Tom DeLong


Brigham Young University, BA
Brigham Young University, MA
Purdue University, PhD, Industrial Supervision
Post-Doctoral Fellowship, MIT


Tom has transitioned from leading the corporate world to leading in the world of academia. As Chief Development Officer at Morgan Stanley Group, Inc., Tom was responsible for human capital and focused on issues of organizational strategy and organizational change.

Currently at Harvard Business School, Tom is the Philip J. Stomberg Professor of Management Practice in the Organizational Behavior area. Tom draws on his experience in the corporate world to teach MBA and executive courses focused on managing human capital, organizational behavior, leadership, and career management. He has served as course head for the required course on Leadership and Organizational Behavior and has designed MBA courses focusing on managing human capital in high performance organizations and strategic issues in professional service firms. Tom also consults with leading organizations on the process of making individual and organizational change.

His new book, Flying Without a Net: Turn Fear of Change into Fuel for Success, centers on the challenges of helping talented professionals who are resistant to change. Tom also co-authored two books focused on leading professional service firms, When Professionals Have to Lead: A New Model for High Performance (Harvard Business School Press, 2007) and Professional Services: Cases and Texts (McGraw-Hill/Irwin 2003). Tom has co-authored two Harvard Business Review articles, “Let’s Hear It for B Players” and “Why Mentoring Matters in a Hypercompetitive World”. His Harvard Business Review articles focus on why high achieving professionals often unwittingly sabotage their effort to excel.

Perspective on leadership…

The only way you can do something well is to do something poorly first. There is no other way… and that means being vulnerable. Unfortunately, most professionals, from young consultants to CEOs, are reluctant to try something new for fear they’ll look dumb, awkward, hesitant, incompetent, and so on. As a result, they stick with what they know at the expense of taking risks, stretching themselves, and being innovative. High-need-for-achievement professionals – no matter what their titles or experiences – often fail to question their willingness to do the right thing poorly.”