Andy Bernstein is a speaker on resilience, well-being, and how individuals and organizations can use conflict and adversity as “crucibles” for positive internal and external change. For many years, he has been one of the highest-rated speakers at Wharton Executive Education and SIFMA’s Securities Industry Institute. The content on this page is for Speakers’ Bureau agents interested in considering Andy for RFPs. Bureau clients should visit this page instead.
About Andy Bernstein (Biography)
When Andy Bernstein was a teenager, his father and little sister passed away unexpectedly. Andy began a personal journey to understand how to handle challenges in life better.
Over the years that followed, Andy was a PhD student (then dropout), a bread baker in mid-coastal Maine, and a screenwriter for the Muppets. Throughout this time, he explored a wide range of traditional, alternative, and mostly legal approaches to transformation, including three years as creative director for self-help pioneer Byron Katie. In 2004, Andy integrated the most effective parts of his transformational experiences into a new 7-step process that flips a switch in how people think, feel, and behave, without stigma or “touchy-feeliness.”
Since 2007, Andy has taught this approach regularly at Wharton Executive Education, where his courses have been audience favorites for thousands of senior leaders. He has also taught directly at dozens of Fortune 500 companies and nonprofits, helping people apply this to relationships, team dynamics, organizational culture, parenting, family dynamics, diversity and discrimination, addiction, cancer, polarization, hospitality, innovation, business growth, and more. All human behavior involves how people think in the face of change, and this process helps people think more clearly and lead change more effectively. It’s an upgrade in empathy, accountability, and leadership.
In 2010, Simon & Schuster published Andy’s book that changes the way people understand stress. In 2021, they published an updated paperback edition with a new title, but the same mind-clearing toolkit. (Unfortunately, Amazon won’t merge the two titles and reviews.)
Before Covid, Andy flew 100,000 miles a year to share these tools with corporate audiences around the US. He also has extensive experience within wealth management, speaking to top financial advisors, their teams, and the families they serve.
Today Andy’s sessions can also be delivered virtually, and have evolved a deeper focus on the relationship between adversity (“crucibles”), leadership, and change. His content online at ResilienceAcademy.com makes this training scalable around the world.
Andy lives in New York City with his wife (publishing rock star Whitney Frick), and their two young children.
Resilience; resiliency; well-being; stress; mindset; leadership; organizational change; team dynamics; growth mindset; rethinking; polarization; depolarization; conflict resolution; social change; happiness; crucibles; disruption; the Great Resignation; languishing; diversity; DEI; discrimination; perspective; leadership development; humility; empathy; culture carriers; hospitality; servant leadership; client satisfaction
Speaking Topics and Overview
All of Andy’s presentations are interactive. Andy coaches participants through his 7-step Active Insight worksheet so that even in large keynotes and virtual sessions, attendees experience a personal breakthrough. The topics below present this re-thinking approach in different ways.
Presentation format can be keynote, breakout, workshop, or executive retreat. Time can vary between 45 minutes to 3 hours.
Breaking the Stress Cycle (formerly Mastering Stress, Resilience, and Change)
Where does stress really come from? In this eye-opening re-examination of the modern stress concept, attendees see that our understanding of stress is based almost entirely on the work of one man — stress research pioneer Hans Selye — and why he was fundamentally wrong. We see why Selye’s contemporaries were powerless to change Selye’s mind, and the disastrous consequences his flawed concept has had on global well-being. Then we learn a new way to stop managing stress and start eliminating it at its source, leading to immediate and surprising improvements in how you think, feel, and lead change.
The Most Important Thing
What matters most for happiness in life? Money? Achievements? Love? We start by examining the world’s longest study of adult well-being, and why the real answer isn’t any of these things. We also look at the most important thing for high-performing teams (again based on data), and why it’s not talent, will power, and other common assumptions. And then we discover a tool that helps attendees build both greater well-being and stronger team performance in just 7 steps, with no blame, stigma, or “touchy-feeliness.”
Crucibles (New for 2022)
How can we build humble, driven leaders who are able to deal with personal, organizational, and cultural challenges more effectively? Crucibles are high-temperature vessels used to melt metals, but in this session we use the term metaphorically to represent adverse experiences that transform us as leaders and as human beings. We see why crucibles matter, how they work, and the internal dynamics that gives them their power. Then we experience a tool that harnesses the power of crucibles on-demand, so attendees can work through their challenges in real-time without saying a word, building the transformational leaders we desperately need.
The Most Important Thing for Teams
In this specialized workshop for intact teams, we discover what matters most for team performance based on data, and why it’s not talent, will power, and other assumptions. We look at humility and drive, which are the two most validated traits of effective leadership. We see how “crucible” experiences produce these traits and feed up into what matters most for teams. And then we use a 7-step reframing tool to develop better leaders and stronger teams from the inside out. If teams are serious about improving “team flow” and performance, this gives them a clear framework and practical tools, with no blame.
Note: Pre-work for this workshop can include an anonymous online survey to quantify team dynamics and make the session more tailored.
The Indispensable Advisor
Wealth management is changing. Advisors used to be good with money. Now they need to be good with people. In this session, we see why changes in client demographics and values, market volatility, and increased disruption and polarization are creating a demand for a new breed of advisors who prioritize empathy, client well-being, and non-financial value. Then we learn how to build this capacity efficiently across a team so that advisors can go beyond simply managing money to helping clients manage life, increasing an advisor’s value, referrability, and purpose.
Click the images below for high-resolution downloads.
