Former NFL & NBA Business Executive, Leadership & Culture Expert, Bestselling Author, Keynote Speaker

Paul Epstein

At a glance:

Paul Epstein speaks about the power of Playing Offense— how purpose helps us push through adversity to unlock greater fulfillment and mastery of our craft. He shows how you and your team can become more inspired, impactful, and effective to create a competitive advantage of culture where greatness can be the catalyst for growth. More than anything, he’ll help you discover just how incredible it feels to lead with purpose and take control of your future.

Paul Epstein has spent nearly 15 years as a pro sports executive for multiple NFL and NBA teams, a global sports agency, and the NFL league office. He’s transformed numerous NBA teams from the absolute bottom in league revenue to top-two in financial performance. He’s broken every premium revenue metric in Super Bowl history as the NFL’s sales leader. He’s also opened a billion-dollar stadium, helped save the New Orleans NBA franchise, and founded the San Francisco 49ers Talent Academy—where he became known as the “Why Coach”.

To amplify this impact, Paul has since installed his leadership and high-performance playbook with Fortune 500 leaders, Founders and CEOs, MBAs, and professional athletes.

As a global keynote speaker, #1 bestselling author of “The Power of Playing Offense”, and host of the “Playmakers: ON PURPOSE” podcast, Paul explores how living and working with a focus on leadership, culture, and purpose can transform organizations and individuals anywhere to unleash their full potential. When he’s not on stage, he’s putting his insights to daily practice, serving as Chief Impact Officer for PurposePoint (host of the world’s largest Purpose Summit) and Chief Purpose Advisor for the Why Institute (the world’s fastest way to discover your purpose)—on a mission to inspire leaders and lives to meet the unique challenges of our era.


    Playing Offense is how the power of purpose inspires peak performance by maximizing our potential. In this fast-paced keynote presentation, Paul Epstein transforms managers into leaders, dreamers into doers and defensive decisions into offensive power plays. But the only way to achieve these goals is to become the kind of leader you would be inspired to follow. It’s about finding your WHY, and the thrilling feeling of being alive that comes from taking action and embracing the journey.

    Organizations and people that make real impact find ways to apply Paul’s five pillars of success—Live with Championship Purpose, Be the Storm Chaser, Salute the Long Snapper, Embody Gold Jacket Culture, and Leave It Better Than You Found It. With the ability to tailor his message for multiple groups of leaders, he shows how you and your team can become more inspired, impactful, and effective to create a competitive advantage of culture where greatness can be the catalyst for growth. More than anything, Paul will help you discover just how incredible it feels to lead with purpose and take control of your future.
  • For Team and Organizational Leaders:

    Inspired by Paul Epstein’s 15-year leadership journey in the NFL and NBA, every audience member will leave with 5 actionable ways to build high-performance teams and championship culture, including:

    Learning Outcomes:
    -Through a custom assessment, learn how the Power of Why can transform your entire organization from paycheck driven to purpose driven. Results revealed at your keynote kickoff.
    -Engage with activities on what great leaders DO, so you can train these behaviors across your leadership team
    -Acquire best practices on how to battle the current burnout and fatigue in the workforce, effective for both in-person and remote teams
    -Discover the culture dynamics to attract, engage, and retain your top talent so that the Great Resignation can become the Great Awakening
    -Inspire a winning mindset to “leave it better than you found it”, where your team is driven by impact and fueled by a deeper purpose
  • For Sales Leaders and Sales Teams

    Paul Epstein served as a sales leader inside the NFL and NBA for 15 years. This keynote covers his 5 keys on how to inspire performance and drive impact in highly competitive and challenging environments:

    Learning Outcomes:
    -Through a custom assessment, learn how the Power of Why can transform your sales team from paycheck driven to purpose driven. Results revealed at your keynote kickoff.
    -Discover the ROI of Purpose from the largest ever research study of purpose at work, connecting purpose to bottom-line productivity and performance
    -Learn how to evolve customer relationships from transactional to transformational, through one simple rule (pro tip: it even works remotely)
    -Acquire a four-quadrant framework on how to build trust and earn loyalty within your team and your clients
    -Identify how to shift from extrinsic motivation to intrinsic motivation, where carrots and sticks become ownership and accountability to both self and team
  • For All Audiences: Living Your Life on Purpose

    In a 15-year journey of coaching business teams in the NFL and NBA, Paul Epstein discovered how purpose can unlock the inner success and fulfillment we’re all after. In this keynote, Paul transforms from the Why Coach of the 49ers to YOUR Coach.

