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David  Burkus

David Burkus

Bestselling Author & International Keynote Speaker

David Burkus

Bestselling Author & International Keynote Speaker


One of the world’s leading business thinkers, David’s forward-thinking ideas and bestselling books are changing how companies approach leadership, teamwork, and collaboration.

A skilled researcher and inspiring communicator, Dr. David Burkus is the Wall Street Journal best-selling author of five books about business and leadership. His books have won multiple awards and have been translated into dozens of languages. Since 2017, David has been ranked multiple times as one of the world’s top business thought leaders. His insights on leadership and teamwork have been featured in the Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, CNN, the BBC, NPR, and CBS Mornings.

A former business school professor, David now works with leaders from organizations across all industries, including PepsiCo, Fidelity, Adobe, and NASA. David’s keynotes aren’t just entertaining and enlightening, they’re evidence-based an immensely practical–offering leaders at all levels a set of actionable takeaways they can implement immediately.

Speaker Videos

A Simple Way to Inspire Your Team | David Burkus | TED

Keynote Speaker David Burkus On Delivering A World-Class Conference Keynote

Teamwork Speaker David Burkus on Why Team Building Isn't An Activity

Teamwork Speaker David Burkus on Building Psychologically Safe Teams

Leadership Speaker David Burkus on Celebrating Failure

Teamwork Speaker David Burkus on Team Huddles

Teamwork Speaker David Burkus on Understanding Teammates' Differences

Keynote Speaker David Burkus on How To Rethink Networking

Leadership Speaker David Burkus on Psychological Safety

The Problem With Purpose | Leadership Speaker David Burkus

How To Lead With Purpose | Leadership Speaker David Burkus

Leadership Speaker David Burkus on Celebrating Failure

Teamwork Speaker David Burkus on Building Psychologically Safe Teams

Speech Topics


Every leader wants to build a high-performing team, and nearly everyone wants to be on one. But most teams fail to perform at their optimal level. We try to recruit star players, improve compensation, give copious feedback, obsess over engagement surveys, and in the end, we still don’t have the results we want and often feel we're out of options. But the secret to unlocking performance isn't recruiting new teammates or designing the perfect incentive. The most effective teams became that way by building the habits and culture of the team that allows for optimal performance.

Talent doesn't make the team; the team makes the talent.

That’s what building the best team ever is all about. When you focus on improving the culture of the teams you lead–or the teams you're on–you create an environment that improves the performance of everyone on it. In this entertaining and enlightening keynote, Dr. David Burkus reveals the secrets of the highest-performing teams in the world and how you can get started tomorrow applying those secrets. Leaders will leave with a clear and concise understanding of how the culture of their team affects its performance, and a simple and practical blueprint for how to build the best team ever.


Collaboration is essential to teamwork. But it can be difficult to collaborate with people whose perspectives, preferences, and personalities are different from our own. It’s hard enough to build trust among the team and collaborate properly, but keeping that trust is even harder. That’s why high-performing teams don’t merely trust each other, they work to create a psychologically safe environment. An environment of trust and respect.

Trust is great, but trusting acts that aren’t met with a respectful response quickly diminish the culture and performance of a team.

In this evidence-based, yet highly engaging keynote, Dr. David Burkus reveals how psychological safety is the key to leveraging all the diverse minds on our team, coming up with the best ideas, and finding the best solutions. You’ll learn how to increase trust on the teams you serve, but also how to model the respectful, collaborative behavior that keeps that trust level high—even in times of setbacks, failures, and conflict.


As the challenges organizations face seem to compound, we need innovative ideas more than ever. But many teams struggle to find and implement their brightest ideas. Much of this struggle comes from a common misconception: you can’t create an innovative company teaching individuals to be more creative. Instead, research reveals that “lone creators” are historically rare and for most innovations, creativity is a team sport.

Teams bring a broader perspective and a more diverse set of solutions, but only if they know how to leverage the wisdom of everyone involved.

By combining insights from social science research and practical takeaways from the most innovative companies and teams, Dr. David Burkus outlines a prescription for any team or organization to work more creatively together, without silos, politics, or frustration. You'll learn how to leverage the expertise of the whole team, how to harness conflict to strengthen ideas, and how to find and implement the best solutions to the challenges your teams face.


The debate over hybrid work and returning to the office keeps raging, and leaders' plans for how to manage their team just keep changing. The desire for autonomy among employees is at an all-time high, while feelings of connection and belonging to the team are at all-time lows. It’s enough to make a leader cry “when are we going back to normal?”

But why not go forward to something even better? It’s undeniable that the future of work is working from anywhere, which means leaders need the skills to lead from anywhere.

In this meticulously researched, refreshingly practical keynote, Dr. David Burkus provides managers and teams with a complete guide to leading in remote and hybrid environments, packed with everyday examples and illuminating insights. You'll learn how to keep team culture strong even if the team isn't together and how to manage performance with people who aren't present. And you’ll discover how to balance team members’ newfound autonomy with the need for accountability to the team and organization.

This talk provides everything you’ll need to survive and thrive as the leader of a remote team—which is something all leaders will need to consider themselves from now on.