Bob Vanourek
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Bob Vanourek
Key Topics:
  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Ethics and Values
  • Turnarounds
  • Sustainability
  • Personal Development
  • Board Responsibilities
  • Management
  • Bio Info:

    Bob is a dynamic and popular speaker and leadership author with a wealth of business and turnaround experience.  He was recently named one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior by the Trust Across America network.

    Bob Vanourek has served as CEO of New York Stock Exchange companies during his thirty-year business career. As the former CEO, Bob guided Sensormatic (a $1 billion security company) and Recognition Equipment (a $250 million high-tech company) through successful turnarounds.


    Bob has served as Group Vice President and Division President of two major divisions of Pitney Bowes and Vice President, General Manager of two divisions of Avery International.


    Bob has led businesses and teams that have won numerous local, state, and national awards, including a state-level Malcolm Baldrige Quality Prize and the Shingo Prize for Manufacturing Excellence (shortly after Bob left).


    Bob is co-author of Triple Crown Leadership: Building Excellent, Ethical, and Enduring Organizations (McGraw-Hill), a 2012 USA Best Book Awards finalist. His writing has been featured in or reviewed by Fast Company, American Management Association, Center for Creative Leadership, Financial Executives, Leader to Leader, Leadership Excellence, CNBC Bullish on Books, Investor’s Business Daily, and more.


    Bob has taught leadership at the University of Denver and Colorado Mountain College and is Chairman Emeritus of the Vail Leadership Institute. Bob has served on numerous boards. He is a Baker Scholar graduate of the Harvard Business School, a magna cum laude graduate of Princeton University, and served as an officer in the U.S. Army.

    Bob and his wife, June, live in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, where they won the Governor’s Award for Volunteer Service.
    Watch Bab Vanourek's Videos. 






    Triple Crown Leadership: Building Excellent, Ethical, and Enduring Organizations(McGraw-Hill, 2012), co-authored with Gregg Vanourek.

    Book Chapters:

    “Servant Leadership and the Future,” Larry Spears, editor,Reflections on Leadership, John Wiley & Sons, 1995.

    “A Call for Values-Based Leadership,” James O’Toole and Don Mayer, editors,Good Business: Exercising Effective and Ethical Leadership, Routledge, 2009.


    Bob and Gregg Vanourek,“The Power of Leadership Trustees,”People and Strategy, October 2010.

    Bob and Gregg Vanourek,“The False Search for Great Leaders,”Leader to Leader, Summer 2009.

    Recent Print Media Coverage of Triple Crown Leadership:

     * “Chasing the Triple Crown (Interview with Bob and Gregg Vanourek),”Center for Creative Leadership Leading Effectively e-Newsletter, September 2012

    *“Does Your Board Lead? (Interview with Bob and Gregg Vanourek),” ColoradoBiz, September 21, 2012

    *“Triple Crown Leadership,” Jim Estill CEO Blog Time Leadership, September 18, 2012

    *“Books: Denver Best Sellers,” Denver Post, September 2, 2012 (Note that Triple Crown Leadership is #2 in nonfiction)

    *“A Call to Action: A Review ofTriple Crown Leadership,”Coaching Currents (DBCoach Global), August 28, 2012

    *“From Bold to Bounced–Lessons from the Fall of GM’s Marketing Chief,” Communications Professional Resources Online (, August 21, 2012

    *“The Triple Crown Quest–Excellent, Ethical, Enduring,”Training, August 16, 2012

    *“Triple Crown Leadership,”LeadershipNow, August 14, 2012

    *“In Search of ‘Triple Crown Leadership,’”CNBC Bullish on Books, August 10, 2012

    *“How Alignment Can Make Your Organization Flow,” ThoughtLeaders, August 8, 2012

    *“Triple Crown Leadership: Building Excellent, Ethical, and Enduring Organizations,” American Management Association (AMA) Newsletter,August 2, 2012

