Find Your Next Speaker!

 Bruce  Tulgan Image

Bruce Tulgan

Leading Expert on Young People in the Workplace; Bestselling Author; Founder and Chairman, RainmakerThinking, Inc.

Travels From:
Connecticut
Fee Range:
$15,000 - $25,000

Bruce Tulgan is internationally recognized as the leading expert on young people in the workplace and one of the leading experts on leadership and management. Bruce is a best-selling author, an adviser to business leaders all over the world, and a sought-after keynote speaker and management trainer.

Featured Videos

Bruce Tulgan - Preview Video

Bruce Tulgan: Generation X

Bruce Tulgan: Introduction

Speaker Resources

  •  Bruce  Tulgan

Since 1995, Bruce has worked with tens of thousands of leaders and managers in hundreds of organizations ranging from Aetna to Wal-Mart; from the Army to the YMCA. In recent years, Bruce was named by Management Today as one of the few contemporary ?gures to stand out as a “management guru” and he was named to the 2009 Thinkers 50 rising star list. On August 13, 2009, Bruce was honored to accept Toastmasters International’s most prestigious honor, the Golden Gavel. This honor is annually presented to a single person who represents excellence in the ?elds of communication and leadership. Past winners have included Stephen Covey, Zig Ziglar, Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins, Ken Blanchard, Tom Peters, Art Linkletter, Dr. Joyce Brothers, and Walter Cronkite.

Bruce’s most recent books include the updated and expanded edition of Not Everyone Gets a Trophy: Managing the Millennials (Wiley/Jossey-Bass: Revised Updated 2016; originally published 2009), and Bridging the Soft Skills Gap: How to Teach the Missing Basics to Today’s Young Talent (Wiley/Jossey-Bass, 2015). He is also the author of The 27 Challenges Managers Face (Wiley/Jossey-Bass, 2014), and the best-selling It's Okay to Be the Boss (HarperCollins, 2007), and Managing Generation X (W.W. Norton, 2000). Bruce’s other books include Winning the Talent Wars (W.W. Norton, 2001), which received widespread acclaim from Fortune 500 CEOs and business journalists; the best-seller Fast Feedback (HRD Press,1998);  Managing the Generation Mix (HRD Press, 2006) and It's Okay to Manage Your Boss (Jossey-Bass, 2010). Many of Bruce’s works have been published around the world in foreign editions.

Bruce lectures at the Yale Graduate School of Management, as well as other academic institutions, and his writing appears regularly in human resources, staf?ng and management journals, including a regular column in TRAINING magazine called ‘Sticky Notes’ and a regular column in the Huf?ngton Post. His writing has also appeared in dozens of magazines and newspapers such as the Harvard Business Review, BusinessWeek, HR Magazine, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and USA Today. As well, his work has been the subject of thousands of news stories around the world.

Undermanagement is rampant in the modern workplace. A full 90% of all leaders and managers do not provide their direct-reports with sufficient guidance, support and coaching. And the costs are astronomical! Bring Bruce Tulgan in to present the latest research from RainmakerThinking’s ongoing Undermanagement Epidemic study:



What are the costs of undermanagement?

(HINT: There are eight costs that lead right to the bottom line.)

What are the principal causes of undermanagement?

(HINT: Seven common myths prevent most leaders and managers from taking a more highly-engaged approach to leadership.)

What challenges are leaders and managers facing in the real world today?

(HINT: The workplace is more high-pressure than ever and the workforce more high-maintenance.)

What are the best-practices followed by the most effective leaders and managers today?

(HINT: Regular high-structure, high-substance, coaching style management.)

What are the most effective ways to help leaders and managers learn, embrace, and adopt these best practices?

(HINT: Training, support, and real accountability.)

What are the best organizations doing to move their organizational cultures toward strong highly-engaged leadership?

(HINT: Making a systematic commitment to proven best-practices at every level.)


