Marcus Buckingham Profile

  • New York Times Bestselling author, with two books on Talent in the top 20 bestselling business books of all time
  • Founder of the Strengths Revolution
  • Over the course of his career, Marcus has spoken for millions of people across six continents (if anyone knows of any opportunities in Antarctica, let us know!) including Facebook, Lululemon, Cisco, Levi’s, ATD, Deloitte, World Business Forum and many more
  • Cambridge University Masters graduate Marcus Buckingham founded The Marcus Buckingham Company in 2005 to help promote his credo that no company can truly thrive unless it focuses on the strengths of their workers and gives those workers the opportunity to use them.

    Using his two decades of experience as a Senior Researcher at Gallup Organization, Marcus has proposed a revolutionary agenda which combines visionary thinking backed by rigorous research. He has propounded his ideas in numerous bestselling books: First, Break All the Rules (coauthored with Curt Coffman; Simon & Schuster, 1999); Now, Discover Your Strengths (coauthored with Donald O. Clifton; The Free Press, 2001); The One Thing You Need to Know (The Free Press, 2005); Go Put Your Strengths To Work (The Free Press, 2007); The Truth About You (Thomas Nelson, 2008); Find Your Strongest Life (Thomas Nelson, 2009) and his latest New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller, StandOut.

    Marcus Buckingham believes in what he calls the “strengths revolution”; the idea that the most productive and successful workplace is one in which employees spend 75% plus of each day on tasks which demand their strongest skills and which they like doing best. Quite simply, if employees are doing what they like best they will be at their most productive and experience the highest degree of personal growth.

    The key to Marcus’ “revolution” is his rigorous statistical analysis; speaking to more than 250,000 people worldwide each year, he roots concepts which some would be tempted to dismiss as fantasy in solid statistical fact drawn from years of research, showing that by allowing employees to focus on their greatest strengths companies will get the greatest benefits.

    Marcus has been profiled in virtually every important journal in the USA, including The New York Times, Fortune, Fast Company, Harvard Business Review, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal. He is frequently in demand for TV appearances, having appeared on The Today Show and The Oprah Winfrey Show amongst many others. Corporations as diverse as Coca-Cola, Microsoft and Disney employ his ideas.

    • View Extended/Alternate Bio

      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 employees and managers excel, 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.

      The definitive treatment of strengths in the workplace can be found in his best-selling books: First, Break All the Rules (coauthored with Curt Coffman; Simon & Schuster, 1999); Now, Discover Your Strengths (coauthored with Donald O. Clifton; The Free Press, 2001); The One Thing You Need to Know (The Free Press, 2005); Go Put Your Strengths To Work (The Free Press, 2007); The Truth About You (Thomas Nelson, 2008); Find Your Strongest Life (Thomas Nelson, 2009); and StandOut 2.0 (Harvard Business Publishing, 2015).

      His latest book, Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World (Harvard Business Publishing, 2019) takes an indepth look at the lies that pervade our workplaces and the core truths that will help us change it for the better. It has been recognized as one of the best management and leadership books of 2019 by Inc., Amazon, Strategy + Business, Porchlight, Audible, and Book Pal’s Outstanding Works of Literature Award.

      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.

      As an internationally renowned thought leader and business expert, Marcus has been the subject of in-depth profiles in The New York Times, Fortune, Fast Company, Harvard Business Review, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal, and has appeared on numerous television programs, including “Larry King Live,” “The Today Show” and “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” He is routinely lauded by such corporations as Toyota, Facebook, lululemon, Coca-Cola, Box, Master Foods, Wells Fargo, Microsoft, and Disney as an invaluable resource in informing, challenging, mentoring and inspiring people to find their strengths and sustain long-lasting personal success. He now leads People + Performance research at the ADP Research Institute and remains CEO of The Marcus Buckingham Company (TMBC).

