Contact Anthony For Booking

Anthony Tjan

Good people and good values are the most critical competitive advantage that exists—period.

Author of Good People and Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck | CEO and Managing Partner, The Cue Ball Group

Contact Anthony For Booking
Anthony Tjan | Author of Good People and  Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck | CEO and Managing Partner, The Cue Ball Group
Lavin Exclusive Speaker

We’ve all heard that a company is only as good as its people. But what does that really mean?  ANTHONY TJAN is a serial entrepreneur, progressive venture investor, and the New York Times bestselling author of Good People. By making people a priority, Tjan promises that we can create purpose-driven, profit-fueled organizations that succeed. He offers practical lessons for creating a culture of goodness, starting with authentic mentorship, inclusionary innovation, and the cultivation of character.

Good People not only gives us practical ways to incorporate goodness into our daily lives, but also makes the case for why this is the key to a life of meaning, purpose, and fulfilment.”

— Arianna Huffington

Over the course of a high-velocity career founding, leading, and advising path-breaking businesses, Anthony Tjan has emerged as a master of pattern recognition and people-centered business.  He identifies and capitalizes on trends that not only disrupt the market, but also create a lasting, positive change for society at large. His current efforts are focused on the two businesses he co-founded—Cue Ball Capital and MiniLuxe. Venture capital has gone the way of the stock market, says Tjan, moving from fundamental investment to momentum trading: a risk-fuelled game of musical chairs for investors whose main intention is cashing out quickly. He became an investor to turn the venture space on its head. Cue Ball is a “people-first and purpose-driven” firm operating out of a permanent evergreen capital pool. It removes the exit strategy that’s so prominent in investing today in favor of sustainable growth and long-term value. Tjan looks at inefficiencies in the market, but he also looks for good people to work with. In doing so, he breaks down the barriers to entrepreneurship and creates opportunity for all. Today, Cue Ball has committed more than 50% of its capital to backing women-led, inclusionary ventures, a level that is 20x the industry average. Leading by example, Tjan is changing the way we think about entrepreneurship, business, and workplace culture.

 

 In this vein, he also co-founded MiniLuxe, a lifestyle brand setting groundbreaking standards for health, hygiene, and elevated work practices in the nail salon industry. Since its inception, MiniLuxe has created greater economic mobility for a workforce that’s predominantly female and ethnically diverse. In addition to Miniluxe, Tjan is active in several other inclusionary initiatives such as Jopwell (a diversity hiring start-up), Landit (a female mentorship platform), and his work with The Tory Burch Foundation. Tjan has consistently demonstrated the positive power of people-first, mentor-oriented, and gender-balanced and diverse workplaces, a practice that recently earned him the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.


Earlier in his career, Tjan was also among the first to participate in the commercialization of the Internet. He founded ZEFER, a multi-disciplinary Internet advisory firm that grew to $100M before merging with NEC, and served as the senior strategic advisor to Dick Harrington, CEO of the Thomson Corporation. Together, Tjan and Harrington catalyzed one of the world’s largest information media transformations, developing the business strategy that ultimately resulted in the creation of Thomson Reuters. 

 

A 20-year member of the TED community, Tjan has spoken twice on the main TED stage.  He serves on the Advisory Committee of the MIT Media Lab and was one of the earliest World Economic Forum’s Global Leaders for Tomorrow. In addition to contributing more than 125 articles to the Harvard Business Review, he authored Good People: The Only Leadership Decision That Matters and co-authored 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.  Over the past 25 years he has served as a strategic counselor and confidant to several high profile public figures and personalities. Tjan holds AB and MBA degrees from Harvard University, where he served as a Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government and an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Harvard Business School.

 

 

 
Testimonials

“Tony Tjan was without question one of the best speakers we have ever had.”

Bank of Montreal
Testimonials

“The talk that Anthony Tjan delivered was so thoughtfully-prepared and resonated deeply with all of us. His commitment to character-led leadership is clear and we look forward to a long-term relationship with him.”

Marquette University
Testimonials

“Tony’s presentation exceeded our expectations. He spent time to understand our organization, culture and priorities and was a great inspiration to our executive team and directors. He was a standout and highlight of our offsite”

Riverpool Retail Group
Testimonials

“t was so wonderful to have Tony with us at our summit. He has had such a long and positive track-record of helping empower women into positions of leadership.”

MSNBC

Speech Topics

Entrepreneurship
Inclusionary Innovation How the Democratization of Gender will Transform Business
The concept of meritocracy suggests that people who work hard and have great ideas will naturally rise to the top. Yet time and time again, female entrepreneurs fail to raise the same amount of capital as their male counterparts. Despite owning 38% of businesses in the United States, women account for only two percent of funding. And the gap is only getting bigger. Anthony Tjan believes that we have created a closed economy around gender in the venture capitalism space, preemptively deciding who should innovate and where innovation is possible. In doing so, we’re limiting our true potential, Tjan says. As a purpose-driven, people-first investor, Tjan seeks to flatten the systemic barriers that women and minorities face in entrepreneurship. In this talk, he opens up about his storied career investing in inclusionary, women-led businesses and what he’s learned along the way. Just as globalization has had a profound effect on economic growth, equalizing the playing field between women and men will have profound effects on business. The liberalization, democratization, and globalization of gender is coming, and it will rock industries. Tjan helps us stay ahead and take advantage of the next wave of business.
Corporate Culture
The Only Leadership Decision That Really Matters Creating a Culture of Good People in Your Organization
Even today, many professionals assume that social skills—like empathy and self-awareness—have no place in business. We measure employees by what we can measure—like profits and accomplishments—and leave the so-called ‘soft skills’ out. But to Anthony Tjan, this approach overlooks the fundamental ingredients of real success. He knows that good people and good values are your organization’s best assets. In fact, choosing to work with good people is the only leadership decision that truly matters.
 
In this keynote, Tjan explains why people matter most. Drawing upon his success as an entrepreneur and venture capitalist, as well as nearly 100 interviews and many more relationships with an extraordinary cast of innovators, executives, artists, and role models, Tjan proposes a new framework to evaluate, develop, and lead with goodness. When we invest in relationships, Tjan shows, we create enduring cultures that people actually believe in and valuable organizations that do more than maximize profits—they instill positive, widespread change in their employees and communities. When we lead with our values and invest in genuine mentorship, we rediscover joy in our work and unlock long-term satisfaction. Competence is always necessary, but with Tjan, you’ll learn what it really means to be ‘good.’
Strategy
Growing Business with ‘Goodness’ A People- and Values-Driven Advantage
Over the course of his career, Anthony Tjan has committed to a simple theme: work with good people, strive to embody good values, and help others succeed. He’s made mentorship and compassion his highest priorities—over ideas, products, and profits—because he knows that financial results are more a function of people than of anything else. 
 
With this mindset, he helped build two major strategic advisory firms—the most people-centric of businesses—and spearheaded a massive cultural shift in a 45,000-person, Fortune 500 business. He serves as chairman of a lifestyle retail services looking to redefine the nail care industry and positively impact countless nail technicians and clients. With Cue Ball, he’s spreading a new model for venture capital based on that same people-first philosophy. 
 
In this keynote, Tjan will help business leaders become human-capital centric in everything they do. He’ll introduce audiences to his “Good People Mantra”—five common sense principles about leadership and communications for everyone looking to start or scale a business. With his guidance, you’ll discover that being people-first means helping others, giving back, and finding balance while still enjoying financial success. After all, the pursuit of ‘good’ isn’t a trade-off; ultimately, it’s good for business, too.