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Thom Mayer, Keynote Speaker Managed
8 Review(s)

Dr. Thom Mayer

    • Medical Director for the NFL Players Association
    • Disaster Leadership- Pentagon on 9/11, Inhalation Anthrax at the US Capitol in 2001
    • Managing NFL Concussion and Covid-19 Pandemic Crisis
    • New book "Leadership is Worthless...But Leading is Priceless" 
Full Bio
In Person-Fee 🛈

$15,000 - $20,000

Virtual Fee:

$10,000 - $15,000

Travels From

District of Columbia

Dr. Thom Mayer | Speaker Reel

Dr. Thom Mayer | Speaker Reel

Dr. Thom Mayer Talks Leading Medical Efforts During Key Moments In History | The View

Dr. Thom Mayer Talks Leading Medical Efforts During Key Moments In History | The View

Dr. Thom Mayer | Sample Speaker Reel

Dr. Thom Mayer | Sample Speaker Reel

Dr. Thom Mayer on CNN | Volunteering to Provide Medical Care in Ukraine

Dr. Thom Mayer on CNN | Volunteering to Provide Medical Care in Ukraine

Dr. Thom Mayer Speaker Biography

Dr. Thom Mayer is the Medical Director for the NFL Players Association, Executive Vice President of Leadership for LogixHealth, Founder of BestPractices, Inc., and Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine at George Washington University and Senior Lecturing Fellow at Duke University. He was named the 2018 winner of the James D. Mills Outstanding Contribution to Emergency Medicine Award, which is the highest honor of the American College of Emergency Physicians. He was recently nominated to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. USA Today named him one of the “100 Most Important People in the NFL.” Tom Peters, the internationally acclaimed leadership guru, referred to his work as “gaspworthy.”

When asked about these awards, Dr. Mayer simply says, “I have only one talent. I know how to hire people who are not only better than me, but much better than me. They won the awards, not me.”

Dr. Mayer has been the founder, CEO, and principal shareholder of physician leadership, staffing, and management and ambulance transport companies with revenues in excess of $100 million, which were then sold with an average IRR in excess of 38%. He continues to hold intellectual property rights to all the content developed by these companies.

He is one of the most widely sought speakers on healthcare patient experience, leadership and management, hardwiring flow, trauma and emergency care, pediatric emergency care, EMS/disaster medicine, and sports medicine. His work in each of these areas has resulted in changing the very fabric of patient care.

On September 11, 2001 Dr. Mayer served as the Command Physician at the Pentagon Rescue Operation and has served on 3 Defense Science Board Task Forces, advising the Secretary of Defense. Most recently, in 2022, Dr. Mayer helped lead a mobile team to Ukraine treating almost 350 patients and training over 1,700 Ukrainian medical staffers.

He has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles, over 100 book chapters, and has edited or written 20 textbooks, including:
• Leadership for Great Customer Service: Satisfied Employees, Satisfied Patients: 2nd Edition
• Leadership for Smooth Patient Flow
• Hardwiring Flow
• The Patient Flow Advantage
• Strauss and Mayer’s Emergency Department Management.
• Battling Healthcare Burnout

Dr. Mayer was named the ACEP Outstanding Speaker of the Year and has been named ACEP’s “Over-the-Top” award winner 3 times. Battling Healthcare Burnout won the ACHE’s James Hamilton Award for the best healthcare leadership book in 2022 and Leadership for Smooth Patient Flow won the ACHE’s James Hamilton Award for the best healthcare leadership book in 2008. In sports medicine, his work at the forefront of changing concussion diagnosis and management in the NFL has changed the way in which these athletes are diagnosed and treated.

Dr. Mayer was the originator of the entire NFL Concussion Guidelines program, and thus has changed the nature of concussion diagnosis and management world-wide. He gives many examples of his NFL experiences in his talks.

For more information on Dr. Thom Mayer, please contact Executive Speakers Bureau at 901.754.9404.

