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Bruce Tulgan, Speaker

Bruce Tulgan

    • Leading Expert on Young People in the Workplace
Fee Range

$15,000 - $20,000

Travels From


Bruce Tulgan preview video

Bruce Tulgan preview video

Bruce Tulgan - Not Everyone Gets a Trophy

Bruce Tulgan - Not Everyone Gets a Trophy

Bruce Tulgan Demo Video

Bruce Tulgan Demo Video

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. Bruce is a best-selling author, an adviser to business leaders all over the world, and a sought-after keynote speaker and management trainer.

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 Thinkers 50 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: Managing 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), and the best-selling It's Okay to Be the Boss (HarperCollins, 2007), and Managing Generation X (W.W. Norton, 2000). 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 called ‘Sticky Notes’ and a regular column in the Huffington Post. His writing has also appeared in dozens of magazines and newspapers such as 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).

To book Bruce Tulgan call Executive Speakers Bureau at 901-754-9404.

Fight the Undermanagement Epidemic: How to Build a Culture of Strong Leadership

Undermanagement is rampant in the modern workplace. A full 90% of all leaders and managers do not provide their direct-reports with suffi­cient guidance, support and coaching. And the costs are astronomical! Bring in Bruce Tulgan to present the latest research from RainmakerThinking’s ongoing Undermanagement Epidemic study:

  • What are the costs of undermanagement? HINT: There are eight costs that lead right to the bottom line
  • What are the principal causes of undermanagement? HINT: Seven common myths prevent most leaders and managers from taking a more highly-engaged approach to leadership
  • What challenges are leaders and managers facing in the real world today? HINT: The workplace is more high-pressure than ever and the workforce more high-maintenance
  • What are the best-practices followed by the most eff­ective leaders and managers today? HINT: Regular high-structure, high-substance, coaching style management
  • What are the best organizations doing to move their organizational cultures toward strong highly-engaged leadership? HINT: Making a systematic commitment to proven best-practices at every level

After this program, participants will:

  • Have a better understanding of undermanagement and its strategic significance
  • Be in a better position to identify undermanagement in their organization (and in themselves)
  • Consider strategies and initiatives for leading the leaders of their organization toward the systems, practices, competencies, habits and culture of strong highly-engaged leadership at every level


How to Be a Strong Leader: Learn the Proven Best Practices of Highly-Engaged Leadership

Since 1993, RainmakerTh­inking, Inc. has conducted ongoing in-depth research on the real challenges faced by real leaders, managers, and supervisors in the workplace. Managing people has always been hard, but it’s harder now than ever before. Th­ere’s no room for downtime, waste, or inefficiency. Everyone has to do more with less. And employees have become more and more high-maintenance. Too many managers today tell us they…

…don’t have enough time to manage their people.

…too often avoid interacting with “difficult” employees.

…struggle to hold employees accountable.

…often wait to have important conversations until they are frustrated or angry.

…struggle to retain the really great employees.

What are managers to do? Bring in Bruce Tulgan to share the latest from our decades of research on the proven best-practices of the most effective leaders today. Bruce helps managers confront their own sub-optimal management habits and learn to practice the eight steps back to the “fundamentals” of strong, highly-engaged leadership:

  1. Get in the habit of managing people every day in structured team meetings and one-on-ones
  2. Build a custom one-on-one dialogue with every person who reports to you
  3. Learn to talk like a coach or a teacher
  4. Make accountability a process, not a slogan
  5. Make expectations clear every step of the way
  6. Track performance every step of the way
  7. Solve small problems before they turn into big ones
  8. Reward performance and only performance...and do more for people when they go the extra mile

After this program, participants will better be able to:

  • Build relationships of trust and confidence with employees
  • Delegate tasks, responsibilities, and projects
  • Keep employees focused and moving in the right direction at work
  • Increase productivity, quality, retention of high-performers, and turnover among low-performers
  • Sharply reduce waste, inefficiency, errors, downtime, and conflict among employees


Managing Millennials How to Bring Out the Best in Today’s Young Talent

Learn from the most up-to-date research on the Millennial workforce. Since 1993, RainmakerTh­inking, has been tracking generational change in the workplace and studying the ever newer “new” young workforce. Now the “second-wave” of Millennials (born 1990-2000) are the young people flooding into the workplace, while the oldest Baby Boomers are exiting. By 2020, second-wave Millennials will make up 24% of the Western workforce, while Baby Boomers will be less than 20%.

