Matthew Barzun has served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom and Sweden. He served as National Finance Chair for former President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign in 2011 and 2012. In 2008, he volunteered for then-Senator Barack Obama’s presidential election campaign, leading the effort to conduct supporter-driven small-dollar fundraisers. He joined CNET Networks in 1993 as its fourth employee and held various management positions during his 11 years with the company, including Chief Strategy Officer. He speaks frequently at organizations, governments, and nonprofits about the ideas in this book.

For inquiries about speaking engagements, please contact matthew@matthewbarzun.com.


/ Author


& Reviews

“A leadership manifesto like you’ve never read before. Every page is eye-opening, provocative, and energizing.”

– CHARLES DUHIGG, author of The Power of Habit

“Delightfully paradoxical and deeply insightful. Read it and lead differently.”

– ANNE-MARIE SLAUGHTER, CEO of New America and former director of policy planning. US Department of State

“A gift. This is certainly the path to the collective leadership we need to tackle today’s challenges and shape a better future.”

– WENDY KOPP, CEO and cofounder of Teach for All and founder of Teach for America

“Matthew Barzun might well be the first modest man to write a great book on leadership. This is a gift.”

– RICHARD THALER, Nobel Prize laureate and coauthor of “Nudge”

“An extraordinary book about human flourishing, about linking properly to the best bits of ourselves and of others to move mountains. Enlightening and brain reviving.”

– ALAIN De BOTTON, author of “How Proust Can Change Your Life” and cofounder of “The School of Life”

“Fun, informative, and mind-expanding for everyone, whether you’re leading a business, a country, or a family.”

– DANNY MEYER, author of “Setting the Table” and “CEO of the Union Square Hospitality Group”

“A brilliant challenge to conventions that have held back organizations for decades and a crisp playbook for making distributed leadership work for everyone.”

– TED SARANDOS, co-CEO and chief content officer of Netflix

“Bravo. These are ideas that can heal and inspire in a time when we are suspicious, tribal, at each others’ throats.”

– KEN BURNS, documentary filmmaker

“This book is a breakthrough. It’s beautifully written, perfectly timed, and heralds a new way forward. Im buying a dozen copies to share with friends and colleagues.”

– SETH GODIN, founder of altMBA and author of “The Practice”

“A book as provocative, energizing, and humane as Barzun himself. It points the way forward in a time which we desperately need new and better leadership.”

– ADMIRAL JAMES STAVRIDIS, U.S. Navy (retired), Supreme Allied Commander at NATO (2009-2013)




Download the free excerpt and learn how The Best Leaders Learn to Let Go