Robert Cooper

Leading with Vision and Energy

Truly charismatic speaker on the neuroscience of leadership.

Add to Shortlist


A renowned expert on how exceptional leaders and teams liberate untapped capacities and excel under pressure, Robert K. Cooper has done pioneering work on innovation, the practical application of emotional intelligence and the neuroscience of leadership. Robert’s articles have been widely published, and his books have sold over four million copies.

In his book Get Out of Your Own Way: Five Keys to Exceeding Everyone’s Expectations, Robert offers a completely new method for excelling while reducing your daily workload that is based in timeless wisdom and the latest neuroscience. With a little help, your brain is capable of changing unproductive habits into positive ones that will move you toward what you want, beyond what anyone thought you could accomplish, getting remarkable results with remarkable ease. Get Out of Your Own Way teaches you how to seize important moments of opportunity to reach your full potential and live the life you want by teaching you to choose what really matters.

His previous book, The Other 90%: How to Unlock Your Vast Untapped Potential for Leadership and Life, received 5-star reviews and was on the Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek bestseller Lists, and #3 on Amazon’s Top 100 List.

Robert is one of HR Magazine's Most Influential Thinkers of 2012. This honour recognises the practitioners and thinkers who have had the greatest influence in the field of people strategy. He has been honoured every year from 2010 to 2012.

"Robert Cooper is the ultimate business guru for the new millennium."
USA Today

"Robert Cooper is a national treasure."
— Michael Ray, Ph.D., professor at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, and co-founder of Stanford's renowned "Creativity in Business" Program

Robert is an extremely dynamic, inspiring and informative speaker who consistently earns highest ratings with our customers. For five years he was the highest-rated faculty member in the Lessons in Leadership Distinguished Speaker Series. In a recent survey of managers from more than 90 organisations, his work was rated highest on every scale.

Robert Cooper is founder and CEO of Cooper Strategic LLC, an advisory firm with methodologies for hitting higher-than-expected targets in less time. He has taught at Stanford Business School and has designed and presented leadership development and professional education programs for a host of Fortune 500 companies.


  • Founder and CEO, Cooper Strategic LLC
  • HR Magazine’s Most Influential Thinkers 2010 and 2011
  • Former faculty member, Stanford Business School, Stanford Executive Program; Management Centre Europe; Ruling Companies Association (Milan Italy); Leadership Trust (U.K.); and IMD
  • Chair of Advanced Excellence Systems LLC
  • Fellow at the Silicon Valley World Internet Center


Get Out of Your Own Way

The 5 Keys to Surpassing Everyone’s Expectations

Robert Cooper

In a world where being good isn’t enough, Dr. Robert K. Cooper’s Get Out of Your Own Way provides the inspiration and science for surpassing everyone’s expectations of you — including your own.

With a little help, your brain is capable of changing unproductive habits into positive ones that will move you toward what you want, beyond what anyone thought you could accomplish, getting remarkable results with remarkable ease. In Get Out of Your Own Way, Dr. Robert K. Cooper teaches you how to seize important moments of opportunity to reach your full potential and live the life you want by teaching you to choose what really matters:

  • Direction, not motion
  • Focus, not time
  • Capacity, not conformity
  • Energy, not effort
  • Impact, not intentions

A neuroscientist, Dr. Cooper combines the wisdom he’s gathered over the course of three decades of research, teaching, and hands-on work with leaders with the latest scientific findings about how the brain works and how to make your brain work for you. His simple methods will become your natural way of getting things done, simplifying effort, and sparking goal-focused energy. Using a completely new neuroscience-based understanding of how to exceed expectations while reducing stress, Get Out of Your Own Way provides the ingredients necessary to excel in this challenging world.

Crown Business (11 April 2006)

Other 90%

How to Unlock Your Vast Untapped Potential for Leadership and Life

Robert Cooper

For centuries, it has been assumed that there are vast limits to human capacity. Now, although a host of scientific discoveries prove this wrong, a mindset of limits persists, blocking us from our greatest possibilities and leaving us feeling bombarded by stress, change, and uncertainty. No matter how hard we work, no matter how much we give, we're still not getting what we hoped for. There is another way.

