Greg McKeown Profile

  • McKeown is one of the most sort-after public speakers in the world and has spoken to more than 500 companies as he has traveled to more than 40 countries around the world.

  • He is a business writer, consultant and researcher specializing in leadership.

  • He is the founder and CEO of THIS Inc.
  • Author of the bestseller Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, Greg McKeown is one of today’s most distinguished voices in business thought leadership known for his techniques for leading a more meaningful and successful life. As founder of THIS Inc., he helps people and world-class organizations like Apple, Google, and Facebook learn how to focus more on the few important things in life and less on the many trivial matters that often take up too much of our time.

    Shortly after his first daughter’s birth, McKeown had a revelation when an overbearing boss insisted that he leave the hospital to attend a critical meeting. He gave in to pressure and left his newborn and wife to attend, only to discover afterwards that the appointment wasn’t really that important at all and that he had betrayed himself and his family by letting someone else set his priorities. The painful but life altering lesson led him to develop his concept of essentialism, the pursuit of less, but better.

    McKeown quit law school, pursued an MBA, and founded his Silicon Valley based think-tank THIS Inc. He is reputable researcher in the differences that set apart successful people from very successful people. His message about living a fulfilled life as oppose to a filled schedule has influenced some of the most prominent executives and companies in the world.

    • View Extended/Alternate Bio

      Greg McKeown has dedicated his career to discovering why some people break through to the next level—and others don’t.

      The definitive treatment of this issue is addressed in McKeown’s latest project: the instant New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. As well as frequently being the #1 Time Management book on Amazon, this book challenges core assumptions about achievement to get to the essence of what really drives success.

      McKeown is the CEO of THIS Inc, a company whose mission is to assist people and companies to spend 80 percent of their time on the vital few rather than the trivial many. Clients include Adobe, Apple, Google, Facebook, Pixar,, Symantec, Twitter, VMware and Yahoo!.

      His writing has appeared or been covered by Fast Company, Fortune, HuffPost, Politico, and Inc. magazine. He is among the most popular bloggers for the Harvard Business Review and LinkedIn’s Influencers group: averaging a million views a month.

      McKeown has been interviewed on numerous television and radio shows including NPR’s All Things Considered and NBC’s Press: Here. Entrepreneur magazine voted his interview at Stanford University the #1 Must-See Video on Business, Creativity and Success.

      McKeown is an accomplished public speaker. He has spoken to hundreds of audiences around the world including in Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, China, England, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan and Singapore.

      Highlights in 2014 include speaking at SXSW, interviewing Al Gore at the Annual Conference of the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland and receiving a personal invitation from Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway, to speak to his Annual Innovation Conference.

      McKeown challenges conventional wisdom in a unique and engaging style from the first moment to the last instant. As the event organizer at Greater Public said after McKeown addressed their 1,000-person conference, “I have been part of this event for 16 years and McKeown is the best speaker we have ever had!”

      McKeown is an active Social Innovator. Serving as a Board Member for Washington D.C. policy group Resolve, and as a mentor with 2 Seeds, a non-profit incubator for agricultural projects in Africa. He has also been a speaker at non-profit groups including The Kauffman Fellows, Net Impact and Stanford University: he recently gave back to Stanford University by co-creating a popular class called, Designing Life, Essentially.

      He serves as a Young Global Leader for the World Economic Forum. He recently moderated a session at the “Summer Davos” in China called, “Unpacking Social Innovation Models for Maximum Impact”, served as a panelist at the “Sharpening Your Creative Edge” working session at the Forum.

      Prior to this, McKeown collaborated in the research and writing of Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter and worked for Heidrick & Struggles’ Global Leadership Practice assessing senior executives.

      Originally from London, England, McKeown now lives in Silicon Valley with his wife and their four children. He graduated with an MBA from Stanford University.

    Greg McKeown Speaking Videos

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    Greg McKeown's Speech Descriptions

    Voted the #1 Must-see Video on Business, Creativity, and Success, Greg McKeown’s presentations are refreshing takes on how to whittle away the complications, confusion and smothering extras that get in the way of enjoying a meaningful life. Debunking the myth that success means someone who does it all and only sleeps four hours per night, he draws from research revealing that very successful people are actually highly particular, say “no” more than “yes,” and make play a priority. McKeown offers easy to follow steps on how individuals and organizations can simplify their agendas and do things better by doing less.

