Drew grew up under the sun of San Diego—
and as the son of a city judge, who cared deeply about what it meant to be a truly good person. Story after story from the courtroom led to lessons about choices, influences, and ultimately, treating others with respect.
As a young boy captivated by leadership and genuine influence, Drew often entered into political arguments with his father. Through these conversations, his father would point out that it was ok to voice disagreement but it needed to be done with respect. Having a point-of-view, even if someone might not like it or disagree, and sharing it respectfully, helped Drew learn how to say the unsaid in a way that it would be received.
Drew went on to study communications at the graduate-level—where he found a knack for teaching public speaking to undergraduate students and won many awards. After graduation, Drew took corporate roles in both sales and hospitality where learned leadership lessons around influencing people—and building an experience based in service and high-standards.
Meanwhile, Drew began a public speaking practice for business leaders along with a former professor. Eventually, he found leaders wanted leadership coaching—as genuine leadership and influence ability cut deeper than any public speaking skill.
Drew began to take his content in a different direction—and started interviewing clients to learn about their pain points and leadership goals. Since entering into the work of coaching over 30 years ago, Drew Kugler has been retained by dozens of organizations in the fields of professional services, consumer products, entertainment and media, technology, and non-profits and charities.
The dominant question that guides Drew’s work is what individuals and groups must do in a sustainable way to build trust, respect, and strategic optimism, especially in the face of changing ways of successfully working with others.
Inevitably, his work articulates the difficult choices about communicating vision, resolving to workable strategy through real collaboration, and creating credible leadership and teams, all grounded in a framework and mindset he has termed Constructive Candor.
Over the years, representative engagements have been designed to challenge:
Major law firms to better communicate its commitments and actions to practice and office leaders toward improving partner and group performance
Entertainment studios and companies to develop and deliver feedback and coaching for their major executives and their divisional teams, all against a radically changing business structure and climate
Consumer product companies to execute initiatives inculcating core values as a practical vehicle for guiding individual performance and brand and product development
Teams in non-profits, charities and schools to link their mission-driven culture to specific organizational outcomes
Drew is honored to have extensively coached and spoken on Leadership and Communication across multiple Jewish communities including Synagogues, and agencies, and as a highly regarded Faculty member with Hebrew Union College at USC.
In addition to his coaching and teaching experience, Drew has held management positions with Nordstrom and Marriott Corporation. He received his Master’s Degree from San Diego State University in Communication Studies, where he was recognized as an Outstanding Lecturer. He has been published in the American Lawyer and has appeared on CBS, ABC, and NPR, and has been a guest lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Stanford Law School, the Stern School of Business at NYU, The Freeman School of Business at Tulane University and UCLA Medical School Department of Internal Medicine and The Department of Pediatric Care. He has also presented at two Citibank Private Banking Law Firm Leadership Symposia and has been invited to speak at multiple TEDx events.