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Shannon Huffman Polson

Shannon Huffman Polson

Author. Optimist. Creative. Badass.

Shannon Huffman Polson

Author. Optimist. Creative. Badass.


Shannon Huffman Polson is the author of The Grit Factor: Courage,Resilience and Leadership in the Most Male Dominated Organization in the World, as well as the memoir North of Hope. She is the founder of The Grit Institute, a leadership institute committed to whole leader development, and host of The Grit Factor podcast.

As one of the first women to fly the Apache helicopter in the U.S. Army, leading line units on three continents, Polson combines her passion and firsthand experience in and study of leadership, grit purpose and story to address the needs of her clients in the face of challenge and change with world-class keynotes and executive education.

After serving for a decade in the armed services, Polson earned her MBA at the Tuck School at Dartmouth, and later her MFA. She went on to lead outstanding teams in the corporate world in the medical device industry and at Microsoft. As a community leader, Polson successfully envisioned, founded and led the completion of a $6.5M new library and civic center.

Polson has a decade of experience speaking to companies and organizations around the world, and is consistently the highest rated speaker at her events. Polson is faculty at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth’s Leadership and Strategic Impact program. Polson lives with her husband and two children in Washington State.

Speaker Videos

Top rated leadership speaker on grit, Author and Veteran Pilot Shannon Huffman Polson Sizzle Reel

The ingredient you need for times of change and challenge is grit

Speech Topics

The Grit Factor

Step into the world of unwavering determination and peak performance with "The Grit Factor." Based on the proprietary Grit Triad framework developed by Shannon Huffman Polson in her award winning book, "The Grit Factor," this keynote delves into the stories, science and strategies behind grit, resilience, and the mindsets necessary for success. Ending with the courage of ownership, this keynote is for leaders at every level preparing to lead with passion. Unlock the transformative potential of "The Grit Factor," equipping your teams to conquer challenges, adapt, and achieve lasting excellence.

Paths to Purpose

Research has shown that individuals who align their personal purpose with their professional roles experience greater job satisfaction, longevity, and heightened performance. Moreover, this purpose-driven approach isn't just about career success; it's deeply connected to mental and physical well-being, contributing to reduced stress and increased overall happiness. A transformative journey that will not only empower you to discover your individual purpose but also equip you— and your company--to succeed in every dimension of potential.

The Power of Mindset

Unleash the potential of The Power of Mindset in your company with renowned keynote speaker and author Shannon Huffman Polson. Bringing her experience as a military pilot and corporate leader, Polson introduces four approaches to mindset that will transform the way your people and your company approach challenge, increasing resilience and adaptability in an ever changing world.  Discover the essential mindsets required for success in the dynamic world of business, including growth and stress mindset, measured optimism, and purpose mindset. Our speaker, a distinguished expert, will unravel the science and strategies behind these mindsets, equipping you to navigate challenges, drive innovation, and inspire your teams. Learn how harnessing the power of these mindsets can redefine leadership, foster resilience, and elevate performance within your organization.

Leading with Story

The most influential leaders understand the extraordinary impact of storytelling on their organizations. Join us for an inspiring keynote, "Leading with Story," where we delve into the profound influence of narrative in leadership. From narrative example to tactics, this keynote considers the art of crafting compelling stories that inspire, connect, and drive change within your company. Learn how the skill of storytelling can transform your leadership style, strengthen team cohesion, and influence positive outcomes in the dynamic corporate landscape. Leave equipped with the tools to reshape your approach, lead with impact, and harness the true power of storytelling.