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Mahan Tavakoli

CEO at Strategic Leadership Ventures

Washington DC, United States

Mahan Tavakoli is a highly accomplished executive with a multi-faceted background in the US and global operations management. Over a 20+ year career at Dale Carnegie Training, Mahan was instrumental in launching, marketing, revitalizing, and turning around underperforming operations on five continents. He is also credited with building the fastest growing, and highest performing operations for Dale Carnegie out of 90+ countries.

He transformed a money-losing operation into a profitability center in less than one year,
expanded Dale Carnegie’s global footprint on four continents, and led a stagnant global region to achieve double-digit growth for four consecutive years. Mahan eventually became the organization’s Chief Diversity Officer and Chief Strategist.

Mahan leveraged his diverse experience to launch a consulting practice focusing on organizational leadership. Partnering with leaders across organizations and various industries,

Mahan has significant experience working with executives from large divisions of multinational
companies, mid-sized organizations, government agencies, and SaaS startups.

The industries and size of the clients he works with vary, however, the needs are similar. The
organizations Mahan partners with all have great leadership, believe in the untapped potential
of their people, and want to get the winning edge as they align the entire organization towards
more effectively achieving their purpose.

Mahan is also a published author, co-author, and contributor to industry-leading publications.

In addition to Mahan’s business and consulting experience, giving back to the community is also a top priority. Among his many awards, Mahan was honored for demonstrating outstanding community leadership by The Greater Washington Board of Trade and was awarded The Golden Links Award.

Currently, Mahan serves as Board Chair of Leadership Greater Washington and has helped lead the board and the organization through a pivot to greater relevance, purpose, and impact through the crisis.

Available For: Consulting, Speaking
Travels From: Washington DC
Speaking Topics: Leadership, Strategy, Management, Culture, Collaboration

Speaking Fee $7,500 (In-Person)

Mahan Tavakoli Points
Academic 0
Author 1343
Influencer 41
Speaker 0
Entrepreneur 30
Total 1414

Points based upon Thinkers360 patent-pending algorithm.

Thought Leader Profile

Portfolio Mix

Company Information

Company Type: Individual
Minimum Project Size: Undisclosed
Average Hourly Rate: Undisclosed
Number of Employees: Undisclosed
Company Founded Date: Undisclosed

Areas of Expertise

Business Strategy 43.34
Change Management
Culture 54.87
Future of Work 30.05
Innovation
Leadership 51.21
Management 86.59
Entrepreneurship 30.23
Social 30.35
AI 30.43
Generative AI 30.21
Coaching 31.43

Industry Experience

Publications

2 Article/Blogs
IT’S YOUR IMPERFECTIONS THAT MAKE YOU BEAUTIFUL!
Mahan Tavakoli
September 05, 2020
For Starbucks fans like me, the Siren logo is a familiar face.

However, some might not know that initially the face had absolutely no flaws. The left and the right side were a perfect match.

Pretty quickly the team that was working on the logo realized why the look was “creepy” and didn’t do well in perception tests.

It was too perfect!

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Tags: Management, Leadership, Culture

ONLY THE PARANOID SURVIVE!
Mahan Tavakoli
September 05, 2020
Organizations need to keep reinventing themselves, not just because of technology, but because that’s the only way to remain competitive in a demanding marketplace.

Some believe Blockbuster failed because of “digital disruption”. I would argue that they failed in part because their business model was based on excessive fees & even when they realized the need to move to streaming, their franchise network & their reliance on fees kept them from changing.

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Tags: Management, Leadership, Culture

1 Executive
Founding Executive Director, Genesys Works National Capital Region
Genesys Works National Capital Region
January 04, 2016
Planned and executed launch of social enterprise in the Greater Washington Metropolitan, focusing on establishing partnerships, business development, client service, marketing, sales, fundraising and program management. Successfully launched by recruiting corporate clients, securing funding, program management, social media, PR, networking and partnering with school systems to provide pathways to career success for high school students in underserved communities through skills training, meaningful work experiences and impactful relationships.

