Looking Up

Power Session: Looking Up

Learn how perspective can turn obstacles into advantages.

 About the Speaker: Michele L. Sullivan, the HarperCollins Leadership published author of her debut book, Looking Up set to come out in early  2020, has a unique and interesting perspective on life and business. An author, motivational and inspirational speaker, and strategic business advisor, Sullivan has changed the course of millions of lives.
Michele is unforgettable- from a young person born with a very rare type of dwarfism, who, in spite of being looked down upon by others, learned to look up: to lead with an elevated view of others, a philosophy that landed her at the helm of one of the world’s most prominent philanthropy organizations. With inspiring style, she offers an unique perspective and inspiration for individuals and leaders that attests to the fundamental role one’s perspective plays in their life. Looking Up is more than the story of Michele’s life and career, it is a guidebook to how she embraced her differences, turned them into assets, and came to recognize that there was a strength within them that could help others.

During her 30 year career, she held various globally influential leadership positions at Caterpillar Inc., an American fortune 100 company. Retiring as Caterpillar’s director of corporate social innovation and president of the Caterpillar Foundation, the company’s philanthropic arm, at the end of 2018, Michele set out to share her stories and experiences with the world.
 
Along with the launch of her first book, Michele’s experience include giving a TED talk at TEDWomen 2016, becoming the first Caterpillar employee to do so. In her talk, she speaks candidly about the challenges she has overcome in life, highlighting the importance of acceptance and helping others succeed in the face of their unique challenges. She was named by Inside Philanthropy as one of the 50 most powerful women in philanthropy and also served as a U.S. delegate to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. She was recognized as a AACSB 2018 Influential Leader (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of
Business). Michele is a member of the ONE board of directors and past chair of the Greater Peoria Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Advisory Board.
 
Michele strongly believes monumental and sustainable change in our largest global challenges can only happen through partnerships and collaboration between public, private and non-profit entities. This strategy resulted in the Caterpillar Foundation’s transformation into one of the most influential corporate foundations, and ultimately, the launch of the Foundation’s collaborative impact platform known as Together.Stronger.™

While Michele’s height presented challenges that are different from those most have experienced, it allowed her to see things, literally and figuratively, that others do not. Her unique style enhances her ability to share her story and experiences with audiences around the world. An engaging speaker with candid delivery, and some well placed humor, make her an unforgettable keynote with lasting impact.

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