Rob Salafia

Be Your Best Self - Hit Your Mark with Stories that Matter

Inspiring Leaders by Enhancing their Ability to Connect Authentically through the Power of Story

Travels From:  Alabama
City: Boston


Rob combines two decades of experience as a top leadership development executive with a well-established career in the performing arts. He has a passion for coaching leaders to develop their presence, tell compelling stories and establish authentic connections. He assists leaders to build emotional and narrative intelligence and share vision and strategy in a compelling and relevant way.

For the first half of his career Rob was a performing artist where he traveled the globe delivering his unique, one-person variety show. He was first captivated with the art of storytelling in 1977 when he attended The National Association for the Preservation and Perpetuation of Storytelling Conference in Jonesboro, TN. He studied the art of tap dance with Gregory Hines and many other tap dance legends; and in 1989 was awarded a residency with the renowned dancer, Honi Coles. When cast as the lead in a Boston-based musical, Rob was asked by the director to learn wire walking for the show. Always a quick study, he went to task and within 2 months made the art form a part of his repertoire. At the heart of Rob’s approach to performance was the relationship he built with his audience. He projected a sense of warmth, confidence and light-heartedness that permeates his work to this day.

In his work as an executive coach, Rob finds great satisfaction in guiding leaders through transitions to more senior roles, as well as coaching senior executives and leadership teams in preparation for strategic presentations. As a keynote speaker, he enjoys stepping onto the main stage at leadership conferences. Some highlights include YPO/YPO Gold, Sony Music Entertainment Amplify, ING Bank’s Annual Leadership Conference, Wharton Business School’s Leadership Conference, USC’s Marshall School of Business Building Leaders Forum, Schulich School of Business and The Association for Training and Development.

Rob is a Lecturer in several MIT Sloan School of Management Executive Education Programs, and an Executive Coach in MIT’s Sloan Fellows, AMP and EMBA Programs. He also cultivated a lasting partnership with Harvard Business School resulting in the integration of experiential programming within the Harvard MBA curriculum and Executive Education Leadership Programs serving thousands of global leaders.

As a learning partner and workshop facilitator, Rob has worked with Fortune 500 companies including, Sapient Consulting, ING Bank, NN Group, News Corp, American Express, Sony Music Entertainment, Thought Ensemble, Metro AG, Philips International, Alliance Bernstein, BASF, Abbott, Merrill Lynch, Fidelity, and Royal Bank of Scotland.

He holds an MS in Organizational Policy from Boston University and a Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching from William James College.


This engaging and interactive presentation will introduce participants to the Power of Story to focus attention and bring core messages to life. Experiential exercises will be introduced to develop the Presence of a Storyteller, as well as to practice specific story telling techniques.

At the end of the session, participants will be able to:

  • Show up with greater confidence and credibility
  • Energize and connect more authentically with an audience
  • Make messages sticky and memorable through the strategic use of stories

Sales leaders and advisors who exude Poise and Presence understand how to present themselves and their ideas in a straightforward and genuine manner. They know how to open others to their ideas and exert influence. This program helps participants increase their personal presence, gain a client’s trust and confidence, and develop willingness in others to be open to and adopt ideas.

At the end of the session, participants will be able to:

  • Show up with greater poise and confidence
  • Connect authentically with others
  • Use metaphor to grab attention and create meaning

Personal Brand is an experience.

  • It’s how others experience you.
  • It’s how others experiences themselves when they’re with you.
  • It’s the story they tell about you when you are gone.

This program helps early career leaders become powerful communicators who build credibility and command respect with their colleagues and clients. Participants will build influencing skills, increase other’s trust and confidence in them as leaders, and develop a willingness in others to be open to and adopt their ideas.

  • Are your leaders approachable?
  • Do they embody the core values of your organization?
  • Can they bring their vision and strategy to life and create followership?

A recent study by Executive Development Associates * reports that the ability to develop a successful business strategy is no longer enough for today’s executives. The most successful organizations will be the ones with leaders who can create a compelling vision, and who can convey that vision to customers and employees with authenticity and impact.

Vision and Strategy to Action is a powerful program that increases a leader’s self-awareness and builds critical presence and communication skills necessary for leading in an increasingly complex business environment.

It is no surprise that in the past decade individualized coaching has become an accepted practice in the corporate world. Having a thought partner during critical transitions can accelerate a leader’s development and enable a higher level of confidence, effectiveness and contribution.

At Protagonist Consulting Group Rob brings his full commitment to each and every coaching engagement. He specializes in a positive psychology, story-based coaching approach with his clients. His process is emergent, yet he employs rigorous and evidence-based methodology that enables behavior change.

He helps leaders to mine for stories to better understand the patterns in their lives and discover their values and unique gifts. He provides well-researched behavioral frames and models through which individuals can increase their level of self awareness. He leverages his background in theater and performing arts to provide immediate feedback and coaching on Presence and how leaders Show up in real time. He helps leaders embody their values and strategic messages and to learn to build authentic connections with others.

Think of Rob for the following types of coaching situations

  • Leadership coaching
  • Executive presence coaching
  • Building relationships and influence at the senior levels
  • Strategic presentation coaching
  • Affiliations and certifications

Rob is part of the executive education coaching cadres at Harvard Business School and MIT Sloan School of Business. He is skilled at using MIT’s 4 Capability Leadership Model and 360 instrument.

Rob holds a Graduate Degree in Organizational Policy from Boston University, as well as a Certificate in Executive Coaching from the Massachussets School of Professional Psychology.

Rob also have a number of highly engaging and effective coaches who are a part of the Protagonist team.

Areas of expertise

  • The Power of Story to Inspire
  • Executive Presence & Influence
  • Unlocking Leadership Potential
  • Translate Vision & Strategy to Action
  • Building & Leveraging Relationships
  • Developing Your Brand
© 2019 Ro Morrison & Assoc.