What are today’s managers saying about these second-wave Millennials?

  • “Th­ey may have a lot of the latest and greatest tools and techniques, but they lack a lot of the old-fashioned basics!”
  • “Th­eir expectations are unrealistic.”
  • “Th­ey lack good work habits.”
  • “Th­ey lack good interpersonal skills.”
  • “Th­ey don’t want to pay their dues and climb the ladder.”
  • “Th­ey walk in the door with seventeen things they want to change about the company.”
  • “Th­ey only want to do the best tasks.”
  • “If you don’t supervise them closely, they go off in their own direction.”
  • “It’s very hard to give them negative feedback without crushing their morale.”
  • “Th­ey think everybody is going to get a trophy in the real world, just like they did growing up.”

Based on decades of research, Bruce Tulgan separates the facts from the myths about today’s young workers. Bring in Bruce to share the latest research from Rainmaker­inking:

  • Millennials are NOT a bunch of delicate, lazy, disrespectful, inappropriate slackers with short attention spans
  • Millennials - at least those worth hiring - want leaders who take them seriously at work and set them up for success in the real world, not leaders who try to humor them
  • Millennials want strong, highly-engaged managers who establish clear structure and boundaries and provide regular guidance, direction, support and coaching
  • Millennials need clear expectations and real-time performance-tracking
  • Millennials need to understand the quid-pro-quo of work every step of the way

After this program, participants will better be able to:

  • Understand the attitudes and behavior of young employees
  • Understand the nuances that distinguish the commonly described Millennials as two very distinct workplace generations
  • Attract and select the best young employees when recruiting
  • Get new young employees on board and up to speed
  • Help young employees learn and grow in their jobs
  • Help young employees work smarter, faster, and better
  • Teach young employees to understand where they fit in the organization
  • Reduce turnover among high-performing young employees and increase voluntary turnover among low-performers
  • Prepare the best young employees to assume management responsibilities


­The Great Generational Shift: How to Make the Most of Generational Change in the Workplace

­There is a “Great Generational Shift” underway in the workforce today. Th­is is the post-Baby Boomer shift that demographers and workforce planners have been anticipating for decades. It is not only a generational shift in the numbers in the workforce. Th­is is also an epic turning point in the norms and values of the workforce, and a corresponding transformation in the very fundamentals of the employer-employee relationship. Th­is “Great Generational Shift” presents a whole new set of challenges for employers in every industry, employees of all ages, and for managers at every level. Since 1993, RainmakerTh­inking, Inc. has been tracking generational change in the workplace. Our ongoing research reveals strong generational trends in career paths, management practices, attitudes, expectations and behavior in the workplace. Bring in Bruce Tulgan to present the latest research from RainmakerTh­inking:

  • How will the numbers shift over the next few years? HINT: By 2020, Baby Boomers will make up less than 20% of the Western workforce, whereas just the second-wave Millennials alone - born 1990-2000 - will make up 24%
  • How will the norms and values of the workforce continue to change? HINT: Th­ere is no going back to the one-size-fits-all employment model of the past. Employment relationships will become increasingly short-term, transactional, and highly variable
  • What does this mean for organizations? HINT: Th­ey must get much more flexible when it comes to staffing-strategy, attraction, selection, on-boarding, training, performance-management, accountability, differential rewards, retention, knowledge-transfer, succession-planning and leadership development
  • What does this mean for managers? HINT: As the workplace becomes ever-more high-pressure and the workforce ever-more high-maintenance, weak, disengaged management is the enemy. Strong, highly-engaged management is the solution
  • What does this mean for employers? HINT: As individual workers of all ages today are under more pressure and work becomes more demanding for everyone, people of all ages today want, expect and often request greater flexibility in work conditions. As the pressure increases, so does the need for some relief

After this program, participants will:

  • Communicate effectively with those of other generations
  • Build cooperative work relationships with those of other generations
  • Assess and begin to address the human capital management issues presented by generational diversity in their career, for their team, and for their entire organization


It’s Okay to Manage Your Boss: Learn the Proven Best Practices of the Most Successful High Performing Employees

Decades of research by RainmakerTh­inking, Inc. shows that employees rely on their immediate managers more than anyone else to meet their needs at work – to provide them with the guidance, support, direction, resources, and coaching needed to produce high-quality work consistently, to feel good about work, to earn credit and flexible work conditions and greater rewards. Th­e working relationship employees have with their immediate managers is the number one factor determining success or failure.

