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Geoff Smart  

CEO of ghSMART, Bestselling Author of "Power Score," & Social Entrepreneur

Geoff Smart is a CEO, bestselling author, and social entrepreneur whose mission is to create, communicate, and put into practice useful ideas about leadership.

Geoff serves as Chairman & CEO of ghSMART. ghSMART is a leadership firm for CEOs and investors, which Geoff founded in 1995. The firm was named one the "world's top firms" in Broderick's The Art of Managing Professional Services, and is the subject of two Harvard Business School Cases titled "ghSMART & Co.: Pioneering in Professional Services."

Geoff is co-author, with his colleague Randy Street, of the New York Times bestselling book Who: The A Method for Hiring. The book is one of the bestselling and most-acclaimed books in the world on the topic of hiring leaders, which The Wall Street Journal calls "the most important aspect of business." Soundview Executive Book Summaries gave Who the "Best 30 Business Books Award." Shanghai Daily named it a "Top 5 Business Book in China." Canada's Globe and Mail named Who the "#1 Best Business and Management Book of 2009." Geoff is also co-creator of the Topgrading® philosophy of talent management.

As a social entrepreneur, Geoff is Chairman and Co-founder of SMARTKids Leadership Program™, a 501c3 not-for-profit foundation. It provides a customized program of 10 years of leadership mentoring and a $100,000 scholarship to top students with leadership potential from low-income communities. He is Chairman and Founder of THE LEADERS INITIATIVE™, whose mission is to elevate humanity by identifying, developing, and deploying society's greatest leaders into government. Geoff and his ghSMART colleagues also provide pro bono leadership advisory services to leaders in the fields of education, healthcare, and government.

Geoff earned a B.A. in Economics with Honors from Northwestern University, an M.A., and a Ph.D. in Psychology with emphasis in Leadership from Claremont Graduate University, where he was a student of Peter F. Drucker. He was elected to Sigma Xi, the honorary society for holders of doctoral degrees, and is a member of Young Presidents' Organization (YPO).

Speech Topics


Hiring - Based on his New York Times Bestseller Who: The A Method for Hiring

Geoff solves every manager’s #1 problem: making hiring mistakes.   The stories and advice in Geoff’s speeches draw from some of the most extensive research, interviews, and stories ever assembled on the topic of hiring talent.

  1. What are the costs of making hiring mistakes?
  2. Why are most people bad at hiring?   
  3. SCORECARD:  How to create a blueprint of who to hire?
  4. SOURCE:  How to generate a flow of the best candidates?   
  5. SELECT:  What to look for to pick the right one?   
  6. SELL:  How to sell the ideal person on accepting a job at your company?    The session includes a significant amount of audience interaction including live demonstrations of the interview techniques, audience realtime Q&A, and simple “takeaway tools and templates” to help attendees maximize their company’s financial performance and their own career success.

Government - Based on his New York Times Bestseller LEADOCRACY:  Hiring More Great Leaders (Like You) into Government

Geoff offers a solution to society’s #1 problem (broken government), while giving business leaders an out-of-the-box idea to maximize their happiness in their next career.  Audience members enjoy hearing behind-the-scenes stories from Geoff’s time as leadership advisor to a governor, and get to participate in question-and-answer debates about provocative topics such as:

  1. Why do great leaders avoid government?
  2. How do the “3 As of Leading” help us identify, hire, and become better leaders?
  3. How the adrenaline rush of “flow” can offer leaders from the private sector the adventure of a lifetime.

Business leaders are at risk of stagnating in their careers, leading to feelings of purposelessness, lack of meaning, and boredom.  Governments need the skill?set that business leaders have.  “Leadocracy,” or government by society’s greatest leaders, provides a win-win solution for leaders who want more meaning and fulfillment in their career, and for society that so desperately needs their talent in government.  

Leading Teams - Based on his forthcoming book Power Score:  Your Formula for Leadership Success

“Are we running at full power?”  Only 10% of teams run at full power. Based on the largest database of its kind, Geoff shares insights into the three things that matter most.  

Audience members calculate their team’s power score, hear from successes and failures of others, and gain valuable insights into how to improve their team’s results.   

  1. PRIORITIES:  Do we have the right priorities?
  2. WHO:  Do we have the right people who are on the team?
  3. RELATIONSHIPS:  Do we have the right relationships?

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