I do a number of speaking events every year, and people often ask me to recommend great speakers. (Hopefully that's not because they were less than thrilled by my performance.)

Unfortunately, I haven't seen as many people speak as I would like, so my list of suggested speakers is fairly short.

Fortunately, Kevin Kruse has seen a ton of speakers. A keynote speaker in his own right, and best-selling author of books on employee engagement and wholehearted leadership, he's compiled a list of his favorite leadership speakers and trainers; most Kruse has seen in person, and he's also hired a number of them to speak at his own events.

(And he's also a humble guy; while he left himself off, he definitely belongs on any list of great business speakers.)

Check out some of the following people the next time you need a great speaker. And if you're deciding whether to attend a particular event and one of them is on the program, drop everything and go. You'll be glad you did.

Here's Kruse's list (in alphabetical order):

Mike Abrashoff
Founder of GLS Worldwide
Website/blog: www.glsworld.com

Wendy Appel
Partner at Center for Leadership Studies
Twitter: @WendyAppel
Website/blog: www.wendyappel.com

Jurgen Appelo
CEO at Happy Melly
Twitter: @jurgenappelo
Website/blog: www.jurgenappelo.com

Mark Babbitt
President of Switch and Shift
Twitter: @MarkSBabbitt
Website/blog: www.switchandshift.com

John Baldoni
Chair of leadership development at N2Growth
Twitter: @JohnBaldoni
Website/blog: www.johnbaldoni.com

Dov Baron
Host and executive producer at Full Monty Leadership Radio
Twitter: @DovBaron
Website/blog: www.dovbaron.com

Ed Batista
Leadership coach
Twitter: @edbatista
Website/blog: www.edbatista.com

Dan Black
Leadership writer
Twitter: @dbonleadership
Website/blog: danblackonleadership.info

Ken Blanchard
Chief spiritual officer at The Ken Blanchard Companies
Twitter: @kenblanchard
Website/blog: www.kenblanchard.com

Aad Boot
Managing partner at HRS Business Transformation Services
Twitter: @LeadershipWatch
Website/blog: www.leadershipwatch-aadboot.com

Anthony Bourke
Founder of Mach 2 Consulting
Twitter: @mach2consulting
Website/blog: www.mach2consulting.com

Travis Bradberry
President at TalentSmart
Website/blog: www.talentsmart.com

Richard Branson
Founder of Virgin Group
Twitter: @richardbranson
Website/blog: www.virgin.com/richard-branson

Peter Bregman
Founder of Bregman Partners
Twitter: @peterbregman
Website/blog: www.peterbregman.com

Brené Brown
Professor at the University of Houston
Twitter: @BreneBrown
Website/blog: www.brenebrown.com

Bob Burg
Founder of Burg Communications
Twitter: @BobBurg
Website/blog: www.burg.com

Evan Carmichael
Founder of Evan Carmichael Communications Group
Twitter: @EvanCarmichael
Website/blog: www.evancarmichael.com

Dorie Clark
CEO at Clark Strategic Communications
Twitter: @dorieclark
Website/blog: dorieclark.com

Gary Cohen
Managing partner at CO2 Partners
Twitter: @garybcohen
Website/blog: www.co2partners.com

Ted Coine
Chairman and founder at Switch and Shift
Twitter: @tedcoine
Website/blog: www.switchandshift.com

Eileen Collins
Astronaut and space shuttle commander
Website/blog: www.kepplerspeakers.com/speakers/?speaker=Colonel Eileen Collins

Douglas Conant
CEO at ConantLeadership
Twitter: @DougConant
Website/blog: www.conantleadership.com

Randy Conley
VP of client services at The Ken Blanchard Companies
Twitter: @RandyConley
Website/blog: www.leadingwithtrust.com

Lolly Daskal
President and founder of Lead From Within
Twitter: @LollyDaskal
Website/blog: www.lollydaskal.com

Todd Dewett
President at TVA Inc.
Twitter: @fuel4leaders
Website/blog: www.drdewett.com

Brian Dodd
Director of new ministry relationships for ISS
Twitter: @BrianKDodd
Website/blog: www.briandoddonleadership.com

S. Chris Edmonds

Founder of The Purposeful Culture Group 
Twitter: @scedmonds
Website/blog: www.drivingresultsthroughculture.com

Kevin Eikenberry
Chief potential officer at The Kevin Eikenberry Group
Twitter: @KevinEikenberry
Website/blog: www.blog.kevineikenberry.com

Tim Elmore
Founder of Growing Leaders
Twitter: @TimElmore
Website/blog: www.growingleaders.com

Steve Farber
Founder of The Extreme Leadership Institute
Twitter: @stevefarber
Website/blog: www.stevefarber.com

Mark Fernandes
Chief leadership officer at The Luck Companies
Twitter: @MarkSFernandes
Website/blog: www.luckcompanies.com

