Ross Shafer

Motivating Tactics for Leaders

Growing Market Share through Fresh Practices and Embracing Change

Do you need a bold voice to help you influence your team to embrace change? Do you want fresh strategies and tactics – from other industries – that would likely revolutionize yours? Do you need to re-energize your team to renew hope and initiate more profitable actions? Then, you need to pick Ross Shafer’s brain.

Ross is a 6-time Emmy Award winning TV producer / personality who, in 1994, shifted his energy & enthusiasm for understanding human behavior to create a series of human resource training films on customer service, leadership, & motivation.

As the keynote speaker for 75+ major corporate conferences/year, Ross is one of the nation’s most sought after speaker/consultants in the areas of motivating the workforce, customer service, voice of the customer, creating service cultures, attacking market share growth, innovative practices, and confident leadership decision-making.

  • How to Stay Relevant
  • Behave Like a Start Up
  • Success: It’s On You
  • Customer Engagement Evolves
  • Ross Shafer – The Ultimate Emcee & Keynote Speaker

“I wanted to thank you for speaking at our event—twice! Your presentation seems to have been quite the memorable highlight, as a sampling of comments from our post conference survey included: “Ross Shafer was fantastic!”, “Ross Shafer and the Passing Zone were the best guest speakers I’ve ever seen.”, “Ross Shafer was a great speaker, very real in his approach”, “Ross Shafer was very inspirational and gave me some ideas for personal improvement toward the customer experience that I will definitely explore.” And really … the comments just went on and on. Thank you for spending time with us and reminding us of the importance of creating memorable experiences for our customers.”
Wells Fargo Bank

“I wanted to send a personal thank you for participation in our Distribution Leadership Forum. Your message was outstanding! You integrated everything from the previous day and half so well it was as if you had been attending our meetings for the last couple of years. I really appreciate your attention to detail and involvement in the Forum. In addition, all the feedback I have received from the participants has been extremely positive. I wish you continued success, and I hope to have the opportunity to visit with you again in the future.”
Allstate Insurance

“Ross, I found your discussion very informative and valuable as I continue looking and acting on ways to building strong and long lasting business and personal relationships. I very much enjoyed listening to you and truly believe that I am better equipped in improving my communication and interaction skills after attending your presentation.”
Community Bankers Association of Illinois

Ross’s Financial Services Client List

  • Alllianz
  • American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries
  • Ascensus
  • Avaya Financial
  • Ayco International
  • Bank of America
  • California Bankers Association
  • Carr, Riggs, Ingram
  • Charles Schwab & Co.
  • Citigroup/Smith Barney
  • Cohen & Company
  • Construction Financial Management Association
  • Countrywide Bank
  • CUNA (Credit Union National Association)
  • De Lage Landen Financial Services
  • Deloitte
  • Downey Savings
  • Epstein Financial
  • Ernst & Young
  • Everett Mutual Savings
  • Experian
  • Farm Credit Bank of Texas
  • First Union Bank
  • Florida Bankers Association
  • GE Financial
  • HD Vest
  • Healthcare Financial Management Association
  • HomEquity Bank
  • Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals
  • JPMorgan Chase
  • KeyBank
  • Kinecta Federal
  • KPMG
  • Liberty Tax
  • Lincoln Financial
  • LPL Financial
  • Manulife Financial
  • MNAFP (Minnesota Association of Financial Professionals)
  • Mortgage Bankers Association of America
  • One America Financial
  • Oregon Bankers Association
  • People’s Bank
  • Princeton Financial
  • Providence Financial
  • Provident Bank
  • Questar Capital Corporation
  • Society of Actuaries
  • Stifel Nicolaus
  • Sunlife Assurance
  • Texas Bankers Association
  • Toyota Financial Services
  • U.S. BanCorp
  • Washington Bankers Association
  • Washington Mutual
  • Wells Fargo
  • Whidby Island Bank
  • Wilshire State Bank
Travels From:  Colorado
City: Denver
$10,001 to $15,000


Ross Shafer grew up in the Pacific Northwest and graduated from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington where he studied business management and played varsity football (linebacker). After college, he took a job as a training manager for a department store (Yard Birds) and was able to save $10,000. He took that money and launched his life as an entrepreneur. His first venture was as the owner/manager of America’s only Stereo and Pet Shop in the small town of Puyallup, Washington (population 5,000 at the time).

