Deep experience collaborating with clients on organizational strategy and passionate about accelerating the development of women leaders

Joanna Barsh serves as a leader of both the Consumer Packaged Goods and Organization Practices. Joanna’s client experience spans mergers and acquisitions, corporate growth strategy, organization development and performance transformation.

Joanna is passionate about many things, but accelerating the development of women leaders is at the top of the list. She has been a New York City Commissioner on Women’s Issues since 2002, appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Joanna created The McKinsey Centered Leadership Project, including a video archive of more than 125 in-depth interviews with women leaders from around the world.

A dedicated contributor to the New York community, Joanna has served the Partnership for New York City, the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Manhattan Theatre Club, as well as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Alaska Conservation Foundation. She has been a trustee of Sesame Workshop, the education organization responsible for Sesame Street, for 15 years.


Moving Mountains Quickly: The Centered Leadership Project
Based on ten years of research and dozens of training programs globally, this lecture equips audiences with a tool kit of practices based on the five dimensions of Centered Leadership:

This program is available as a keynote lecture, workshop, or longer program upon request.

How Remarkable Women Lead
In this lecture, Barsh offers a hopeful outlook and unique ideas about success. It’s the new “right stuff” of leadership, teaching participants self-awareness and their power to choose, offering practical take-aways and a road map to positive impact.

Books / Videos

Centered Leadership Centered Leadership
What enables some talented people to rise to the top and live their full ambitions at work and in life, while others stop short?

In 2007, Joanna Barsh led a team at McKinsey & Company to answer that very question. In the process, they uncovered what distinguishes leaders who are successful from those who achieve true greatness, developing an approach called Centered Leadership. They drew on research from across the academic fields of leadership, organization behavior, neuroscience, evolutionary psychology and positive psychology. In addition, Barsh interviewed over 160 leaders from many fields—including business, government and the arts—and from many countries. With quantitative research, the team learned that these leaders have mastered practices to find their balance in the midst of chaos and lead from their most resourceful selves, unleashing the potential of others. In 2009, Johanne Lavoie joined to lead development of programs that help executives build these capabilities. Their research and development work continues as more and more leaders experience Centered Leadership.

How Remarkable Women Lead

How Remarkable Women Lead
The remarkable discoveries about what drives and sustains successful women leaders.

Based on five years of proprietary research, How Remarkable Women Lead speaks to you as no other book has, with its hopeful outlook and unique ideas about success. It's the new "right stuff" of leadership, raising provocative issues such as whether feminine leadership traits (for women and men) are better suited for our fast-changing, hyper-competitive, and increasingly complex world.

Joanna Barsh and Susie Cranston establish the links between joy, happiness, and distinctive performance with the groundbreaking model of Centered Leadership.

The book's personal stories and related insights show you the magic that happens when you put the five elements of Centered Leadership–meaning, framing, connecting, engaging, and energizing–to work. They include:

How Remarkable Women Lead is both profoundly moving and actionable. Woman or man, you'll find yourself in its pages and emerge with a practical plan for breaking through at both work and in life.

*Please note that while this speaker's specific fee falls within the range posted (for Continental U.S. based events) at the top of this page, fees are subject to change without notice. For current fee information or international event fees, please contact your representative.

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