Th­e problem is that too many managers are undermanaging their direct-reports: So many managers are so busy – or otherwise unwilling or unable to provide strong leadership – that most employees simply do not get what they need from their managers. As a result, unnecessary problems occur, problems get out of control, resources are squandered, employee performance and morale suffer, and otherwise good employees are much more likely to leave.

Yes, managers should do their job and provide the kind of strong highly-engaged leadership that employees need today in order to succeed. But employees can do a lot to help themselves. Our research shows that when employees take a stronger hand in their relationships with their managers and play a bigger role in getting what they need, things go much, much better.

What is the secret weapon of every self-starting high-performer in today’s workplace? ­They are really good at managing themselves and they are really good at managing their bosses. Bring in Bruce Tulgan to present our latest research on what employees can do to combat undermanagement and succeed at work despite this growing problem:

  • Get clearly spelled-out and reasonable expectations from your boss
  • Learn how to acquire the skills, tools, and resources you need from your boss to meet those expectations
  • Get your boss in the habit of giving you honest feedback about your performance, and course-correcting feedback when necessary
  • Gain the proper recognition and rewards you deserve in exchange for your performance

When employees get really good at managing themselves and helping their managers manage, they are able to do more work better and faster, get more recognition and reward, and increase their chances of success at work. Everybody wins.

After this program, participants will better be able to:

  • Build relationships of trust and confidence with their managers
  • Seek appropriate guidance, direction and support from their managers
  • Take on new tasks, responsibilities, and projects
  • Stay focused and moving in the right direction at work
  • Increase their individual work productivity and quality
  • Keep track of their own performance and report regularly to their managers
  • Reduce waste, inefficiency, errors, downtime, and conflict with other employees
  • Learn, grow, and go the extra mile in their jobs


Building New Young Leaders: Critical Skills for First Time Managers

Every new leader at any level must go through a process of assuming authority, establishing communication with direct-reports, and managing workfl­ow. This is a challenging process for any new leader of any age. It is especially challenging for new leaders who are younger and less experienced.

Bruce Tulgan has personally led hundreds of career seminars for thousands of high-performers and trained thousands of new young leaders in dozens of organizations.

Bruce has tracked new young leaders from his classic book Managing Generation X (1995) to his recent best-seller Not Everyone Gets a Trophy (Revised & Updated 2016), to Bridging the So­ Skills Gap (2015).

RainmakerThinking’s research shows that most new young leaders do not get enough structured guidance, direction, and support in taking on their new management/leadership responsibilities, especially when it comes to assuming authority, establishing communication with direct-reports, and setting up an ongoing process for managing workfl­ow. Further, this results in lower performance rates and higher turnover among teams led by new young managers, as well as lower performance and higher turnover among new young managers themselves.

Drawing on RainmakerThinking’s decades of research, Bruce Tulgan will introduce new leaders to the “take charge by learning” approach to standing up as a new leader. He will then provide them with our back-to-fundamentals step-by-step approach:

  • Get in the habit of managing people every day in structured team meetings and one-on-ones
  • Build a custom one-on-one dialogue with every person who reports to you, using management fundamentals and looking at your colleagues through the “generational lens”
  • Learn to talk like a coach or a teacher - not just a boss
  • Make accountability a process, not a slogan
  • Make expectations clear every step of the way
  • Solve small problems before they turn into big problems
  • Track performance every step of the way
  • Reward performance and only performance...and do more for people when they go the extra mile

Weaving in entertaining humor and touching wisdom, Bruce will inspire new leaders to embrace the responsibilities that come with leadership and prepare them with the tools and techniques they need to give their teams greater guidance, direction, support and coaching.

After this program, participants will:

  • Take on and carry out supervisory, management, and leadership responsibilities
  • Use the fundamentals of management to build relationships of trust and confidence among their direct-reports
  • Talk like a performance coach to build up and lead their direct-reports, not just manage them
  • Cultivate and improve their own supervisory, management, and leadership skills

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