Cathy Salit

Cathy Salit — author, performer, executive coach, social entrepreneur, and CEO — has been shaking things up since she was 13. That’s when she began her career as an upstart and risk-taker by dropping out of eighth grade and starting an alternative school in an abandoned storefront in New York City. This unusual endeavor put Cathy on an uncharted life path, and she has dedicated her life to creating educational environments that challenge the status quo and offer innovative, high-impact learning and development experiences.


As CEO of Performance of a Lifetime (POAL), a consulting firm that helps leaders, teams, and organizations to grow their business by focusing on the human side of strategy, she and her team use the art and science of performance to help leaders close the gap between the current reality and their desired future. She works with leaders and teams at companies such as American Express, Nike, Time Warner, Twitter, The Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Cathy is the author of Performance Breakthrough: A Radical Approach to Success at Work (Hachette Books), in which she presents The Becoming Principle, her revolutionary approach to learning and growing. Cathy’s work has been featured in the Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Fast Company, Wired, The Wall Street Journal, and she is a weekly columnist for In addition to working with Fortune 500 companies, she is an activist using performance to help people from different walks of life to come together and see, hear and converse in new ways; most recently helping to train workshop leaders for the groundbreaking Operation Conversation: Cops and Kids program in partnership with the non-profit All Stars Project and the New York City Police Department. She is also an artistic associate at the award-winning Castillo Theatre where she performs musical improv. Cathy lives in NYC and sings jazz and the blues on any stage she can find . . . or create.