Exclusively available through WSB
Thomas J. DeLong
Contact WSB for Thomas J. DeLong's Speaking Fees
Exclusively available through WSB

Thomas J. DeLong

Teaching leaders how to draw strength from authenticity and create moments of transformation for those around them.

Baker Foundation Professor of Management Practice, Harvard Business School

Expertise In:

  • Leadership
  • Change Management
  • Workforce Effectiveness
  • Corporate Culture
  • Human Resource Effectiveness

Audience & Industry

  • Associations
  • Board Meetings and Executive Briefings
  • Corporations
  • Senior Management Groups
  • The Professional Services Industry

Teaching leaders how to draw strength from authenticity and create moments of transformation for those around them.

Thomas J. DeLong is a Baker Foundation Professor of Management Practice and the former Philip J. Stomberg Professor of Management Practice in the Organizational Behavior Department at the Harvard Business School. He is an expert in leader development, organizational and career transformation.

His book, Flying Without a Net, was recognized by the editors of Amazon Publishing as one of the top ten books written on leadership this century. His latest book, Teaching By Heart, focuses on the relationship between leadership and teaching as well as highlights his insights into teaching as craft and art after 45 years in the classroom. It was published by Harvard Business Review Press in January 2020.

A number of his cases have been taught around the world in universities and organizations. His most notable cases are: Rob Parson at Morgan Stanley, Erik Peterson at Biometra, C&S Wholesale Grocers and the 1977 Alumni Profiles. 

Before joining the Harvard Business School Faculty, DeLong was Chief Development Officer and Managing Director of Morgan Stanley Group, Inc, where he was responsible for the firm’s human capital and focused on issues of organizational strategy and organizational change. At Harvard, Professor DeLong teaches MBA and executive courses focused on leadership, organizational behavior, managing human capital, and career management. DeLong has served as course head for the required course on Leadership and Organizational Behavior and designed MBA courses focusing on managing human capital in high performance organizations and leading professional service firms. DeLong is currently advising on the development of a course on interpersonal effectiveness for the first year MBAs.

DeLong has also co-authored two books focused on leadership and professional service firms, When Professionals Have to Lead: A New Model for High Performance (Harvard Business School Press, 2007) and Professional Services: Cases and Texts (McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2003). DeLong has coauthored two Harvard Business Review articles, “Let’s Hear It for B Players” and “Why Mentoring Matters in a Hypercompetitive World.”

Featured Videos

Thomas J. DeLong's Speech Topics

Leading By Heart: Authentic Leadership and the Perils of High Achievement

Expert on authentic leadership, Thomas J. DeLong takes audiences on an emotional journey as he shares how the best leaders draw strength from vulnerability, why empathy and authenticity matter, and how embracing these behaviors can lead to radical transformation. He explains the forces that escalate anxiety in high achievers and shares practices that give you the courage to "do the right things poorly" before "doing the right things well." Drawing on decades of research DeLong lays out behaviors we must adopt to become authentic leaders: putting the past behind us and seeking honest feedback. Sharing personal experiences from more than forty years of teaching and managing, he notes that as leaders we often focus more on our inadequacies and missteps than on our strengths and unique talents. Through this talk, he connects specific classroom behaviors with leadership issues--in organizations, in teams, and in personal relationships. He also asks--and answers--some provocative questions:

  • What happens on multiple levels when I lead-- with me, colleagues, or employees?
  • What am I thinking and feeling as I process what my employees and colleagues are thinking and feeling?
  • How are my internal conversations affecting how I lead?
  • How do I manage my biases?
  • To what extent can I use teaching methods in the arena of management?

Works by Thomas J. DeLong