Lead With Your Strengths

The Key to Leadership Excellence


Quick Summary 

Drawing from his book, Presidential Leadership: Learning from United States Presidential Libraries & Museums, Dan Nielsen emphasizes the critical importance of identifying, improving, and leveraging your strengths in order to achieve greater success in leadership—and in all areas of your life. Using a selection of photos from his personal collection, Nielsen takes participants on a virtual journey across America, visiting each of the fascinating storehouses of American history that preserve the presidential legacies. Along the way, he shares stories and examples, focusing on carefully selected leadership strengths demonstrated by some of the most admired U.S. Presidents. Ending with a powerful call to action, Nielsen urges participants to carefully and purposefully identify and improve their own highest-impact leadership strengths as part of their continual pursuit of leadership excellence and greater success.

Presentation Outline

Nielsen begins by briefly explaining the history and significance of the United States Presidential Libraries and Museums and gives his own personal account of visiting each one. He also establishes the premise that regardless of your political leanings, great leadership principles can be learned from studying the members of the most exclusive leadership club in the world—the American presidents.

Using historical anecdotes and examples, Nielsen highlights important leadership strengths demonstrated by former U.S. Presidents whose legacies are preserved by the presidential libraries and museums.

He illustrates the entire presentation with photos he has personally taken at each library and museum, guiding participants on a virtual tour across America, visiting each of these unique storehouses of American history.

Nielsen concludes by briefly reaffirming the powerful impact of each of the featured leadership strengths that are evident in the lives of some of the world’s most powerful and influential leaders. he provides actionable strategies and additional resources for developing and nurturing these proven principles, and ends with an inspirational challenge to select two or three strengths to focus on in your own life and leadership.


Target Audience

Individuals and organizations who are committed to continuous leadership development—no matter their title or role. They realize the critical importance of leadership excellence in all areas of life and across all levels, welcoming opportunities to learn from some of America’s most successful and respected leaders.

This presentation is ideal for any group, organization, or association that is looking to add a refreshing break from the ordinary to their meeting program. Completely nonpartisan, this unique presentation about presidential leadership is interesting and relevant while also being entertaining, uplifting and inspiring.


Possible Formats

This presentation, which requires a projector and screen, can be delivered as a keynote or a leadership workshop. Length can range from 45 minutes to 2 hours, completely customizable to your group’s needs. The ideal keynote length is 60-90 minutes.


Intended Outcomes

  • Participants will walk away with a new understanding and appreciation of what the United States Presidential Libraries & Museums are and what can be learned from them. Participants will also be inspired to visit one or more of these invaluable storehouses of American history for themselves.
  • Participants will recognize the essential leadership principles that enabled these ordinary Americans to reach the extraordinary heights of attaining the presidency and leading the nation.
  • Participants from all backgrounds and levels of leadership will be convinced that identifying, improving, and leveraging key leadership strengths in their own lives, careers, and organizations will reap huge rewards—and they will be challenged to do just that.
  • Participants will be equipped with actionable strategies and additional resources to leverage in their personal and organizational leadership development.


Topic Authority

  • Dan Nielsen is the author of the book Presidential Leadership: Learning from United States Presidential Libraries & Museums.
  • He has been developing his own leadership skills throughout his life, of which over forty years have been spent in major leadership roles, including thirty years as CEO or founder, leading his organizations from the ground up (to see his full bio, please click here).
  • Nielsen has always been intrigued by American history and fervently believes in learning from those who’ve gone before. In his lifelong journey of learning, he’s had the opportunity to travel extensively across the nation and to carefully study the lessons of history.
  • Nielsen is one of very few people in the world who has had the privilege of visiting, studying, and extensively photographing every United States Presidential Library and Museum in America.
  • Nielsen firmly believes that everyone—no matter title or role—is a leader, and that intentional leadership development is an incredible strategy for success for every individual and organization. He knows that priceless lessons can be learned from successful leaders if we simply take the time to study them, and then leverage what we learn.


What People Are Saying

“Valuable and unique… very refreshing focus on positives.”John Northup, Olympus

“I found the emphasis on focusing on your strengths versus weaknesses to be very valuable. I also enjoyed the presidential facts and the historical context for the decisions these leaders made – decisions that impacted them personally as well as the country. Dan presents with great passion and conviction, delivering a message of hope to leaders who must make decisions in volatile times while having the confidence for change.” – Todd Gerwig, GE Healthcare

“The presentation provided new insight into the strengths of these great leaders, and really made me think regarding my own strengths and weaknesses. It made me want to visit all the presidential libraries and museums. A great presentation, very inspirational!” – John Armour, Parallon Business Solutions

“’Focus on your strengths and not your weaknesses’ – such a valuable concept! I also appreciated the truth that what got you where you are today will not get you to the next step. Overall, this presentation provided a very interesting look at the strengths of our past leaders.” – Scott Snider, VHA, Inc.

“The visual journey through the presidential libraries was excellent. Dan uniquely focuses on the strengths of U.S. Presidents in a nonpartisan way.” – Manish Singh, Olympus

“Aligning specific leadership strengths with those of past presidents allows the audience to envision how to embrace and bring forth those qualities within themselves. Sharing his first-hand experience of his travel through the presidential libraries and museums made Dan’s presentation very unique. He guides the audience through the lives of our nation’s former leaders, and highlights the strengths they possessed and that we can learn from and apply in our own leadership.”Steve Anbertin, MDSI

“The historical narrative woven throughout the presentation made it interesting and valuable, and the visual tour and details about the presidential museums made it very unique. Wonderful points were made and history presented. I especially loved the facts about focusing on strengths versus weaknesses.” – Lisa Roman, VHA

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