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Merge Gupta-Sunderji

Turning Managers Into Leaders

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Merge Gupta-Sunderji: Turning Managers Into Leaders

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Merge Gupta-Sunderji helps turn managers into leaders. A professional speaker, author, radio commentator, and consultant since 1988, Merge gives people specificand practical tools to help them achieve leadership and communication success. In just the last three years, over 13,000 managers across Canada, the U.S., and the U.K. have attended her leadership keynotes and workshops. As a leader at one of Canada’s premier oil and gas companies and a Board leader at a Credit Union for a combined total of over seventeen years, she offers a unique blend of realism and humour that consistently engages and entertains her audiences! 

Previously, she was the well-known voice behind the national CBC radio column  The Softer Side of Business. She’s an award-winning published author, writing for many well-known organizations and publications, including the very popular Merge’s Monthly Mega Minute. Why Does the Lobster Cast Off Its Shell? is her most recent book project. She is now working on her latest book, The Successful Leader’s Toolkit, a hands-on practical how-to guide for leaders, scheduled to be released in 2006.

Why Does the Lobster Cast Off Its Shell?
This intriguing title actually has a very simple answer: to grow! But for a lobster, the task is not as easy as one might think! Unknown to most, the lobster goes through periods of extreme vulnerability and risk in order to develop and evolve … and so too it can be with people and organizations. And in today’s new economic reality, as leaders across the country are facing new challenges … and new opportunities … this message is more relevant than ever. Resources are fewer, nevertheless you’re being asked to accomplish more tasks, give greater levels of customer service, and achieve improved results. Yet if you can step back from the day-to-day and focus on the bigger picture, the possibilities hold enormous potential. You already know the importance of stretching and pushing yourself beyond the obvious in order to be successful, but it takes skill and perspective to position for the future! In this powerful and engaging keynote, Merge will teach you six hands-on practical strategies to help you become a lobster – to consciously push the limits of your comfort zone so that you look past the here-and-now, so that you continue to grow and thrive, and position yourself and your organization for long-term and sustainable success.

Note to Organizers:
This energizing keynote is designed to get peoples’ minds kick-started and their attitudes pumped up! It is based on Merge’s highly-acclaimed book Why Does the Lobster Cast Off Its Shell? now out in its second edition. Cost-effective arrangements can be made to provide each attendee with a copy of this book as part of this presentation. Also, if needed, either a card can be inserted, or a sticker placed on the inside front cover/fly leaf of the book to acknowledge any sponsors.
As a result of attending and participating in this keynote, attendees will learn:
  • Six realistic and practical strategies to expand their horizons, both personal and organizational, and position themselves for a brave new future
  • Colorful memorable relevant metaphors that they can apply immediately in their professional and personal lives
  • Practical tips and techniques to grow and thrive, no matter what the economic or other challenges
Main themes: leadership, growth, change, transition, seizing opportunity, continuous learning

Generations Exposed! Unexpected Insights Into the People You Work With
You can’t help but notice it – the diversity in the age of people in the workplace. From new young workers to baby boomers to individuals on the threshold of retirement, each of these demographics brings their own perspectives and impacts to an organization. In an intriguing (and challenging) twist on the multi-generational workforce, it’s not unusual to face a workplace (or even just a department) where you have all four generations present! Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X-ers and Millennials, they each have their own values, expectations, habits, and work styles, and if leaders fail to acknowledge and develop strategies to actively manage them, they will create conflict, inefficiency, and eventually negativity leading to a loss of future leaders in the company. As a leader, it’s critical to understand the differences between each generation, and perhaps more importantly, consciously and deliberately adapt your leadership style to communicate with, motivate, and lead this multi-generational workforce.

Note to Organizers:

Increasingly, your employees, customers and other stakeholders are going to be from the Millennial demographic. Do you understand exactly how they think and act differently from the generations before them? And are you changing the way you communicate, work with and lead them? If not, you should be! In this fast-paced, content-rich and highly entertaining keynote, you will:
  • Gain a greater insight into the factors that have shaped each generational demographic, and thus their motivations and behaviors
  • Identify the common characteristics of each generation and explore the enormous strengths each can bring to an organization
  • Recognize individual value filters that get in the way of understanding different generations
  • Hear real-life examples of what happens when you ignore generational differences
  • Learn specific ways to draw out the best from every employee, no matter what their generational demographic
  • Develop skills to communicate effectively with all four generations of staff (and co-workers and clients)
If you plan a lot of conferences and events then you may be thinking “been there, done that” when it comes to this topic. Think again! This topic is even more relevant today than it was five years ago. As growing numbers of Millennials enter, and Traditionalists and Boomers depart the workforce, the rift between the generations continues to widen and deepen. And leaders everywhere are more desperate than ever for solutions. As a front-line leader with first-hand experience, Merge brings not only a fresh, relevant and credible perspective to these issues, but she also offers specific and practical answers to the tough questions that leaders everywhere are asking.