-Fastest first year ramp up with the most first year clients and internships of any site.
-Secured diverse clients including Accenture, AT&T, Intelsat, Kirkland & Ellis, Kratos Defense and Strayer.
-100% intern retention and matriculation to college.
-Successful business marketing and public relations PR/media outreach with coverage on radio, TV and print media including the Washington Post.

Below, you can hear a six minute interview from What's Working in Washington, read one of the articles from the Washington Post or watch a piece that aired on WJLA-ABC.

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Tags: Management, Leadership, Culture

1 Founder
Strategic Leadership Ventures
Strategic Leadership Ventures
January 01, 2018
We help you unleash your team's potential through leadership consulting, coaching, and speaking.

You understand the value of having team members aligned and collaborating to execute effectively.

However, you also realize that team misalignment, lack of communication, and collaboration result in overwork, overwhelm, and poor execution.

We work with clients to help them unleash their teams' potential and turn strategy from well-intentioned ideas to aligned execution producing breakthrough results.

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Tags: Management, Leadership, Business Strategy

447 Podcasts
308 Leading with Arete: Inspiring Heroic Action in Yourself, Your Team and Your Organization with Brian Johnson |Partnering Leadership Global Thought Leader
Partnering Leadership
February 20, 2024
In this episode of Partnering Leadership, host Mahan Tavakoli interviews philosopher, CEO, and bestselling author Brian Johnson on activating your organization's heroic potential. Having spent over half his career as a founder and business leader, Brian shares powerful insights on perseverance and excellence drawn from ancient wisdom and modern science.

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Tags: Culture, Leadership, Management

307 Challenging Your Own BS to Foster Inclusion: Getting Real About Internal Bias and Promoting Authenticity in the Workplace with Risha Grant |Partnering Leadership Global Thought
Partnering Leadership
February 13, 2024
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are more vital than ever for organizations today. But how can leaders move beyond good intentions to drive real impact? In this engaging episode, inclusion strategist Risha Grant, author of Be Better than Your BS: How Radical Acceptance Empowers Authenticity and Creates a Workplace Culture of Inclusion, offers paradigm-shifting insights for leaders seeking to foster authentic belonging in their teams.

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Tags: Culture, Leadership, Management

306 The Executive Playbook for Mastering Generative AI: A Guide to Transforming Performance by Leveraging Cutting-Edge Capabilities with Jordan Wilson, Founder of Everyday AI | Partnering Leadership Global Thought Leader
Partnering Leadership
February 06, 2024
What if AI could free up bandwidth, spark creativity, and boost productivity for executives and teams? Jordan Wilson, Founder of Everyday AI and host of the Everyday AI podcast, joins Mahan Tavakoli, sharing pragmatic tips so leaders can harness cutting-edge generative AI

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Tags: Culture, Leadership, Management

305 Thursday Refresh with H.H. Leonards on Rosa Parks Beyond the Bus: Life, Lessons, and Leadership | Partnering Leadership Global Thought Leader
Partnering Leadership
February 01, 2024
In this episode of Partnering Leadership, Mahan Tavakoli speaks with H.H. Leonards. H.H. Leonards is the founder and chair of the O Street Museum Foundation, headquartered in Washington, D.C., and the Mansion on O Street, where Mrs. Rosa Parks called her home-away-from-home for the last decade of her life. H.H. Leonards is also the author of the book Rosa Parks Beyond the Bus: Life, Lessons, and Leadership.

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Tags: Culture, Leadership, Management

304 How to Apply Strategic Thinking at All Levels to Set Direction and Achieve Sustainable Competitive Advantage with Rich Horwath | Partnering Leadership Global Thought Leader
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January 30, 2024
In this episode of Partnering Leadership, host Mahan Tavakoli interviews strategic thinking expert Rich Horwath, author of six books on strategy, including his latest Strategic: The Skill to Set Direction, Create Advantage, and Achieve Executive Excellence. Rich shares his decades of expertise, shi

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Tags: Culture, Leadership, Management

304 How to Apply Strategic Thinking at All Levels to Set Direction an…
Partnering Leadership
January 30, 2024
304 How to Apply Strategic Thinking at All Levels to Set Direction and Achieve Sustainable Competitive Advantage with Rich Horwath | Partnering Leadership Global Thought Leader

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Tags: Culture, Leadership, Management

303 Making an Impact Through Informed Decisions: Lessons on Philanthropic Leadership with Charity Navigator CEO Michael Thatcher | Partnering Leadership Global Thought Leader
Partnering Leadership
January 23, 2024
In this Partnering Leadership conversation, Michael Thatcher shares insights from his extensive leadership experience spanning the nonprofit and technology sectors. As the CEO of Charity Navigator, the largest charity evaluator in the U.S., he provides an inside look at leading this influential organization through a period of rapid growth and digital transformation.

