Liberal arts taught Kevin Sheridan ’82 to pivot successfully

The flexibility a liberal arts education affords its graduates allowed Kevin Sheridan ’82 of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, to pivot successfully during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pre-pandemic, Sheridan, an internationally recognized keynote speaker on the topic of employee engagement, was a frequent keynote speaker at live international and national events. He worked with organizations such as the National Society of Human Resources Management, Harvard Business School, The Human Capital Institute and the American Hospital Association.

Some of his most sought-after speeches include creating employee engagement in healthcare, hiring and retaining the best employees, handling employee burnout and empowering employees to engage.

His keynote-speaking career, however, took a hit in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic as live events were put on hold or canceled. “Since all live events were canceled, I had to pivot,” Sheridan says. “Previously, I half-joked about my next career: writing the lyrics to country music. And that is exactly what I did.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Sheridan has written six country songs. In one of his blogs, he mentions that he is looking for a music agent.

In addition to writing country lyrics, he leveraged the fact that he wrote a book 14 years ago about virtual work called The Virtual Manager. As the topic of virtual work became very relevant because of the pandemic, he did a lot of podcasts on the subject.

“I thank God that the second management book I wrote, The Virtual Manager, is all about remote work, remote workers, and best practice remote management practices,” he says. “I have to admit that it was sheer luck that Career Press asked me to write on that subject 14 years ago!”

Now, post-pandemic, Sheridan is excited that his keynote speaking career is reawakening as more live events are opening. He is again getting opportunities to share his knowledge on employee engagement in front of a crowd.

At Ripon College, Sheridan majored in economics. He received a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School. He has been honored as being among Inc. Magazine’s top 101 Leadership Speakers in the world and on its top 101 Experts on Employee Engagement. He also was named to The Employee Engagement Award’s Top 100 Global Influencers on Employee Engagement for three consecutive years.

He also has written Building a Magnetic Culture, which made six of the best-seller lists such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today.

Amanda Barlow ’23
Appleton, Wisconsin

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