Ralph Jacobson


Unconventional wisdom and practical tools to reframe your future

You don’t have the spirit of Gandhi. You don’t have the military strategy of Douglas MacArthur—and you weren’t even born with the organizational wisdom of Jack Welch. Can you still be a leader? You’ve examined your personality and established great big hairy audacious goals. You see lots of obstacles ahead…

What’s a person to do?

Book Ralph Jacobson as your next speaker! Ralph works with leaders who truly want to
know how to create personal and organization success. He will show you that most of what you have read and believe about leadership is myth. After his presentation you will clearly see that:

•A leader is a person—leadership is an incredibly important function
•A leader is a person—leadership is not a solo act
•Leadership is not about charisma or personality, but a process that can be learned
•When people learn the science of leadership, the art will naturally follow

Presentations and Speeches:

Mobilize Talent: Overcome the five challenges faced by every leader…every person
The Leader’s Toolbox™ engages people to accomplish the organization’s most important work. Come to this presentation with a dream…and leave with a plan. You’ll learn the methodology that has helped leaders of companies and functions more easily achieve their objectives. You’ll leave with a clear notion of how to focus those around you on those opportunities that really matter. Participants are introduced to the Leader’s Map™, a framework to show that leadership can be understood as a practical and easily implemented process that significantly improves organizational performance. During this presentation participants:

  • Understand the three roles leaders play and why operating as a leader may be difficult
  • The five universal leadership challenges that all successful leaders must address
  • Understand what they can do to encourage others to operate as leaders
  • Gain an understanding of the Leader’s Map™ as a tool for organization transformation

Between a rock and a hard place: Balancing Paradox
Clearly the world has become more complex. Are you focused on the short term, or the long term? Your personal life or your professional life? Taking care of your department or focusing on the needs of your company? If you choose any one of these, you are probably limiting your life.

What keeps most leaders and professionals up at night are not the problems they are used to solving. Instead, the issues that keep leaders from realizing success are often not their ability to solve problems, but how they manage thorny and reoccurring paradoxes. In this highly engaging and interactive, and enjoyable session, participants:

  • Learn to identify the difference between problems and paradoxes
  • Why it is perilous to treat paradoxes as problems
  • The architecture of a paradox
  • The process for engaging others in balancing paradox

Walk the paradoxes that you experience everyday…and see why they are perplexing. Leave with a new approach to address many of life’s most difficult challenges.

How to avoid the drama of organizational life
It is a scientific fact: Working in organizations can be hazardous to your emotional health. So how do you understand and respond to the dynamics of organization politics? This presentation provides a new lens to understand the drama that happens between silos and different parts of the organization. It helps people depersonalize the emotions and provides instead a more effective way to meet the challenges that have to be overcome. Participants:

  • Understand how the organization structure impacts people’s behavior
  • Learn how to take on more effective roles
  • Reduce the burnout and stress that accompanies the desire to accomplish good work and please the boss


Ralph Jacobson’s mission is to develop a new standard for leadership development. His work, Leading for a Change: How to Master the Five Challenges Faced by Every Leader, was nominated by mgeneral.com as one of the top business books for the year 2000. The implementation of his Leader’s Toolbox™ methodology at a Fortune 100 organization and a mid-sized organization is described in Leadership Development Champions to be published by Josey Bass in the summer of 2003. As a Principal at Synthesis Consulting, Inc., he has provided innovative solutions for Fortune 50 organizations as well as emerging growth companies. He received the American Express Quality Award for his consulting work and was an examiner for the Minnesota Quality Award. He is a member of the faculty at the Physicians Leadership College, University of St Thomas. He holds advanced degrees in psychology and human resources from The Ohio State University and the University of Minnesota.

Ralph Jacobson helps people with organizational growth and change. He offers innovative leadership development programs that encourage leaders to see a new way to lead and provides them with practical and powerful tools to create employee commitment and organizational success. He helps leaders communicate and plan for change. He provides a methodology for leaders and followers to thrive through periods of uncertainty and turbulence. He uses large-scale organizational change techniques to simultaneously involve all employees in a meaningful way, thus reducing the time and increasing the effectiveness in making transitions. Ralph is a strategist, trainer, coach, and facilitator.

What they say about Ralph:

“Ralph’s Leader’s Map is like gold.When you follow his leadership process, your chances for
organizational success increase exponentially.”

–President international software company

“For the first time my staff and I are on the same page regarding what we as leaders need to DO.”
–President of a manufacturing company

“It’s a fresh and new leadership approach that people can actually use to really make a difference.”
–National Speakers Bureau

“We tried everything else. To my absolute surprise—it works!”
–Medical director of large mid-western health system

“He’s kicked some butt.”
–Director Organization Development of an oil refinery



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