• Best-selling author on how leading organizations are upending business as usual

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One of the world’s leading business thinkers, David Burkus’ forward-thinking ideas and bestselling books are helping leaders and teams do their best work ever.

He is the best-selling author of four books about business and leadership. His books have won multiple awards and have been translated into dozens of languages. His insights on leadership and teamwork have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, USAToday, Fast Company, the Financial Times, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, CNN, the BBC, NPR, and CBS This Morning. Since 2017, Burkus has been ranked as one of the world’s top business thought leaders by Thinkers50. As a sought-after international speaker, his TED Talk has been viewed over 2 million times. He’s worked with leaders from organizations across all industries including Google, Stryker, Fidelity, Viacom, and even the US Naval Academy.

A former business school professor, Burkus holds a master’s degree in organizational psychology from the University of Oklahoma, and a doctorate in strategic leadership from Regent University.

Speech topics

Leading From Anywhere: Unlock The Power and Performance of Your Remote Team

It’s undeniable that we’re entering a new era of remote work. While many leaders seek to run business as usual, why settle for the usual when remote teams allow us to work even better? The research shows that employees are more productive and engaged when they have the freedom to work from anywhere.

Which means leaders need the skills to lead from anywhere.

In this meticulously researched, refreshingly practical talk, top business thought leader David Burkus provides managers with the a complete guide to leading remotely, packed with everyday examples and illuminating insights. Burkus tackles the key inflection points and challenges that remote managers face from taking the team remote and adding new members, to communicating effectively and quickly, managing performance, keeping the team engaged, and even helping them strike the right balance between work and life. This talk provides everything you’ll need to survive and thrive as the leader of a remote team—which is something all leaders will need to consider themselves from now on.

(This keynote is based on David’s book Leading From Anywhere.)

Key Takeaways:

  • How to establish effective communication norms and run virtual team meetings

  • How to build bonds from afar and increase engagement remotely

  • How to help your team limit distractions and avoid burnout when working from home

Under New Management: Full Transparency, Less Email, No Cubicles, and where the Future of Work is Headed

What’s the best way to build and lead teams? Do the best companies really put their employees’ welfare first, and their clients second? Do performance reviews actually improve performance?

Burkus challenges many of the long-established principles of management and leadership. Drawing on decades of research, Burkus has found that not only are many of our fundamental management practices wrong and misguided, but they can be downright counter-productive. These days, the best companies are already breaking the old rules. From sharing salaries openly, to abandoning performance reviews, to putting management in the hands of the whole company, the revolutionary insights Burkus reveals are convincing companies to leave behind decades-old management practices and to implement new ways to enhance productivity and morale. Audience members will walk away with evidence-based strategies and real world examples to drive performance and build stronger teams.

Innovation Is A Team Sport

Why do so many innovation efforts fail? Why do our best attempts at creative problem solving never seem to reach their full potential? The cause of both frustrations, it turns out, are actually the same. In this keynote, Burkus targets a common misconception about creativity and innovation efforts: that it has to do with changing how individuals think. Instead, research reveals that "lone creators" are historically rare and for most innovations, creativity is a team sport. By combining insights from social science research and practical takeaways from the most innovative companies and teams, Burkus outlines a prescription for any team or organization to work more creatively together, without silos, politics, or frustration. Burkus' insights are practical, applicable, and tailored to the audiences situation.

(This keynote is based on David's books Friend of a Friend and The Myths of Creativity)

Key Takeaways:

• How the more creative teams and companies really operative

• How to get around the most common barriers to innovation

• How to communicate and collaborate better together

• How the more creative teams and companies really operate.

Friend of a Friend: Understanding The Hidden Networks That Can Transform Your Life

What if the advice we’ve all heard about networking and developing relationships was wrong?

In this new and startling look at the art and science of networking, Burkus challenges many of our commonly shared beliefs about networking. Drawing on more than five decades of social science research into how networks work, Burkus has found that what the best networkers do looks a lot less like collecting business cards and making random introductions and a lot more like fostering authentic connections and seeking out diverse new voices. And he reveals how anyone can do the same. Audience members will leave with practical and proven strategies to grow their network and to make their current network work much harder for their success.

Key Takeaways:

· Which areas of your network provide the best source of new ideas and insights

· Where the potential blind spots and weak points in your network are

· How to foster authentic, collaborative relationships

· How to effectively grow and strengthen your network

How Great Teams Find A Purpose Worth Fighting For

Why are some people and teams more motivated, more innovative, and more successful than others? Why do some teams of talented and seemingly compatible people fall short against lesser teams with less suitable members?

More often than not, great teams become great when they tap into something more inspiring—and more visceral—than casting a visionary strategy or struggling to get buy-in on a mission statement.

They know what they’re fighting for.

They’re fighting to make change in their industry. They’re fighting to remove an injustice. They’re fighting to make their customer’s lives better. Sometimes, they’re even just fighting to survive. But, surprisingly, they’re rarely framing their fight as a battle for market share against the competition. People don’t want to join a company; they want to join a crusade.

In this persuasive and provocative keynote, David Burkus, argues that what a team is fighting for is a powerful and potent driver of performance and collaboration, but not just any fight will do. Drawing on decades of social science research and real-life examples from billion-dollar companies, French pirates, Olympic champion curling teams (you read that right), and more, Burkus weaves together a clear picture of how people are inspired, how movements are led, and how organizations win. Audience members will leave with a clear and concise way to frame what purpose they’re fighting for and the tools to communicate that purpose to their team.

(This talk is based on David’s forthcoming book Pick A Fight.)

Key Takeaways:

• How to distinguish between bland purpose and one worth fighting for.

• The three distinct types of “fights” to build a purpose around.

• How to build purpose into your company or team culture.


Leading from Anywhere: The Essential Guide to Managing Remote Teams

The ultimate guide to leading remote teams, tackling the key challenges that managers face—from hiring and onboarding new members from afar to building culture remotely, tracking productivity, communicating speedily, and retaining star employees

"This is the ultimate field guide to leading a remote team successfully."

Dr. Tasha Eurich, organizational psychologist and New York Times best-selling author

Pick a Fight: How Great Teams Find a Purpose Worth Rallying Around

Why are some people and teams more motivated, more innovative, and more successful than others?

David Burkus's new book is an audiobook exclusive from Audible.

Support local – buy on Bookshop.

Friend of a Friend: Understanding the Hidden Networks That Can Transform Your Life and Your Career

What if the advice we've all heard about networking was wrong?

Support local – buy on Bookshop.

Under New Management: How Leading Organizations Are Upending Business as Usual

A provocative work that challenges the traditional and widely accepted principles of business management — and proves that they are outdated, outmoded, or simply don’t work.

Support local – buy on Bookshop.

The Myths of Creativity: The Truth About How Innovative Companies and People Generate Great Ideas

How to get past the most common myths about creativity to design truly innovative strategies.

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