    * Television interview with Bob Vanourek for Good Morning Vail,“Bob Vanourek Vail Symposium,” July 18, 2012

    * Abel Avram,“A Team of Leaders,” InfoQ, July 18, 2012

    * Kim Marquis,“Vanoureks to Speak in Vail on Leadership, How to Make Better Organizations,” Vail Business Journal, July 15, 2012

    * Tracey Flower,“‘Triple Crown Leadership’ on Tap for Symposium,” Vail Daily, July 15, 2012

    * Bob Morris,“Triple Crown Leadership: A Book Review,” First Friday Book Synopsis, July 11, 2012

    *“6 Crucial Keys Every Startup Has to Find a Fit For,” Fast Company, July 10, 2012 (excerpted with permission fromTriple Crown Leadership,by Bob and Gregg Vanourek)

    *“Proper Leadership Can Affect the Bottom Line,” Investor’s Business Daily, July 10, 2012 (interview with Bob and Gregg Vanourek)

    *“Leadership Conversations Interview Podcast with Bob Vanourek,” Leadership Conversations (Coffman Group), July 3, 2012

    *“First Look: Leadership Books for July 2012,” Leading Blog–A LeadershipNow Blog, July 1, 2012

    *“Bob and Gregg Vanourek on Business & Books,” KnowledgeBlocks, June 28, 2012

    *“A Peak Into Vanourek’s New Book,” Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship, June 26, 2012

    *“Triple Crown Leadership: Building Excellent, Ethical, and Enduring Organizations,” Sources of Insight, June 10, 2012

    * Real Vail,“Vail Symposium Announces Summer Season Schedule for 2012,”Vail Daily, June 1, 2012

    * Natalie Danford,“Happy Workplace = Happy Workers,”, May 18, 2012 (subscribers only)

    *The New Leadership Manifesto,”Core Sector Communique (Kolkata, India), May 17, 2012

    * Tracy Houston,“Ethical Leadership 101: A Chat with an Expert on Corporate Culture and Risk,” ColoradoBiz, June 28, 2010

    * Veronica Pugin,“Interview with Bob and Gregg Vanourek,”Leadership Review (Kravis Leadership Institute, Claremont), Volume 10, Winter 2010


           "Many of my officers and NCOs said this was one of the best leadership presentations they can remember."

    Major General Myles Deering, Adjutant General, Oklahoma National Guard

    (Subsequent to a presentation to 800 OK National Guard officers and enlisted personnel)"


    “A home run.”

    General Jack Chain, Former Commander-in Chief, Strategic Air Command


    “Bring him back!”

    “Amazing, I absolutely loooooved it!”

    “Simply outstanding!”

    Comments from finance and accounting professionals at their Rocky Mountain Area Conference


    “Bob was terrific to work with … the consummate professional. He worked with us ahead of time to learn more about our business and customers, and interviewed some program participants to create a truly customized training session. Overall 95% ‘very good-excellent’ rating! Comments ranged from ‘great materials and ideas to continue to build our team” to ‘give us more of this!’”

    Barbara Landeen, Aging Services of Minnesota


    “Bob’s presentation was engaging, informative, and most helpful.  Our chapter does not do evaluations, but from my twenty plus years of experience in YPO/WPO, Bob would have received in the high nines.

    I believe the rarest and most precious commodity in the world, and the one, which most impacts people’s lives, is the excellent, ethical, and enduring leadership that Bob very clearly describes in his presentation and book.  Consequently, the leaders of my companies and my children will all be receiving copies ofTriple Crown Leadership.

    Bob is authentic, experienced, knowledgeable, and credible.  As a lifelong student and practitioner of leadership, I wasn’t sure I would learn much from Bob or his book.  Yet, this was not the case.  Bob’s presentation and book are based on solid research, and filled with memorable stories, helpful information, and rich metaphors.

