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Bruce  Tulgan

Bruce Tulgan

Management Trainer & Consultant

Biography

Bruce Tulgan is internationally recognized as the leading expert on young people in the workplace and one of the leading experts on leadership and management. Based on more than 25 years of research and experience helping businesses level up their culture, Bruce delivers his programs with a blend of humor, insight, and concrete best practices that audiences can put into action the very next day. If you are interested in a witty, best-selling author who has expertise in building a culture of highly-engaged leaders, managing the generational shift in the workforce, strengthening their talent acquisition and retention practices, or teaching employees how to manage up while making themselves more valuable, Bruce is the go-to man! Read More >

Since 1995, Bruce has worked with tens of thousands of leaders and managers in hundreds of organizations ranging from Aetna to Wal-Mart; from the Army to the YMCA. In recent years, Bruce was named by Management Today as one of the few contemporary figures to stand out as a “management guru” and he was named to the 2009 Thinkers50 Rising Star list. On August 13, 2009, Bruce was honored to accept Toastmasters International’s most prestigious honor, the Golden Gavel. This honor is annually presented to a single person who represents excellence in the fields of communication and leadership. Past winners have included Stephen Covey, Zig Ziglar, Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins, Ken Blanchard, Tom Peters, Art Linkletter, Dr. Joyce Brothers, and Walter Cronkite.

Bruce’s most recent books include the updated and expanded edition of Not Everyone Gets a Trophy: How to Manage the Millennials (Wiley/Jossey-Bass: Revised Updated 2016; originally published 2009), and Bridging the Soft Skills Gap: How to Teach the Missing Basics to Today’s Young Talent (Wiley/Jossey-Bass, 2015). He is also the author of The 27 Challenges Managers Face (Wiley/Jossey-Bass, 2014), the best-selling It's Okay to Be the Boss (HarperCollins, Revised & Updated, 2014; originally published 2007), and Managing Generation X (W.W. Norton, 2000; originally published 1995). Bruce’s other books include Winning the Talent Wars (W.W. Norton, 2001), which received widespread acclaim from Fortune 500 CEOs and business journalists; the best-seller Fast Feedback (HRD Press, 1998); Managing the Generation Mix (HRD Press, 2006) and It's Okay to Manage Your Boss (Jossey-Bass, 2010). Many of Bruce’s works have been published around the world in foreign editions.

Bruce lectures at the Yale Graduate School of Management, as well as other academic institutions, and his writing appears regularly in human resources, staffing and management journals, including a regular column in Training Magazine, ‘Sticky Notes’, and a regular column in the Huffington Post. His writing has also appeared in dozens of magazines and newspapers including the Harvard Business Review, BusinessWeek, HR Magazine, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and USA Today. As well, his work has been the subject of thousands of news stories around the world.

Before founding RainmakerThinking in 1993, Bruce practiced law at the Wall Street firm of Carter, Ledyard & Milburn. He graduated with high honors from Amherst College, received his law degree from the New York University School of Law, and is still a member of the Bar in Massachusetts and New York. Bruce continues his lifelong study of Okinawan Uechi Ryu Karate Do and holds a sixth degree black belt, making him a Renshi master of the style. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut with his wife Debby Applegate, Ph.D., who won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Biography for her book The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher (Doubleday, 2006). Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Speaking Reel

Love Generation Y

Speech Topics

Make Accountability a Process Not a Slogan

When people don’t work things out at their own level and get in the habit of going over each other’s heads, to the boss or the boss’s boss, trust and confidence within work relationships suffer. (Not to mention, the work itself.) But how is anyone supposed to get things done when no one has the authority to require others to do what they ask? Read More >

Rather than escalating conflicts to a manager, resisting those conflicts and remaining frozen, or “proceeding until apprehended”, build accountability the right way: by aligning up, down, sideways, and diagonal.

The ad hoc, unstructured, as-needed communication typical of the collaboration revolution often breeds unnecessary problems that get out of control—leading to delays, errors, and plenty of relationship damage. Extreme alignment is the solution.

In this program, Bruce distills the proven best practices of real people, collaborating in the real world, into guidelines for communication that will revolutionize how you work together. Drawing on decades of research into the habits and systems of successful people in highly-collaborative roles, Bruce equips you with simple but powerful strategies for staying aligned, no matter where you fall on the organization chart.

Participants will learn: Read Less ^

  • What The Authority Conundrum is, why it happens, and how it damages working relationships over time
  • The importance of alignment in today’s workplace—whether working as part of a team or as an “independent” contributor
  • Why establishing alignment helps build true accountability by turning it into a process, not a slogan
  • How to “work things out at their own level” and “take charge” without bribing, coercing, bullying, or overstepping their role

Fight Overcommitment Syndrome

Everyone at work is collaborating with lots more people than ever before. New tasks, projects, responsibilities, and opportunities come at us every single day. The truth is, everyone wants to be able to depend on each other and deliver for each other. But nobody can do everything for everybody. Too often, people overpromise, underdeliver—and burnout. That’s when siege mentality sets in: as individuals begin to resist collaboration, teamwork stalls and productivity suffers. One person’s burnout can have HUGE effects! Read More >

Navigating collaborative relationships—and the many demands on our time—is not going away. Overcommitting ourselves is not a sustainable solution for us, our teams, or our organizations. What does work? Adopting a true service mindset. That means delivering on what you promise by only saying “yes” to the best asks and the right opportunities.