“The three sessions we programmed were extraordinarily successful. Andy was able to quickly and easily engage leaders, which can be very difficult given our skeptical culture. A Tier 1 leader who is VERY tough with huge time demands stayed for the entire session and made a point to let Andy know that he did a great job. The evaluations are overwhelmingly positive and demonstrate that people were able to learn how to utilize the process and make positive shifts in their thinking/ experience in just a couple of hours. Andy is clearly a rock star instructor who cares deeply about giving people practical tools to improve the quality of their lives” – Wells Fargo
“Enormously positive, useful, tangible ways of thinking differently, and real ways of solving differences. I feel much more wise at work already. Wishing I had done this when I began my career” – Citi
“A clear, concise way to deal with challenges, with practical applications and immediate results” – Coca-Cola
“Eye-opening on changing your perspective when dealing with tough issues and solving them.” – Merrill Lynch
“Groundbreaking. This was the first time I’ve been given a logical, step-by-step process to get from the beginning point to the end point of changed awareness without being intimidating or too New Agey.” – 21st Century Fox
“Eye-opening. It’s quite different from other training programs because this is more than just accepting that I can’t change my surroundings. Instead it changes my perspective. Very positive.” – Genentech
“This was by far the most useful, provocative, and fascinating seminar I have ever participated in. It’s not nonsense, it’s not a Band-Aid, it’s just smart, tangible, and something that can be implemented across the board. – Ogilvy
“Year after year, Andy Bernstein’s sessions are among the top requested and top scoring sessions at the Securities Industry Institute. Andy’s approach and tools to managing challenging situations are relevant both personally and professionally and attendees leave with actionable takeaways and a changed mindset. It is always a pleasure to read the attendee evaluations from his sessions and see what an impact he had on them in 90 minutes, and Andy is always listed as one of the favorite faculty members of the program.” – Securities Industry Institute
“Andrew Bernstein was a fantastic addition to our Learning Year Calendar. His presentation was captivating, eye-opening, and thought-provoking. I highly recommend his presentation for business leaders, to family members, or anyone looking to live a happier, healthier life!” – YPO Chapter Learning Officer
Andy has been teaching his content since 2004 to a wide-range of corporate and non-profit audiences, from small executive retreats to 1,000 person keynotes. We can provide additional references upon request if a specific industry or demographic is desired, but the references below offer a range of audience sizes and formats.
SII (Securities Industry Institute)
SII is a 3-year financial services executive leadership program held on campus at Wharton every spring. Andy has participated as faculty every year since 2007, teaching multiple programs (Resilience, The Most Important Thing, and Crucibles). Kristin Sheehan runs SII and can share honest feedback on Andy’s programs for senior leaders.
Securities Industry Institute (SII)
Raymond James Financial Inc.
Raymond James is an American independent financial services company serving thousands of financial advisors and hundreds of thousands of families. Andy has spoken at their national and regional conferences and at local client events for many years, both in-person and virtually, and in various formats (keynote, breakout, and workshop). Kimberly can speak to Andy’s national presentations to advisors. For references on local client events, contact us.
Senior Manager, Learning and Engagement
YPO (Young Presidents Organization)
YPO is a leadership community of qualified CEOs, organized by chapters around the world. Andy has spoken to the YPO Wisconsin Chapter (virtually) and the YPO Maumee Valley chapter (in person in December 2021). The contacts for each are below.
YPO Maumee Valley
The video below was recorded in summer 2022 for a financial advisory firm in California. The audience of 200 clients was in-person at a winery and online via Zoom. The requested speaking time was 1 hour plus Q&A, with book signing. The topic was The Most Important Thing.
Book and Website Bonuses (Optional)
Andy can deliver additional value to audiences with two bonuses that program directors should take into account when comparing speaker value:
1. All audience members can receive complimentary 3-month family/team memberships to the Resilience Academy. $150 value per person.
This means that for every 100 people in attendance, there is an additional $15,000 of financial value provided at no additional cost. The non-financial value of the website is also worth considering, as it gives participants a way to share this toolkit with their families and teams too.
2. Audience members may receive a copy of Breaking the Stress Cycle (Atria, 2021). Books are drop-shipped directly from the publisher to the venue. $19 value per book. Andy will sign books if desired.
Book purchasing, book signing, and online memberships are negotiated with each engagement.
Andy is not a celebrity speaker, but he has been the highest-rated presentation at dozens of conferences because his speaking style is warm, funny, and relatable, and his content is eye-opening and practical. Any audience interested in well-being, leadership, happiness, organizational and social change, team dynamics, and personal development will find the session valuable. Audiences who believe that others need to change, not them, are not a good fit.
Fees and Travel Requirements
In-person events are $17,500 net, plus travel.
Virtual events are $7,500 net.
Andy travels from NYC, coach in the U.S., business internationally. Delta and Marriott are preferred.
Andy is happy to do a book signing and socialize as part of an engagement.
Andy Bernstein’s general presentation on The Most Important Thing is viewable above. The worksheet topic and examples are drawn broadly from everyday life. If clients have specific issues to address — for example, discrimination, a reorg, an acute conflict or challenge — Andy’s session can be tailored to address this head-on. He can also do an anonymous online survey in advance for intact teams to help identify team challenges that are addressed in a team session.
To achieve longer-term impact, many clients choose to program Andy with an initial keynote, online memberships afterwards (included), and then a follow-up virtual session 3 months later to give participants a chance to use the tools in real life, share experiences, ask questions, and go deeper into the dynamics of crucibles and change.
Note: Audience members will need a printout of Andy’s 7-step Active Insight worksheet to use during the presentation. You can download it here.
Questions? Contact us.