Robert J. Thomas is global managing director of the Accenture Institute for High Performance and professor of leadership at the Brandeis University International Business School where he also chairs the advisory panel for the Perlmutter Institute for Global Leadership.
He writes, teaches and consults about leadership and transformational change. His 2008 book, "Crucibles of Leadership: How to Learn from Experience to Be a Great Leader," was hailed by Harvard’s Rosabeth Kanter as “a guide for aspiring leaders in all walks of life” and by Wharton’s Mike Useem as “an organizational playbook for transforming managers into leaders.”
In 2002, he co-authored "Geeks and Geezers: How Era, Values, and Defining Moments Shape Leaders" with Warren Bennis, a book that explored the motivations and aspirations of leaders under the age of 35 and over the age of 70.
It became a BusinessWeek best seller and has since been translated into 11 languages. Harvard Business Review has recently honored Thomas and Bennis by creating a new feature dedicated to stories of how men and women have learned to lead through their crucible experiences.
Thomas has also published articles on leadership and change in the Harvard Business Review, the Wall Street Journal, Businessweek.com, the Economic Times of India, and Sloan Management Review. He is the co-author with Peter Cheese and Elizabeth Craig of The Talent Powered Organization, one of the first systematic efforts to chart a strategy for talent management in global enterprises. He is co-author with Rob Cross of "Driving Results Through Social Networks," (2009 with Jossey-Bass) and a companion volume of case studies entitled the "Organizational Networks Fieldbook" (2010).
His first major book, "What Machines Can’t Do: Politics and Technology in the Industrial Enterprise," won the 1994 C. Wright Mills Award of the Society for the Study of Social Problems. Thomas has been a featured speaker at dozens of corporate and NGO events, including those sponsored by BusinessWeek, Harvard Business Review, MIT-Sloan School, Conference Board, Society for Human Resource Management, PBS, McGraw-Hill corporate learning, the Young Presidents Organization, the Treasury Executive Institute and NASA.
Thomas leads the Accenture Institute for High Performance, Accenture’s global “think and act tank” with professional researchers based in Boston, Beijing, Chicago, London and Mumbai. The Institute provides Accenture with original research and actionable insights on the global political economy and on the latest developments in business practice. In addition to producing proprietary insights, Institute researchers regularly publish their ideas in Tier 1 media and also serve as subject matter experts in some of Accenture’s largest and most important consulting engagements.
In his role as a senior executive in Accenture, Thomas has worked with top executive groups in Fortune 100 and Global 100 companies to help them become more effective as leadership teams. He has designed and led leader development programs based on Crucibles of Leadership in organizations as diverse as a global software developer, a national electrical utility, a major research university, and a transnational media company.
In his role as a professor at Brandeis University’s International Business School, Thomas teaches courses on the personal and organizational dimensions of leadership to mid-career executives from all over the world and from business, government, the armed forces, and NGOs. He also maintains his affiliation to MIT through his participation in the Sloan Fellows, the Leaders for Manufacturing, and the Greater Boston Executive programs. In addition, he periodically teaches in executive sessions for the Harvard Business Review, the Center for Management Research, and the International Consortium for Executive Development Research.
An Eagle Scout whose upbringing in Central California left him with a lifelong passion for fast cars and fresh vegetables, he lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, with his wife Rosanna, chair of the Women’s Studies Department at Wellesley College, and their daughter, Alyssa.
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Bob Thomas is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Bob Thomas for your event is $10,000 - $20,000. Bob Thomas generally travels from Brookline, MA, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Viola Davis, Amy Poehler, Amy Schumer, Rashida Jones and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Bob Thomas for an upcoming event.
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