Geoff Colvin is an award-winning thinker, author, broadcaster, and speaker on today's most significant trends in business. As FORTUNE’s Senior Editor-at-Large, he has become one of America's sharpest and most respected commentators on leadership, globalization, wealth creation, the infotech revolution, and related issues. As anchor of Wall Street Week with FORTUNE on PBS, he spoke each week to the largest audience reached by any business television program in America.
Colvin’s groundbreaking bestseller Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers From Everybody Else received the Harold A. Longman Award for Best Business Book of the Year and has been published in a dozen languages. Charlie Rose says it is “spectacular” and “fascinating.” Daniel H. Pink calls it “profoundly important.” Donald Trump calls it “enlightening” and “inspiring.” Colvin’s book The Upside of the Downturn: Ten Management Strategies to Prevail in the Recession and Thrive in the Aftermath was named the best management book of the year by Strategy + Business magazine.
Directorship magazine has named Colvin one of the 100 most influential figures in corporate governance.
As a speaker, Colvin has engaged hundreds of audiences on six continents. He is also a skilled on-stage interviewer whose subjects have included Jack Welch, Henry Kissinger, Richard Branson, the Prince of Wales, Bill Gates, Alan Greenspan, Steve Case, Ted Turner, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and many others. He is the regular lead moderator of the Fortune Global Forum, and he serves as moderator for the International Business Leaders Forum in London.
Colvin is one of America's preeminent business broadcasters. He is heard daily on the CBS Radio Network, where he has made over 10,000 broadcasts and reaches seven million listeners each week. He has appeared on Today, The O’Reilly Factor, Good Morning America, Squawk Box, CBS This Morning, ABC's World News, CNN, PBS's Nightly Business Report, and dozens of other programs.
A native of Vermillion, South Dakota, Colvin is an honors graduate of Harvard with a degree in economics and has an M.B.A. from New York University.
Take Your Program to a New Level
A Versatile Moderator/Host/Discussion Leader
In addition to delivering compelling and topical speeches, Geoff Colvin is brilliant at being the glue that keeps the program together. He’s played that role for years at FORTUNE magazine's most important senior executive conferences all over the globe. He’s interviewed everyone from Bill Clinton, Rudy Giuliani and Jack Welch to panels of high profile executives on the most challenging and sensitive of topics. Colvin’s gift is putting the focus of your program squarely where it belongs – on the person(s) he is talking to and building an understanding of the issues being discussed. He gets the most out of the participants by asking the right questions, keeping the discussion relevant and the energy high. His work is so successful that many top firms couldn’t imagine doing an important program without calling on his talents. As an attendee at a recent conference told the event organizer, “Geoff Colvin literally made this conference.”
“Leading Ahead of What’s Next”
The whole world of business is changing in deep ways – competition, technology, government’s role, and the balance of global economic power are shifting massively. These are historic and profound changes, and they’re happening fast! Successfully navigating the tumult is every leader’s great challenge today. Geoff Colvin helps leaders meet it by bringing a unique perspective based on long-standing relationships with the world’s top leaders in business and government. He knows what they’re seeing, thinking, and planning. In addition, his own work published in Fortune, the Harvard Business Review, and his bestselling books reveals what distinguishes the most successful leaders – how they lead organizations, make choices, and respond to today’s challenges in ways that others can learn from. Colvin’s presentation is as fresh as the day’s headlines and at the same time rich with specific, profound lessons. To organizations facing extraordinary challenges; to compete and win will require extraordinary leadership at every level, Colvin explains what’s important, what isn’t, and what’s next.
“The Political Circus, a Complex Economy and the Future of Your Business”
More than at any time in memory, Washington has become the center of the action for business and the economy. Taxes, spending, deficits, health care, inflation, interest rates, regulation, energy, education – all these critical issues and more are dramatically in play, affecting your organization in deep and lasting ways. One of America's most respected business journalists, Geoff Colvin brings you the benefit of his insider access to top government and business leaders. He slashes through the bewildering spin, separating political fact from campaign fiction and explaining what’s really likely to happen in this election year and beyond. Always engaging and energetic, Colvin explains which policy decisions from the White House, Congress, and the Fed will matter most, how they will impact business and the economy, and how audiences can make sense of it all in guiding their lives and businesses.
“What the World’s Best Companies Are Doing Right Now”
Geoff Colvin has an unmatched vantage point for seeing inside the world’s most successful companies. Backed by the resources of Fortune, he identifies them, reports on them, and knows their leaders. His access provides him with an insider’s perspective. It’s shown him what separates the winners from the losers. This talk is not about a set of evergreen management principles. Colvin identifies here the specific strategies and tactics that great companies are using right now to succeed in today’s turbulent business environment. There are plenty of valuable takeaways.
“Talent Is Overrated – Real Truths of Great Performance”
What if everything you know about raw talent, hard work, and great performance is wrong? Odds are that few if any of the people around you are truly great at what they do—awesomely, amazingly, world-class excellent. But why not? Why don’t they manage businesses like Jack Welch or Andy Grove, or play tennis like Rafael Nadal, or play the violin like Itzhak Perlman? Scientific research on great performance exposes what most of us wrongly believe. Geoff Colvin, author of the groundbreaking national bestseller Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers From Everybody Else, explains the findings and relates them to real life in real organizations. He shows how most organizations value the wrong things – how passion, honesty, and learning are more valuable than hours, IQ, or “native ability.” In an engaging, entertaining way, he demonstrates that world-class performance doesn’t come from mysterious natural gifts but rather from very specific behaviors that every organization can adopt. People and organizations that learn from these principles gain a tremendous advantage, because most are still making costly errors. The same principles used by the greatest performers can be applied by all of us – and must be, if we’re to meet the challenge of rising standards in today’s global economy.
Watch Geoff's Speaking Videos