Based on our ongoing research since 1993, as well as Bruce’s best-selling books It’s Okay to Be the Boss (2nd edition 2014) and The 27 Challenges Managers Face (2015), Bruce provides laugh-out-loud stories, poignant insights, and concrete takeaways for leaders at all levels. Bring Bruce Tulgan in to your organization to present on our latest research and start fighting the undermanagement epidemic in your organization!


Since 1993, RainmakerThinking, Inc. has conducted ongoing in-depth research on the real challenges faced by real leaders, managers, and supervisors in the workplace. Managing people has always been hard, but it’s harder now than ever before. There’s no room for down time, waste, or inefficiency. Everyone has to do more with less. And employees have become more and more high-maintenance.


Too many managers today tell us they…

…don’t have enough time to manage their people.

…too often avoid interacting with “difficult” employees.

…struggle to hold employees accountable.

…often wait to have important conversations until they are frustrated or angry.

…struggle to retain the really great employees.


What are managers to do? Bring in Bruce Tulgan to share the latest from our decades of research on the proven best-practices of the most effective leaders today. Bruce helps managers confront their own sub-optimal management habits and learn to practice eight steps back to the “fundamentals” of strong, highly-engaged leadership:



  • Step one. Get in the habit of managing people every day in structured team meetings and one-on-ones.

  • Step two. Build a custom one-on-one dialogue with every person who reports to you.

  • Step three. Learn to talk like a coach or a teacher.

  • Step four. Make accountability a process, not a slogan.

  • Step five. Make expectations clear every step of the way.

  • Step six. Track performance every step of the way.

  • Step seven. Solve small problems before they turn into big problems.

  • Step eight. Reward performance and only performance… and do more for people when they go the extra mile.


Based on our ongoing research since 1993, as well as Bruce’s best-selling books It’s Okay to Be the Boss (2nd edition 2014) and The 27 Challenges Managers Face (2015), Bruce provides laugh-out-loud stories, poignant insights, and concrete takeaways for leaders at all levels.


Learn from the most up-to-date research on the Millennial workforce. Since 1993, RainmakerThinking, Inc. has been tracking generational change in the workplace and studying the ever newer “new” young workforce. Now the “second-wave” of Millennials (born 1990-2000) are the young people flooding into the workplace, while the oldest Baby Boomers are exiting. By 2020, second-wave Millennials will make up 24% of the Western workforce, while Baby Boomers will be less than 20%.


What are today’s managers saying about these second-wave Millennials?


“They may have a lot of the latest and greatest tools and techniques, but they lack a lot of the old-fashioned basics!”


“Their expectations are unrealistic.”


“They lack good work habits.”


“They lack good interpersonal skills.”


“They don’t want to pay their dues and climb the ladder.”


“They walk in the door with seventeen things they want to change about the company.”


“They only want to do the best tasks.”


“If you don’t supervise them closely, they go off in their own direction.”


“It’s very hard to give them negative feedback without crushing their morale.”


“They think everybody is going to get a trophy in the real world, just like they did growing up.”


Based on decades of research, Bruce Tulgan separates the facts from the myths about today’s young workers. Bring Bruce in to share the latest research from RainmakerThinking:



  • Millennials are NOT a bunch of delicate, lazy, disrespectful, inappropriate slackers with short attention spans.

  • Millennials – at least those worth hiring – want leaders who take them seriously at work and set them up for success in the real world, not leaders who try to humor them.

  • Millennials want strong, highly-engaged managers who establish clear structure and boundaries and provide regular guidance, direction, support and coaching.

  • Millennials need clear expectations and real-time performance-tracking.

  • Millennials need to understand the quid-pro-quo of work every step of the way.


Based on our continuing research since 1993 and his best-selling book NOT EVERYONE GETS A TROPHY: HOW TO MANAGE THE MILLENNIALS, Bruce provides laugh-out-loud stories and poignant insights, as well as concrete takeaways for leaders at all levels to better recruit, train, engage, develop, motivate and retain today’s best young talent.


There is a “Great Generational Shift” underway in the workforce today. This is the post-Baby Boomer shift that demographers and workforce planners have been anticipating for decades. It is not only a generational shift in the numbers in the workforce. This is also an epic turning point in the norms and values of the workforce, and a corresponding transformation in the very fundamentals of the employer-employee relationship. This “Great Generational Shift” presents a whole new set of challenges for employers in every industry, employees of all ages, and for managers at every level.

