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Nancy K. Austin’s work and writing has changed the way business does business. A leading authority and well-known speaker on smart management and the kind of leadership you can be proud of, Austin has spoken before business, education, and military leaders in countries on six continents. She continues to break new ground in our new world of work, where everything goes full-tilt all the time, and where know-how, talent, and boldness combine to move mountains.
In 1985, Austin co-wrote A Passion for Excellence: The Leadership Difference with Tom Peters. An instant classic, the book quickly became a #1 best-seller and a favorite among businesspeople. Her pioneering work in assertiveness training led to the publication of The Assertive Woman, co-authored with Stanlee Phelps. The book, the first written expressly for women on how to promote and apply assertive skills in their personal and professional lives, has sold over 420,000 copies and has been published in seven languages. A wholly revised fourth edition was published in July, 2002.
Austin, who holds a BA and an MBA from UCLA, was also affiliated with UCLA’s Neuropsychiatric Institute, where she was part of a team brought together to study and improve the community mental health system in California.
During this time, she created and led skill-based coaching for health care practitioners, wrote frequently for professional journals, and delivered presentations that drew enthusiastic audiences.
After several years with leading consulting firms, Austin joined the Hewlett-Packard Company in Palo Alto, California. Her mission was to identify and articulate the distinctive management practices that made the company great, and to help those skills take root in a new generation of company leaders around the world. In 1983, Austin co-founded The Tom Peters Group, the Palo Alto-based consulting and research firm dedicated to deepening and applying the principles and management thinking that Peters first described in the landmark In Search of Excellence.
Austin has also served as contributing editor at Working Woman magazine, a columnist for 1099 (a webzine for independent professionals), and today is a contributing editor for Incentive and Inc. magazines. As president of Nancy K. Austin, Inc., Austin delivers programs and keynotes to organizations large and small, public and private. She is a frequent guest on television, radio, and in print, where she often discusses business excellence, innovation, and women in leadership.