Dr. Robert Cooper, a neuroscience pioneer and leadership advisor, urges us to take a radically different view of human capacity. We are mostly unused potential, he says, employing less than 10 percent of our brilliance or hidden talents. In easy-to-follow steps, he explains how to develop and apply the art and science of your hidden capacity.

The art is the motivation and inspiration coming from the wonderful stories that are the heart of The Other 90%. Dr. Cooper draws on his wide-ranging insights and experiences to show how it's possible to make a difference in yourself and others.

However, inspiration without a way to turn vision into reality is an empty vessel. Combining art with science, Dr. Cooper provides extraordinary help in the form of specific, little-known practical ways to use the latest research in neuroscience, performance psychology, and work physiology for excelling in a pressure-filled world. He shows you how to:

  • Increase energy at work — and have more energy for personal and family life.

  • Activate the brain's "alertness switches" to defeat pressure and stress.

  • Use not only the brain in your head but the ones in your heart and gut.

  • Motivate exceptional ingenuity and performance in yourself and others.

The most exciting breakthroughs will not come from advances in technology but from a deeper realization of what it means to be most human and alive. Many of the choices that can dramatically change our lives are simple and practical — yet few people know what these choices are or how to apply them in work and life. The Other 90% is your guide to new territory and new challenges.

Random House USA Inc; Reprint edition (31 July 2003)

Executive EQ

Emotional Intelligence in Leadership and Organizations

Robert Cooper

Executives, managers, and professionals all across America are praising Executive EQ and are putting the precepts of this book into action for raising emotional intelligence in their leadership and at all levels of their organizations.

Perigee Books (April 1998)


Robert tailors each presentation to the needs of his audience and he's not limited to the topics we have listed below. These are subjects that have proven valuable to customers in the past and are meant only to suggest his range and interests. Please ask us about any subject that interests you; we are sure that we can accommodate you.


The New Neuroscience of Setting and Hitting Exceptional Goals. 90% of top goals fail. Goal achievement is being reinvented based on these evidence-based new shortcuts and powerful neuroleadership tools that upend conventional thinking. Learn what enables today’s top leaders and teams to seize opportunities and hit aspirational targets that 99% of their competitors miss.


The New Neuroscience of Record-Setting Performance. How the few outperform the many: The leading-edge neuroscience insights and tools that empower today’s top-performing leaders and elite action teams to save time and effort as they innovatively set records and win bigger opportunities that others consider “impossible.”


Learn how today’s top leaders and teams attract top talent and hit aspirational targets as they get the most out of their brains, their strategy, their time, and their performance.


The New Neuroscience of How Leaders and Teams Multiply Brand and Business Growth. Powerful yet practical new research findings on what’s different in today’s lean, nimble, innovative enterprises primed to win the future in every field and industry — and a glimpse into the strategies and tactics that will enable you to adapt and execute this approach in your organisation.

New Rules of Engagement

The smallest adjustments in vision and action drive the biggest successes

Inspiring Exceptional Performance

Using peak energy and focus to make breakthroughs happen when everything is on the line

Apex Effectiveness

How the few outperform the many — and make it look easy

Unseen Opportunities

The surprising truth about what holds us back and how — simply with awareness — the most successful people overcome it

Unbeatable Energy and Focus

Creating what’s more valuable than time or money

Adaptive Leadership

Why some leaders thrive in continuously changing conditions — and most don’t

Winning the Brief Interactions that Matter Most

The fastest path to influence in a world where time is always of the essence

Quietly Multiply Results

Your most powerful new tools

Leading in Tough Economic Times: How the Best Leaders and Teams Win New Marketshare While Everyone Else is Falling Behind

Exceptional leaders and teams know what the data clearly confirm: that every economic downturn is an amazing opportunity to win more customers and trust and market share...if you have the eyes to see the opportunities and the ingenuity and new skills to go capture them. Robert's pioneering approach shows you how — with the latest insights, stories, tools, and tailored applications.

Leading in a Changing World: What Separates the Best from All the Rest

Robert explains how to apply the key principles from his book Get Out of Your Own Way: manage

  • Direction, not motion
  • Focus, not time
  • Capacity, not conformity
  • Energy, not effort
  • Impact, not intentions

Good and Great Are The Enemies of Possible

There are many invisible walls between you and your increasing success in a changing world. One of the main ones, uncovered in Robert Cooper’s pioneering research, is that Good and Great are the enemies of Possible. When we get good at something, we subconsciously begin to repeat it over and over. When we’re considered great, we’re automatically primed to defend it, pouring our energies and attention into preserving our new-found greatness and protecting our lead, both of which soon tend to vanish.

