Ron Friedman, PhD

I’m a former academic who's fascinated by what it takes to succeed at the highest levels.

My research has led me to a very different conclusion than most of us have been told throughout our lives. What I've discovered is that the best of the best don't rely on talent or work ethic. They have a different framework for learning—one that can be applied to any human endeavor.

In my latest book, Decoding Greatness, I break down the counterintuitive strategies the world’s highest performers take to achieve excellence. I was inspired to write it by research on pattern recognition, skill acquisition, and creative genius, as well as my personal fascination with creators, entrepreneurs, and athletes who accomplish things that almost no one else can.

My first book, The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace, was published by Penguin Random House in 2014. To my joy and astonishment, it quickly saw critical and commercial success, even though I was a total unknown at the time.

Inc. Magazine named it a business book of the year. Library Journal called it a “must read,” and it was described as “stunning,” “eye-opening,” and “a contemporary classic” by New York Times bestselling authors Daniel Pink, Adam Grant and Marshall Goldsmith.

To date, more than 50,000 copies of The Best Place to Work have been sold, and it’s been translated into seven languages.

In addition to my books, I also share insights on the latest research on productivity, health, and top performance with more than 200,000 subscribers and followers.

Through my consulting and education company ignite80, I develop courses and training programs taken by thousands of people of all walks of life, from across the world.

I’m a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review, Psychology Today, Fast Company, Forbes, and CNN, and I’ve appeared on programs and podcasts including NPR’s Think, CBC’s The Sunday Edition, WNYC’s Leonard Lopate program, Harvard Business Review’s IdeaCast, and the EntreLeadership program.

I’ve delivered keynotes and workshops for a large number of clients, including IBM, Anheuser Busch InBev, MassMutual, Walgreens, Cognizant Technologies, and many more.

Accounts of my work have appeared on FOX, NBC, PBS, CBC, and NPR, and in major newspapers, including The New York Times, The Guardian, Financial Times, The Globe and Mail, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and The Boston Globe, as well as online publications and magazines such as New York Magazine, Redbook, Huffington Post, Lifehacker, Business Insider, Men’s Health, Entrepreneur, and Success.

Today, I balance writing, speaking, and developing training courses with raising a family in Pittsford, New York.