This entertaining keynote is based on Merge’s newly-released (2014) highly praised book Generations Exposed: Unexpected insights into the people you work with. Cost-effective arrangements can be made to provide each attendee with a copy of this book as part of this presentation. Also, if needed, either a card can be inserted, or a sticker placed on the inside front cover/fly leaf of the book to acknowledge any sponsors.
Main themes: leadership, intergenerational dialogue, multiple generations in the workplace, millennials, generation Y, generation X, baby boomers, traditionalists

Turning Managers Into Leaders – Six Essential Elements of the Leadership Journey
Management is what you do, leadership is how you do it. – Merge Gupta-Sunderji, Power Tools for Leaders

 Successful leaders know that there is an enormous difference between managing and leading! Success in leadership is measured not by what you do, but rather by the impact you have on others. Ultimately: management is about getting things done, leadership is about getting other people to get things done. So what exactly are these elusive factors that separate the manager from the leader? Merge has crystallized these differences into what she calls the leadership mentality – six core values that ignite the spirits and minds of leaders and take them from average to exceptional! In this upbeat and fast-paced keynote, you’ll discover surprisingly straightforward actions you can take that will make a dramatic impact to your leadership effectiveness – literally overnight. Through rich metaphors and real-life examples, Merge will leave you with six simple, yet incredibly powerful, traits to take you on your journey from manager … to leader.

Note to Organizers:

This crisp and compelling keynote is most effective when delivered at the beginning or end of a leadership or management conference. Designed specifically for those who are responsible for leading others, it’s guaranteed to leave participants with plenty of gas to punch the accelerator and go! In this upbeat and fast-paced journey along the highways and side streets of leadership, participants will explore and experience:
  • The six core values that separate managers from leaders
  • Vibrant relevant examples and metaphors that vividly illustrate the differences between managers and leaders
  • Specific and practical techniques that they can use immediately to either start or continue their transition from manager to leader
Main themes:  leadership, people development, growth, positive attitude, continuous learning

Turtle Training for the Hare: Why Slow ‘n’ Steady Trumps Fast ‘n’ Furious
Whether you use the metaphor of the turtle vs. the hare or the sprinter vs. the long-distance runner (Merge uses both!), the underlying message is that building strength and sustainability in your people is what will give you long-term victory in lasting leadership. If your organization is going to be successful in today’s highly competitive business world, then you need to look beyond just the day to day. Are your people marathoners who have the energy and endurance to go up hills and down valleys, or will they fizzle and sputter when the hurdles get higher? In a positive and entertaining look at growth and productivity, Merge offers you specific and practical ideas to build strength and sustainability in your employees and ultimately your organization.

Note to organizers:

In today’s fast-paced, high-tech, multi-tasking work environment, it’s easy to forget about the pulse of what really makes your organization what it is – people! As companies everywhere spend increasing amounts of time and resources to embrace and keep up with technology, it’s critical that you not lose sight of what really creates organizational success – engaging and investing in your people. As a leader, it’s up to you to keep your eye on the ultimate prize – stakeholders who are passionate about your vision and engaged in your endeavors. This entertaining fast-paced keynote uses metaphors and analogies to drive home four key points – four things that you absolutely must do in order to build strength and sustainability in your organization and the stakeholders that you serve. As a result of attending this keynote, participants will learn:
  • Four key strategies to build strength and sustainability in themselves and others
  • Colorful memorable relevant metaphors that they can apply immediately to engage their employees and other stakeholders and create commitment
  • Practical and realistic perspectives that will give them a long-term outlook on how to survive and thrive well into the future
  • Main themes: leadership, strength, sustainability, productivity, passion

High Heels That Click: Why Female Leadership Has Its Advantages
Beyond just the obvious, men and women really are different beings! Research clearly demonstrates that women view and respond differently to specific workplace situations than men do. And unfortunately, in the past, these differences were perceived by many as disadvantages in leadership and success. Get ready to explode that myth! In this entertaining, engaging, and sometimes tongue-in-cheek keynote, Merge outlines five significant traits that separate the women from the men, and shows how the things that set us apart as women actually set us ahead as leaders. Using colorful anecdotes and compelling metaphors, you’ll see how what makes you distinct also makes you incomparable.

Note to organizers:

This keynote is best suited for an audience of women in any position of professional or personal leadership. While it is occasionally irreverent and tongue-in-cheek when it comes to the differences between men and women, it is still nevertheless respectful to both genders, and so can also be delivered to a “mixed” audience. Here’s just some of what attendees will learn:
  • The research behind the reality – what the empirical data tells us about the differences in how men and women communicate
  • The five things women are more likely to do in the workplace … and perhaps more importantly, why they give us an advantage when it comes to leadership
  • Compelling and unforgettable metaphors that illustrate and celebrate how women make great leaders
Main themes: women in leadership, “girl power”, workplace differences between women and men
"Merge is a meeting planner’s dream come true! I would have no hesitation in recommending her as a keynote speaker or workshop facilitator for your next conference, convention, or tradeshow. She doesn’t just deliver packaging, the content is always rich. Her platform skills and subject knowledge will ensure that you get rave reviews from your attendees."
Promotional Products Association of Canada

"The feedback from Merge's sessions is always outstanding. She is a dynamic speaker who is in tune with her audience. She uses humor appropriately, and it very successful at creating situations for participants to be interactive during the full day sessions. We always have a Waiting List for her class."
Fisher-Price Inc.

"Our employees attending found Merge to be enthusiastic, articulate, and her manner of teaching was easily understood. She had the attention of everybody in the room almost immediately."
Peavey Industries Canada