Cleaning pet cages wasn’t as appealing as it sounded to Ross, so after 3 years he closed the store and took a job as an advertising manager for the 28 store Squire Shops retail clothing chain in Seattle, Washington. Writing ad copy and concocting radio and TV campaigns paid the bills, but at night Ross haunted local comedy clubs in search of a career in joke telling. After years of slogging around the comedy circuit, he won the Seattle International Comedy Competition and immediately became an opening act for performers like Crystal Gayle, Eddie Rabbitt, Nel Carter, Neil Sedaka, and Dionne Warwick.

In l985, Ross pitched a TV show idea to the NBC affiliate in Seattle (KING). Serendipitously, KING-TV had a hole in their broadcast schedule. So, ALMOST LIVE was born and for the next 5 seasons Ross hosted the comedy talk show while he and his team collected 36 Emmys. ALMOST LIVE even won the Esquire Magazine dubious Achievement Award one year for attempting to change the Washington State song to “Louie, Louie. “ During those years Ross also hosted an afternoon drive radio show on the 50,000 watt KJR-AM.

In l988, Ross was wooed by the Fox network to take over The Late Show. The Late Show was a nightly talk show that competed with The Tonight Show and David Letterman. The show lasted a year and Ross next found himself in New York co-hosting Days End on the ABC network. It was here that he sat beside Matt Lauer and Spencer Christian as they interviewed the movers and shakers of New York and the world. Dick Clark told Ross, “Always have a backup plan, my boy, TV is terminal” and predictably Days End was finally cancelled. Ross always wondered what happened to Matt Lauer.

The next stop for Ross was hosting the revised Match Game on the ABC network. Another game show (this time on the USA network) Love Me, Love Me Not and numerous TV pilot projects followed.

By this time, Ross was headlining all of the leading night clubs and casinos in North America. He produced a highly acclaimed comedy album about the Clinton administration titled Inside the First Family. He also wrote a comedy cookbook that became a best seller; Cook Like A Stud – 38 recipes men can prepare in the garage with their own tools.

In 1994, Ross heard Bill Gates give a speech where he said, “Someday you will all be watching television on your telephones.” Ross took that message to heart and he made the decision to leave TV and get back to his corporate training roots. Human nature and the human condition were always fascinating to Ross because that’s what comedians do. They study the laughter and tears business. To date Ross has produced (14) Human Resource training films on Customer Service, Motivation, Leadership, and Peer Pressure. He has authored the business books, Nobody Moved Your Cheese, Customer Empathy, The Customer Shouts Back, Are You Relevant? 12 Reasons Smart Organizations Thrive in Any Economy, Grab More Market Share: How to Wrangle Business Away from Lazy Competitors and his newest Absolutely Necessary: Bulletproof Tactics that Will Put You in High Demand.

Today, Ross is one of the most sought after keynote speakers and seminar leaders on the subjects of Customer Urgency and Empathy, Personal Motivation, Reinvention, and Market Relevance. The father of two grown sons, Adam and Ryan, Ross lives in Denver, Colorado with his wife Leah and their daughter Lauren.


PURPOSE: This is a fun, motivational, and insightful opening or closing keynote.

Ross Shafer says, “Best practices are a moving target. Relevant leaders are able to sustain growth because they can evolve and adapt more quickly than their competition.” If you are an organization that is dedicated to ‘making your mark’ on your industry, then developing a culture of ongoing relevance will insure your future.

Staying Relevant is different from being current. Being “current” is awareness. Relevance is taking action to make sure you matter to your customers, your clients, your members, and your teams. If you don’t matter to your constituents, they can go away and not care if you exist. Ross says, “Our team examines (18) different industries and we cross-pollinate trends, buying habits, and cool, disruptive practices for the purpose of enlightening organizations to the possibilities of extreme relevance.”

Which Industries Do We Study? Our clients tell us they are excited to hear about what is revolutionary in Financial Services, Healthcare, Technology & Software, Hospitality, Insurance, Restaurants, Automotive, Building and Construction, Energy, Manufacturing, Retail, Trade Associations, Agriculture, Food Processing, Fitness, Supply Chain Management, Franchising, and Direct Selling. Learning effective tactics (from outside of your industry) will ignite fresh ideas within your own organization.

