Spontaneous Leadership

be your best when you need it the most


By engaging people in a fun and inspiring way, Jon offers personal skills that will take you to the next level of excellence.

Entertaining, thought-provoking, and highly engaging, Jon Wilkerson brings staff development to new heights.
— Patricia Donovan

In a turbulent world, success is about thinking on your feet.

The next decade promises to be the most fast paced and disruptive in human history. We see lightning-fast technological changes, a globally integrated economy and society, and an increasingly diverse workforce and customer base.

For some, it is a world of constant worry and danger. For others, it is a world of tremendous abundance and opportunity. How this world looks to you depends on how well you can surf.

No, not that kind of surf! I have never been up on a surfboard myself (living in landlocked Colorado). By “surf,” I mean navigate with nimbleness and agility the roaring, teeming, thrashing, and perpetually shifting environment.

Surfing through the chaos is not a talent—it’s a skill. It’s something that anyone can learn and any organization can get better at. Learning to do this better will sharpen your mind, make you dazzlingly effective in challenging, unexpected, and unfamiliar circumstances, and leave your non-surfing competitors dog-paddling after you.


I have dedicated my career to better understanding the dynamic forces that are buffeting our world, the skills needed to weather the storm, and the best way to prepare individuals and organizations for the challenges to come. I offer help on becoming a more effective individual, a killer team, and an outstanding organization.

 You can read more about me here.

And one of these days, I’m going to give surfing a try too.


speaking programs

No one learns from a dull speaker. That’s why Jon delivers programs that are fun, engaging, and chock-full of actionable ideas.

All programs are tailored for each client to fit the audience, the occasion, and the time allotted. Please browse the programs below to find the one that is right for you.

The Spontaneous leader KEYNOTE

These days, organization are flatter than a pancake! Authority is dispersed. Ad hoc teams are created—and then broken up. Talent is mobile, employees empowered—all of this in response to an increasingly dynamic and finicky market. Even big conglomerates need to act small and nimble to survive.


The DNA of an organization is ultimately the skills, ingenuity, creativity, energy, and commitment of its individual members. Are you fully leveraging these powerful personal skills? Spontaneous Leadership is about giving people the skills to employ all of their personal talents in the service of organizational excellence—and the inspiration to do so.


Free agency has devastated the NFL dynasties of old. Championship teams are quickly picked apart for their talent. The old Hollywood studio system has been replaced by ad hoc teams of writers, actors, and crew members who coalesce around a project and then quickly disperse when the film is in the can.


What's true for football and Hollywood is true for organizations of all stripes. Talent is quick to move on. (Even The Beatles broke up.) Multi-disciplinary teams come together for a short project and quickly disband. How can you build an effective team when the players change so quickly?


This programs reveals how great teams craft and embody their mission, dodge distracting politics and toxic gossip, deal with problems and failures, leverage their diversity, and have each other’s backs. Any team can propel itself to excellence. This keynote shows how.

mastering the moment

What do you do when you don’t know what to do? When there is nobody to tell you what to do and when everything you’ve learned goes flying out of your head? How do you handle those scary, unexpected, and unfamiliar challenges? How do you grab those incredible opportunities when you heart leaps into your throat?

In Jon’s signature presentation, you’ll learn the secrets of successful improvisation and how to become master of the critical moment. Whether it’s running into that potential client in the elevator, being asked to deliver the speech, or just being the only person thinking when disaster strikes, you’ll learn to handle the moment with grace, skill, and success.

Training Programs

All of Jon’s training is improv-based.

"Oh no, not the thing where you have to walk around like a chicken?"

NO! Not that thing.

Jon has taken over 150 basic improv games, taken them apart, and put them back together to create hundreds of new structures that precisely target critical skills. The activities are worlds of self-discovery that will leave you aware of the skills you have, the skills you need, and the things you need to do to fill in the gaps.

And of course they're fun! You’ll laugh your head off. But while you’re laughing, you’ll develop killer skills for being more effective in challenging situations.

(The playfulness is intentional. It makes participants more engaged, more daring, and more likely to leave with new skills. Plus, it’s just fun. Fun is good.)

Except for The B&B Special, participants will engage in small group discussions and have a workbook to write down their thoughts and ideas, and take home a summary of the program’s learning.


The Spontaneous Leader Workshop

Great organizations thrive on talented employees who can be “intrapreneurs”—people who use the tools of an entrepreneur inside an existing company to make it more nimble and responsive to the market.

In this fun and empowering workshop, participants learn to leverage their personal initiative, creativity, ingenuity, and grit to help take the company to the next level of excellence. Whether it’s finding opportunities to make improvements that others have ignored, adding the “secret sauce” of purpose to a team, or just being accountable for a project’s success, these skills will turn an ordinary employee into an extraordinary employee, and an extraordinary employee into a superstar!

Spontaneous Team Workshop.JPG

The Spontaneous Team Workshop

Some teams do good work. Some teams do excellent work. And some teams just hum. They self-organize in a way that leverages the diverse talents of its members, and they motivate themselves to excellence.

Often it’s because a couple members bring a unique ingredient to these temporary teams—glue! By focusing everyone on objectives, inspiring their best work, leading when needed, stepping aside when appropriate, and stepping up to champion great ideas, these individuals have learned how to positively influence the narrative—regardless of their rank or function. They have mastered a critical skill called Spontaneous Teamwork.

In this wildly fun and informative workshop, participants will explore what makes great teams great, and learn how to acquire the skills that will make your teams dazzle. The teams may be temporary, but these critical skills will last a lifetime.


The B&B Special

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” – Ann Lamott

In this relaxed program, we toss aside the workbooks and the lectures and just play. This programs brings participants together in a series of games and activities that allow them to laugh together, appreciate one another, show support for each other, and feel pride in what they do. (B&B stands for “Blending and Bonding.”) This one is all about connection, celebration, and fun. It is sure to sweep away the stress, to boost morale, and to build and strengthen friendships among your team.