Since 1993, RainmakerThinking, Inc. has been tracking generational change in the workplace. Our ongoing research reveals strong generational trends in career paths, management practices, attitudes, expectations and behavior in the workplace. Bring in Bruce Tulgan to present the latest research from RainmakerThinking:



How will the numbers shift over the next few years?

(HINT: By 2020, Baby Boomers will make up less than 20% of the Western workforce, whereas just the second-wave Millennials alone – born 1990-2000 – will make up 24%.)

How will the norms and values of the workforce continue to change?

(HINT: There is no going back to the one-size-fits-all employment model of the past. Employment relationships will become increasingly short-term, transactional, and highly variable.)

What does this mean for organizations?

(HINT: They must get much more flexible when it comes to staffing-strategy, attraction, selection, on-boarding, training, performance-management, accountability, differential rewards, retention, knowledge-transfer, succession-planning and leadership development.)

What does this mean for managers?

(HINT: As the workplace becomes ever-more high-pressure and the workforce ever-more high-maintenance, weak disengaged management is the enemy. Strong highly-engaged management is the solution.)

What does this mean for employees?

(HINT: As individual workers of all ages today are under more pressure and work becomes more demanding for everyone, people of all ages today want, expect and often request greater flexibility in work conditions. As the pressure increases, so does the need for some relief.)


Based on our continuing “Generational Shift” research, ongoing since 1993, Bruce provides laugh-out-loud stories, poignant insights, and concrete takeaways for leaders at all levels. Bring Bruce Tulgan in to your organization to present on our latest research and start preparing for the Great Generational Shift in your organization!


Decades of research by RainmakerThinking, Inc. shows that employees rely on their immediate managers more than anyone else to meet their needs at work – to provide them with the guidance, support, direction, resources, and coaching that employees need to produce high-quality work consistently, to feel good about work, to earn credit and flexible work conditions and greater rewards. The working relationship employees have with their immediate managers is the number one factor determining success or failure.

The problem is that too many managers are undermanaging their direct-reports: So many managers are so busy – or otherwise unwilling or unable to provide strong leadership – that most employees simply do not get what they need from their managers. As a result, unnecessary problems occur, problems get out of control, resources are squandered, employee performance and morale suffer, and otherwise good employees are much more likely to leave.

Yes! Managers should do their job and provide the kind of strong highly-engaged leadership that employees need today in order to succeed. But employees can do a lot to help themselves. Our research shows that when employees take a stronger hand in their relationships with their managers and play a bigger role in getting what they need, things go much, much better.


What is the secret weapon of every self-starting high-performer in today’s workplace? They are really good at managing themselves and they are really good at managing their bosses.

Bring in Bruce Tulgan to present our latest research on what employees can do to combat undermanagement and succeed at work despite this growing problem:



  • Get clearly spelled-out and reasonable expectations from your boss

  • Learn how to acquire the skills, tools, and resources you need from your boss to accomplish those expectations

  • Get them in the habit of giving you honest feedback about your performance, and course-correcting feedback when necessary

  • Gain the proper recognition and rewards you deserve in exchange for your performance


When employees get really good at managing themselves and helping their managers manage, they are able to do more work better and faster, get more recognition and reward, and increase their chances of success at work. Everybody wins.


Based on our ongoing research since 1993, as well as Bruce’s best-selling book It’s Okay to Manage Your Boss (2010), Bruce provides laugh-out-loud stories, poignant insights, and concrete takeaways for employees at all levels.


Every new leader at any level must go through a process of assuming authority, establishing communication with direct-reports, and managing workflow. This is a challenging process for any new leader of any age. It is especially challenging for new leaders who are younger and less experienced.


Bruce Tulgan has personally led hundreds of career seminars for thousands of young high-performers and trained thousands of new young leaders in dozens of organizations.