What Areas of Relevance Can We Talk About? We know that every organization has motivating initiatives already in place. We also know that you have unique pain points. Our breadth of experience allows us to provide relevant insight into a wide variety of operational & performance areas. Let’s talk about what you think will benefit your group best:

  • Designing Customer Journeys
  • Finding Competitors in Your Blind Spot
  • Getting Buy-in from the Right People
  • Harvesting Innovative Ideas
  • How to Become Truly World-Class
  • Developing a Culture of Accountability
  • Big Data & Digital Marketing
  • The 2020 Workforce
  • Why Big Fears Small
  • Inspiring and Retaining the Best Talent
  • Relationship Building: How to Create Instant Rapport

What Are Your Company’s Challenges? Have you had a recent merger or acquisition? Change in leadership structure? Technology or industry shifts that are causing shockwaves? Are your attendees slow to adjust to change? Ross is able to absorb your initiatives and dovetail them into his remarks. In fact, Ross’s engaging style is such that leaders often come up to him and say, “Have we put you on retainer yet?”

Purpose: 45-90 Keynote The Cure for (creeping)Complacency.

Has Your Company Felt Complacency Creeping in?When your company first launched, did you shake the world with something new and groundbreaking? Were you the unlikely underdog that unseated the industry leaders? Over time, have you had so much success that you’ve slowly lost your hunger? Do you find you aren’t as reactive as you once were? Maybe you are celebrating yesterday’s profits while your competitors are turning up the heat. Ross Shafer can reinvigorate your organization by sharing case studies of legacy companies who were determined to get their youthful groove back.

What Can We Learn from Startups? In the beginning, startups have very little to lose because they aren’t risking long-term relationships. Marketing and staff budgets are skinny so they have to do a lot…with a little. They don’t have the time or the resources to make things perfect so they frequently launch in Beta Mode and they make on-the-fly adjustments to lock in new business. Startups react with extreme urgency and an eagerness to please. They are also less intimidated by larger companies and will do ‘the unconventional’ to go after your market share. Ross believes legacy companies can reinvigorate their organizations by being nimble, urgent, flexible, reasonably open to risk, and are eager to change tactics when market conditions shift.

Don’t Assume You Have Unbreakable Relationships: Legacy companies sometimes assume that they’ve built such strong and lasting client relationships that they don’t have to work as hard. But unless you remain vigilant, a startup can swoop in with a fresh idea and land one of your best clients. Magnusson/Klemencic Structural Engineering is a 93-year-old company that has designed and built some of the world’s most recognizable buildings. Yet, their philosophy is: “We have an active data base of over 5,000 clients. We think of them as our friends. However, when we do a new pitch we send in the A-Team and act like it’s our first time. We may win on our past work but we prefer to win on our enthusiasm.” Ross can show you what it takes to ignite your enthusiasm.

Create the Startup Buzz Again. Startups create an industry “buzz” because they are fearless in their pursuit of credibility and unique offerings. They disrupt the market and all heads turn. In a high velocity recommendation economy, “buzz” is important to your clients and customers. Your clients/customers/members want to know they are partnering with an entity that will get them to the future first. Ross describes what your organization (and teams) must do to compete against the startups that are huddling in the corner secretly plotting to steal your market share.

Purpose: Motivating 45-90 Keynote on How to Advance Your Career.

Ross Shafer says, “We all want success in our careers and business…but too often we look for encouragement and validation from other people. Ross will inspire you to take charge of your own destiny when nobody is around to guide you. Ross reminds you that nobody cares more about advancing your career than you do so, you must become the leading expert on…you.

No Blame. No Excuses. Focus on Excellence.

Regardless of your personal trials or professional obstacles, assigning blame or making excuses will notimprove your situation. Instead of complaining, refocus your energies on increasing the excellence of your performance. Excellence will bring you respect and job security. Excellence is the fast track to a fulfilling life.

The Side Effects of Excellence:

Regardless of your profession, becoming extraordinary defines ‘who you are’ much more than ‘what you do.’ Excellence attracts connections and influence. Excellence increases confidence and achievement to the point that others will offer you incredible opportunities. You just have to manage your fears and reprogram your mind to ignore your self-imposed limitations. Ross will leave you with an entirely new vision of your capacity to succeed.

