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Jennifer Aaker

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EXCLUSIVELY AVAILABLE THROUGH WSB

Jennifer Aaker

General Atlantic Professor and Coulter Family Faculty Fellow at the Stanford Graduate School of Business; Bestselling Author

Sharing findings from behavioral scientists, stories from leaders around the world, and advice from world-class comedians, Dr. Jennifer Aaker reveals how humor works — and how it not only changes the way you do business, but live life.

Jennifer Aaker Profile Photo

Dr. Jennifer Aaker is General Atlantic Professor and Coulter Family Fellow at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a leading expert on how purpose and meaning shape individual choices and how technology can positively impact well-being.

She is the national bestselling co-author of Humor, Seriously, which was named one of 5 Business Books That are Surprisingly Fun to Read by Adam Grant, Susan Cain, Malcolm Gladwell, and Dan Pink. It’s been called “eye opening and utterly enjoyable” by Arianna Huffington, and “a smart and funny book on how to be smart about being funny” by comedian Sarah Cooper — who added “and I’m not just saying that because they say I am smart and funny in it.”

Before joining Stanford University, Aaker was a professor at the UCLA Anderson School of Management where she conducted the research that resulted in her seminal paper, Dimensions of Brand Personality. She completed her PhD degrees at Stanford University, and holds a BA from UC Berkeley. More personally, she is an early adopter of the trailblazing “family sabbatical” practice, by which she “moves” her family to far-flung locations in an effort to teach her kids to be citizens of the world. They have yet to express enthusiasm about this practice. A recipient of the Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award, Aaker counts winning a dance-off in the early 1980s among her greatest feats.

Featured Videos

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Jennifer Aaker
Jennifer Aaker & Naomi Bagdonas on Using Humor to Upgrade Work, Health, & Life
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Jennifer Aaker
Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas on the Impact of Humor
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Jennifer Aaker
Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas on Navigating Life on the Precipice of a Smile
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Jennifer Aaker
Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas on Their Journey Into Humor
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Jennifer Aaker
McKinsey Author Talks: Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas on Humor, Seriously
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Jennifer Aaker
Jennifer Aaker on the Purpose of Purpose
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Jennifer Aaker
Jennifer Aaker on the Differences Between Happiness and Meaning
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Jennifer Aaker
Jennifer Aaker on ‘What is Story?’
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Jennifer Aaker
Jennifer Aaker – Stanford Business School Commencement 2021

Jennifer Aaker’s Speech Topics

  • Humor, Seriously: Why Humor is a Secret Weapon in Business (and Life)

    There exists a mistaken belief in today’s corporate world: that we need to be serious all the time to be taken seriously. But the research tells a different story. Building on their nationally bestselling book, Humor, Seriously, the authors delve into the behavioral science of humor, and why it fuels creativity, fosters resilience, and strengthens bonds on your team and with customers. They share techniques from professional comedians to unlock a sense of levity at work and concrete tools for having more joy in your life. 

  • A New Type of Leader: Harnessing Humanity and Humor to Lead

    It used to be that leaders needed to be revered; now they need to be understood. In A New Type of Leader, Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas explore why traditional models of leadership have shifted and how we can embody a new type of leadership: one defined by humanity and humor. They share stories from inspiring leaders and tactics that can be deployed to bridge the trust gap, cultivate cultures of levity, and unlock agility in the face of change.

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