Bruce has tracked new young leaders from his classic book Managing Generation X (1995) to his recent bestseller Not Everyone Gets a Trophy (Revised & Updated, 2016) to the Bridging the Soft Skills Gap (2015).


RainmakerThinking’s research shows that most new young leaders do not get enough structured guidance, direction, and support in taking on their new management/leadership responsibilities, especially when it comes to assuming authority, establishing communication with direct-reports, and setting up an ongoing process for managing workflow. Further, this results in lower performance rates and higher turnover among teams led by new young managers, as well as lower performance and higher turnover among new young managers themselves.


Drawing on RainmakerThinking, Inc.’s decades of research, Bruce Tulgan will introduce new leaders to the “take charge by learning” approach to standing up as a new leader. Then he will provide them with our back-to-fundamentals step-by-step approach:



  • Get in the habit of managing people every day in structured team meetings and one-on-ones.

  • Build a custom one-on-one dialogue with every person who reports to you, using management fundamentals and looking at your colleagues through the “generational lens.”

  • Learn to talk like a coach or a teacher – not just a boss.

  • Make accountability a process, not a slogan.

  • Make expectations clear every step of the way.

  • Track performance every step of the way.

  • Solve small problems before they turn into big problems.

  • Reward performance and only performance… and do more for people when they go the extra mile.


Weaving in entertaining humor and touching wisdom, Bruce will inspire new leaders to embrace the responsibilities that come with leadership and prepare them with the tools and techniques they need to give their teams greater guidance, direction, support and coaching.


For decades, RainmakerThinking’s ongoing research has been tracking profound changes in the workforce and the workplace. The nature of work and employment is dramatically changing. The worldwide business environment has become one of fierce competition, high risk, erratic markets, constrained resources, and unpredictable resource needs. Organizations and individuals are forced to adjust to the ‘new normal’ of constant change and uncertainty.


Employers of all shapes and sizes are constantly trying to become more lean, flexible, and high performing. Downsizing, restructuring, and reengineering are now accepted as constants of the workplace – taken for granted now as “continuous improvement.”


The myth of job security is dead. Organization charts are flatter; layers of management have been removed; reporting relationships are more temporary; more employees are being managed by short-term project leaders instead of “organization chart” managers. Employees today are much less likely to believe employers’ promises about long-term rewards. The free-agent mindset is now the prevailing workforce mindset.


And there is no going back.


What has led to this dramatic shift in workforce values? What we call the Great Generational Shift – the number one factor affecting the nature of the workplace and human capital management today.


Today, less than 1% of the workforce is made up of those born pre-Baby Boom. Now the aging Baby Boomers (30% of the workforce) are creating an age bubble on the older end of the workforce. As they steadily leave, they take with them skill, knowledge, institutional memory, relationships, and the last vestiges of the old-fashioned work ethic. On the other end of the spectrum, there is a growing youth bubble emerging with the Second Wave Millennials (born 1990-2000), already 14% of the workforce, following on the heels of First Wave Millennials (born 1978-1989), already 28%. In the middle, caught between the age bubble and the youth bubble, is Generation X (27%), now the prime age workforce.


Bring in Bruce Tulgan to share the latest research in RainmakerThinking’s ongoing study of human capital management strategies. Bruce will arm senior executives, HR leaders, and hiring managers with the leading strategies and tactics to leverage human capital in your organization:



  • Learn the most effective staffing strategies for today’s labor market realities

  • Learn attraction and selection strategies for Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials

  • Learn the keys to on-boarding and up-to-speed training

  • How to gain control of turnover (not just reduce it): Increase the retention of high-performers and turnover of low-performers

  • The miracles of knowledge capture and wisdom transfer

  • How to identify and develop high-potential talent and make succession planning real

  • How to build a high-performance culture around the norms of strong leadership


Based on our ongoing human capital management research and his acclaimed book WINNING THE TALENT WARS: How to Build a Lean Flexible High-Performance Workplace, Bruce Tulgan provides powerful insight and concrete takeaways to move your organization toward lean, flexible, high-performance human capital management.