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Tags: Culture, Leadership, Management

302 Strategic Clarity: The Executive’s Guide to Impactful Messaging & Communications with Steve Woodruff | Partnering Leadership Global Thought Leader
Partnering Leadership
January 16, 2024
In this Partnering Leadership episode, host Mahan Tavakoli speaks with clarity expert Steve Woodruff about the importance of clear communication for leaders. As the torrent of digital information competes for our attention

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Tags: Culture, Leadership, Management

301 Reshaping Leadership for the Remote Revolution: AI Integration, Motivating Dispersed Teams, and Scaling Through Change with Veteran Tech CEO Andy Tryba | Partnering Leadership Global Thought Leader
Partnering Leadership
January 09, 2024
In this Partnering Leadership episode, host Mahan Tavakoli has an expansive dialogue on leadership and the future of work with serial entrepreneur and tech optimist Andy Tryba. As a 19x founder and CEO, Andy currently leads private equity firm Ionic Partners and two of its high-growth acquisitions, Gigster and Sparkrock.

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Tags: Culture, Leadership, Management

300 Thursday Refresh with David Marquet on Intent-Based Leadership and Transforming Organizations through the Power of Language | Partnering Leadership Global Thought Leader
Partnering Leadership
January 04, 2024
In this episode of Partnering Leadership, Mahan Tavakoli speaks with David Marquet. David served as the commander of the US Navy nuclear submarine, USS Santa Fe. When he took over, he changed the command-and-control leadership style and empowered his crew to turn the lowest-performing sub into the best performer in the fleet. David Marquet shared leadership lessons from this experience, which he also wrote in his bestselling book Turn the Ship Around! A True Story of Turning Followers Into Leaders.

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Tags: Culture, Leadership, Management

299 A New Dawn, A New Day, A New Year: Transforming Your Mornings & Your Life with The Miracle Morning author Hal Elrod | Partnering Leadership Global Thought Leader
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January 02, 2024
Hal Elrod, the international bestselling author of The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life, which has been translated into 37 languages and has sold over 2.5 million copies, brings his unique perspectives on establishing daily practices that foster personal g

Tags: Management, Leadership, Culture

298 [BEST OF] How to Use Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas with the Author of A More Beautiful Question & The Book of Beautiful Questions with Warren Berger | Partnering Leadership Global Thought Leader
Partnering Leadership
December 26, 2023
In this episode of Partnering Leadership, Mahan Tavakoli speaks with Warren Berger. Warren is the author of multiple books on innovation and the power of questioning in leadership and everyday life. The conversation focused on Warren Berger's books A More Beautiful Question and The Book of Beautiful Questions. Warren shared thoughts on his study of the world's foremost innovators and creative thinkers, revealing what he has learned. Warren Berger also shared his insights into the natural tendency of questioning as a young child, the connection between curiosity and questioning, and why we suppress our questioning ability as we get older. Warren shared what leaders can do differently to encourage a culture of curiosity and tap into the power of inquiry. Finally, Warren Berger shared thoughts on developing the questioning skills critical for innovation, collaboration, and leading through uncertainty.

