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

Peter Bregman, CEO of Bregman Partners, Inc. and Author

Peter Bregman is the CEO of Bregman Partners, Inc., a company that strengthens leadership in people and in organizations. He is the host of the Bregman Leadership Podcast, short conversations with thought leaders focused on ideas that people can use to become more powerful and courageous leaders. He is the author of Four Seconds: All the Time Y...    

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

He is the host of the Bregman Leadership Podcast, short conversations with thought leaders focused on ideas that people can use to become more powerful and courageous leaders.

He is the author of 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 is a regular contributor to Harvard Business Review, Psychology Today, and Forbes, and his articles and commentary have appeared frequently in Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Fast Company, 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 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. 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 Association degree from Columbia University.


  • A Question of Change: Peter Bregman at TEDxKingStreetEast

    TEDxMillRiver - Peter Bregman - I Don't Know

Managing Change without Resistance
Seventy percent of all major change efforts fail, mostly because of rampant fear, anxiety and resistance. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Far from inevitable, resistance is a direct result of how we manage change.

Peter Bregman has successfully designed and executed major change efforts, involving thousands of people, at some of the world’s most prestigious companies of all sizes.

Peter’s experience proves that resistance is optional, an unintended consequence of the way most leaders try to execute change. His key insight: “People don’t resist change. They resist being changed.”

Peter shows us how and why most change is executed poorly and most change management is counterproductive—creating stress in the leaders and resistance in everyone else.

In this speech, Peter teaches a simple mind shift, and a few basic, easily implementable strategies that can completely transform how managers and leaders lead—and how the whole organization perceives—change. Change instantaneously becomes an opportunity to deepen engagement and ownership; to create a workplace where everyone feels responsible for the success of the entire organization.

Peter illustrates this lively, participative speech with a case study of a successful change involving 2,000 people globally in a large financial services firm. He 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 most recent book, 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
  • A three-step process for transforming poor habits into productive ones
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 people’s potential—by focusing on the wrong things or not following through on real priorities. It’s not that people don’t try hard enough; it’s that their efforts don’t 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 everyone’s 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 counterintuitive 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.

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:

  • An 18-minute plan to manage their day—empowering them to get 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
  • How to build a plan that places people at the intersection of their strengths, weaknesses, differences and passions, maximizing their success and impact on the organization
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 knowabout leadership and what we doas 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

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  • Omnicom Group
    Peter Bregman made a big positive impact. It fit in nicely with our message. A lot of attendees took the time to come up to me and tell me how valuable they thought it was.

    Amerisure
    The event was great and people really enjoyed a speaker (Peter Bregman) that was business related but not insurance. Give Peter a “Well Done” from us.

    SHRM
    Peter Bregman's presentation was fantastic. His approach to time management is definitely something that we can begin using immediately.

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  • Rosalyn McMillan was great! Everyone really enjoyed her. Thank you, Peter Walker for your help on bring her to our campus!

    -Claflin University
  • We are fortunate to have a long standing relationship with PDA Group and find them very easy to work with. I know that almost as soon as I email Peter about a guest speaker, I receive a reply and a......

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    Program Chair University of Texas
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    -Simone Dozier
    University of South Carolina
  • Everything went very well. Mr. Johnson did a great job of interacting with the students and Q&A. Thank you again Peter for your recommendation!

    -Claflin University
  • Allegra Goodman's lecture last night was wonderful! She’s a wonderful speaker and a very lovely person. We cant tha......

    -Indiana University, South Bend
  • "We were looking for a smaller-scale, lower budgeted for our comedy series and Peter Walker gave us some great suggestions of comedians!"

    -Audrey Cawley
    Fordham University
  • Thank you Peter Walker for your assistance on bringing Hill Harper to our School. Such a success!

    -Taylor Reeves
    President African American Student Alliance
  • Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on ......

    -Grand Valley State University
  • Ms. Webb-Christburg, it was an honor to host you on our campus. Your speech was well received by everyone in attendance, and pr......

    -University of Vermont
    MLK Speaker
  • Douglas Tompkins was Outstanding!! Thank you, Peter for all your hard work.

    -Natural Products Expo East
  • Being our first experience with your agency and having a great experience with the performer and you, I wanted to inquire what other forms of entertainment you offer around the same price; as this ......

    -Northern State University
  • "The Langston Hughes Project attracted the most diverse audience I have ever seen on our campus.  Young and old, black and white, students and teachers, university administrators and community......

    -Dr. Peter Madsen
    University of Nebraska-Omaha
  • "I wanted to thank you for your services for our event. Peter and your team have been fantastic throughout this entire process. You made our event run so smooth with the assembly of Gavin's crew an......

    -Corporate Event featuring Gavin DeGraw
    Corporate Event featuring Gavin DeGraw
  • My interaction with Peter was great as always. This is the second year we have used PDA Speakers. We have never been disappointed with the authors that have visited us.

    -Program Chair
    University Of Michigan
  • Mr. Alex Rosner's moving presentation to our students at Bucknell University made such an important difference in their understanding of the human dimension of the Holocaust. Mr. Rosner's shared......

    -Bucknell University
  • Coach Ken Carter was fantastic! You were both inspirational and motivational. Thank you for a wonderful performance. People li......

    -Ball State University
  • The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg speech was."

    -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Breakfast, Boston
    MLK Speaker
  • "The service provided by PDA Speakers was most helpful. We were able to give an outline of what we wanted and had some great suggestions given for the most suitable speakers. We would be happy to b......

    -Program Chair
    University of Chicago
  • "Our organization has been dealing with PDA Speakers Bureau for many years. We have found both the content and quality of speaker exceptional, making our meetings much more successful. Peter from ......

    -Program Chair
    University of Alabama
  • It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).

    -Western Michigan University
  • Thank you Peter for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one......

    -Furman University
  • Our thanks again to PDA Group for your help in setting up this year's program. You really helped me out in terms of saving time and I appreciated your ability to suggest speakers who were in keepin......

    -Melissia Schmidt, Program Chair
    University of Rochester
  • Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and de......

    -Western Carolina University
  • "Thank you Peter for arranging Jay Sean to sing at my son's Bar Mitzvah".

    -Private Client
    Bar Mitzvah featuring Jay Sean
  • PDA Group is the best. Thank you for helping us bring in MTV Jersey Shore Cast. Huge success!!

    -Ashley Weber
    Augustana College
  • Everything went fantastic. I hope that Viola Davis and her family felt welcomed and enjoyed their time in Portland and participating in our event. The impact of her keynote was humbling and inspiri......

    -Concordia University
  • PDA Group assisted us in securing the services of Mr. Montel Williams as a Keynote Speaker for one of our signature events in Cleveland, Ohio in 2014.  Peter was very helpful and professiona......

    -Linda D.Bradley, MD - Cleveland Clinic
  • The feedback on Ilyasah Shabazz was great! She was very receptive and spent a lot of time answering questions and making a personal connection with the students. Thank you Peter for all your har......

    -Claflin University
  • Just a quick note to let you know Ms. Webb-Christburg did an outstanding job.  Comments ranged from mesmerizing to inspirational.  The students, faculty, staff and community all enjoye......

    -The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
  • Thank you Peter for helping us bring in the cast from MTV'S Real World to Furman University. They were great!

    -Mary Catherine Wilder Program Chair
    Furman University
  • Everything went wonderfully. Sherry Brantley was fantastic! and she was the right choice for us at this time. Thanks again for all your help.

    -Nazareth College
  • Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!

    -Central Michigan University
  • On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we th......

    -Ferris State University
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