    If you are looking for a program that would interest YPO’ers and/or WPO’ers, spouses, and affiliates, and a program with critical and substantial take home value, I would highly recommend Bob Vanourek.”

    Mark Bitz, Multi-company President, CEO Member, Empire and Southwest Florida YPO/WPO Member


    “Bob Vanourekaddressed the SWFL WPO Chapter recently. His lively presentation sprinkled with insights and anecdotes he gained during his interviews with numerous business leaders made it a very interesting and meaningful evening. Bob, an experienced business leader in his own right, shared the importance of ethical and inclusive leadership in building organizations that will not only perform well but will be a place that people want to participate and will fill empowered and fulfilled. Bob truly understands the role that ‘values’ play in leadership. As one of the spouses of our member stated, these principles can be applied to families as well as business.  I would recommend Bob as a resource for your group, business, non-profit or family.”

    Steven B. Smith, Chapter Chair SWFL WPO


    “Bob has a unique and effective presentation style that includes making himself vulnerable. Triple Crown Leadershiphas already become required reading for my leadership team, and I have invited Bob to speak at our strategic planning session this year.  I particularly like Alignment.” 

                Gary A. Oatey, Chairman, Oatey Company


    “For the past five years, Bob has been a guest speaker at the global leadership program my organization provides.  His style and approach is one that engages the audience and causes them to really think. He has the ability to make them look at themselves and ask the question, ‘Am I being the leader I want to be or need to be?’ Bob is a great story teller and shares personal stories which exemplify the behaviors of a great leader, one that is vulnerable, one that empowers others and one that can build high performing teams - all important for creating successful organizations. We can’t thank him enough for the wonderful work he does.”

    Debbie Weinstein Huml, Founder, Inspiring leadership Partners, Inc.


     “Bob Vanourek recently led a discussion on ‘New Responsibilities for Directors and Senior Executives’ hosted by the Institute for Enterprise Ethics at the Daniels College of Business on the University of Denver campus. C-suite executives, independent directors and professional service providers attended the event from the greater Denver area. Bob very effectively framed the discussion with several concepts fromTriple Crown Leadership: Building Excellent, Ethical and Enduring Organizationsand then guided the participants in a very lively and challenging discussion applying those ideas to their daily professional lives. All the participants were very engaged in this discussion and the event received rave reviews (rating of 4.9 out of 5.0), mostly due to Bob’s outstanding performance.”

    Dr. Dan Sweeney, Director, Institute for Enterprise Ethics, Daniels College of Business, University of Denver


    “Bob Vanourek was the keynote speaker at the Daniels Pioneer Executive Summit for our board members and corporate partners. His topic of  ‘Dealing with Crises: Lessons Learned’ was rich with content. Bob made the lessons on leading through crises come to life with stories that were relevant, engaging, and useful. Attendees thought the session was excellent.”

    Dr. Christine Riordan, Dean, Daniels College of Business, University of Denver


    “Bob was great, an entertaining and dynamic presenter. He was very flexible in working with us, wanting to learn about our industry, audience members, and challenges. He customized his presentation to take the messages in his book to our issues. He personalized the presentation, using people’s names whom he had met that day and the night before, as well as situations and examples from our industry.”

    “He spoke to CEOs about their concerns and audience members with less corporate experience. I would definitely recommend Bob for your meeting because the messages in his book are important for a variety of different industries and businesses. Your audience members will get those takeaways that you want to have delivered.”

    Jennifer Rudolph, Communications Director, Colorado Ski Country USA


    “Bob Vanourek brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to his workshops. His candid style continues to engage our staff and provides a remarkable learning experience for all.  Through his leadership workshops, Bob has assisted UL with transforming the culture and mindset of our organization.”

    Dave McCulloch, Director - Leadership College, UL University, Underwriters Laboratories


    “I have seen Bob give dozens of presentations. He skillfully adjusts his style to fit the audience. When presenting to large groups, Bob is confident, vigorous, and assertive, capturing and holding people’s attention. When speaking to small groups, Bob is soft-spoken, accessible, and humble, touching and changing people’s hearts. An exceptional presenter.”

