Marcus Buckingham

Best-Selling Author, Expert on Leadership and Management

Buckingham, Marcus

Best-Selling Author, Expert on Leadership and Management
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About Marcus Buckingham

Once you’ve broken all the rules and launched your career by writing an instant classic management book, what do you do for an encore? If you’re Marcus Buckingham, you dedicate yourself to understanding what makes world-class managers tick, bottling it, and sharing it with the world.

Marcus first conquered the bestseller lists in 1999 with First, Break All the Rules. While the title may imply an iconoclastic streak, his continuing plea for managers to break with tradition has nothing to do with rebellion; instead, he argues, rules must be broken and discarded because they stifle the originality and uniqueness — the strengths — that can enable all of us to achieve our highest performance.

His latest book, StandOut, has launched not just a new strengths assessment but an entire productivity platform based on a new research methodology to reveal your top two “strength roles” — your areas of comparative advantage. StandOut goes beyond description to give people practical innovations that fit their strengths, and provide managers and leaders with quick insights on how to get the best from each member of their team.

Marcus has worked with the world’s most prestigious companies, including Facebook, Toyota, Coca-Cola, Wells Fargo, Microsoft and Disney, to name just a few. His compelling message has also drawn attention from numerous media outlets. He has appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “Larry King Live,” “The Today Show,” “Good Morning America” and “The View,” and has been profiled in The New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalUSA TodayFortuneFast Company, and Harvard Business Review.

Strengths-Based Innovation — Find Your Edge: Win at Work

What does it take for people to stand out at work? How can an organization’s best practices and innovations be shared most effectively? Marcus argues that the future of Learning and Development will focus on delivering to each person only those innovations and techniques that fit his or her particular strengths.

Excellence happens all the time, but it can be tricky to harness this excellence and make it work for you. When companies try to reproduce how their best performers achieve success, often the result is just another lifeless policy that ends up constraining people instead of freeing them to do their best work. The trick is to help people put innovative ideas into practice without stifling the personal strengths that give them their edge.

In this speech, Marcus discusses a customized best practice delivery system for both team leaders and team members. Using 9 distinct Roles to identify each person’s unique combination of strengths, Marcus gives individuals tips and techniques on how to put their particular edge to use. Managers will also get lots of raw material to be better coaches based on the specific strengths of their team members. At the end of the speech, you will know how to move beyond the one-size-fits-all approach and find those practices that are best for you.

The Difference Between Great Managing and Great Leading

Although many people assume that leadership is simply the next step for those who have proven themselves as managers, Marcus presents compelling evidence that, in key ways, great leaders must do the exact opposite of what the best managers do in order to excel.

The many facets of great managing and great leading could be detailed endlessly, but Marcus Buckingham draws on a wealth of examples to uncover the single controlling insight that lies at the heart of each. Lose sight of this one thing and even your best efforts will be diminished or compromised. Success comes to those who remain mindful of the core insight, understand all of its ramifications, and orient their decisions around it. Marcus backs his arguments with authoritative research from a wide variety of sources, including his own data and in-depth interviews with individuals in every part of an organization, from retail store managers to web developers to senior executives. He zeroes in on what matters most, revealing the surprisingly different keys to great managing and great leading.

What the World’s Best Managers Do Differently

What sets great companies apart? Survey data gathered over decades’ worth of interviews with thousands of managers and workers around the world reveals one simple truth: there are no great companies. Every company is made up of separate teams, and the performance of those teams, no matter how successful the company may be, varies widely. What makes the difference? The manager.

Managers play a significant role in creating an environment where individuals can thrive, discover their talents, and use their best selves daily. Great managers help people identify and leverage their unique strengths.

Marcus will discuss the four key demands a manager must fill in order to provide the kind of environment that enables people to achieve peak performance on a regular basis: Select the right people for the right roles; Clarify what manager and employee expect and need from each other; Engage team members by paying constant attention; Accelerate performance by maximizing strengths and neutralizing weaknesses. In other words, his presentation will address how great managers turn talents into performance.

Strengths-Driven Performance

What is the correlation between engagement and performance? Marcus explains that the specific lever that most impacts employee engagement is the extent to which they have the opportunity to play to their strengths.

Marcus will present key data from a number of different industries demonstrating the correlation between performance and engagement. He discusses the dynamics at play with engaged teams vs. disengaged teams and drills down to the specific factor that most impacts engagement: the extent to which employees have the opportunity to play to their strengths.

When people have the opportunity to apply their greatest strengths at work, they accelerate their careers and everyone wins. Companies find their employees are more productive and their teams are more effective. Despite this, research shows a majority of people do not fully use their strengths at work. Marcus will examine current corporate levels of engaging the strengths of individuals and look at the psychological and practical obstacles that can get in the way of creating a strengths-based organization. Throughout his presentation, he will offer a number of different strategies to support people in leveraging the best of themselves and others in the workplace.

Finding Your Strongest Life

Recent survey findings created headlines about a shocking decline in women’s happiness over the last several decades. While many in the media rushed to conclusions about the impact of the research on feminism and on women today, Marcus avoids easy judgments and examines the causes and the appropriate response to a contemporary crisis for women.

In the four decades since the beginning of the modern women’s movement, women have secured greater opportunity, greater influence, greater independence, more free time, and more money. Despite all those important gains, however, longitudinal research indicates that women have become more unhappy, anxious, and stressed during that same time period, and that they get sadder as they get older while men, in contrast, get happier as they age. Marcus will explore the data behind the findings on women’s happiness and discuss the lessons to be learned from happy, successful women who go against the statistical trends.


“Marcus is the most engaging and useful business speaker working today.”
– George W. Taylor, Center for Human Resources, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

“Marcus Buckingham’s presentation was thought-provoking and extremely relevant to our clients’ current issues.”
– Mary Jane Grant, Reed Elsevier

“Marcus Buckingham was GREAT! I got a lot of positive feedback from all our company’s participants, and consider the meeting to be very successful overall.”
– Jon Murray, National Retail Operations, Masterfoods

“Marcus Buckingham spoke two weeks ago and there’s still so much positive buzz around the office about his presentation.”
– Rena Holland, Human Resources, Coca-Cola North America