John Foley
Blue Angels fighter pilot
Website/blog: www.johnfoleyinc.com

BJ Gallagher
Consultant at Peacock Productions
Twitter: @BJ_Gallagher
Website/blog: www.peacockproductions.com

Chery Gegelman
President at Giana Consulting 
Twitter: @GianaConsulting
Website/blog: www.consultgiana.com

Julie Winkle Giulioni
Principal at DesignArounds
Twitter: @Julie_WG
Website/blog: www.juliewinklegiulioni.com

Nina Godiwalla
CEO at Mindworks
Website/blog: www.mindworkscorp.com

Marshall Goldsmith
Founder of Marshall Goldsmith Group
Twitter: @coachgoldsmith
Website/blog: www.marshallgoldsmithlibrary.com

Jon Gordon
President at The Jon Gordon Companies
Twitter: @JonGordon11
Website/blog: www.jongordon.com

Marla Gottschalk
Director at Kilberry Leadership Advisors
Twitter: @MRGottschalk
Website/blog: www.marlagottschalk.wordpress.com

Matt Heller
Founder of Performance Optimist Consulting
Twitter: @PrfrmnceOptmst
Website/blog: www.performanceoptimist.com

Tony Hsieh
CEO at Zappos.com
Twitter: @tonyhsieh
Website/blog: www.deliveringhappiness.com

Gary Hamel
Professor at London Business School
Twitter: @ProfHamel
Website/blog: www.managementexchange.com

Karin Hurt
CEO of Let's Grow Leaders
Twitter: @LetsGrowLeaders
Website/blog: www.letsgrowleaders.com

Michael Hyatt
CEO at Intentional Leadership
Twitter: @michaelhyatt
Website/blog: www.michaelhyatt.com

Rod Johnson
Founder of Growing Your Leaders
Website/blog: www.growingyourleaders.com

Rosabeth Moss Kanter
Professor at Harvard Business School
Twitter: @RosabethKanter
Website/blog: www.hbswk.hbs.edu/faculty/rkanter.html

Mark Kelly
Astronaut and commander of Space Shuttle Endeavor
Twitter: @shuttlecdrkelly
Website/blog: www.americansforresponsiblesolutions.org/about/mark-kelly

John Kotter
Founder of Kotter International
Website/blog: www.kotterinternational.com

Jim Kouzes
Author of The Leadership Challenge
Twitter: @Jim_Kouzes
Website/blog: www.leadershipchallenge.com

Jeremie Kubicek
Co-founder of GiANT
Twitter: @JeremieKubicek
Website/blog: www.giantworldwide.com

Tim Kuppler
Founder of CultureUniversity.com
Twitter: @TimKuppler
Website/blog: www.cultureuniversity.com

Christina Lattimer
Founder of e.Mile People Development Magazine
Twitter: @pdiscoveryuk
Website/blog: www.peoplediscovery.co.uk

Marc Lawn
CEO at Business GP
Twitter: @businessgp
Website/blog: www.thebusinessgp.com/home

Alison Levine
Everest climber and author
Twitter: @Levine_Alison
Website/blog: www.alisonlevine.com

Glenn Llopis
Chairman at Glenn Llopis Group
Twitter: @GlennLlopis
Website/blog: www.glennllopis.com

Tony Lynch
Managing director at Keep Thinking Big
Twitter: @TheTL1
Website/blog: www.keepthinkingbig.com

Mike Maddock
CEO at Maddock Douglas
Twitter: @theideamonkey
Website/blog: www.maddockdouglas.com

Paul Marciano
Author of Carrots and Sticks Don't Work
Twitter: @TheRespectGuy
Website/blog: www.paulmarciano.com

Terence Mauri
CEO of Coach
Twitter: @terencemauri
Website/blog: www.terencemauri.com

John C. Maxwell
Founder of The John Maxwell Company
Twitter: @JohnCMaxwell
Website/blog: www.johnmaxwell.com

Susan Mazza
CEO at Clarus Consulting Group
Twitter: @SusanMazza
Website/blog: www.randomactsofleadership.com

Dan McCarthy
Founder of Great Leadership 
Twitter: @greatleadership
Website/blog: www.greatleadershipbydan.com

Michael McKinney
Founder of M2 Communications
Twitter: @LeadershipNow
Website/blog: www.leadershipnow.com

Jennifer V. Miller
Founder of People Equation Press
Twitter: @JenniferVMiller
Website/blog: www.people-equation.com/about-jennifer

Mark Miller
VP of training and development at Chick-fil-A
Twitter: @LeadersServe
Website/blog: www.greatleadersserve.com

Shawn Murphy
Co-founder of Switch and Shift
Twitter: @shawmu
Website/blog: www.switchandshift.com

