The Only Leadership Decision That Really Matters
We’ve all heard that a company is only as good as its people. But in his book Good People, Anthony Tjan actually proves it. This entrepreneur and New York Times bestselling author shows leaders how to put goodness into practice in order to deepen relationships and revive the purpose of our work. For Tjan, goodness is also a critical way to boost the bottom line—creating work cultures that prosper and endure.
“Tjan shows us that the power to transform business relationships at every level starts with this: goodness. Thought-provoking and genuine, Good People is a must read for anyone interested in creating prosperous, wholesome and resilient teams and businesses.”— Beth Comstock, Vice Chair, GE
Over the course of a high-velocity career founding, leading, and advising path-breaking businesses, Anthony Tjan has emerged as a leading expert on how to strategically innovate traditional business models and channel the power of people and culture into enduring value. A long-standing member of the TED community, Tjan serves on the Advisory Committee of the MIT Media Lab and has been recognized by the World Economic Forum as a Global Leader for Tomorrow. In addition to contributing more than 125 print and online articles to the Harvard Business Review, he is the new book Good People: The Only Leadership Decision That Matters and co-author of Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck: What It Takes to Be an Entrepreneur and Build a Great Business, a New York Times bestseller that was named one of Fast Company’s “Best Business Books” of the year.
Tjan began his career with McKinsey & Company under the mentorship of renowned Director and former Head of People Development, Tsun-yan Hsieh. In 1996—long before it was fully understood how much the Internet would impact the entreprise—Tjan founded the Internet services firm ZEFER to implement large-scale web applications for Fortune companies. A pioneer in the earliest days of the Internet’s commercialization, Tjan built a multi-disciplinary team of over 700 professionals and grew the business to more than $100 million in annual revenues before it eventually merged into NEC.
In 2001, Tjan joined the boutique strategic advisory group Parthenon (now Parthenon E-Y) as its Vice Chairman and began his tenure as senior strategic advisor to CEO of the Thomson Corporation, Dick Harrington. Together, Tjan and Harrington catalyzed one of the world’s largest information media transformations, developing and executing a business and cultural strategy that led to a four-fold increase in cash flow and market capitalization, and which resulted in the creation of Thomson Reuters.
In 2007, Tjan co-founded MiniLuxe, a tech-enabled retail lifestyle brand with a mission to professionalize and transform the nail salon industry by adhering to the highest standards of health and hygiene, celebrating experience, design, and providing true career paths for the nearly 600 women employed by the business. Today, MiniLuxe is a core holding of The Cue Ball Group, a human capital-centric venture firm based in Boston where Tjan serves as CEO.
Tjan became a venture investor in an effort to turn the venture space on its head—Cue Ball aspires to be the “Berkshire-Hathaway” of venture, investing out of single permanent evergreen capital pool and developing deal opportunities from its deep ecosystem of relationships and unique people-as-platform initiatives. As an investor, Tjan has led and advised people-centric culture-technology companies like Landit (a mentorship platform for professional women), ShapeUp (a peer-driven health and wellness platform), Virgin Pulse (a behavioral human capital management platform), and SandBox (a community of future global leaders under the age of 30). He continues to selectively serve as a board member for rapidly scaling start-ups and a senior advisor to public figures.
Tjan holds AB and MBA degrees from Harvard University, where he has served as a Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government—studying direct human capital business models with “Founding Dean” Graham Allison—and an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Harvard Business School, where he focused on mentoring the next generation of business leaders.