About Geoff Colvin
Geoff Colvin is an award-winning thinker, author, broadcaster, and speaker on today’s most significant trends in business. As Fortune‘s Senior Editor-at-Large, he has become one of America’s sharpest and most respected commentators on leadership, globalization, wealth creation, the infotech revolution, and related issues. As anchor of Wall Street Week with Fortune on PBS, he spoke each week to the largest audience reached by any business television program in America.
Colvin’s groundbreaking bestseller Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers From Everybody Else received the Harold A. Longman Award for Best Business Book of the Year and has been published in a dozen languages. Charlie Rose says it is “spectacular” and “fascinating.” Daniel H. Pink calls it “profoundly important.” Donald Trump calls it “enlightening” and “inspiring.” Colvin’s book The Upside of the Downturn: Ten Management Strategies to Prevail in the Recession and Thrive in the Aftermath was named the best management book of the year by Strategy + Business magazine.
Directorship magazine has named Colvin one of the 100 most influential figures in corporate governance.
As a speaker, Colvin has engaged hundreds of audiences on six continents. He is also a skilled on-stage interviewer whose subjects have included Jack Welch, Henry Kissinger, Richard Branson, the Prince of Wales, Bill Gates, Alan Greenspan, Steve Case, Ted Turner, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and many others. He is the regular lead moderator of the Fortune Global Forum, and he serves as moderator for the International Business Leaders Forum in London.
Colvin is one of America’s preeminent business broadcasters. He is heard daily on the CBS Radio Network, where he has made over 10,000 broadcasts and reaches seven million listeners each week. He has appeared on Today, The O’Reilly Factor, Good Morning America, Squawk Box, CBS This Morning, ABC’s World News, CNN, PBS’s Nightly Business Report, and dozens of other programs.
A native of Vermillion, South Dakota, Colvin is an honors graduate of Harvard with a degree in economics and has an M.B.A. from New York University.
Leading Ahead of What’s Next
The whole world of business is changing in historic and profound ways – technological disruption, government’s role, and the balance of global economic power are shifting massively — and it’s happening fast! While political winds may blow toward restrictions on trade and immigration, the trends powering the friction-free economy are technological and going strong. Competing and winning in business today requires extraordinary leadership at every level of the organization. Colvin, a top speaker on leadership, has a unique perspective rooted in long-standing relationships with the world’s top leaders in business and government. He knows what they’re seeing, thinking, and planning and reveals how they’re leading, making choices, and responding to today’s challenges in ways that others can learn from. A unifying theme as the economy transforms is that in almost every business, barriers to entry are coming down. Geoff’s message is optimistic and energizing: Opportunity is more widely available than ever. Every organization, and every person, can possess the 21st Century’s most valuable assets – openness to new ideas, ingenuity, and imagination.
Political Chaos and Your Business
The main theme of the Trump administration is unpredictability. President Trump has said that his unpredictability is a deliberate strategy. That makes the strategic planning a huge challenge for business leaders everywhere. Geoff Colvin helps unwind the impact of Washington in terms you won’t hear elsewhere. Economic growth, consumer demand, interest rates, taxes, employment costs – cable news doesn’t spend much time on those issues, but all of them are set to change, transforming the business environment in important ways. That’s why business people must keep the most significant issues in mind, even when the daily Washington chatter wanders away from them.
In the era of the gig economy, the Uberization of everything, advancing technology, and a large-scale global labor market, Washington is still in the 20th century on business policy. Business people need to remember that three giant, long-term issues – entitlement reform, comprehensive tax reform, and immigration reform – are the real keys to how Washington can turbocharge or hinder the overall U.S. economy in the years ahead. All those issues are in play, with chances of significant change greater than they’ve been in a generation. But what will actually happen?
Geoff explains why partisanship won’t decrease, so one thing most business people want from government – policy stability – will remain a dream. Yet we can’t afford to be paralyzed, and Geoff shows how the most successful business people are competing and winning in this uncertain environment. Calling on his deep relationships in the worlds of Washington and corporate America, Geoff brings a message of optimism that too often gets lost in the political rough and tumble.
Talent Is Overrated:
Real Truths of Great Performance
What if everything you know about raw talent, hard work, and great performance is wrong? Odds are that few if any of the people around you are truly great at what they do—awesomely, amazingly, world-class excellent. But why not? Why don’t they manage businesses like Jack Welch or Andy Grove, or play tennis like Rafael Nadal, or play the violin like Itzhak Perlman? Scientific research on great performance exposes what most of us wrongly believe. Geoff Colvin, author of the groundbreaking national bestseller Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers From Everybody Else, explains the findings and relates them to real life in real organizations. He shows how most organizations value the wrong things – how passion, honesty, and learning are more valuable than hours, IQ, or “native ability.” In an engaging, entertaining way, he demonstrates that world-class performance doesn’t come from mysterious natural gifts but rather from very specific behaviors that every organization can adopt. People and organizations that learn from these principles gain a tremendous advantage, because most are still making costly errors. The same principles used by the greatest performers can be applied by all of us – and must be, if we’re to meet the challenge of rising standards in today’s global economy.
“In a word: fantastic! Geoff really was perfect for this. He kept the conversation lively. Geoff really knocked it out of the ballpark.”
“No surprise, Geoff was articulate and insightful, thoughtful on global and fiscal issues affecting industry and candid on impressions of leadership. Not to mention, a wonderful man who I will forever be indebted to.”
– CEO, The Elliot Group
“Thanks so very much for your moderating today. I felt relaxed and right at home.”
– George H.W. Bush
“Once again your stewardship of the business sessions opened the door for a truly interactive and valuable dialogue for everyone. Your depth of understanding of the challenges these companies are facing and the opportunities that lie ahead added tremendously to our conversations.”
– John Chambers, CEO, Cisco
“The consensus was: “He did a great job.” “He was dead on.” “He said what we needed to hear.” “Great job.” I truly didn’t hear one bad or negative comment. He was a total “hit”. He was a total delight to work with (as were all of you). Thank you for everything.”
– Assistant to the CEO and President, Vanguard Health Systems
Thank you very much for joining me this week at the THINK Finance: CFO CIO Leadership Exchange in New York and for contributing to our event in such a substantial manner. It was such a pleasure to see you again and share the stage with you. As with previous exchanges, you helped to draw out important insights from our speakers and deliver tremendous value to our audience. We at IBM value the perspectives you brought to our session and appreciate the time you spent with us. Thank you again for making our event a priority.”
– IBM Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer