Dr. Susan David


About Dr. Susan David - Award-Winning Harvard Medical School Psychologist; Co-Founder, Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital; and CEO, Evidence-Based Psychology:

Susan David, Ph.D. is one of the world’s leading management thinkers and an award-winning Harvard Medical School psychologist. Her focus is on defining and executing effective strategy, especially in the areas of engagement, high-performance leadership, and culture change. Susan's new #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling book, Emotional Agility - Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life based on the concept Harvard Business Review heralded as a Management Idea of the Year and winner of the Thinkers50 Breakthrough Idea Award, describes the psychological skills critical to thriving in times of complexity and change. Susan’s TED Talk on the topic went viral with over 1 million views in its first week of release.

She is a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review, New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and guest on national radio and television. Named on the Thinkers50 global list of the top management thinkers, Susan is a sought-after keynote speaker and consultant, with clients that include the World Economic Forum, EY, United Nations, Google, Microsoft, NASDAQ, and many other national and multinational organizations.

Susan is the CEO of Evidence Based Psychology, a boutique business consultancy, is on the faculty at Harvard Medical School, a Co-founder of the Institute of Coaching (a Harvard Medical School/McLean affiliate), and on the Scientific Advisory Boards of Thrive Global and Virgin Pulse. Susan lives outside of Boston with her family.

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What Dr. Susan David Talks About:

Emotional Agility
Organizations are increasingly demanding flexibility, teaming, customer-centricity, innovativeness, and inclusiveness from its culture and talent. There can be no true organizational agility without the psychological agility of its leaders and employees.

At the center of an agile organization is an agile leader, someone who is able to make decisions quickly and effectively.  However, the very context that makes agility more important for leaders also makes it more difficult for leaders to put into practice.  With increased complexity, team rigidity, black-and-white thinking, and transactional relationships, many leaders find it harder to move and pivot quickly.  So, what is the mindset that leaders need to be effective and how can they adopt it?

In this session, Dr. Susan David will explore the critical, internal psychological habits that enable leaders to have an agile mindset and engage others across the business. How getting hooked by thoughts, emotions and stories stops us, and our organizations, from thriving. She discusses why emotional agility is a critical skill-set for individuals, teams and organizations, and how to develop essential steps to cultivate emotional agility.

The session will outline:

  • The challenge of decision-making in a complex world
  • When rigid thinking harms and when it helps leaders
  • What it takes to unhook mindsets
  • How to create the space for dissenting voices
  • Separating beliefs from facts
  • How to shift from a reactive to a responsive leader

Key Questions:

  • What are the characteristics of an agile leader?
  • What are the principles of agile decision-making?
  • How do you go about encouraging agility amongst leaders?
  • How can emotional agility help us to experiment and try new things?
  • What are the practical steps leaders can take to cultivate greater agility in themselves and their teams?

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 Recent Publications

The wisdom of Susan David's innovative insights is only made more impressive by its practicality. Her deep understanding of psychology is matched with clear, real-world steps to more effective leadership.

27th Prime Minister of New Zealand, UNDP Administrator (2009-2017)

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