Rick Brandon

Rick Brandon, Ph.D., has a 30-year track record of providing leadership and business communication learning solutions to scores of Fortune 500 and other corporate, educational, and other organizations. He is Founder and CEO of Brandon Partners, a global training firm that offers behavior change workshops on political savvy and managerial motivation skills for scores of organizations. Dr. Brandon is a recognized thought leader in the arena of ethical corporate politics and researched based strategies for enhancing workplace motivation. Rick Brandon co-authored, SURVIVAL OF THE SAVVY: High-Integrity Political Tactics for Career and Company Success (Rick Brandon co-authored, SURVIVAL OF THE SAVVY: High-Integrity Political Tactics for Career and Company Success (Free Press, 2004). This must-read on navigating organizational politics received the Wall Street Journal bestseller status, Forbes.com CEO Book Club Pick, Institute of Management Studies Book of the Month, Fast Company Reader’s Choice Award, and many sterling reviews. A dynamic speaker with industrial video and television appearances, Dr. Brandon is a frequent keynote speaker at industry association conferences, corporate annual meetings, The Conference Board, and other large-scale events.


While serving as past President of a premier training provider of interpersonal performance improvement programs, Dr. Brandon gradually came to believe that this key interpersonal dimension of leadership influence often ignored an equally vital, but typically omitted strategic dimension — organizational savvy and skills to navigate corporate politics and power dynamics. Therefore, in 1998, Brandon responded when asked by a Fortune 10 client for a program aimed helping technically skilled managers at career turns who “lacked senior level savvy and upper level image and impact.” Dr. Brandon drew upon 20 years of coaching data from 1,300 executives who were in danger of career derailment by being overly political or under-political. Brandon blended this empirical evidence with his applied behavioral sciences and leadership development expertise to design a cutting edge workshop on ethical organizational politics. The course became the huge bank’s “most popular leadership development program” and is now taught around the world at Apple, Hertz, Genentech, Best Buy, Deutche Bank, Kinko’s, Avon, Tyco, Microsoft, Discover, Toronto Dominion Bank, Morgan Stanley, UBS, ING, Credit Suisse, Amex, Pepsico, Disney, GE, United Technologies, and other blue chip companies.

Current Activities

Brandon Partners has over 15 seasoned instructors in the U.S., two in Europe, and one in Asia, as well as several worldwide broker relationships whose consultants also help to spread his models, concepts and skills around the world. Dr. Brandon’s client-urged co-authored book, Survival of the Savvy (Free Press, 2004), takes him around the world to speak. This provocative and timely volume was called “the definitive book on political savvy” by Robert Eichinger of Lominger Limited. The work is endorsed by thought leaders like Ken Blanchard, Marshall Goldsmith, Harvey MacKay, and many CEO’s. Dr. Brandon also serves as a regular expert answering advice-seeking letters on the 100,000-hit per month www.officepolitics.com website. Dr. Brandon is especially pleased to have forged a relationship with Persona Global, due to the potential for positively impacting corporations internationally with high-integrity political tactics. Dr. Brandon notes that, “While the localized unwritten rules, power dynamics, and political style norms differ country by country, the Organizational Savvy assessment and training tools provide universally applicable steps and strategies to systematically recognize political styles, companies’ political cultures, and methods for navigating any organization’s unique political waters.”


Rick Brandon, Ph.D. is past president and senior vice president of Ridge Associates and launched his own Brandon Partners training company in 1998. Through these two respected consulting firms, Dr. Brandon has taught tens of thousands in scores of companies, across a wide range of industries. He has always had a passion for crafting learning solutions that align with clients’ strategic initiatives and businesses, transcending merely cosmetic customization. Dr. Brandon has forged a career in selling, marketing, designing, delivering, and training other consultants and internal client trainers to teach a wide range of results-based, strategic behavior changes programs. He is a distinguished faculty member for the Institute for Management Studies (IMS). In 2005 he was the most widely requested speaker for this prestigious seminar company, delivering globally in 18 cities.


Dr. Brandon Dr. Brandon earned his Ph.D. in Counseling and Management at the University of Arizona, his M.A. in Educational Psychology from St. Lawrence University, and his B.A. in Psychology from Case Western Reserve. He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses for the University of Bridgeport, College of Saint Rose, the University of Arizona, and University of California at Berkeley as a guest lecturer. A member of the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD), Dr. Brandon is also an Executive Board of Directors member of the American Institute of Ethics. He has also been an active member on the Board of Directors of a non-profit organization providing emotional support to individuals and families experiencing life-threatening illness. Rick lives with his wife and two children in Marin County, California. He is a singer, plays blues trumpet, and regularly pretends to play tennis.

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