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Jason  Barger

Jason Barger

Creator of the Step Back

Jason Barger

Creator of the Step Back


Jason Barger is committed to engaging the minds and hearts of people in order to strengthen leadership, culture, and clarity of mission, vision & values. He is a globally celebrated Author / Speaker / Consultant and creator of the Step Back from the Baggage ClaimMovement - featured in the New York Times, National Geographic Traveler, Kiplinger, Book TV, and many other spots worldwide. His dynamic storytelling and engaging keynote speeches have resonated at global leadership conferences around the world as well as with places like IBM, Kaiser Permanente, Discover Card, Alliance Data, TEDx, the Society for Human Resource Management, Nationwide Insurance, Caribou Coffee, Deloitte, Wendy's and many more.

Prior to sleeping in airports and observing human behavior, Barger led over 1700 people to construct 125 houses internationally for families living in poverty as well as implemented the Streets Mission Project to serve the homeless on the streets of Columbus, Ohio. As the former Director of First Community Church’s Camp Akita, he designed leadership programming focused on living with joy, love, compassion, faith, and service for over 1900 campers a summer.

Jason is a graduate of Denison University, where he served as Captain of the men’s basketball team, and also received certification from Georgetown University in Nonprofit Executive Management. In 2004, he was one of five people in Columbus, Ohio to receive a Jefferson Award, a national award given to “Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things”. In 2014, he was selected as a “40 Under 40” award winner by Business First. In 2021, Jason was recognized as a “Top 200 Global Thought Leader to follow” by PeopleHum.

Jason is a sought-after Keynote Speaker, visionary, and leadership consultant. As founder of Step Back Leadership Consulting LLC, he works with organizations that are passionate about Culture Change, Leadership Development, Innovation, Service, and bringing their Mission to life every day. Barger delivers over 70 speeches annually around the world and is passionate about positive change in people, leaders, organizations, and our world!

Speaker Videos

Speaking Reel

Speech Topics

Breathing Oxygen

Positive, healthy thinking is as essential to great leadership and building a winning culture as the air we breathe. Leading yourself and a team of people has never been more complicated than it is today. In this Breathing Oxygen keynote, Barger explores six key mindsets- Clarity, Inclusivity, Agility, Grit, Rest, and Ownership- that bring energy to every team and expand their productivity and your organization’s potential.


Are you busy or effective? Technology and the world as a whole are changing rapidly every day. You must have a philosophy for how you and your team will approach the change. What was here to stay yesterday is already gone today. In times of constant change, leaders must have a mindset that visions for the future, but embraces agile thinking in their plans. They preserve the core and stimulate progress at the same time. The best leaders, teams and organizations teach their people to utilize the 6 A process for leading change in order to effectively navigate their way through times of change. This keynote gives a thought-provoking look at the change we all are experiencing and equips you with a framework to move forward.

Thermostat Cultures

The best leaders and groups of any kind engage the minds and hearts of their people and proactively shape the culture for HOW they move, together. Thermostat Cultures is about the proactive process the best leaders and teams lead in order to inspire and engage the people around them. What temperature will you set with the people in your life and career? This engaging keynote showcases the process iconic brands and teams use to intentionally shape the culture they want for tomorrow!

The Future of Leadership

Welcome to the future and the participatory world of leadership. Power has shifted and it no longer sits in the top down style of leadership. Hierarchy has been put on the shelf and tribes of influence are being deployed. The future of leadership and the effectiveness of teams and organizations lie in the hands of those who engage the minds and hearts of their people with a participatory style-connected to a compelling mission and movement. From global brands to one office shops, this leadership revolution is here to stay. In this keynote you will learn about the profound leadership styles influencing people in the world today and strategies to bring your people into the creation of your culture.

Seeing with New Eyes

What does Sky Mall magazine, Heinz 57 Ketchup, the Pop-a-Shot arcade game, a British grocery store chain, and Pike's Place Fish Market all have in common? Why was Dunkin' Donuts able to expand their growth globally while Winchell's Donuts growth inched along? How do innovative thinkers think and how is it impacting our world in the age of Amazon, Airbnb, Netflix and Uber? In a world that is changing so rapidly, the best leaders, teams and organizations must learn to practice innovation in small ways in their operations, keep their eyes open for big moves, and agile enough to keep their mission alive. In this fascinating keynote, participants minds will be flung open and at the same time delivered tangible questions to lead the next innovations along their path.