    Marcus Buckingham Speaking Videos

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    Marcus Buckingham's Speech Descriptions

    Marcus explains that it is not good enough to simply try to replicate success in other companies; managers must analyze the strengths of their workforce and develop techniques that will allow the workforce to employ those strengths. Marcus leads the audience away from the one-size fits all approach and gives you a toolkit for getting the best out of every individual.

    Using his unrivalled statistical analysis, Marcus uses survey data from decades of interviews with managers and workers around the world to show that there are no great companies, only great teams, and that the quality of the team depends on the quality of the manager and his/her ability to maximize the strengths of the team’s individual members.

    Many billions of words have been written and spoken concerning the best way to manage and the best way to lead, but Marcus Buckingham uses the very best research to elucidate the key to success in both these spheres. He illustrates that those who do not keep this key in mind at all times cannot hope for optimal success, however hard they work.

    The strengths revolution is built one audience at a time. Marcus approaches the task of teaching the world the strengths-based approach to work from a number of different angles, providing insights tailored to each group’s key concerns and opportunities. We will work with you to curate the perfect keynote for your specific event and audience, with takeaways backed by over twenty years of validated research.

    Talking points include:

    Nine Lies about Work
    • From Marcus’s newest book, examine the 9 lies that are pervasive in our organizations
    • Learn the truths behind them, backed by data and research
    • Discover how you can become a Freethinking Leader

    • Learn what the best team leaders do differently
    • Discover the one ritual that all great leaders have in common
    • Learn how to build a culture of performance

    • Uncover the secret to driving personal performance
    • Discover the approach that characterizes the most successful people in the world
    • Pinpoint your competitive advantage, and learn how to apply it at work
    • Identify your particular strengths as an individual, manager, or organization leader

    What People are Saying about Seeing Marcus Speak

    Rating Entries

    “Marcus Buckingham spoke two weeks ago and there′s still so much positive buzz around the office about his presentation. He takes complex things and breaks them down. People said, ′How can I take this and make it happen for me?′ People left wanting to do something, wanting to take action.”
    Rena Holland,
    Human Resources,
    Coca-Cola North America

    “Marcus is the most engaging and useful business speaker working today. His advice is grounded in research and at the same time appeals to common sense.”
    Peter Cappelli
    George W. Taylor Professor of Management Director
    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. His presentation style was engaging, entertaining and extremely genuine. We′ve completed the client survey for his speaker agency and have given Marcus Buckingham a “10 out of 10″ on every question!”
    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. Working with Marcus Buckingham and his team was a fantastic experience.”
    Jon Murray,
    National Retail Operations , Masterfoods

    “Marcus Buckingham was just starting to interest and charm 4,000-plus Walgreen store managers when the fire alarm in the huge Las Vegas ballroom went off. Disembodied hotel voices announced all was OK, but the crowd grew noticeably anxious as bright lights continued to flash. Not Marcus and before too long, not our audience. His well-researched and very well-delivered remarks overcame adversity few speakers ever encounter. Our managers ranked Buckingham the #1 speaker of the meeting, topping the perennial favorites – our CEO and president. What impressed us all was how well Marcus had done his homework. This was no generic speech – it related to our business and our people, in a motivating, challenging and useful way.”
    Polly Bruno,

    “Marcus delivered with an outstanding energy and left our audience with a smile. Outstanding and memorable performance.”

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    Books by Marcus Buckingham:

    Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World

    Forget what you know about the world of work

    You crave feedback. Your organization’s culture is the key to its success. Strategic planning is essential. Your competencies should be measured and your weaknesses shored up. Leadership is a thing.

    These may sound like basic truths of our work lives today. But actually, they’re lies. As strengths guru and bestselling author Marcus Buckingham and Cisco Leadership and Team Intelligence head Ashley Goodall show in this provocative, inspiring book, there are some big lies–distortions, faulty assumptions, wrong thinking–that we encounter every time we show up for work. Nine lies, to be exact. They cause dysfunction and frustration, ultimately resulting in workplaces that are a pale shadow of what they could be.