    John Horan-Kates, Founder and President, Vail Leadership Institute


    “Bob Vanourek’s inspiring message deserves a wide audience.  This is a leader who knows whereof he speaks and understands how the corporate world works and how it should work.  If only more leaders shared his vision, it would be a far better world.  His experiences as a CEO and his intelligence inform every word in the bookTriple Crown Leadership, co-authored with his son Gregg.  Bob’s concept of leadership challenges all of us, at whatever level in our respective organizations, since they all cry out for more values-based leadership.  Whether organizations are stable or near collapse, they could all benefit from a heavy dose of Bob’s lessons.  Both his book and his presentations are eloquent expressions of his great insights, enriched with the examples of his many interviews with leaders in various sectors of society.” 

    “Bob has spoken to my classes on ‘CEOs and Corporate Governance’ over the years, and his message always has a major impact on the students.  He is truly one of the highlights of my course.  He is a deep thinker and a gifted and charismatic communicator.   I have heard him address business audiences as well, and he has the same impact on those from all walks of life.  He is more teacher than preacher, since he interacts so well with his audience and appreciates that all of us have obstacles and failures to overcome in order to succeed in our own lives and organizations.”

    John Holcolm, Professor, Business Ethics and Legal Studies Department, Daniels College of Business, University of Denver


    “I have had the good fortune to participate in two retreat facilitations by Bob, and in each case he adroitly wove his breadth of experience with his considerable rhetorical, diplomatic and leadership talents to guide us to extremely valuable yet unique solutions for the organizations involved."

    Glenn Davis, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Colorado Mountain College, Regional President, Alpine Banks of Colorado


    “Bob Vanourek conducted an excellent board retreat on Collaborative Alignment for our nonprofit organization. He gave our board, staff members, and me a framework that could literally transform us. We are now implementing it."

    Julie Olson, Executive Director, Advocate Safehouse Project


    “Bob Vanourek speaks from the head and the heart. He connects with every member of the audience. He frames leadership with concrete behaviors and elegant metaphors, and he understands how leadership creates and molds culture. Bob makes his insights into leadership both actionable and confirmable, and his exemplary story telling makes clear where leadership succeeds and why.”

    John Balkcom, Member of the Governing Board, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, President Emeritus, St. John’s College, Santa Fe, NM


    “To leave the world a little better place…Bob Vanourek’s purpose statement says it all.  Bob has led a life of success that he has willingly converted into a life of significance by teaching and facilitating on such topics as communication, leadership and alignment.  Bob’s communication style takes leading practices and applies them to real world situations by directly helping leaders uncover possible solutions to posed challenges through the power of story and theory.  Through my own experience, I can attest to the effectiveness of Bob’s communication style through personal application of his work that has not only impacted my life, but also my sphere of influence.”

    Dustin Kelley,Entrepreneur and former Vice President, Vail Leadership Institute


    "Bob Vanourek is one of those rare individuals that can shape your professional career forever. I have had that privilege by working directly for Bob. Although it’s been years since working for and with him, I believe my career has been the better from his guidance and leadership. I would highly recommend Bob.... he is an extraordinary leader."

     Wilemia Shaw, Senior VP, Human Resources (Unsolicited from former colleague)


    “It was such a pleasure having you be part of our Annual Meeting. Our group really enjoyed your presentation, and you got them to ask questions – a sure sign of success! Thank you for joining us and doing such an outstanding job.”

    Melanie Mills, CEO, Colorado Ski Country USA


    “Thank you again for coming and speaking to our Corporate Governance class a couple weeks ago. After 5 years of guest lecturers, I can confidently say that yours was one that truly engaged me and served as a refreshing change."

    Baxter Cochennet, Graduate student for Masters in Accountancy at the University of Denver (Unsolicited)


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