Meet Ellen Leikind...entrepreneur, corporate trailblazer, published author, and creator of PokerDivas. Her mission: to show how you can win at the corporate game using the strategies of poker.
A Fortune 500 executive who launched over a billion dollars in health and beauty products, Ellen was intrigued when poker events began to rival golf as a popular corporate networking opportunity. Returning to the game she learned from her mom as a teenager, she noticed strong parallels among the strategies of poker, business, and life itself.
Ellen started POKERprimaDIVAS (aka PokerDivas) to help women gain entree to male-dominated networking events while honing their business skills. Her programs proved so popular that the PokerDivas mission expanded to helping both men and women boldly rise through the ranks of corporate America and prosper in their professional and personal lives.
You're playing poker every day, without cards
Even if you've never played a hand of poker, every time you negotiate, manage people, or deal with a challenging situation, you are playing the game. Leikind's specialty is showing how anyone can use the knowledge of poker to take charge of not only their career but also their life.
Her speaking topics include:
- Playing to win as opposed to avoid losing: learning to be a bolder leader
- Taking control of how you’re perceived at the conference table: creating the table image you desire
- Learning the four poker personality types and how to use them to devise a winning strategy at work and in life
- The gender dynamic: how women and men play differently at the poker table and at the conference table
- How to be bold, take action, and get what you deserve
- Beyond diversity: bringing the inclusivity of the poker table into corporate culture
- Handling a bully in the boardroom
- Stop thinking of poker as a card game
Leikind describes poker as a "people game you play with cards" that encourages initiative and assertiveness and rewards calculated risk-taking. Poker is about playing the people - reading the table, countering aggressive players, knowing when to bluff - the same skills that helped her succeed as a senior executive at companies such as Pfizer and L’Oreal.
An acknowledged expert on poker as a business-training tool, Leikind is a Cornell-certified diversity and inclusion authority who runs PokerDivas programs that include corporate team building, diversity and inclusion, and women’s initiative. She has authored a book: Poker Woman: How to Win at Love, Life, and Business Using the Principles of Poker, written columns on the life lessons of poker for Parade, hosted the PokerDivas podcast, and been featured in myriad news stories in Forbes, Crain's, CNBC, ABC News, Success, and more.
This is what people are saying about Ellen as a speaker:
“Ellen left everyone feeling excited, even those on their phones looked up and were engaged. People come away with confidence, valuable takeaways, and a better understanding of how to negotiate in challenging business situations.”
Laurel C., Entrepreneur
“I had no idea poker was so much like life. Ellen showed me how to be bold and take the actions that I really need to focus on to get the career that I want.”
Erin D., Corporate Attorney
About Ellen Leikind
Ms. Leikind is a senior marketing executive who has worked at several Fortune 500 companies including Pfizer and L’Oreal; she was also an Executive Consultant for the Direct Response infomercial industry. Ms. Leikind has an MBA in marketing from Fordham University in New York, a certificate from Cornell University in Diversity and Inclusion and is a native New Yorker and avid dog lover.