    ESSENTIALISM - The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

    Learning Objectives:
    • Learn the value proposition for Essentialism
    • Understand three practices for applying Essentialism:
    • Explore what’s essential
    • How to protect the asset (i.e. you)
    • Eliminate what’s nonessential
    • How to say no, gracefully
    • Execute what matters most as effortlessly as possible
    • Leave with a 21-Day Challenge with specific steps to put Essentialism into practice

    EFFORTLESS - The Disciplined Pursuit of Simple

    Learning Objectives:
    • Discover how the 10X Dilemma is holding you back.
    • Learn 5 counter-intuitive tools to get to the next level without burning out:
    • Start With Zero: The surprising way to simplify anything
    • Invest Your Time: As opposed to spending your time.
    • Invert, Always Invert: How to turn procrastination into momentum
    • Find The Effortless Pace: The key is consistency over intensity
    • Hire High Trust People (And Them Trust Them Completely
    • Bonus: How Radical Gratitude helps you turn negatives into positives

    What People are Saying about Seeing Greg Speak

    Rating Entries

    “Essentialism is a powerful antidote to the current craziness that plagues our organizations and our lives. Read Greg Mckeown’s own words slowly, stop and think about how to apply them to your life – you will do less, do it better, and begin to feel the insanity start to slip away.”
    – Robert l. Sutton, Professor at Stanford University

    “In this likeable and astute treatise on the art of doing less in order to do better…McKeown makes the content fresh and the solutions easy to implement. Following his lucid and smart directions will help readers find “the the way of the essentialist.”
    – Success Magazine

    “Great design takes us beyond the complex, the unnecessary and confusing, to the simple, clear and meaningful. This is as true for the design of a life as it is for the design of a product. With Essentialism, Greg gives us the invaluable guidebook for just such a project.”
    – Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO

    “Greg is a total pro and added tremendous value to our summit. The presentation was very, very good.”
    – Apple

    “Your presentation was very engaging and the dialogue continued during the day. Essentialism is spreading.”
    – Google

    “[Greg] delivered a fantastic presentation and there is a lot of buzz around the office this morning about him being our best speaker yet! I am very excited to help spread the Essentialist theories and to better prioritize MY life! I can’t thank you enough. I hope to work with you again soon.”
    – Salient Partners

    “I have been apart of this event for 16 years and McKeown is the best speaker we have ever had!”
    – Event Organizer for Greater Public

    “Greg did a phenomenal job! He was very dynamic and had great presentation style.”
    – NFP Securities

    “Absolutely fantastic. He really hit a home run with the audience.”
    – Fiserv

    “Greg was a hit with our group and a few people told me his presentation was life changing. WOW! He is a gifted speaker, and I hope we will be working with him again.”
    – Interior Design

    “Thanks again for the sessions today. I heard from many participants on how impactful your message was.”
    – Goldman Sachs

    “I wanted to reach out to thank you for an amazing experience at the LOFT Brand Conference in Vegas!! Thanks again for being our keynote speaker! The teams thoroughly enjoyed you and your messages really inspired everyone! It’s been a pleasure to work with you.”
    – Loft

    “It has been six months since we were together and I am excited to share with you that your time with us was not in vain, and that we are seeing lasting changes in behavior that are material and meaningful to our business. (Really!)”
    – Cisco

    “You blew it out of the park – it was inspiring, thought provoking, and incredibly entertaining. You had participants on the edge of their seats for nearly two hours, which we all know is no small feat. We imagined a great event, but this far exceeded our expectations.”
    – VMWare

    “Greg tenaciously pushed us to bring clarity to what’s most important now to meet our customer needs in the face of the business demands ahead. Whether helping our Supply Chain leadership tackle their global challenges or inspiring our Store Manager build great teams, Greg has taught us how the disciplined pursuit of less is better.”
    – Ann Taylor

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    Books by Greg McKeown:


    Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
    Have you ever found yourself stretched too thin?

    Do you simultaneously feel overworked and underutilized?

    Are you often busy but not productive?

    Do you feel like your time is constantly being hijacked by other people’s agendas?

    If you answered yes to any of these, the way out is the Way of the Essentialist.

    The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done. It is not a time management strategy, or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter.

    By forcing us to apply a more selective criteria for what is Essential, the disciplined pursuit of less empowers us to reclaim control of our own choices about where to spend our precious time and energy—instead of giving others the implicit permission to choose for us.

    Essentialism is not one more thing—it’s a whole new way of doing everything. A must-read for any leader, manager, or individual who wants to learn who to do less, but better, in every area of their lives, Essentialism is a movement whose time has come.

    Effortless: Make It Easier to Do What Matters Most

    NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A Times (UK) Best Book of the Year • From the author of the million-copy-selling Essentialism comes an empowering guide to achieving your goals. It all starts with a simple principle: Not everything has to be so hard.

    Do you ever feel like:

    • You’re teetering right on the edge of burnout?
    • You want to make a higher contribution, but lack the energy?
    • You’re running faster but not moving closer to your goals?
    • Everything is so much harder than it used to be?

    As high achievers, we’ve been conditioned to believe that the path to success is paved with relentless work. That if we want to overachieve, we have to overexert, overthink, and overdo. That if we aren’t perpetually exhausted, we’re not doing enough.

    But lately, working hard is more exhausting than ever. And the more depleted we get, the more effort it takes to make progress. Stuck in an endless loop of “Zoom, eat, sleep, repeat,” we’re often working twice as hard to achieve half as much.

    Getting ahead doesn’t have to be as hard as we make it. No matter what challenges or obstacles we face, there is a better way: instead of pushing ourselves harder, we can find an easier path.

    Effortless offers actionable advice for making the most essential activities the easiest ones, so you can achieve the results you want, without burning out.

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