David Hardy Jr.
Entrepreneur, Author & Former Education Leader
David Hardy Jr.
Entrepreneur, Author & Former Education Leader
Entrepreneur, speaker, author, and former education leader David Hardy Jr. has an accomplished career in leading transformational change in organizations across multiple industries. David is nationally recognized for his work in human-centered transformation and organizational culture centered around eradicating workplace inequities. In partnership with his entrepreneurial spirit, his innovative and non-conforming approach to leadership has shifted corporate mindsets and elevated him as one of the nation's top thought leaders regarding personal and organizational improvement. As a charismatic optimist, he has captivated non-profit, corporate, and social sector audiences–large and small–across the country. His ability to present complex and controversial topics with simplicity, humor, and a high level of ease and authenticity brings his clients both closer to each other and their root purpose. David’s gift for storytelling supports connection among groups in ways very few can (especially within the current socio-political climate), and leaves audiences with renewed hope, perspective, and realistic optimism that allows them to leave his sessions with enhanced clarity, joy and tangible ways to make an immediate impact.
Professional Learning Design
Executive Group Coaching
Leading with Equity
States and Districts have written "equity" into their Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and continuous improvement plans. Yet what equity looks like in schools is still a challenge we must understand more deeply if we want those plans to go into action. How we think about authentically leading, managing relationships, and building inclusive practices at the system's level must change before we can expect different outcomes for children. I have insights into what some of the most forward-thinking industries are doing and how these proven strategies are paying off for them and will also pay off for school districts.
There is a clear difference between leaders in our country's history who have been able to reach people and those who don't. While at the same time, there are people who move up the organizational chart into leadership positions who find it more and more challenging to stay there and experience the loneliness that it brings. Why is it that some leaders can lead and have people listen and follow, while others cannot connect and are often alone? This reality has become more evident in school systems where instability is present, especially in marginalized communities. Leaders of all walks of life experience this, especially leaders who lead from a place of difference. I have insights on how to reach the people you lead from lessons learned in my leadership journey. I will also draw on some of the most influential leaders' approaches to connecting to those that they serve. You will leave with thought-provoking insights that will help you think about how you lead others and understand what people really want and need from you.
Effective Relationship Management
The current story of a leader has become way too familiar for leaders across the country, especially in urban centers - one that starts with a ton of excitement, "check the list" listening tours, predictable strategic planning, and unfortunate short tenures. In each of those situations, something is missing--relationships that are created, not forced. To develop sustainable leadership, there are things leaders can learn to do to build genuine relationships that will allow for coalition-building and community buy-in. Through this talk, leaders from all walks of life can learn what it takes to reach people, get them on their teams, and maintain paths toward success as the leader of their organizations.
The Inclusive Organization: The Power of Diversity
The Warren Buffets of the world have figured something out - the power of diversifying. In his case, Buffet has diversified his financial portfolio like none other, but for some reason, we have not taken his lesson to heart the way we should in different facets of life. As education leaders, we realize we do not have all the answers even though we often are the ones who receive all of the problems. What we must realize is that those problems can be solved with a diverse set of perspectives on the solutions. We need to ask. However, before we can make that ask, we must examine our systems - how we hire, operate, and flat-out invest in people - so that we have the diversity we need to address the needs of many more. Through this talk, we will analyze practices that have led to tremendous outcomes that started with intentional systemic practices that allow the seeds of equity to grow.
The Power of Together: Creating Equity through Assessment & Action
The world is full of well-intended people. Every day, individuals wake up to work towards outcomes for themselves or organizations, large and small. However, our individual and collective impact is thwarted by an inability to see the complexity of the human experience inside and outside of work. We walk into work with great intentions but fall short of outcomes for specific reasons that continue to polarize us at home and work. This disconnected experience has caused a rapid cycle of workplace shifts and employee discontent, making it more challenging to retain and grow talent. Through this conversation, we will investigate the root causes for this growing phenomenon and outline steps individuals and organizations can take to assess their organization's shortcomings and take action to change people's lived experiences every day.
"In each of his talks he asks thoughtful questions, listens deeply, and uses the occasional fun analogy to bring more joy to the conversation. He has helped me to more clearly see and articulate the options and decisions that will improve the organization I work for and myself. I leave every time he talks more confident and clear on my goals and my abilities to bring others along towards those goals."
"I remember Dave looking at me and telling me that I was about to take on the hardest thing I’d ever done. He said that there would be doubters and they would question my worthiness. Then he said, and I will tell them too exactly what I will say now, “you are the best person for this job. You are ready for this job. You will do great things in this job”. After that, my whole life changed. I’ve been an executive ever sense. And I’m so thankful Dave saw in me what had only began to blossom!"
"When I heard him speak he helped me get out of my own way in order to see the path forward. His words are second only to his ability to listen. His ability to see me and spur me on toward what can in fact be true is remarkable."