    Learning Outcomes:
    -Through a custom assessment, learn how the Power of Why can transform individuals and teams from paycheck driven to purpose driven. Results revealed at your keynote kickoff.
    -Engage with a framework that aligns your Head, Heart, and Hands so you can lead your business, and life, ON PURPOSE
    -Learn a process to reveal your core identity: know who you are, how you think, how you show up, and WHY you do what you do
    -Understand how to make more courageous decisions that are aligned with your purpose by conquering your mindset and igniting your passion
    -Recognize how the power of values can become the catalyst for your daily actions and contributions, driven by the impact you are destined to have
  • For All Audiences: From Burnout and Resignation to Purpose and Performance

    People don’t just burn out because of what they do, they burn out because they forget why they do it. Paul Epstein has led underdog NFL and NBA teams to top financial performance, championed workplace culture while navigating labor lockouts, and mastered how to engage low morale team members and apathetic customers in volatile times. Bottom line, Paul has walked through fire and this is his custom playbook on how to rise above the burnout and resignation running rampant in our workforce to achieve your most pressing goals of engagement and retention in 2022 and beyond.

    Learning Outcomes:
    -Elevate the level of grit, resilience, adaptability, and agility in your workforce so your culture can endure any internal or external climate
    -Reconnect the fragmented workforces created by the pandemic to rally around a spirit of camaraderie, empathy, and trust
    -Shift your culture from being extrinsically motivated (carrots and sticks) to intrinsically motivated where ownership and self-accountability are prominent
    -Learn how purpose can reorient your leaders and organization to drive more passion in the day-to-day and meaningful impact in the bigger picture
    -Acquire a playbook proven in the NFL and NBA to build a people-first culture around enhanced recruiting, engagement, and retention efforts
After a year of COVID, my team at work was really starting to show the strains of being physically distanced for so long: we were all feeling disconnected, we had difficulty communicating and there was just a general feeling of malaise among the group. Paul created a two-part workshop that helped us reconnect with our personal goals, each other and why we do what we do. He helped improve communication among the team and everyone left feeling seen, heard and hopefully more valued. I look forward to following up with Paul to continue the work we started together.


Paul’s interactive workshop at our conference provided our attendees an opportunity to identify a gameplan for their personal success and their roles as leaders.   You could see individuals engaging with Paul’s message and anecdotes in a fun, thoughtful and informative format. His emphasis on building human relationships and playing offensive provides a foundation for individuals to apply actionable items to work towards their personal and professional leadership goals. His workshop was a perfect fit for our program and added a tremendous amount of value to our conference agenda.

—Laura Case, Senior Program Director, Sports Business Journal

Paul led our leadership and staff through his coursework on identifying and living/working with purpose through core values and an over-arching “WHY” that optimizes performance and challenges us to level up to our full potential.  He’s done a ton of work with other teams/leagues and companies to focus on our best asset, people.  I’ve received incredible feedback from our group around connecting and creating a culture that celebrates personal growth, talent and performance that centers on authentic and purpose driven energy.

—Michelle Kajiwara, Senior Vice President, Premium and Events Business, STAPLES Center/AEG

We are a fast growing tele-therapy startup company with it's entire workforce operating from home. We were looking to build the foundation of our company with the combined values of our people. Paul's session was powerful. He made the team stronger and guided us through identifying the most important values we wanted to embed into the work culture.

—Syed Mohammed, CEO Enable My Child

Playing Offense challenges us all to lead with purpose, authenticity, and courage—characteristics that make Paul the ideal coach for this transformational journey to know who we are and why we serve. Paul was able to plant deep-rooted seeds that blossomed into self-awareness and change for my team.

—Michele Kajiwara, Senior Vice President, Sales & Service AEG / Staples Center

Paul’s work with our hotel’s management team has been invaluable, inspiring individuals of all different tenures and experience levels to find their purpose and become more fulfilled leaders. The impact on our organizational culture has been tremendous and the fundamental lessons from his workshops have become a core part of our organizational DNA.

—Matthew Lehman, Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, Former General Manager

Paul imparts practical and action-oriented lessons from the trenches of leadership through his Playing Offense system. His people-first approach will resonate with leaders at every level, inspiring both teams and individuals who are determined and driven enough to take on the challenge.

—Rich Diviney, Retired Navy SEAL Officer, Author & Speaker On Leadership & Optimal Performance

In football, the most successful teams develop a plan and take deliberate and consistent steps toward achieving their goals every single day—leadership is no different. Paul has provided the ultimate game plan for leaders that are driven to achieve their vision of success for themselves and their teams.

—Merrill Hoge, Former NFL Player, Former ESPN Commentator, Bestselling Author

Many of us have been promoted from player to coach and were never provided a playbook on how to lead. Playing Offense was curated to solve this problem. The impact it will create for your team, career, culture, and life, is infinite.

—Santor Nishizaki, Award-Winning Chief Executive Officer, Formerly With NASA And Disney Imagineering

Paul’s keynote exceeded all my expectations and my team was profoundly moved by Paul's authenticity, and by the leadership principles he taught us using amazing storytelling skills. Paul helped Amazon understand the core values at the center of leadership such as Compassion, Character, and Trust.

—Oumar Diagne, Former Amazon Sr. Manager, Honeywell, Sr. Director Global Operations Finance

What makes a great leader? Mountains of books have been written on the traits, skills, and qualities that provide this answer. In my mind, one easily rises to the top: The Power of Playing Offense.

—Eric Yuan, Founder & CEO, ZOOM Video Communications

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