Chester Elton delivers energized 2014 MDCE keynote address

ORLANDO, November 18, 2014 — To succeed as a manager, you need to get your people to fully commit to you and your business; to go “all in.” Whether you manage the smallest of teams or a big, multi-location marine dealership, you are the owner of a work culture — and few things will have a bigger impact on your performance than getting your employees to buy into your ideas and believe that what they do truly matters.

This was the message New York Times best-selling author and world-renowned leadership guru Chester Elton delivered Monday night, Nov. 17, to a packed conference room of marine retailers, manufacturers and suppliers during his Opening Keynote address at the 2014 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo. MDCE runs through Wednesday, Nov. 19 at the Orange County Convention Center and Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Fla.

“The happiest and most productive people have aligned their work with their motivators,” Elton said during his address. “Everyone deserves a great place to work.”

During his interactive and entertaining Opening Keynote address, entitled “All In: How the Best Managers Create a Culture that Drives Big Results,” Elton talked to MDCE attendees about how to engage, enable and energize their employees. Elton shared in-depth research about how the most successful organizations — and those who lead them — deliver extraordinary results.

“Ask your people what you can do better,” Elton urged managers and principals in the room. “Rooting for each other is the secret sauce of a great culture.”

Elton provided keynote attendees with ideas to excite and motivate dealership employees — ideas that are intended to boost employee morale and translate into a more productive workplace. His methods have been put to good use in his role as leadership consultant to firms such as American Express, Avis Budget Group, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Cigna.

“General praise has no impact on people,” Elton said. “You can’t just come to work and say ‘Great job!’ Specific has all kinds of power.”

Key take-aways from Elton’s Monday evening address include: The three characteristics of the world’s most profitable, productive team cultures; seven steps today’s most successful managers use to generate employee buy-in; and ways any manager can build a culture in which employees give that extra push of effort.

“In the pre-MDCE surveys, leadership was the topic in highest demand by marine dealers,” explains Liz Walz, director of education for the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas, which produces the annual event in partnership with Boating Industry. “Chester Elton not only provided insight that will help MDCE attendees better lead their businesses, but by giving them tools to improve employee satisfaction, his advice also will likely result in a better customer experience.”

Co-author of several successful leadership books including “All In,” “The Carrot Principle,” and “The Orange Revolution,” Elton is considered an expert in the field of company culture and employee engagement. His research shows that the most successful businesses deliver extraordinary results by developing a team culture in which employees believe that they are valuable contributors to the business.

Elton’s collection of books, which are both New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers, have been translated into more than 30 languages and sold more than a million copies worldwide. His work has been called a “must read for managers” by Larry King of CNN, and he earned the clever moniker “Apostle of Appreciation” by Canada’s largest newspaper, the Globe and Mail.

“Chester did an amazing job firing up the dealer base and getting MDCE attendees excited for the next few days of educational opportunities,” says Boating Industry editor-in-chief Jonathan Sweet. “A huge thank-you to our longtime Opening Keynote sponsor, Smoker Craft, for allowing us to bring a talent like Chester to MDCE.”

The 2014 MDCE features more than 30 educational sessions in all, the most the event has ever offered, including seven Pre-Conference Workshops. The conference has traditionally included three educational tracks, but in 2014, it has expanded to four tracks: Leadership, Sales, Marketing and Service Plus. A Closing Keynote address also has been added this year.

The MDCE has attracted an increasing number of dealers every year since 2007. MRAA’s goal is to grow the event to more than 1,000 dealer attendees. To learn more, visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *