Peter Bregman Headshot
Report a problem with this profile
[email protected]

Peter Bregman      

Founder of Bregman Partners, Author & Leadership Columnist, "Harvard Business Review"

Peter Bregman is the CEO of Bregman Partners, Inc., a company that strengthens leadership in people and in organizations.

His most recent book is "Four Seconds: All the Time You Need to Stop Counter-Productive Habits and Get the Results You Want," a New York Post top pick for your career in 2015. His previous book was The Wall Street Journal best seller "18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done," winner of the Gold medal from the Axiom Business Book awards, named the best business book of the year on NPR, and selected by Publisher’s Weekly and the New York Post as a top 10 business book. He is also the author of Point B: A Short Guide to Leading a Big Change and contributor to five other books. Featured on PBS, ABC and CNN, Bregman’s articles and commentary appear frequently in Harvard Business Review, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Fast Company, Psychology Today, Forbes, The Financial Times, CNN, NPR and FOX Business News.

Bregman began his career teaching leadership on wilderness and mountaineering expeditions and then moved into the consulting field with the Hay Group and Accenture, before starting Bregman Partners in 1998. Bregman has advised CEOs and senior leaders in many of the world’s premier organizations, including Allianz, American Express, Brunswick Group, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan Chase, FEI, GE Capital, Merck, Clear Channel, Nike, UNICEF and many others.

Bregman bases his work on the notion that everyone—no matter their job or level—has the opportunity to lead. Unfortunately, most do not. There is a massive difference between what we know about leadership and what we do as leaders. What makes leadership hard is not theoretical, it is practical. It is not about knowing what to say or do. It is about whether you’re willing to experience the discomfort, risk and uncertainty of saying or doing it.

In other words, the critical challenge of leadership is, mostly, the challenge of emotional courage. Since 1989, Bregman has trained and coached all levels of management and individuals to recognize their leadership, exhibit leadership behaviors, model and stimulate change, and foster growth of their own emotional courage as well as that of their teams and colleagues.

Bregman earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Princeton University and his Master of Business Administration degree from Columbia University.

Speech Topics


18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done

We squander a tremendous amount of our potential - and organizations waste a tremendous amount of their peoples potential by focusing on the wrong things or not following through on real priorities. Its not that people dont try hard enough, its that their efforts dont reap the benefits they could.

Drawing from his book, 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done, Peter sets out the new, simple rules for leading in a way that brings focus to an organization and makes the best use of everyones talents.

Organizations succeed when people use every part of who they are to take care of their top priorities in the most efficient way possible. In this counter-intuitive speech, Peter shows us how getting people to fit in or fix their weaknesses works against us. Instead, he tells leaders to help people embrace their weaknesses, assert their differences, leverage their strengths, and pursue their passions.

And then focus those talents - hour by hour - on the right things, avoiding the inevitable distractions that otherwise subvert our efforts. Because how people spend their time is the key strategic decision they make. Follow-through always appears easy but it never is. When people call, emails arrive, and meetings get scheduled - sometimes without us even knowing - we get distracted.

In this engaging, story-based, and very practical talk, Peter offers ideas, practices, tips, mind hacks, and gentle nudges to help leaders bring focus to their people and their organization. Peter will show audiences:

How to build a plan that places people at the intersection of their strengths, weaknesses, difference, and passions, maximizing their success and impact on the organization.

An 18-minute plan for managing their day and how it will enable them to get all the right things done.

How to get traction, stick to their focus, ignore non-priorities, avoid the allure of unproductive busyness and master their boundaries so they can resist distractions.

Leading and Building Effective Teams: Why Communication, Collaboration and Culture Matter

Good relationships are the key to happiness, success, and productivity at the office. But its hard to develop and maintain strong ties with people - friends and colleagues alike. Little things get in the way. Someone acts politically. Or says something that offends us. Or we, unwittingly, say something that offends someone else.

These days, more than ever, a unified organization that transcends silos is a distinct competitive advantage. People who think beyond their own team or department or individual set of goals are positioned to become the most valued leaders. Reaching out and working well with others is perhaps the most important skill in todays complex work environments.

The key to collaboration doesnt require a complicated restructuring or company-wide transformation. All it requires is that each person makes conscious, strategic choices about how to engage with others. Peter demonstrates how the right set up, the right reminders, and the right debriefs - taking just a few minutes a day - can transform conflict into collaboration and animosity into admiration.

In this lively, practical, conversational presentation, Peter Bregman shares the most common mistakes people make with each other and offers ways to replace the downward spiral of negativity that can quickly destroys companies into an upward spiral of positive, productive collaboration that catapults organizations to success.

In this engaging talk, Peter will show audiences:

  • How to handle surprise criticism, why arguing is pointless, and the secret to ensuring follow-through

  • How to handle a power struggle, what the academy awards teach us about teamwork, and the key to breaking out of silos

  • How to avoid, and quickly recover from, misunderstandings

  • Easy to apply tactics for creating and sustaining powerful relationships and a collaborative organization

Point B: Change Without Resistance

Seventy percent of all major change efforts fail, mostly because of rampant fear, anxiety and resistance. Do you think of resistance as an inevitable byproduct of change? Peter Bregman, author of Point B: A Short Guide To Leading A Big Change, argues that resistance is optional, an unintended consequence of the way most leaders try to execute change.

Peters key insight: People dont resist change. They resist being changed. Peter shows us how and why most change is executed poorly and most change management is counter-productive creating stress in the leaders and resistance in everyone else.

Done well, change isnt something to suffer through on the way to something better (or maybe just different). Change is really an opportunity to deepen engagement and ownership. To create a workplace where everyone feels responsible for the success of the entire organization.

In this lively talk, Peter begins with the obvious fact that people dont resist their own ideas. So to make a change happen, the wider workforce needs to have some control. The question for leaders is, how to share control without losing control?

Illustrating his talk with a case study of a successful change involving 2000 people globally in a large financial services firm, Peter shares:

  • Three Change Rules that must underlie any organization change effort

  • How to use the Engagement Continuum to diagnose and describe their own change initiatives

  • Seven strategies for engaging the workforce during a time of change that shift the responsibility of change from leaders to the people who must take the daily actions to make the change successful.

Four Seconds: All the Time You Need to Stop Counter-Productive Habits and Get the Results You Want

The basic things we all want—to do good work, be successful, get along with others, produce value as part of a team—are surprisingly straightforward to achieve. But, more often than not, our knee-jerk reactions to the people and situations we face result in the exact opposite. We’re fighting against ourselves in a clumsy disconnect between intention and impact, wasting valuable time and energy and straining our relationships in the process.

Drawing from his upcoming book to be published February 2015, Peter points out the often funny places where our intuitive but counterproductive knee-jerk reactions get us in trouble, and he shows us how we can replace them with counterintuitive but productive ones.

Peter shows how a few small, individual changes can transform an entire organization—moving it from a silo mentality to collective leadership, and he offers practical ideas, tools and tips to help people work together in a way that they, and their entire organization, profits. Peter will show audiences:

· How to build a foundation of strength and inoculate themselves so they don’t get triggered by the things that other people do and say

· How and why we often they say the wrong things, and what to do and say instead to build relationships and get the most important things done together

· Simple ways they can inspire the commitment, motivation and collective action of the people around them

Leading with Emotional Courage

Everyone in an organization–no matter their level—has the opportunity to lead. Unfortunately, most don’t. There is a massive difference between what we know about leadership and what we do as leaders. What makes leadership hard isn’t theoretical, it’s practical. It’s not about knowing what to say or do. It’s about whether you’re willing to experience the discomfort, risk and uncertainty of saying or doing it.

In other words, the critical challenge of leadership is, mostly, the challenge of emotional courage.

Emotional courage distinguishes powerful leaders from weak ones. It means standing apart from others without separating yourself from them. It means speaking up when others are silent and remaining steadfast, grounded and measured in the face of uncertainty. It means responding productively to political opposition—maybe even bad-faith backstabbing—without getting sidetracked, distracted or losing your focus.

In this engaging and interactive talk, Peter not only shares real-life stories of emotional courage in action, he gives audiences a taste of it. Peter shows audiences:

· Why emotional courage is so important, and examples of its power

· What it feels like—experientially—to have emotional courage through fun and effective exercises

· How to grow emotional courage to take bolder moves in their work, their lives and the world

Related Speakers View all


More like Peter