How Leaders Create Culture Virtually with David Burkus

david burkus on brand

After a brief holiday hiatus, the On Brand podcast is back for 2021! And we’re kicking things off with an exciting new topic and guest. As we’ve discussed in various episodes through the years, leadership is critical in the development of standout brands. Already a challenging pursuit, leadership got a whole lot harder this past year. This week on the show, I was joined by David Burkus, author of the new book Leading from Anywhere

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About David Burkus

One of the world’s leading business thinkers, David Burkus’ forward-thinking ideas and bestselling books are helping leaders and teams do their best work ever.

He is the best-selling author of four books about business and leadership. His books have won multiple awards and have been translated into dozens of languages. His insights on leadership and teamwork have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, USAToday, Fast Company, the Financial Times, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, CNN, the BBC, NPR, and CBS This Morning. Since 2017, Burkus has been ranked as one of the world’s top business thought leaders by Thinkers50. As a sought-after international speaker, his TED Talk has been viewed over 2 million times. He’s worked with leaders from organizations across all industries including Google, Stryker, Fidelity, Viacom, and even the US Naval Academy.

A former business school professor, Burkus holds a master’s degree in organizational psychology from the University of Oklahoma, and a doctorate in strategic leadership from Regent University.

Episode Highlights

So, what’s David’s new book Leading from Anywhere all about? Written in just six months, Leading from Anywhere looks at the characteristics of managing successful remote teams today.

 “We often talk about leaders and we think of the grandiose speeches, the charismatic presence, and those sorts of things. And none of that really matters when you’re one little digital square in a Brady Bunch on Zoom. But there’s still a lot that leaders do around culture that really matters.”

 “Leaders have to be deliberate about building culture.” David walked us through what leaders need to remember to be successful today. “It’s less of a tools thing and more about how we use them. Remember—meetings sucked before this!”

What’s one thing leaders need to watch in the year ahead? “Many aren’t thinking enough about the fact that a large percentage of the workforce won’t want to come back in the same way that they were before.” This issue alone raises several additional questions around salary, employee geography, benefits, and more.

What brand has made David smile recently? David shared the story of Pela—compostable phone cases made from sustainable materials.

To learn more, go to

As We Wrap …

Did you hear something you liked on this episode or another? Do you have a question you’d like our guests to answer? Let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #OnBrandPodcast and you may just hear your thoughts here on the show.

On Brand is sponsored by my book Brand NowDiscover the seven dynamics to help your brand stand out in our crowded, distracted world. Order now and get special digital extras. Learn more.

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Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!