    But there are those who can get past the lies and discover what’s real. These freethinking leaders recognize the power and beauty of our individual uniqueness. They know that emergent patterns are more valuable than received wisdom and that evidence is more powerful than dogma.

    With engaging stories and incisive analysis, the authors reveal the essential truths that such freethinking leaders will recognize immediately: that it is the strength and cohesiveness of your team, not your company’s culture, that matter most; that we should focus less on top-down planning and more on giving our people reliable, real-time intelligence; that rather than trying to align people’s goals we should strive to align people’s sense of purpose and meaning; that people don’t want constant feedback, they want helpful attention.

    This is the real world of work, as it is and as it should be. Nine Lies About Work reveals the few core truths that will help you show just how good you are to those who truly rely on you.

    StandOut: The Groundbreaking New Strengths Assessment from the Leader of the Strengths Revolution

    StandOut, the revolutionary new book and online assessment tool from Marcus Buckingham, is the result of extensive research, statistical testing, and analysis of the world′s top performers. From the coauthor of Now, Discover Your Strengths and the recognized leader of the strengths movement, StandOut unveils your top two Strength Roles and offers sharp, practical ideas that professionals and managers in any organization can use to find their edge and win at work.

    Order Here

    The Truth About You: Your Secret to Success

    An Experience to Revolutionize Your Life from Marcus Buckingham – the World′s Leading Expert on Career Success!

    Want to know what you are supposed to do with your life? The Truth About You is an experience to unlock life′s toughest questions. The process this revolutionary toolkit teaches will create higher satisfaction and performance in life and work. This cutting-edge product includes:

    • Enhanced DVD. A high-energy film reveals how and why you must discover and prioritize your strengths and includes access to a wealth of downloadable resources, including five bonus Strength Tip videos.
    • Interactive Book. With insightful exercises and tried-and-true life wisdom no one else will tell you, the book takes you to the location of your most powerful and unchanging talents.
    • ReMemo Pad. Designed for a life on-the-go, the ReMemo Pad becomes your companion to complete the task of revealing your strengths using your everyday experiences.

    Perfect for high school and college students, young professionals, and people simply wanting to revitalize their career, The Truth About You helps you develop the kind of clarity and passion that drives a successful and satisfying future. Marcus Buckingham will help you discover the real truth, the truth about you . . . it will be your secret to success.

    Order Here

    Now, Discover Your Strengths

    Unfortunately, most of us have little sense of our talents and strengths, much less the ability to build our lives around them. Instead, guided by our parents, by our teachers, by our managers, and by psychology′s fascination with pathology, we become experts in our weaknesses and spend our lives trying to repair these flaws, while our strengths lie dormant and neglected.

    Marcus Buckingham, coauthor of the national bestseller First, Break All the Rules, and Donald O. Clifton, Chair of the Gallup International Research & Education Center, have created a revolutionary program to help readers identify their talents, build them into strengths, and enjoy consistent, near-perfect performance. At the heart of the book is the Internet-based StrengthsFinder® Profile, the product of a 25-year, multimillion-dollar effort to identify the most prevalent human strengths. The program introduces 34 dominant “themes” with thousands of possible combinations, and reveals how they can best be translated into personal and career success. In developing this program, Gallup has conducted psychological profiles with more than two million individuals to help readers learn how to focus and perfect these themes.

    So how does it work? This book contains a unique identification number that allows you access to the StrengthsFinder Profile on the internet. This web-based interview analyzes your instinctive reactions and immediately presents you with your five most powerful signature themes. Once you know which of the 34 themes — such as Achiever, Activator, Empathy, Futuristic, or Strategic — you lead with, the book will show you how to leverage them for powerful results at three levels: for your own development, for your success as a manager, and for the success of your organization.

    With accessible and profound insights on how to turn talents into strengths, and with the immediate on-line feedback of StrengthsFinder at its core, Now, Discover Your Strengths is one of the most groundbreaking and useful business books ever written.

    Order Here

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