, painless plan to implement new leader behaviors on day one.
Energizing Elite Teams in the Military and Beyond
With a Winning Blend of Optimism, Curiosity and Operational Discipline
As a carrier-based anti-submarine warfare tactician at the height of the Cold War, Dennis and his colleagues had one job – to protect USS Enterprise from potential attack by a bad guy. That bad buy was a Soviet cruise missile equipped nuclear submarine designed to do one thing and one thing only – to incinerate the aircraft carrier that they called home. Despite a lack of resources, a highly capable enemy and conventional wisdom that said what they were setting out to do was impossible, Dennis and his team led the effort that found a Soviet submarine in the one place it wasn’t supposed to be – two miles from USS Enterprise during flight operations in the north Arabian Sea.
It’s an exciting story that’s surprisingly relevant in our hyper-competitive world. In this talk, Dennis draws parallels between his team’s experience in the strategic cat and mouse game of submarine warfare, and the daily challenges faced by sales, product, marketing and business executives in their chosen markets and territories. In every case, success is a team effort and the difference between success and failure – and sometimes between life and death – is razor thin. Finding that edge – that competitive wrinkle or newly relevant assumption – is what this talk is all about.
- Understand the constructive way to challenge assumptions and conventional wisdom as a path to growing sales, revenue and customer satisfaction.
- Gain support for new “breakout” courses of action.
- Apply creativity across daily business processes.
- Identify opportunities for competitive advantage in assumptions and the behaviors they drive.
- Understand the neuro-science that limits our creativity, and how to routinely sidestep habits of thought that hold us back.
Innovating Without Einstein
How the Company Next Door Creates Breakthrough Products and Services
The basic organizational unit of any elite organization is the team. Faced with accelerating rates of change, global competition and rapidly advancing technology, our best teams are challenged to deliver on a credible, sustainable vision for the future. As the market for products, and services becomes more volatile and uncertain, it is more important than ever for high-performing teams to find new ways to get the job done.
In this thought-provoking keynote, bestselling author, professional innovator, and proven turnaround leader Dennis Brouwer delivers a remarkable perspective on high-performing teams – how they work, how they’re different, and how they seem to achieve the impossible. Brouwer shares his unorthodox, yet practical approach to team development by illuminating the biases that undermine our personal perspectives, exploring the neuro-science of visionary thinking, and sharing startling case studies of what’s possible in seemingly dead-end, mature industries and organizations.
- Understand the inherent biases that undermine our willingness and ability to innovate.
- Learn the key techniques used by highly effective leaders to build powerhouse teams.
- Gain a new perspective on the importance of clarifying, communicating and creating a shared Vision of a new, desired future that’s worth fighting for.
- Learn the product development processes used by organizations that routinely launch new products and services.
“The most important things I look for in an executive are leadership, judgment, ego-maturity and self-awareness. Dennis brings those factors to life and makes clear what’s possible with the combination of Creative leadership, a winning business model and a dynamic, resilient culture.”
“An important new concept in the leadership world…amazing stories and some clear thinking about what it takes to lead today…a winner. Brouwer’s been in the leadership hot seat, made the difficult decisions, and learned from his mistakes.”
“A fresh perspective on Leadership that brings home all the concepts of Vision, Execution, and Engagement. As an HR Leader in the competitive world of FinTech, this is now my “go-to” approach when it comes to company strategy and its leadership, as we continue to reinvent ourselves and attract and retain the best talent.”
“Clear, concise, and articulate… Brouwer offers an energetic, lively and rational narrative sculpted to realign your way of thinking while providing rich examples from his own life as reinforcement.”
“Brouwer identifies the three behaviors most commonly associated with leaders of successful organizations, highlights the combination of executive characteristics common to successful leaders, and provides an actionable plan to improve their leadership – and it works. I was lucky enough to be part of the submarine stalking story that is central to his book, and it’s all true.”
“Dennis’ background and experience(s) are uniquely suited to have laid the groundwork for his insightful look at Leadership and what that means to the individual and the team.”
“Vast experience in both the military and private sector leadership roles. Truly valuable information that I have shared with my team and my daughter. “
“An original thinker with a deep intuitive understanding of what makes a good leader, D.L. Brouwer does a fabulous job of translating his own life’s experience into leadership best practices that cross industry boundaries.”
“I was lucky enough to have worked for Dennis during the time he led the business transformation at SAVVIS, and can vouch for not only the exceptional turnaround, but also how his leadership style and unified vision truly re-invigorated a group of great, but disenfranchised employees into a team with a shared vision who were able to move mountains!”