Leadership is Worthless…But Leading is Priceless: What I Learned from 9/11, the NFL, and Ukraine

Dr. Thom Mayer has led a life at the forefront of leading through some of the most prominent crises of our generation, including serving as the Command Physician at the Pentagon on 9/11, Incident Commander for the US’s first bioterrorism incident, Medical Director of the NFL Players Association, and leading a Mobile Emergency Team during the Ukraine invasion. This keynote is a contrarian approach to leadership, which is: Leadership is worthless…because it is a noun - something you say. But Leading is priceless…because it is a verb - the things you do, all day, every day, in every walk of life.

Dr. Mayer challenges his audiences to ask the right question - "How will I lead myself and my team today?” By helping them to embrace that leading occurs - no matter what job you do - in everything you do, he inspires others to lead themselves, their teams, and their families

Filled with stories and examples from Dr. Mayer’s career as “The Master of Disaster,” leading at the forefront of crises on the world stage, this presentation challenges but also inspires new and practical approaches to leading your life in times of crisis.

Making Failure Your Fuel: A Key Aspect of Leadership is Worthless…But Leading is Priceless
In his book “Leadership is Worthless…But Leading is Priceless” Dr. Thom Mayer presents many actionable yet contrarian concepts. One of the most intriguing of these is the idea of “Making Failure Your Fuel,” which builds upon the idea that innovation, which is an essential skill in these turbulent times, occurs not at the speed of genius, creativity, or intelligence, but rather at the speed of…trust. And the only way we can trust ourselves and our teams to innovate is to develop and perfect the talent of making failure our fuel.

Using stories and personal experience from the NFL, the US Women’s’ National Soccer Team (including Mia Hamm and Abby Wambach), 9/11 at the Pentagon, Ukraine, Capital One, and world history and literature, this talk examines the details of using failure to motivate success, including:
• Failure is not the opposite of success-it is an integral part of success
• Failure motivates-Tom Brady and the NFL Draft
• Developing Your Failure Muscles-11 ways to use failure as fuel
• The Healing Power of Failure
• Limits Begin Where Vision Ends
• Taking ourselves lightly-and failure as our fuel

As Senator Mark Warner said in his comments on Dr. Mayer’s book, “Perhaps the greatest lesson Dr. Mayer has to offer is not to be discouraged by failure, but rather to use it as fuel-to take risks and get yourself back in the game. Leaders of all stripes can learn much from reading this book.” You can learn much from this talk.

From the Emergency Room to the NFL Locker Room: Lessons from Teamwork to Innovation

When it comes to high performance, stressful environments, two at the top of the list are ERs and on NFL fields.  For over 20 years, Dr. Mayer has been the Medical Director of the NFL Players Association, giving him the driver’s seat for innovation, change, teamwork, and high performance.  In his role as an ER leader, he has directed disasters from the Pentagon on 9/11, to the inhalational anthrax crisis in 2001, to the NFL’s concussion crisis, to the recent COVID pandemic and the NFL’s successful navigation of its season.  This talk is highly motivational and full of both practical advice and rich stories from the frontlines of the ER and the NFL.


Leadership in the Times of Crisis- Lessons from the NFL

A crisis is a bad place to try to discover your mission, vision, values, and culture.  No one knows that better or in a more nuanced way than Dr. Mayer, whose leadership in times of crisis spans over 20 years, both in the NFL and in national disasters.  Others have written books on dealing with crisis, but Dr. Mayer has richly lived a life of leadership in crisis, from the Pentagon on 9/11 through the concussion and COVID crises in the NFL.  Passion, purpose, and an understanding of “your deep joy” and how it meets the world’s deep needs are hallmarks of this inspiring yet highly pragmatic message.


The Disciplines of Teams and Teamwork-Exploring 'The Seams of Teams'

Highly motivated and innovative organizations cannot function without teamwork.  Unfortunately, many organizations “say ‘Team,’ but they don’t ‘Play Team.’” Do the words on your walls match the happenings in the halls?  Dr. Mayer’s experience leading the NFL Players Association in all matters regarding health and safety (from concussions to COVID) for over 20 years, as well as his entrepreneurial founding of emergency physician groups and ambulance companies provide for a rich tapestry of practical stories and how to assemble, develop, and lead teams-from the front, with passion and purpose. Teams are not groups of people who work together-they are people who trust one another.


