Learn More About Jim Detert
Jim Detert is the John L. Colley Professor of Business Administration in the Leadership and Organizational Behavior area at the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business Administration and a Professor of Public Policy at the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. Prior to joining UVA, he taught at Cornell University’s Johnson School of Management and was the faculty director for the School’s leadership initiative.
Detert has written dozens of leadership- and ethics-related cases and experiential learning materials and designed and delivered classes and workshops to thousands of learners at all levels around the world. He has received numerous awards for his teaching in both MBA and Executive MBA programs.
Detert’s research and consulting focuses on workplace courage, why people speak up or stay silent at work, ethical leadership and decision-making, and experiential leadership development. His research has appeared in all the top management journals and has won several academic best paper awards. He is a frequent contributor to Harvard Business Review and Sloan Management Review, and the author of the book “Choosing Courage: The Everyday Guide to Being Brave at Work” (Harvard Business Review Press, May 2021).
Detert received his M.A. in sociology and Ph.D. in organizational behavior from Harvard University. He also holds an MBA from the University of Minnesota and a BBA from the University of Wisconsin.
Jim Detert is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers & Advisors, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.
How to Complain at Work the Right Way and Get Ahead
March 27, 2023
New Research Identifies Whom Employees Should Talk to at Work
February 22, 2023
How to Maintain Objectivity in the Workplace
August 2, 2022
What Courageous Leaders Do Differently
January 7, 2022
Choosing Courage: The Everyday Guide to Being Brave at Work
August 23, 2021
The Problem with Saying “It’s No Big Deal”
August 20, 2021
The Practice of Courage
July 19, 2021
To Be More Inclusive, Stop Encouraging Courage
June 14, 2021
Why You Need to Cultivate a Courageous Workplace
June 16, 2021
The Courage to Be Candid
June 1, 2021
7 Ways To Be Brave At Work And End Up Victorious
April 2, 2021
How to Call Out Racial Injustice at Work
July 16, 2020
A Love for Leadership, a ‘Meh’ for Management: Fair?
April 21, 2020
Talking Ourselves Into It: How We Rationalize Bad Choices
February 19, 2019
Q&A: How to Practice ‘Everyday Courage’ in the Workplace
January 4, 2019
Cultivating Everyday Courage
Speak Out Successfully (Audio)
November 27, 2018
Can Your Employees Really Speak Freely?
Get the Boss to Buy In
Choosing Courage: The Everyday Guide to Being Brave at Work
(Harvard Business Review Press, May 2021)
The Agency to Implement Voice: How Target Hierarchical Position and Competence Changes the Relationship Between Voice and Individual Performance
(Organization Science, October 2022)
Situational Moral Disengagement: Can the Effects of Self-Interest be Mitigated?
(Journal of Business Ethics, December 2013)
Voice Flows to and around Leaders: Understanding When Units Are Helped or Hurt by Employee Voice
(Administrative Science Quarterly, October 2013)
Why Employees Do Bad Things: Moral Disengagement and Unethical Organizational Behavior
(Personnel Psychology, March 2012)
Implicit Voice Theories: Taken-For-Granted Rules of Self-Censorship at Work (Award-Winning Research)
(Academy of Management Journal, June 2011)
Leadership Behavior and Employee Voice: Is the Door Really Open?
(Academy of Management Journal, August 2007)
"Best class I’ve taken in my life."
“'Courage' is the most important lesson I ever learned from you. It helped me be a better, and more authentic, leader."
"I can’t even begin to explain how much your presentation literally changed the path I was on. I don’t want to be cliché and say 'this week changed my life', but honestly, even my mom’s death 4 years ago didn’t put me in the place I was for so long this year."
“Our session was one of the most intellectually exhilarating moments of my life. THANK YOU for challenging us in a thought-provoking way.”
“Every now and then I have been in situations which I would define as challenging. … I can say this with confidence that every time I took an action or made a decision, in some parts it was inspired by the learnings I received in your class.”
“I mustered the courage to do my courage ladder rung, and got up in front to ask the Secretary of the Navy a question at a large conference. … What really amazed me, because I hadn’t thought of this as a potential outcome, is that so many people I had never met came up to me and introduced themselves, talking about my question a conversation starter. I have been able to network with many more people than I would have been able to otherwise. I have always focused on 'what could go wrong' and hadn’t even considered what positive things might come of my action, aside from getting more comfortable with being uncomfortable. The courage ladder definitely motivated me to just go for it.”
“Prior to our time together, I never would have welcomed a conversation that invited healthy tension. I would have worried and climbed up the ladder of inference rung by rung and said nothing directly to the individual. Now, I welcome the opportunity to have the ‘difficult conversation.’ This is a note of gratitude for your research and your pedagogy. Your work in practice!”
Additional Praise for Jim Detert's Presentations
"This was easily the most effective and useful training event I've been involved in. I really appreciated being pushed out of my comfort zone. I resisted to the last minute at each stage! But as with all things worthwhile that involve some pain, once I did the work I realized the benefit (which I expect to continue to accrue!)."
Praise for "Choosing Courage"
"No one else writes as authoritatively and compassionately as Jim Detert about what it means and what it takes to speak up about what really matters. Whether you're working at your first job or running a company, this inspiring book will help you make a difference."
"Jim Detert has produced an insightful, practical book on overcoming fear. Whether you sit at the top, middle, or bottom of an organization, 'Choosing Courage' will help you find the nerve to stand up for your principles and build the skills to drive change."
"Jim Detert enables us to have the tough discussions essential to solving today's intractable challenges, and he shows us how to be 'competently courageous' so that our courage pays off for us and for our organizations. 'Choosing Courage' is empowering for leaders at every level."
"There couldn't be a more urgent time for leaders at all levels and in all industries to embrace the importance of courage to organizational success. Thankfully, Jim Detert has created the blueprint for courageous leadership."
"Jim Detert has zeroed in on arguably the most critical conundrum in the workplace today. The everyday environment demands more personal courage than ever before while, at the same time, it makes it more difficult than ever to exhibit the courage required to navigate all the challenges of the day. Detert helps us find our way. Well done!"