Must Have Back

Everyone loved you! I’ve added you to my ‘must have back’ list!

Angie B., Agribank | Farm Credit Bank

Commonsense Leadership, Compounding Influence

EMPOWER your team to ENGAGE and EXECUTE through real-world leadership stories and commonsense illustrations. If you need to FUEL LEADERSHIP PERFORMANCE and AMP UP INFLUENCE… Phillip Van Hooser is ready to help!

As a trusted advisor and keynote speaker for major U.S. companies and organizations, Phil Van Hooser has one driving mission: to prepare business leaders with commonsense guidance for the opportunities and obstacles awaiting them.

A seasoned leader in manufacturing and banking, Phil has been showing entry-level, mid-level, and executive leaders how to successfully execute their responsibilities while authentically engaging and empowering their people for 30+ years.

As a result, thousands of leaders from myriad industries are engaging more authentically, executing their responsibilities more effectively, and compounding their influence and impact in the companies, communities, and circles in which they live!

Watch Phil Now

Solidify Connection & Engagement

Challenge Status Quo Leadership

Foster a Mindset to Embrace Change

Compound Influence & Impact

Conversational. Commonsense. Challenging the Status Quo!


From the time his grandmother knelt to look him in the eye and instill her wisdom in him, Phil has understood the value of intentionally, authentically connecting, and engaging with people.

“I’m here to talk with you… about you.” 

Like a trusted mentor or old friend, Phil shares truth and wisdom. Sometimes revealed through a story. Sometimes pointed. Sometimes from his own mistakes. 

It worked for his grandmother. It resonated through Phil’s career. It is the bedrock of his approach to leadership, and the hallmark of his presentation style.


In business and in life, people need answers that are practical and approaches that really work. As Phil shares commonsense concepts, audiences start shaking their heads in agreement and reflecting on their own journey. 

Why? Because they know Phil understands what they are going through. His front-row seat in high-pressure industries validates the ideas that deliver results… and discredits the ones that do anything but.

Audiences see the possibilities in the perspectives he presents. Engaged, inspired, equipped — they’re ready to put them into practice and experience their own personal results!

Challenging the Status Quo.

Some people will tell you what you want to hear whether it’s truthful or not. That’s the attitude that reinforces so-so results and leads so many people off course.

While some realities are hard to hear, Phil doesn’t shy away from the truth. He is a status quo challenger — committed to helping individuals make informed choices with accurate expectations to achieve the results their roles demand and they personally desire!

Conversational, Status Quo-Challenging Keynotes!

In Person, Hybrid & Virtual

  • Too Busy for Details: Strategies to Solidify Leadership Connection

  • Choose to Lead: The Steps Leaders Take to Create Intentionally Positive Impact

  • We Need to Talk: Building Trust When Communicating Gets Critical

Too Busy for Details: Strategies to Solidify Leadership Connection

In the rush of business demands, it’s easy to neglect some details. But leadership connection should never be one of them. Every business relationship rests on a connection. How well you solidify those connections directly impacts your influence and success.

The strategies presented in this engaging keynote equip audience members to evaluate their effectiveness at building authentic employee relationships and elevate the way they listen, communicate, and engage with their people.

This program is perfect for executive, established, and emerging leaders: 

— Dealing with broken trust, disengagement, conflict, or low productivity due to changing workplace demands or a disjointed organizational culture

— Preparing for management transitions brought on by reorganization or demographic, market, or culture shifts

— Anticipating rapid growth that will require high levels of teamwork, collaboration, and empowerment

The audience will leave with:

— A better understanding of why employees want authentic connections, how these connections affect engagement and performance, and how to establish those connections

— Steps to improve active listening and open communication and build greater respect, trust, and authenticity

— Engaging examples of what to do and what not to do to solidify trusting, cohesive relationships that improve employee performance and retention

Choose to Lead: The Steps Leaders Take to Create Intentionally Positive Impact

Work today is a pressure cooker for leaders, and managers — for employees of every level. And at the heart of much of the pressure is a disconnect. Reducing this gap… creating an environment where employees feel equipped to do their best… and leaders feel confident the organization can achieve its highest… requires making a definitive choice…

The choice to lead.

Business professionals up and down any organizational ladder can purposefully create more authentic working relationships, stronger teams, better communication, greater connection, and more significant impact — by adopting the “choose to lead” mindset and methods.