Battling Burnout and Restoring Resilience

It didn’t take a world-wide pandemic to make leaders realize that the stresses from daily work at the edge of high performance, coupled with the difficulties of daily living, have produced a crisis of burnout, where job stressors exceed the personal and organizational resilience/adaptive capacity to deal with them, resulting in the 3 cardinal symptoms of burnout-emotional exhaustion, cynicism, and loss of meaning at work.  As one of healthcare’s most respected leaders-and in his role as Medical Director of the NFLPA- Dr. Mayer leads from the front, with passion and purpose, which has led him to develop a pragmatic set of solutions to the burnout crisis for leaders in all businesses. Far from a “touchy, feely” talk, this session resonates with stories from the NFL, businesses, national leaders, and others-all in service of developing personal and organizational resilience.


Using Stress and Crisis to Fuel Creativity and Innovation

Few places are more stressful than a busy trauma center ER, where lives are on the line and teams must carefully coordinate care-or face disastrous results.  Unless of course you throw in the stresses of performing at a high level in the NFL, where the injury rate is 100%, concussion is a constant threat, and one injury can cost a career.  As an ER doc and the Medical Director of the NFL Players Association, Dr. Mayer has worked in both of these cauldrons for over 20 years.  Using stories from both the ER and the NFL, as well as examples from history, biography, philosophy, and theology, Dr. Mayer delivers a talk with pragmatic impact on how to translate stress into high performance, creativity, and innovation.


Innovation at the Speed of Trust

As the Medical Director of the NFL Players Association and a world-recognized emergency physician and healthcare leader, Dr. Mayer has learned that “The way we’re working…isn’t working.”  The pace of high performance, whether in the NFL or in business, extracts a cost-draining resilience and producing burnout far too often.  This means that they key to success for all of us as we move forward is…innovation.  If the way we’re working isn’t working-and it isn’t-we need to innovate a creative future for our organizations and those who work within them.  But innovation doesn’t move at the speed of “want to,” “need to,” or “have to,”-it moves at the speed of trust.  Without trust there is no teamwork and without teamwork there can be little if any innovation.  Using examples from the NFL, healthcare, and business, Dr. Mayer provides an inspiring but practical message to drive innovation and overcome resistance to change.


Why Healthcare Leadership Matters

In healthcare, we lead and manage in a world of the perpetual whitewater of change. But effective change can only occur when leaders at every level of the organization, including clinicians at the bedside understand not only the “How” but also the “Why” guiding leadership. This inspirational talk gives practical examples of how leadership can give your organization a substantial and sustainable competitive advantage.

  • Understand that we live and work in a healthcare environment of perpetual change, where delivering the results that matter
    requires leadership
  • Describe the key elements of leadership and management and how each requires distinct skills
  • Give practical examples of how to tie intrinsic motivation to tangible results in patient safety, service excellence, physician accountability, and hardwiring flow


Leadership for Great Customer Service: The A-Team Toolkit

Patient satisfaction is no longer an option, but instead is an essential core competency for everyone in healthcare. But service excellence is not a “rah-rah” approach to exhort the team, but rather a hardwired discipline that helps B Team Members move to the A-Team. This starts with the insight that while customer service skills are good for the patient and the family, they are most important to the team because they make the difficult job of patient care in the 21st century easier. This entertaining and insightful talk is full of practical examples of how satisfied employees result in satisfied patients.

  • Describe the importance of getting the “Why” right before the “How”
    Understand the concept of “A-Team Members” and “B Team Members
  • The Open Book Test approach to patient satisfaction surveys
  • How to use Survival Skills and the A-Team Toolkit to drive sustainable competitive advantage


Inspired Physician Accountability: How to Lead Physicians to Excellence in an Era of “Keeping Score”

It is impossible to drive an organization to healthcare excellence without engaging physicians in a meaningful and sustainable way. This requires substantial leadership that allows physicians to participate in hospitals and healthcare systems in different ways than in the past. The speaker has decades of experience in leading physicians to high levels of performance by engaging them in an accountable system that works for the patient, the organization, and the physicians themselves.