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Tags: Culture, Leadership, Management

297 [BEST OF] Innovative Thinking & Strategy by Tapping Into the Science of Subtraction with University of Virginia Professor Leidy Klotz | Greater Washington DC DMV Changemaker
Partnering Leadership
December 19, 2023
In this episode of Partnering Leadership, Mahan Tavakoli speaks with Leidy Klotz, a professor at the University of Virginia appointed in the Schools of Engineering, Architecture, and Business and author of the book Subtract: The Untapped Science of Less. Leidy Klotz shares some of the reasons why we typically look to add rather than consider subtraction when looking to solve problems and improve systems

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Tags: Business Strategy, Leadership, Management

296 Harnessing the Power of Generative AI: A Practical Guide for Organizational Leaders with Conor Grennan | Partnering Leadership Global Thought Leader
Partnering Leadership
December 12, 2023
In this Partnering Leadership conversation, Mahan Tavakoli speaks with Conor Grennan, Dean of Students at NYU Stern and co-host of the AI Applied Podcast. Conor shares insider perspectives on where generative AI is headed and how organizations, teams, and professionals can fully tap the opportunities it provide

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Tags: Business Strategy, Leadership, Management

295 Thursday Refresh with Tim Clark: A framework to help leaders transform organizations into psychologically safe incubators of innovation | Partnering Leadership Global Thought Leader
Partnering Leadership
December 07, 2023
In this episode of Partnering Leadership, Mahan Tavakoli talked with Dr. Timothy Clark, the founder and CEO of LeaderFactor and author of Four Stages of Psychological Safety. Dr. Clark has broken down the different stages to ensure psychological safety in teams. Dr. Timothy Clark shares how teams can build on the understanding of each stages in order to boost psychological safety in the workplace.

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Tags: Management, Leadership, Business Strategy

294 Agility Reimagined: Fresh Perspectives to Thrive in Disruptive Times with Joshua Kerievsky | Partnering Leadership Global Thought Leader
Partnering Leadership
December 05, 2023
In this episode of Partnering Leadership, Mahan Tavakoli explores the concept of agility with his guest, Joshua Kerievsky, CEO of Industrial Logic and author of Joy of Agility: How to Solve Problems and Succeed Sooner. They discuss why agility is far more than speed and how leaders can hone the mindset and skillset of agility.

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Tags: Management, Leadership, Business Strategy

293 The Art of Management: Practical Insights for New and Experienced Managers with Jim McCormick | Partnering Leadership Global Thought Leader
Partnering Leadership
November 28, 2023
In this Partnering Leadership conversation, Jim McCormick, bestselling author of The First Time Manager, shares his decades of management wisdom perfected through diverse leadership roles. In addition to covering fundamentals vital for first-time managers, Jim's book provides essential insights for veteran leaders on managing well, covering critical practices like delegation, transparency, accountability, and confronting underperformance. Jim also details how mindsets and risk filters shape outcomes from his experience directing the Research Institute for Risk Intelligence. Finally, Jim McCormick addresses how managers can achieve work-life balance, prevent burnout contagion, and customize their management styles.

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Tags: Management, Leadership, Business Strategy

292 [Best of] Steven Sasson Digital Photography Pioneer & Inventor of the Digital Camera at Kodak | Partnering Leadership Global Thought Leader
Partnering Leadership
November 21, 2023
In this episode of Partnering Leadership, Mahan Tavakoli speaks with Steven Sasson who invented the digital camera while working at Kodak, earning him The National Medal of Technology and Innovation award. Steven Sasson shares the story of how digital photography came to be, the many inventions that made it more accessible to eventually take the place of film photography. Steven Sasson also talks about the support for the invention at Kodak and the many cultural and leadership challenges that got in the way of Kodak taking full advantage of the technology.

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Tags: Leadership, Culture, Business Strategy

291 The Intelligent Enterprise: How to Future-Proof Your Organization and Take Advantage of the AI Revolution with David DeWolf | Partnering Leadership Global Thought Leader
Partnering Leadership
November 14, 2023
The AI revolution promises to reshape business in the years ahead. Are you ready to lead your organization into this intelligence era? In this compelling episode, David DeWolf, President and Chief Executive Officer of Knownwell, shares invaluable insights to help leaders navigate the AI transformation. Having deeply researched AI's potential while launching his latest venture, David sees both tremendous opportunity and some real perils if AI is not stewarded responsibly.