In this program, Bruce draws on decades of research, sharing true stories from real people, in real workplaces, in the real world, blending humor, insight, and concrete best-practices to show participants how to fight overcommitment syndrome. Participants will walk away as better collaborators, better prepared to avoid burnout and deliver great results.

Participants will learn:

  • What overcommitment syndrome and siege mentality look like - the thing most people identify as burnout
  • Why adopting a true service mindset is not about saying "yes" to everyone and everything at work
  • How carefully choosing "yes" and "no" can build you a better reputation in your organization
  • The importance of aligning--up, down, and sideways--to ensure you're not the one who ends up overcommitted

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Back to Fundamentals Collaboration

Everyone at work is collaborating with lots more people than ever before. Not just those working alongside them, but all over the organization chart—up, down, sideways, and diagonal. The truth is, everyone wants to be able to depend on each other and deliver for each other. But when no one has the authority to require others to get things done, how are we supposed to deliver consistent results and maintain high performance? Read More >

Rather than escalating conflicts to a manager, resisting those conflicts and remaining frozen, or “proceeding until apprehended”, collaborate the right way: by aligning up, down, sideways, and diagonal.

In this program, Bruce distills the proven best practices of real people, collaborating in the real world, into guidelines for communication that will revolutionize how you and your team work together. Drawing on decades of research into the habits and systems of successful people in highly-collaborative roles, Bruce equips teams with simple but powerful strategies for staying aligned, no matter where each person falls on the organization chart.

Participants will learn: Read Less ^

  • What The Authority Conundrum is, why it happens, and how it stalls productivity, damaging working relationships over time
  • The importance of alignment in today's workplace--whether working as part of a team or as an "independent" contributor
  • Why establishing alignment helps build true accountability by turning it into a process, not a slogan
  • How to "work things out at their own level" and "take charge" without bribing, coercing, bullying, or overstepping their role

Managing Remotely: When the Workplace is No Longer a Place

Suddenly, everything’s turned upside-down. Where we work, when we work, how we relate to our bosses, to our people—it’s all in flux. Read More >

The most successful organizations and managers will design their futures and lead the way. They will be highly intentional and strategic about this sea change occurring in the work of managing work. They will acknowledge and understand the impact of what’s being lost—that intangible but oh-so-critical human factor—in order to address it. They will see that what matters today is, first, how we do what kinds of work and, second, when we do it. Where we do it comes last.

In this program, Bruce draws on decades of research and observation, to answer the most common and pressing questions about the new realities of working remotely:

  • What will organizations look like?
  • How will company culture be communicated and lived?
  • How will we handle the basic work of management—staffing, performance management, and development?

Participants will learn: Read Less ^

  • How remote work exacerbates the complications of interdependent, high-collaboration work
  • How remote work offers an opportunity for managers and organizations to take systems, practices, and competencies to a higher level
  • Why place and time matter less and less as the currency of work becomes what value you can add
  • Why even the most critical communication can be accomplished asynchronously

Leading & Collaborating Through Change & Uncertainty

There are always going to be forces outside your control. Change is constant. The way to deal with change and continue moving forward is to focus on what is always under your control: YOU! Read More >

The more things are changing, the more often you need to communicate. In a constant-change situation, you need to be in constant communication—up, down, and sideways. You need to stay plugged in to your best sources of information through your own ongoing one-on-one dialogues with your boss, your direct-reports, and with key colleagues.

The foundation is highly-engaged one-on-one dialogues.

In this program, Bruce Tulgan teaches your team the best practices of the real “change masters” he has studied from real organizations, in the real world.

Participants will learn: Read Less ^

  • The three pillars of leading people through change
  • How to identify what forces are outside your control, so you can focus on what is within your control
  • The importance and power of maintaining regular, ongoing, highly-engaged one-on-one dialogues
  • How to maintain alignment up, down, sideways, and diagonal
  • How to lead from wherever you are on the organization chart, without overstepping
  • How to look forward, plan ahead, and get better and better at working together

It’s Okay to Be the Boss: Learn the Proven Best Practices of Highly-Engaged Management

Debunking myths that keep managers from being strong, providing solutions to common management challenges, teaching the fundamentals that drive performance and accountability.

The Great Generational Shift: The Workforce is Changing, Are You Ready?

Providing perspective on the different needs of different generations, dispelling damaging misconceptions, offering actionable advice for leaders managing the whole generational spectrum.

Winning the Talent Wars: Build a Winning Culture of Attraction, High-Performance & Retention

Sharing tools and knowledge to build a winning culture that gives leaders an advantage in the talent wars.