For more than two decades, RainmakerThinking, Inc. has asked hundreds of thousands of managers a simple question: “What are the most difficult challenges you face when it comes to managing people?”


Despite the diversity of people and situations, the same basic challenges come up over and over again:



  • How do you manage employees who are not so good at managing themselves?

  • How do you help an employee speed up and get more work done?

  • How do you help an employee slow down and improve quality?

  • How do you manage an employee who has an “attitude problem”?

  • How do you retain the superstars?

  • How do you lose the losers?

  • And so on…


But here’s the most powerful finding of all: It turns out that, no matter what the specific challenge, when things are going wrong in a management relationship, almost always, the common denominator is unstructured, low substance, hit-or-miss communication. And almost always the most effective solution turns out to be applying the fundamentals of management.


Bring in Bruce Tulgan to share the latest from our decades of research on the proven best-practices of the most effective leaders today. Bruce helps managers:



  • #1, Learn to identify and avoid the vicious cycle in which most managers get stuck:

    Managing on autopilot -> False sense of security -> Small problems have space to fester and grow -> Problems inevitably blow up -> Manager (and others) pulled into firefighting mode -> Things get “back to normal,” managing on autopilot.

  • #2, Break the cycle and gain control of your management time by committing to consistently practicing the fundamentals of high-structure, high-substance leadership communication.

  • #3, Walk through the 27 most common challenges managers face, one by one, and see—-one challenge at a time—- how the most effective managers apply the fundamentals of management to gain control of any situation with a step-by-step solution to the problem at hand.


Based on our ongoing research since 1993, as well as Bruce’s best-selling books It’s Okay to Be the Boss (2nd edition 2014) and The 27 Challenges Managers Face (2015), Bruce walks participants through their own real life challenges managing real people in the real world. Along the way, he provides entertaining stories, hilarious insights, and powerful step-by-step solutions to (nearly) all of your management challenges.


Today’s new young workforce, the Second Wave Millennials (born 1990-2000), are now entering the workforce in droves. They have so much to offer – new technical skills, new ideas, new perspective, new energy. What they are way-too-often missing – according to the latest research — is a lot of the old-fashioned basics, what many refer to as “the soft skills.”


RainmakerThinking, Inc. has been tracking generational change in the workplace in the workplace since 1993. What is the number one issue regarding the youngest people in the workplace today? There is an ever-widening “Soft Skills Gap.” the soft skills gap continues to grow, hiding in plain sight, despite the fact that it costs organizations a fortune every day.


“Soft skills,” in contrast to “hard skills,” refer to a wide range of non-technical skills such as “professionalism” and “good work habits” and “people skills” and “critical thinking.” These skills may be less tangible and harder to define and measure than many of the “hard skills,” but they are absolutely critical. When employees have significant gaps in their soft skills there are significant negative consequences: Potentially good hires are overlooked. Good hires go bad. Bad hires go worse. Misunderstandings abound. People get distracted. Productivity goes down. Mistakes are made. Customer service suffers. Workplace conflicts occur more frequently. Good people leave when they might have otherwise stayed longer. It robs so many young employees of greater success and causes so many managers so much aggravation and so many unnecessary costs.


The soft skills gap is not a household term like the technical skill gap, but it should be!


Bring in Bruce Tulgan to share the latest from RainmakerThinking’s decades of research:



  • First, find out what’s going on here: What is the soft skills gap? Where does it come from? Why is it growing? What are the costs? Is there anything employers can do about it.

  • Second, figure out exactly which soft skills are missing in today’s young talent and which ones matter the most to your organization.

  • Third, you cannot hire your way around the soft skills gap, but you can learn best practices for shining a bright light on “mission critical” soft skills in every aspect of your human capital management practices.

  • Fourth, become a true teaching-style leader by using our proven methods for building up the critical soft skills of your employees every step of the way.


Based on our continuing research since 1993 and his best-selling book Bridging the Soft Skills Gap: How to Teach the Missing Basics to Today’s Young Talent, Bruce provides powerful insights, hilarious stories, and concrete takeaways for leaders at all levels to build up the soft skills of today’s young talent.