An Accidental Executive - How a Free Spirit Became a Powerhouse

​This speech shares how to apply life lessons to enhance leadership. It outlines Garrett's journey from a happy-go-lucky young woman whose only aspiration was hedonistic happiness to an award-winning, laser-focused powerhouse. By turns funny, wrenching and inspiring, Garrett discusses how she learned to navigate the corporate ​boardroom as an executive while raising two boys (one of whom has autism), weathering divorce, joint custody and remarriage, and learning how to manage her exuberance and powerful presence so that she could increase her influence and make a difference. She shares her thoughts on finding your niche by leveraging your strengths, managing your flaws and making it in the corporate world ... while staying true to yourself.


The average person isn’t too happy with their career. Most blame their boredom or stress on external factors – their boss, colleagues, company or lack of opportunities elsewhere. Getting clear on your needs, wants and talents is the first step towards aligning what you’re good at with your aspirations. Garrett walks the audience through a model to help them coach themselves to higher performance that makes them happier.


Garrett participated in various types of change management training and led many corporate change efforts as an executive. She is also a professional communicator who received the honour of Fellow and Master Communicator from the International Association of Business Communicators.

CHANGE THE SYSTEM FROM WITHIN - An employee's guide to making a difference

Many employees are tired of change and bored with morale-boosting speeches. Yet highly engaged employees give their best, stay with companies longer and serve as great ambassadors. They also feel much better about their lives - both personally and professionally. If you want to inspire employees to get in the game and quit being cynical about the difference they can make, this keynote is for you. Garrett is real and shares practical ideas about how employees can quit fighting change, get with the program, gain influence with bosses and have more fun at work.


The most difficult concept for most leaders is that culture is not an ‘add-on’ responsibility. It is ‘how’ people do the ‘what’. In other words, one doesn’t set time aside to ‘do’ culture. It is lived and breathed every day. How we compliment others (or don’t), coach them on a performance issue, invite or don’t invite input, handle problems – all of these how’s define the culture. A common refrain is that “We don’t have time to add culture to our work; we’re already over-burdened.” This is the crux of the issue. Without seeing that how you do your work now IS the culture, it is tough to deliberately shift the culture to a different and more desirable state. It is hard for a fish to see the water it is swimming in.

This presentation is tailored to the audience. It can also be adapted to address all employees, rather than just leaders.

LEADERSHIP - One word with deep meaning

Leadership – what is it and why is it talked about so much, yet so elusive? The concept of leadership is often confined to senior people who run organizations and manage people. Yet leadership exists in every culture and every avenue of life – and sadly, it’s also absent. This presentation shares information about personal and professional leadership, as well as how to grow it in oneself and foster it in others.

LIFE BALANCE - Figuring out the magic formula

Why do we use the term ‘work-life balance’? Work is a major part of life: if viewed as a chore to endure before getting back to living, you’re in trouble. Why not call it ‘life balance’? Different life phases demand different time investments, such as having children, kick-starting a career or caring for aging parents. There is no right or wrong. Figure out the balance that’s right for you by defining your needs, wants and talents, and living the life of your dreams.

STRESS - Reclaim your life

Everyone has stress, and we need it. Without a certain amount of the stuff, we’d never get anything done. With too much, our health and relationships suffer. The person in the mirror has much more influence on our stress levels than we think. Learn how to diminish stress by understanding how to grow your resilience by recognizing what you can and can’t control and by learning strategies to calm the storm.