Star-performing individuals and teams choose another path: They continually reach beyond good and great for what’s possible — and, in so doing, they create the future. They redefine whole industries and launch new fields. They are maximally engaged with what matters most. They work fewer hours with greater rewards. They exceed everyone’s expectations — in financial success, ingenuity, energy, well-being, savoring time with family and friends, or living their values. And they make it look easy as they blow right past the trophy- hoisting executives and cover-story gorilla companies of five minutes ago, who are left wondering why being good or great wasn’t enough.


The New Neuroscience of High Performance | YPO Pacific Edge Conference 2016


Masters Forum


A Chicago-based holding company:
You were awesome Robert! They loved you. You were the talk of the week. Literally everyone was sharing their ‘first 21 minutes’ with the group each morning — it was funny and enlightening to be honest…nobody had really ever put any thought into it. We all kept doing Check-In’s with each other and [. . .] literally did one with me after I gave a toast one evening (seriously!). I used “leaning in” and focus/energy with our group the very next day — we all agreed we needed to step it up! We all wanted more when you left and many came to me and said we needed a day long workshop with you to take it to the next level. Your research is compelling…your delivery is captivating — your message and teachings stuck!!!! You are a special person Robert…thank you!!!!

A not-for-profit organization for the disabled
Dr. Cooper, Thank you so much for giving of your time last week at the 2014 [. . .] Conference. On behalf of all the volunteers and attendees, we can’t thank you enough for the presentation you gave.

Your insight was thoughtful and your approach was awesome! You helped set the tone of what turned out to be an AMAZING week.

I wanted to be sure that we gave you timely feedback direct from our attendees:

  • Dr Cooper amazing speaker. His presentation hit reality on daily work

  • Amazing presentation | learned a lot and very well planned.

  • Excellent!

  • Amazingly thought provoking & impactful

  • High energy was appreciated

  • Spot on

  • Really enjoyed his passion.

  • Great speaker with great content.

  • Excellent, thank you. Many take-aways for me personally and to share with my team. Love the scientific connections to debunk otherwise fluffy items.

  • Inspirational and passionate with a scientific twist

  • Very informative and kept my interest

  • Cooper was awesome we need to bring him to [. . .] in 2015

  • Bring Dr Cooper back!

  • Immediately applicable to me personally and the workforce.

  • Excellent Keynote! Living life using three brains...better than just using one!! Thank you!

  • 10+

  • Robert’s energy and content is transformational!

  • Thank you for offering the Masters Series this year. Excellent idea and excellent selection of speaker. Dr. Cooper’s research is thought provoking and I will be incorporating many of the things I learned into my daily life.

A major financial servcices company:
He was simply FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A major communications company:
Robert — I just wanted to let you know that your presentation was GREAT. We received a huge amount of positive comments. Very powerful. Within the next month or so we will be sending [our] call to action [...] in a badge plus we will be adding a copy of your book to all the conference participants. Thank you for your passion and energy and for sharing your very valuable wisdom with our team.

A leadership forum:
Robert Cooper received the highest ratings in our program's history, including inherent value, usefulness, applicability, delivery, and overall results.

An annual institute forum:
WOW! What can I say other than you were fantastic! I have heard nothing but rave reviews about your program. We appreciate very much the time you spent preparing your comments and well as the insights and expertise you shared with our audience. This year’s Forum was a great success and this is due, of course, to your contribution to our programming. Thanks for sharing your insights and perspective on leadership.

A national industry association, healthcare:
My sincere and heartfelt thanks for your wonderful, meaningful, and inspiring work with our leadership group. You made an incredible impact! I have heard nothing but positive, enthusiastic response from those who were fortunate enough to be there. We will be incorporating your work, insights, and tools into our ongoing work on service and leadership excellence. You are truly an inspiration to me.

An international association, health and sports:
A thousand thanks for a superb presentation at this year’s [...] Convention. Truly, we could not have asked for a finer or more moving presentation. We thank you and congratulate you. Your talk was deep, moving and fun, a perfect combination.