Mike Myatt
Chairman at N2Growth
Twitter: @mikemyatt
Website/blog: www.n2growth.com

Tanveer Naseer
Founder of TanveerNaseer Leadership
Twitter: @TanveerNaseer
Website/blog: www.tanveernaseer.com

Michael Nichols
Founder of The GreenTree Group
Twitter: @MichaelENichols
Website/blog: www.michaelnichols.org

Jen Olney
Director of business development at BeALeader
Twitter: @gingerconsult
Website/blog: www.changeyourgamebealeader.com

Tom Peters
Professional agitator at Tom Peters Company
Twitter: @tom_peters
Website/blog: www.tompeters.com

Lisa Petrilli
COO and CMO at Vanda 
Twitter: @LisaPetrilli
Website/blog: www.lisapetrilli.com

Thea Durfee Polancic
Executive director of Chicago chapter of @ConsciousCap
Twitter: @tdpolancic
Website/blog: www.clearspace.net

Alli Polin
Founder and CEO of Break the Frame
Twitter: @AlliPolin
Website/blog: www.breaktheframe.com

Michael E. Porter
Professor at Harvard Business School
Twitter: @michaelEporter
Website/blog: www.isc.hbs.edu/Pages/default.aspx

Barry Posner
Professor at Santa Clara University
Twitter: @TLCTalk
Website/blog: www.leadershipchallenge.com

Skip Prichard
President and CEO at OCLC
Twitter: @SkipPrichard
Website/blog: www.skipprichard.com

Andrew Razeghi
Founder of StrategyLab
Twitter: @andrewrazeghi
Website/blog: www.strategylab.com

Tony Richards
CEO of Clear Vision Development Group
Twitter: @tonyrichards4
Website/blog: www.clearvisiondevelopment.com

Dan Rockwell
Owner of Leadership Freak
Twitter: @Leadershipfreak
Website/blog: www.leadershipfreak.wordpress.com

Steve Roesler
Founder and president of The Steve Roesler Group
Twitter: @steveroesler
Website/blog: www.steveroesler.com

Michael Rogers
Blogger at Teamwork and Leadership
Twitter: @secondgleader
Website/blog: www.teamworkandleadership.com

Stephen Ross
Founder of Now That's Leadership!
Twitter: @RossLeadership

Mark Sanborn
President at Sanborn & Associates
Twitter: @Mark_Sanborn
Website/blog: www.marksanborn.com

Chip Scholz
Founder of Scholz and Associates
Twitter: @chipscholz
Website/blog: www.chipscholz.com

Tom Schulte
Executive director of Linked 2 Leadership
Twitter: @tomschulte
Website/blog: www.linked2leadership.com

Robin Sharma
Founder of Sharma Leadership International 
Twitter: @_robin_sharma
Website/blog: www.robinsharma.com

John Spence
Managing partner at John Spence LLC
Twitter: @AwesomelySimple
Website/blog: www.johnspence.com

Jesse Lyn Stoner
Director of strategic relations at Berrett-Koehler Foundation
Twitter: @JesseLynStoner
Website/blog: www.seapointcenter.com

James Strock
Founder of Serve to Lead
Twitter: @jamesstrock
Website/blog: www.servetolead.org

Bob Sutton
Professor at Stanford
Twitter: @work_matters
Website/blog: www.bobsutton.typepad.com

Marilyn Tam
Former president at Reebok
Website/blog: www.marilyntam.com

Linda Fisher Thornton
CEO at Leading in Context
Twitter: @leadingincontxt
Website/blog: www.leadingincontext.com

Gordon Tredgold
CEO and founder of Leadership Principles 
Twitter: @GordonTredgold
Website/blog: www.leadership-principles.com/en

Art Turock
Founder of Art Turock Associates
Twitter: @TheArtTurock
Website/blog: www.turock.com

Bobby Umar
President at Raeallan
Twitter: @raehanbobby
Website/blog: www.raeallan.com

Ekaterina Walter
Global evangelist at Sprinklr
Twitter: @Ekaterina
Website/blog: www.ekaterinawalter.com

Jack Welch
Executive chairman at Jack Welch Management Institute
Twitter: @jack_welch
Website/blog: www.jackwelch.strayer.edu

Bob Whipple
CEO of Leadergrow 
Twitter: @Rwhipple
Website/blog: www.leadergrow.com

Chris Widener
Founder of The Widener Group
Twitter: @ChrisWidener
Website/blog: www.chriswidener.com

Leslie Wimes
Founder of Women on the Move
Twitter: @WomenOnTheMove1
Website/blog: www.mywomenonthemove.com

Liz Wiseman
Founder of The Wiseman Group
Twitter: @LizWiseman
Website/blog: www.thewisemangroup.com

Orrin Woodward
Chairman of Life Leadership
Twitter: @Orrin_Woodward
Website/blog: www.orrinwoodwardblog.com