Hi. I’m Thomas Barta. I study how people make change happen in a digital, global world—and I spread the word through keynotes and writing. Occasionally I advise blue chip firms.

I’m a former partner of McKinsey. My research includes the world’s largest studyinvolving over 68,000 executive profileson what makes an impactful customer leader.

Forget the grand corporate plan. What customers want is simply changing too fast, too often. Winning firms build entrepreneurs in every department. People who act. People who want forgiveness—not permission.


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What I’ve been up to (in a nutshell):

  • Former partner of McKinsey
  • Conducted the world’s largest study, involving over 68,000 assessments, on what makes an impactful customer leader
  • Consulted and marketed for over 20 years, in 14 industries, in 45 countries for many of the world’s top organizations, including over two dozen from the Fortune 500
  • Spoken to thousands of leaders at over 100 events for organizations such as Amazon, Adobe, Adweek New York, Financial Times, Google, Oracle, SAP
  • Written the #1 marketing leadership book The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader with Patrick Barwise
  • Organizational Psychologist
  • Dean, McKinsey leadership program
  • Leadership Dean of the global CMO Fellowship (a McKinsey and Marketing Academy JV that prepares CMOs to become CEOs)
  • Columnist for Forbes, Marketing Week, and my TryThis.Blog


‘Inspirational, powerful—simply 5 out of 5!’

– Emma Roborgh, CEO, B2B Marketing Leaders Forum

‘He has a unique ability to draw people in.’

– Catherine Tabaka, President & CEO HC North America, Sodexo

‘He has a unique ability to draw people in.’

– Catherine Tabaka, President & CEO HC North America, Sodexo

‘By far one of the best audience scores we’ve ever seen.’

— Joyce Joanne Verburg, Google

The Marketing Society Braver Conference

Advertising Week

Think With Google

Marketing Week Live

Each year I speak at numerous events about change, digital transformation, the power of marketers, sparks, movements, and how to ditch the job description. My passion is to get onstage, make the case for change, and motivate people to act.

Act, to put customers first

Act, to transform the organization

Act, to make change happen

Example Keynotes

  • The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader

    Doing marketing isn’t the same as leading marketing. Learn the influencing tricks and tips from the world’s largest study on marketers’ success. The aim? More growth, more influence, and quite simply, more fun!

  • Ditch Your Job Description—Save Your Firm

    How to grow a business in times of rapid change? The “Silo Inc.” has stopped working. Customers are too impatient, too well informed, and too powerful. Learn how customer heroes help firms crack the code on customer focus, how to make the firm your firm, and why your job description should be the first thing to go.

  • Digital Leader

    Everyone knows: technology is key for long-term success. But too many executives struggle to get their firms to adopt technology. Unfortunately, you can’t just tell people what to do—nobody can. Hear the stories and ideas of the world’s most effective mobilizers. Beat the barriers to change!

  • Customer Freak

    Who wins in a fast changing world? Brave leaders with a customer passion, big dreams, and fire in their eyes. They push big thinking. They lead the customer transformation. They ignite action. Learn the tricks from today’s most inspirational customer freaks. Be the spark that lights the fire!

Thomas Live

Dec 06Think With GoogleKeynoteLisbon
Dec 3/4Private corporate eventsKeynotes and workshopNorthern Europe
Nov 30Private corporate eventKeynoteEurope
Nov 14The Marketing Society Brave ConferenceKeynoteLondon
Oct 10Festival Of MarketingKeynoteLondon
Oct 04Corporate Executive ConferenceKeynoteSan Francisco
Oct 02Marketo Advisory BoardKeynoteNapa Valley
Sep 19/20B2B Marketing Leaders ForumKeynoteSingapore



The Leadership Book for Marketers
by Thomas Barta & Patrick Barwise

“Everything you need to know to be a superior marketing leader!”

– Marshall Goldsmith, The World’s Thinkers50 #1 Leadership Thinker

“A must-read for every present and future CMO who cares about making a difference.”

– Seth Godin, author of All Marketers Are Liars

“The essential leadership playbook for the CMO of the future.”

– Jim Stengel, former Global Marketing Officer, Procter & Gamble

“A masterful dissection of what it really takes to lead marketing.”

– Syl Saller, Global CMO, Diageo

“A persuasive perspective on the opportunities open to marketers to lead for change.” 

– Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever