Debra Benton

Debra Benton

Formal First Name

Debra Benton is a globally recognized executive coach, best-selling business author, and top-ranked conference keynote speaker on leadership and executive effectiveness. Debra founded Benton Management Resources in 1976 to provide executive development and career counseling. For over 30 years, she has developed a reputation with clients all over the world as a practical, insightful, candid and caring professional consultant. Debra has helped professionals worldwide to design subtle changes in their presentation, attitude, and leadership style, and she has coached corporate executives, politicians, and business leaders on their organization impact in various industries. In addition, she is the acclaimed author of twelve books on professional development, which have been translated into multiple languages, including the New York Times bestseller How To Think Like A CEO, along with many other books and articles on personal and professional leadership. Debra also teaches leadership in Colorado State University's MBA Global Social & Sustainable Enterprise program and serves as an adjunct professor at UNC's Monfort School of Business.


  • Executive Presence for the Modern Leader: A Guide to Cultivating Success and Thriving in the Workplace (2021)

  • An Introvert's Guide to Networking: Practical Tools to Leverage Your Strengths and Expand Your Network (2020)

  • The Leadership Mind Switch: Rethinking How We Lead in the New World of Work (2017)

  • The CEO Difference: How to Climb, Crawl, and Leap Your Way to the Next Level of Your Career (2014)

  • The Virtual Executive: How to Act Like a CEO Online and Offline (2012)

  • CEO Material: How to Be a Leader in Any Organization (2009)

  • Executive Charisma: Six Steps to Mastering the Art of Leadership (2003)

  • Lions Don't Need to Roar: Using the Leadership Power of Personal Presence to Stand Out, Fit in and Move Ahead (2001)

  • How to Act Like a CEO: 10 Rules for Getting to the Top and Staying There (2000)

  • Secrets of A CEO Coach: Your Personal Training Guide to Thinking Like a Leader and Acting Like a CEO (1999)

  • How to Think Like a CEO: The 22 Vital Traits You Need to Be the Person at the Top (1999)

  • The $100,000 Club: How to Make a Six-Figure Income (1999)


  • As a top C-suite coach, she helps people take ownership of their potential to make positive lasting changes in their attitudes, actions, and interactions.

  • Debra has coached people to:

    • Meet and work with Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton

    • Job interview with Donald Trump

    • Present at the Academy Awards; testify before Congressional¬†

    • Committee meetings and Senate hearings

    • Give expert witness testimony in court

    • Successfully vie for positions inside and outside of an organization

    • Build successful professional practices


  • Debra has appeared on The Today Show, CBS Morning News, Good Morning America, and CNN.

  • Her work and expertise has been covered in The Wall Street Journal and USA Today.

  • She has been repeatedly written about in Time, BusinessWeek, Fortune, and The New York Times.

  • She has spoken to hundreds of organizations including American Express, United Airlines, Viacom, McKinsey & Company, Comcast, Kraft, HP, and others.