Laura Gassner Otting
Laura Gassner Otting
Author, Catalyst and Executive Coach

Laura Gassner Otting inspires people to push past the doubt and indecision that keep great ideas in limbo by helping audiences think bigger and accept greater challenges that reach beyond their current, limited scope of belief.
She delivers strategic thinking, well-honed wisdom, and perspective generated by decades of navigating change across the start-up, corporate, nonprofit, political, as well as philanthropic landscapes. Laura dares audiences to find their voice and generate the confidence needed to tackle larger-than-life challenges by helping them to seek new ways of leading, managing, and mentoring others.
Laura’s rebellious and entrepreneurial edge has been well-honed over a 25-year career that started when she dropped out of law school to join an unknown southern governor’s presidential campaign and ended up as a Presidential Appointee in Bill Clinton’s White House, where she helped shape AmeriCorps.
She left a leadership role as the youngest Vice President at a nationally respected search firm when she realized that her boss’s definition of success didn’t align with hers and, instead, founded and ran one of the fastest-growing search firms in the country, partnering with the full gamut of mission-driven executives, from start-up dreamers to scaling social entrepreneurs to global philanthropists. In 2015, Laura sold that firm to the team who helped her build it, both because she was hungry for the next chapter and because she held an audacious dream of electing our nation’s first female president. (Whomp whomp.)
Since that time, Laura has appeared regularly on Good Morning America and the TODAY Show, and her writing has been seen in Harvard Business Review, Forbes, HR Magazine. She is the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of three books, including Wonderhell: Why Success Doesn’t Feel Like It Should… and What to Do About It, Limitless: How to Ignore Everybody, Carve Your Own Path, and Live Your Best Life, and Mission-Drive: Moving from Profit to Purpose. Her books have been translated into five languages.
Through her own commitment to give back, Laura has helped build a local Montessori school, co-founded a women’s philanthropic initiative, advised a start-up national women’s PAC, grew a citizen-leadership development program, and completed five charity-inspired marathons, projects emblematic of her passions and values. She’s turned on by the audacity of The Big Idea and that larger-than-life goal you just can’t seem to shake. She’s an instigator, a motivator, and a provocateur, and she’s never met a revolution she didn’t like, just ask her enduringly patient husband, two almost-grown sons, and troublesome puppy with whom she lives outside of Boston, MA.