NCHC Writers


President, The Maccoby Group

Dr. Michael Maccoby is globally recognized as an expert on leadership. He is president of The Maccoby Group in Washington, DC and is an Associate Fellow of the Säid Business School, Oxford University.

For over 35 years, Dr. Maccoby has been consultant and coach to leaders in corporations, unions, universities, the World Bank and the State and Commerce Departments of the U.S. Government and the U.S. Army. He has worked in 36 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Dr. Maccoby became known internationally both for his books on leadership and his pioneering projects to improve the workplace. His book The Gamesman (1977), was the first bestseller to describe the new entrepreneurs and managers in high-tech industry. The Leader (1981) followed, presenting as an ideal, managers who developed both their organizations and people for a changing world. Why Work? Motivating the New Work Force (second edition, 1995), presents a new theory of motivation to fit the changing values of knowledge workers. It has been translated into 10 languages. Dr. Maccoby is co-author of Agents of Change: Crossing the Post Industrial Divide (2003), which describes his leadership of AT&T’s Workplace of the Future in the 1990s. His 2007 book, The Leaders We Need, And What Makes Us Follow, examines leadership from the point of followers as well as leaders.

His article “Narcissistic Leaders: the Incredible Pros, the Inevitable Cons”, January, 2000 won a McKinsey Award, which recognizes the two best Harvard Business Review articles published each year. It was the basis for the book, The Productive Narcissist: The Promise and Peril of Visionary Leadership, published in 2003. In 2007, Harvard Business School Press published the paperback with a new introduction, re-titled Narcissistic Leaders: Who Succeeds and Who Fails.

Dr. Maccoby was facilitator of the National Coalition on Health Care in developing specifications for a comprehensive U.S. health care policy and is on the board of the NCHC Action Fund. He has been a consultant on the management of change at health care centers, and received grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for the study “Leadership for Health Care in the Age of Learning”, which was published by the Association of Academic Health Centers in 2001. He is the senior author of Transforming Health Care Leadership, A Systems Guide to Improve Patient Health, Decrease Costs, and Improve Population Health (Summer, 2013).

Dr. Maccoby worked as a consultant, researcher and lecturer in Sweden from 1973-2005. His book Sweden At the Edge, Lessons for American and Swedish Managers (1991) described some of his work. In 2007, King Carl XVI Gustaf named him a Commander of the Royal Order of the Polar Star.

From 1978-90, Dr. Maccoby was director of the Program on Technology, Public Policy and Human Development at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He has taught at Harvard, University of Chicago, Cornell University, University of California, l’Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris, Oxford, the Brookings Institution and the Washington School of Psychiatry. He received a B.A. in Social Psychology, and a Ph.D. in Social Relations from Harvard. He also studied philosophy at New College, Oxford, and psychoanalysis with Erich Fromm and graduated from the Mexican Institute where he was a training analyst. With Fromm, he wrote Social Character in a Mexican Village (1970, reissued in 1996). He has been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, American Anthropological Association, Society for Applied Anthropology and the National Academy of Public Administration. He is a member of the boards of The Albert Shanker Institute, The Washington School of Psychiatry and Our Little Brothers and Sisters, an orphanage in Mexico, Honduras, Haiti, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Bolivia and Peru.

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