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Tags: Management, Leadership, Business Strategy

290 Latino Leadership to Enrich Our Shared Future with Juana Bordas | Partnering Leadership Global Thought Leader
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November 07, 2023
In this Partnering Leadership conversation, Mahan Tavakoli speaks with diversity trailblazer Juana Bordas, author of The Power of Latino Leadership: Culture, Inclusion, and Contribution. Drawing from her inspiring journey, Juana provides a rare insider's view into leadership techniques forged t

Tags: Management, Leadership, Culture

290 Latino Leadership to Enrich Our Shared Future with Juana Bordas | Partnering Leadership Global Thought Leader
Partnering Leadership
November 07, 2023
In this Partnering Leadership conversation, Mahan Tavakoli speaks with diversity trailblazer Juana Bordas, author of The Power of Latino Leadership: Culture, Inclusion, and Contribution. Drawing from her inspiring journey, Juana provides a rare insider's view into leadership techniques forged through centuries of struggle. Juana Bordas makes a compelling case for the power of collective leadership in our multicultural age. From reconciling the past to preparing for the future, Juana provides a blueprint for leading beyond self-interest, grounded in timeless principles of care, service, and belonging.

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Tags: Management, Leadership, Business Strategy

289 Thursday Refresh: Shores Beyond Shores - from Holocaust to Hope: A Bergen-Belsen Survivor's Story of Hope over Adversity with Irene Butter | Partnering Leadership Global Thought Leader
Partnering Leadership
November 02, 2023
In this episode of Partnering Leadership, Mahan Tavakoli speaks with Dr. Irene Butter, a professor, peace activist, and holocaust survivor. Irene Butter shares why she decided to break her silence and tell the story of her family's experience through the Holocaust, first by sharing her story on stages and at schools and by eventually publishing her book: Shores Beyond Shores - from Holocaust to Hope, My True Story: A Bergen-Belsen Survivor's story of Hope over Adversity. Irene ends the conversation with a powerful message for all!

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Tags: Management, Leadership, Business Strategy

288 Purpose Driven Entrepreneurial Journey and Using Communications to Drive Social Impact with Julie Rosenthal, CEO JR Communications | Partnering Leadership Greater Washington DC DMV Changemaker
Partnering Leadership
October 31, 2023
In this Partnering Leadership conversation, Mahan Tavakoli interviews entrepreneur Julie Rosenthal, CEO of strategic communications agency JR Communications, about her 20-plus-year journey building her business. Julie candidly shares the story of starting the company after getting laid off and joining a leadership program that connected her with her first client.

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Tags: Management, Leadership, Business Strategy

287 How to Listen: Discovering the Hidden Key to Better Communication with Oscar Trimboli | Partnering Leadership Global Thought Leader
Partnering Leadership
October 24, 2023
Get ready for a fascinating discussion on the overlooked leadership skill of listening, featuring Oscar Trimboli, author of the book How to Listen: Discover the Hidden Key to Better Communication. Oscar Trimboli draws on decades of research and over 24,000 workplace interviews to provide science-backed insights on how leaders can become exceptional listeners. You'll discover why most of us are only hearing 14% of what people actually say and how to tap into the other 86%. Learn simple but powerful techniques to tune into conversations, avoid assumptions, and strengthen relationships through mindful listening. Whether leading teams or tackling complex challenges, this episode provides leaders the tools to listen their way to better outcomes.

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Tags: Management, Leadership, Business Strategy

286 Never Say Whatever: How Small Decisions Make a Big Difference with Richard Moran | Partnering Leadership Global Thought Leader
Partnering Leadership
October 17, 2023
Leaders today face a barrage of daily decisions that shape careers and brands. In this episode of Partnering Leadership, veteran business leader Richard Moran makes the case that our constant minor choices represent pivotal moments. Drawing on decades of experience as a CEO, college president, venture capitalist, and corporate consultant, he explains why small decisions about “extra” tasks or meetings signal commitment. You’ll learn why Richard Moran believes accountability is a cure for organizational “whatevers” that drive talent away. Discover how self-awareness helps leaders know when to reinvent themselves professionally. Richard Moran offers insights on clarifying intentions so actions follow, and shares what every employee wants to know. Tune in for practical steps to build your leadership and avoid “never saying whatever” from Richard Moran’s book Never Say Whatever: How Small Decisions Make a Big Difference.

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Tags: Leadership, Culture, Business Strategy

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