Meet Larry Senn

Dr. Larry Senn is the founder of Senn Delaney, the culture shaping unit of Heidrick & Struggles. He has been referred to in business journals as the Father of Corporate Culture, based on his field research: the first systematic study ever conducted on the concept of corporate culture. His studies were published as his doctoral dissertation in 1970. This led him to an early personal vision of finding a way to enhance the lives of people, the effectiveness of teams, and the spirit and performance of organizations. That vision became Senn Delaney, the first firm dedicated to shaping the culture of organizations.

Senn Delaney has worked with over 100 Fortune 500 CEOs and their teams, university presidents, state governors, and members of U.S. presidential cabinets. He is also co-author of several books, including the best-selling Winning Teams, Winning Cultures and 21st Century Leadership. Larry has a B.S. in Engineering, an M.B.A. from UCLA, and a doctorate degree in Business Administration from USC, where he later served as faculty. He was a finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year in Southern California.

Larry’s passion for health and fitness started with his interest in sports during high school and college. He was team captain and the Pac 10 champion in gymnastics at UCLA, and coached UCLA gymnastics after graduation. Today Larry runs, swims, bikes, lifts weights, water skis, rides off-road motorcycles, and stand-up paddles. He competed in his first sprint triathlon at the age of 70, and has completed in over 50 triathlons in the more than ten years since, including first place wins in Long Beach, Newport Beach, Redondo Beach, and Hermosa Beach in his age group last year.

Larry is a husband, father, and grandfather. He lives in Sunset Beach, California, with his wife, Bernadette, and their teenage son Logan, who is mentioned often in the book. The Senn family has a deep commitment to family, faith, fitness, and well-being. Larry and his wife, Bernadette, have five children and five grandchildren, all who share an equal passion for family, well-being, and personal growth. Bernadette retired from Senn Delaney to be a full-time mother. She was SVP HR at Senn Delaney, and was co-author with Larry of an earlier book, The Human Operating System – An Owner’s Manual.

Larry’s personal purpose is to help an ever-widening circle of people live life at their best mentally, emotionally, physically, and purposefully. That purpose led him to add the Mood Elevator as a concept to Senn Delaney culture-shaping seminars, which have reached tens of thousands of people, and to write this book to reach even more.

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Larry Senn As A Speaker & Conference Keynoter

Larry brings a powerful story and great messages to any leadership conference. He has been the highest rated speaker at most conferences where he has presented.

Larry’s presentation style is very dynamic and energizing. Rather than a lecture format, he employs an audience participation “experiential” delivery method that engages people, is memorable, and provides great takeaway value.

As Gordon Gee, who experienced Larry’s session as both president of Ohio State University and West Virginia University, said: “Practice the lessons Larry teaches and the arc of your life will be changed forever – for the better.”

Speaking Topics

Corporate Culture

Corporate culture is one of the most talked about and written about topics for leaders and organizations today. As the Father of Corporate Culture, no one has more experience, data, or stories to tell about the importance of culture and how to shape it. The topic of culture can take different forms, including:

  • Culture and performance
  • Culture and engagement
  • Culture and the customer experience
  • Aligning culture and strategy (for strategy meetings)

As part of these presentations, many clients have us gather some data about their culture to make the topic even more relevant. The topic engages the group in experiential “Ah Ha” inducing exercises, table discussions, and other highly interactive activities.

Mood Elevator

The Mood Elevator is a great conference topic. When shown the Mood Elevator graphic, people intuitively see that it is a story of their life and want to know how to better ride it. Everyone gets a pocket card of The Mood Elevator, and it becomes a prized possession for years to come. The book itself is a great gift and takeaway for many groups. Special themes include:

  • Staying up the Mood Elevator for more success and fulfillment
  • The Mood Elevator – how to be your best self as a leader and in life
  • Riding the Mood Elevator – secrets of an 80-year-old triathlete