Make work — make your world — less stressful, more engaging, highly productive, and exceedingly more impactful! The choice is yours. Embed it into your culture. Make it your mantra…

“Choose to Lead!”

This culture-shifting keynote inspires the audience to take responsibility for their leadership impact and empowers them with the mindset and methods for making decisions that create stronger teams, better communication, and a more significant impact.

This program is perfect for executive, established, and emerging leaders:

— Stressed by their lack of skills and confidence or afraid of making the wrong decisions when leading multi-generational employees with diverse backgrounds and attitudes toward work

— Challenged to rapidly equip, prepare and retain high potential employees for transition into management/leadership roles as the labor market tightens and their current leaders exit

— Needing to build a cohesive culture of trust as they navigate mergers, acquisitions, and rapid change

The audience will leave with:

— A fresh outlook on the critical role that intentionally choosing to lead plays in elevating individual and organizational leadership effectiveness

— A powerful model for improving the quality and appropriateness of organizational decisions made

— The 5 bases of decision-making and actionable methods for making decisions that deliver better results.

We Need to Talk: Building Trust When Communicating Gets Critical

Based on Phil’s book, We Need to Talk

This commonsense keynote equips the audience with six unique communication strategies for building trust when relationships and results are riding on the words they say and the way they say them.

This program is perfect for executive, established, and emerging leaders:

— Needing to communicate difficult decisions about downsizing, layoffs, or restructuring, due to rapid or unexpected business changes

— Experiencing distrust, disloyalty, and declining engagement due to changing values of the workforce or changing workplace demands

— Tasked with creating a cohesive culture following mergers and acquisitions, leadership shifts, or market changes

The audience will leave with:

— Tried-and-true strategies for communicating difficult, unpleasant messages in a way that strengthens relationships rather than damages them

— Strategic approaches to rebuilding the believability quotient when truthfulness hasn’t always been practiced

— Active listening and communication methods that build rapport, empathy, and trust with employees and customers

We Need to Talk: Building Trust When Communicating Gets Critical

“Within days of reading We Need to Talk, I applied two of the principles Phil described and was beyond thrilled at the outcome. Every manager, no matter how experienced can benefit from this book.”

~ P. Pinnegar, Client Support Manager II, ADP, Inc.

Get a Copy Now

Free Communication Guide

8 Steps to Handle Confrontation the Right Way

Communicate Better

Free Professionalism Guide

12 Personal Commitments to Maximize Your Professional Impact

Build Influence

Clients & Testimonials

Must Have Back!

Everyone loved you! I’ve added you to my ‘must have back’ list!

Angie B., AgriBank | Farm Credit Bank

Spot On, A Hit!

…a hit with the entire audience! I have never heard that much positive feedback or excitement about an outside presenter at Lilly…Spot on!

Terri R., Lilly Research Labs

Relatable, Invaluable!

I appreciate how well you relate to us and the challenges we face…that is invaluable!

Carol H., KeyBank


It was spectacular! I hope you are as happy as we are!!!!

Letha K., Manufacturers Assn for Plastics Processors

Rock Star! Best Feedback Ever!

The feedback was the best we’ve ever received from our group. They walked away with so much good information. Everyone thought he was a ‘rock star!’

Kim B., F.F. Properties, LP

The Complete Package!

He has the complete package — organized, detailed, and a true understanding of the audience he is addressing…every attendee feels as though he is speaking directly to them.

Pat M., National Assn of Collegiate Directors of Athletics

Genuine, Credible, Meaningful Learning!

Phil’s message contains meaningful content, his stories hold the attention of his audience, and real learning takes place. He is genuine, credible, and deeply touches us intellectually and emotionally.

Doug S., Westar Energy

Fantastic, Commonsense Inspiration!

Phil is a fantastic inspiration! He speaks and writes in “commonsense” terms. His insight can change your outlook in minutes.

Tom W., Energy Distribution Partners

10 for 10 Would Recommend!

Phil knocked it out of the park!. His dynamic energy, and uplifting, positive message, was exactly what our attendees needed to hear! He came in like a bright light and reminded our audience of what’s important in business and everyday life, and had us all laughing by the end. 10/10 would recommend and will absolutely have him back in the future!

Laura Lee P., Southeast Propane Alliance