2016 Spring Conference Speaker

Greg McKeown

Greg McKeown

Greg McKeown’s essentialism message surfaced from a painful life-lesson learned the day his daughter was born. Caught between the instinctive fatherly desire to stay with his wife and new baby, and the pressures of a demanding job, he made the choice to leave the hospital and attend a client meeting. Shortly after the appointment, he recognized that he had made a fool’s bargain. He had been untrue to himself, and had let the expectations and schedule of someone else prioritize his life. In trying to keep everyone happy, he had sacrificed what mattered most.

That experience gave McKeown an inexhaustible obsession to answer the question, “Why is it that otherwise successful people allocate their resources in such a way that they make too little progress in too many directions?” His research led to the discovery of the “paradox of success” where people, teams, and companies are kept back from breaking through to the next level by their success. Success can lead to the undisciplined pursuit of more. To avoid this, people need to become successful at success.

McKeown left his job and founded THIS, Inc. to inspire people everywhere to apply these insights. Clients include Apple, Adobe, Google, Facebook, Pixar and Twitter. He co-designed a class at Stanford called, “Designing Life, Essentially.” He was named a Young Global Leader for the World Economic Forum and wrote what became The New York Times best seller Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.

Originally from London, England, McKeown did his graduate work at Stanford and now lives in Silicon Valley with his wife, Anna.

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