Rob Britton

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  • Retired Managing Director of Advertising at American Airlines
  • Leadership speaker who has actually led, and this experience sets him apart!

Dr. Rob Britton is the principal of RealWorldLeadership, a consultancy focused on helping companies and organizations develop leaders and effective managers. He regularly presents at meetings and conferences, in executive education and MBA programs, and seminars and workshops. He is a leadership speaker who has actually led, and this experience sets him apart.

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Media files by Rob Britton

  • Rob Britton : Media File 1
  • Rob Britton : Media File 2

  • Ten Things I've Learned about Leadership and Effective Management: This is the talk audiences request the most, a lively look at leadership from the perspective of a long practitioner with a proven track record. Ten Things covers a wide range of challenges, from the pitfalls of overanalysis to hiring and firing to the importance of character and strong values. It is hands-on, about getting dirty, taking on common tasks and less frequent challenges, and always doing it with a smile and a positive outlook. Ant it is provocative, sure to engage you during the talk and think about long after you leave.
  • Successful Management in Turbulent Times: There's no doubt that business has gotten a lot harder in the past few decades. Markets are more competitive, margins are thinner. Resources, human and financial, are more limited than they once were. And unexpected bad news arrives more often. When times get challenging, strong leadership can be the difference between success and failure. Rob tracks American Airlines through a decade of crisis, from before September 11, and lays out key lessons learned for flying through turbulence with a focus on successful management of people and dollars. And a bias for action.
  • (Crisis Management) Squared: What would you do if two of your company's airplanes were stolen and used as weapons to attack your homeland? How would you rebuild? In this sobering talk, Rob, who became head of American Airlines' advertising and marketing planning team three weeks after September 11, will explain what American did to renew the brand, to instill confidence in customers, employees, and the larger public, and to generate sales. "Crisis management" does not capture the challenge that American's marketing team faced in 2001 and 2002. It really was (crisis management) raised exponentially.
  • Effective Hiring and Humane Firing: In surveys of tasks managers dislike most, selecting and terminating people ranks toward the top. Rob's contrary view is that personnel decisions offer remarkable opportunity to improve your department and the larger organization. Yes, it takes time, but, yes, it's worth it. In this practical talk, Rob outlines ideas for effective recruitment and promotion, including how to create a broad pool, the need for candidate diagnostic testing, and how to ask great interview questions, and more. And he takes on, through a series of real examples, ways to handle terminations to minimize distress and maximize dignity and respect. And he tells a few war stories, too!
  • A Better Way to Work with Suppliers: Companies and public organizations increasingly suppliers for a range of services they once did themselves. Despite this trend, many companies cling to old and unproductive models of supplier relationships. Adversarial ways of doing business simply do not work. In this enlightening talk, Rob lays out some new approaches that reconcile different interests and seek to find common ground. Open and frequent communication, development of clear objectives, written direction, respect--none of this is that hard! And he never calls them vendors.
  • Improving Service Quality: Services account for about 75% of the U.S. economy, a number that is growing. Everyone, whether served or server, wants better service. But how to achieve it? In this compelling talk, Rob first defines service quality, then develops a way to understand how things can go wrong, and how to fix them.
  • Building and Sustaining Effective Employee Communications: Employee engagement has become a popular concept in recent years, and effective written and spoken communications are an important element. Unhappily, many organizations continue to stale approaches to employee communications a tired company newsletter (even if converted to an e-publication), little strategic vision, no imagination in how to communicate key points-- or perhaps worse, no communication at all. Rob tears through the clutter and outlines some realistic and sensible ideas to make sure that employees understand how the business (including basic finance), prospects for growth, threats, current issues, and more.
  • Advice for Graduating Students, Ideas for Real Life: Maybe it's the enthusiasm of youth, but this talk always gets the loudest applause. A staple in Rob's many years of campus talks, these ideas seem basic, even obvious, but students frequently tell Rob, "No one ever explained this stuff. Not my parents. Not my professors." There are ten pieces of advice, all aimed at helping young people make a successful transition to career and adult life. No preachiness, just clear direction.
  • Management
  • Workplace / Workforce
  • Youth & School Events

Dr. Rob Britton is the principal of RealWorldLeadership, a consultancy focused on helping companies and organizations develop leaders and effective managers. He regularly presents at meetings and conferences, in executive education and MBA programs, and seminars and workshops. He is a leadership speaker who has actually led, and this experience sets him apart.

In 2006, he retired as Managing Director of Advertising at American Airlines. Prior to that, he held a range of leadership positions across the airline, in marketing, international affairs, corporate communications, and operations. He was part of the leadership team that rebuilt the American Airlines brand after September 11, and dealt with many other crises and challenges.

Rob earned a Ph.D. in economic geography from the University of Minnesota, and completed postdoctoral work at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Before joining American, he held staff and field positions with Republic Airlines and Northwest Airlines. He has published 70 articles in major newspapers and magazines, travel-trade publications, and academic journals.

His business-school teaching takes him every year to UT-Austin, SMU, Kellogg, Wharton, London Business School, the Stockholm School of Economics, and many others. He serves on advisory boards at the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University in Montreal, and the Business School at Umeå University, Sweden.

A proud Texan for 25 years, Rob is a board member and volunteer with the Dallas Ramp Project (the group builds wheelchair ramps for people who cannot afford them), and a board member of the American Airlines Federal Credit Union. He is married to Linda, a juvenile-court judge, and has two adult children and two grandchildren.

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Rob Britton Dallas TX, Texas Leadership Speaker, Texas Management Speaker, Texas Human Resources Speaker, Texas Workforce Speaker, Texas Customer Service Speaker, Texas Communication Skills Speaker, Texas Youth Speaker