  • Describe the changing landscape of healthcare and what it means for the relationship between healthcare organizations and
  • Understand the importance of vision to guiding strategy and tactics in this environment
  • Provide an evidence-based system to engage physicians in a system of mutual accountability
  • Show how metrics-based physician accountability can drive substantial competitive advantage


Hardwiring Flow: Adding Value and Decreasing Waste in Healthcare

As we move from volume-based and eminence-driven healthcare models to one where value must be measurably accentuated and
population health is an issue, many organizations are lost when it comes to meaningfully define how to become the “high-quality, low-cost” provider of patient care. The author has co-written the definitive textbook on how to hardwire flow into your organization through a series of 7 critical flow tools and strategies. He will frame the issues and provide numerous examples of how to add value and eliminate waste by using flow tools.

  • Define the importance of becoming the high-quality, low-cost provider of healthcare 
  • Define flow as adding value and eliminating waste as patients move through the service transitions and queues of healthcare
  • Define the 7 tools and strategies of hardwiring flow
  • Give practical examples of using the tools of hardwiring flow


The Patient Flow Advantage: How Hardwiring Hospital-Wide Flow Gives You Sustainable Competitive Advantage

Once organizations begin to understand how flow adds value and eliminates waste, it becomes clear that these principles can be used
across all levels of the hospital and healthcare organization. Flow is a “Treasure Hunt” to accelerate value and a “Bounty Hunt” to eliminate waste. This talk gives numerous examples of how hospital-wide flow is essential for organizations that are at the cutting edge of innovation in healthcare.

  • Define flow and how it advances the value proposition for healthcare organizations. 
  • Describe how operating across service transitions while eliminating waste and adding value are critical to success
  • Define how the 7 tools and strategies of hardwiring flow work in hospital-wide flow 
  • Give practical examples of how hardwiring hospital-wide flow gives hospitals and healthcare systems sustained competitive advantage.


Battling Burnout: Learning to Love the Job You Have while Creating the Job You Love

Battling Burnout and Building Resiliency: The Work Begins Within While Changing Culture and Systems

The Disciplines of Teams and Teamwork: Strategies and Tactics for Success

Limits Begin Where Vision Ends: Using Values to Mitigate Stress and Build Resiliency

Rewarding the Champions, Corralling the Stragglers-Leadership for Mutual Accountability



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Customer Rating 5

Click testimonials tab below for detailed feedback.

April 11, 2024

Dr. Mayer was fantastic. He was very engaging and our audience loved him!

San Antonio Medical Foundation

March 1, 2024

Mr. Mayer was very engaging with our members and held to the topic we discussed in pre-planning calls. He was a pleasure to work with. He was positive with his message.

North Carolina Healthcare Association

November 8, 2023

Dr. Mayer was very engaging and a real draw for our conference. We received very positive feedback from our audience!

HRMA Region 2

September 15, 2023

Dr. Mayer was incredible! He kept our audience engaged and they really enjoyed his stories.

creativeMINDS Data

December 10, 2022

Fantastic - Dr. Mayer did a masterful job weaving in details about our organization and really understood what our leaders needed to hear. He talked about the things that concerned them the most while also celebrating our highlights. I have worked with speakers for years but never before has one made it so personal, so relevant for our organization. Thank you, Dr. Mayer, for an inspirational and motivational presentation!


October 25, 2022

November 19, 2021

HE DID A GREAT JOB. Our folks really liked his presentation.

Oklahoma Hospital Association

September 27, 2021


We work with a lot of speaking organizations... Let me tell you - ESB is the best! Matt Meyer is by far the best agent to work with!

Warrior Rising

Everyone on the ESB team (Matt, Sheryl, etc.) has been great to work with for our events. Looking forward to keep working with ESB!

Plexus Worldwide

We had a positive experience with ESB. Matt Meyer is a great communicator and easy to get a hold of. He helped us through the process to make..


ESB was patient, thorough, and responsive during the planning process. Thank you for making this such a great experience for us!


ESB supported our needs and the needs of our speaker throughout the entire process. I highly recommend working with ESB to find your next spe..


"It's always a pleasure to work with ESB. Very professional and personable staff. Thanks!"

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