Ramping Up Your Resilience:

In your career, you will be exposed to mergers, acquisitions, changes in leadership, industry shifts…as well as good and bad economies. Ross will teach you how to forge a resilient attitude toward unforeseen circumstances. He will show you how to prevent making poor choices during uncertain times.

Becoming Necessary to your Organization:

If you want to become a valuable and necessary member of your organization you must be able to think beyond your job. Organizations honor creative people who can discover new revenue streams, develop ideas to save money, and suggest ways to improve process efficiency. Ross will describe where to look for these  innovations and how to execute them.

Getting Yourself Noticed…In a Good Way.

You have no doubt noticed that people who can communicate with confidence are the ones who get the best opportunities. Ross will show you how to master the “elevator pitch” and how to handle yourself in meetings. He will describe how to gain the confidence of your peers – and how to get buy-in from the most influential people. Ross will also give you a strategy for overcoming intimidation by people who have something you want. (Sales teams love this part).


Customer Science is the next generation of CRM. Customer Service Management analytics & behaviors evolve as they increasingly interact with e-commerce, smart devices, kiosks, and digital push. We coach organizations on how to design, engineer, and execute a deliberate Emotional Customer Journey enhanced by those technologies.


Next generation organizations should be doing more than offering a historical “dashboard” of customer information. Companies preparing for year 2020 are incorporating Social Listening, Predictive Analysis, Trend Spotting, Automated Marketing, Social Campaigning, Content Management, and Ethno-Analytics. Big Data and Digital Marketing will fuel your revenue and accelerate your virtual sales force.

  • WHERE DO WE START? We encourage organizations to build a Digital Relationship Engine; designed to leverage both inbound and outbound marketing. This engine creates demand, captures the customer, and retains the ‘asset’ – digitally and emotionally.
  • LEVERAGE THE INBOUND CHANNELS. Customer buying habits should be tracked using curated information, LinkedIn, email, blogs, chat, e-commerce, mobile apps, and websites. Inbound channels are the source of collecting Big Data (at every touch point) that can be used to test new product and/or service offerings, as well as shape your new mobile apps.
  • EXPLOIT THE OUTBOUND CHANNELS. The digital revolution has enabled us to reach the customer faster, more efficiently, and (best of all) more emotionally. Outbound channels that drive demand for your goods and services include Videos, PowerPoint, Blog posts, Whitepapers, Info-graphics, Social media, Forums, and Ratings Sites.
  • THE EFFORTLESS CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE. While the task of designing and engineering a Next Gen CRM system may seem daunting, the profitability of the upside is unquestionable. We can help you make transactions feel effortless. Developed by our consulting team at Future Point of View we now have the precise toolkit to create an individually designed “journey” where the customer feels respected, rewarded, and eager to return.

THE ULTIMATE EMCEE: Ross hosts a select number of multi-day events for his high-end clients each year.

Because Ross is a trained talk and game show host (helmed over 1,000 network broadcasts) he is the perfect choice for moderating your executive panel discussions and complex award banquets. Ross will keep the programs lively and on task; drawing on his vast experience and lightening wit to navigate (and rescue) even the most unpredictable situations.

TALK SHOWS: Ross is adept at handling back-to-back breakout sessions that may feature a myriad of presenters. He has hosted such luminaries as President George Herbert Walker Bush, Jack Welch, Colin Powell, Bob Dole, James Carville, Larry Bossidy, Tom Peters, Marcus Buckingham, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, to name a few. Since many high profile presenters are more comfortable being interviewed by a “pro,” Ross is able to show the utmost respect from the opening introduction throughout the Q & A – yet he doesn’t shy away from the probing questions your people want answered.

GAME SHOWS: Finally, Ross is a popular favorite for hosting custom game shows. Not only do these formats lend themselves to imparting important training information about your company (in a fun way), they also encourage participation of the entire audience. Ask us how Ross and his game partners at (Game Show America) can create a custom “TV” show for you.

Areas of expertise

  • Motivating the Workforce
  • Customer Empathy
  • Customer Urgency
  • Brand Relevance
  • Reinvention
  • The Cross-Pollination of Best Practices
© 2024 Ro Morrison & Assoc.