Marcus Buckingham

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Marcus Buckingham
Born (1966-01-11) 11 January 1966 (age 54)
Alma materPembroke College, Cambridge (BA)
OccupationAuthor, motivational speaker, businessman
Spouse(s)Jane Buckingham (m. 1996; div. 2017)
FamilyLilia Buckingham (daughter)

Marcus Buckingham (born 11 January 1966)[1] is a British author, motivational speaker and business consultant.

Early life and education[edit]

Buckingham was born on 11 January 1966, and was brought up in the village of Radlett, north of London. His father was the Personnel Director at Allied Breweries. Buckingham suffered from a substantial stammer which he initially found very difficult to overcome, and said he was unable to speak until the age of 13. He conquered it when asked to formally address other boys at his prep school, and pretended he was speaking to just one person, rather than 300. It proved a success: "At my prep school, everyone knew I had a stammer. At my boarding school, nobody knew".[2]

Buckingham was educated at Edge Grove School,[1] a boys' preparatory independent school in the village of Aldenham in Hertfordshire in Southern England, and then Aldenham School,[2] a boarding independent school for boys (near Aldenham), which he left in 1984,[3] followed by Pembroke College, Cambridge,[4] from which he graduated with a degree in Social and Political Sciences, in 1987.[2][5]


While studying at Cambridge, Buckingham was recruited by educational psychology professor Donald O. Clifton, the founder of Selection Research, Incorporated (SRI). Clifton had co-founded SRI to develop interviews that would allow businesses to identify talents in individuals, to match people to the right roles.[6]

SRI acquired The Gallup Organization in 1988, and took on the Gallup name.[6] As part of Gallup, Buckingham became a member of a team working on a survey that measured a broad range of factors that contribute to employee engagement. Based on those surveys and on interviews with thousands of managers, Buckingham published (with coauthor Curt Coffman) First, Break All the Rules (Simon and Schuster, 1999). According to its subtitle, the book describes "what the world's greatest managers do differently" The book became a New York Times best-seller[7] and has over a million copies in print. It was also chosen by Jack Covert and Todd Sattersten as one of "The 100 Best Business Books of All Time" in their book of the same name.

The Marcus Buckingham Company (TMBC)[edit]

In 2006, Buckingham started The Marcus Buckingham Company (TMBC) to create management training programs and tools. The company helped him to launch a coordinated series of products in conjunction with the publication of Go Put Your Strengths to Work. Most notable was Trombone Player Wanted, involving a young boy who wants to abandon playing the trombone in favour of the drums (apparently based on Buckingham's own experience in music classes as a boy). Together, the book and the film series became the basis of a TMBC workshop called Simply Strengths.

TMBC was acquired by ADP, LLC in January 2017 (

Film and television appearances[edit]

In addition to the self-published short film series Trombone Player Wanted, Buckingham has made numerous television appearances as himself, on US television networks and cable channels including The View on ABC, I Want to Work for Diddy on VH1, The Oprah Winfrey Show on syndication, Good Morning America on ABC, The Today Show on NBC, Larry King Live on CNN and The Dave Ramsey Show on Fox Business Network.

Personal life[edit]

Buckingham and the American author Jane Rinzler married in 1996 and divorced 2017. They have a son, Jack, and a daughter, Lilia, who is an actress on the Brat network.[8]


  • First, Break All the Rules (with Curt Coffman; Simon & Schuster, 1999)
  • Now, Discover Your Strengths (with Donald O. Clifton; The Free Press, 2001)
  • The One Thing You Need to Know (The Free Press, 2005)
  • Go Put Your Strengths to Work (The Free Press, 2007)
  • The Truth About You (Thomas Nelson, 2008)
  • Find Your Strongest Life (Thomas Nelson, 2009)
  • StandOut: The Groundbreaking New Strengths Assessment from the Leader of the Strengths Revolution (Thomas Nelson, 2011)
  • StandOut 2.0: Assess Your Strengths. Find Your Edge. Win at Work. (Harvard Business Review Press, 2015)
  • Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World (Harvard Business Review Press , 2019)


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Jones, Del (3 March 2005). "Business bows to an unlikely oracle: British boy wonder". USA Today. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  2. ^ a b c Blackhurst, Chris (5 December 2007). "Playing to his strengths, the Beverly Hills Brit who's a self-help god". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  3. ^ "Notable OAs" (PDF). Aldenham School, Hertfordshire. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 February 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  4. ^ "Pembroke College - Cambridge Society Annual Gazette - Issue 84, September 2010 (pg.126 - 1984 - Marcus Buckingham)" (PDF). Pembroke College - Cambridge Society. September 2010. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  5. ^ "WEDDINGS;Ms. Rinzler, Mr. Buckingham". New York Times. 17 March 1996. Retrieved 24 May 2011.
  6. ^ a b "Corporate History". Archived from the original on 6 January 2010. Retrieved 24 May 2011.
  7. ^ "The New York Times Business Best Sellers". New York Times. 10 October 1999. Retrieved 24 May 2011.
  8. ^ Baum, Gary; Abramovitch, Seth (19 March 2019). "Inside Jane Buckingham's Stunning Fall From Parenting Guru to Alleged College Admissions Cheater". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 27 May 2019.

External links[edit]