Lee Newman is the 9th dean of IE Business School and professor of Behavioral Science and Leadership at IE University.
He is an educational entrepreneur, a passionate teacher and thought leader who draws on his background and experience in business, human sciences, and technology to bring a disruptive and innovative approach to IE University’s first and largest school.
Newman’s thought leadership and teaching focus on positive leadership and a concept he refers to as “behavioral fitness.”
“Our performance at work is driven by our moment-by-moment behaviors that often occur with little awareness and conscious choice. By understanding our default behaviors, developing a broader behavioral repertoire, and learning to behave flexibly in different contexts, we become more behaviorally fit and more productive,” says Newman. “One of the most important roles of a leader is to put in place the conditions under which people in the workplace can thrive and perform at their best.”
Prior to his career in academia at IE University and the University of Michigan, Newman spent over a decade as a founder and senior manager in two technology startups in New York City and as a consultant at McKinsey & Company in Chicago, serving clients in the area of organizational performance and operations reengineering.
Newman is originally from the United States (St. Louis, Missouri) and now lives in Spain with his family.
In this article, Lee sheds light on a specific pitfall leaders make where they mix the objectives of a particular meeting. After investigating the root cause, Lee offers solutions to help balance the inspirational and transactional aspects of an executive’s job.
Drawing on his Behavioral Fitness techniques, Lee makes a convincing case for how behavior and interpersonal skills can have a greater impact on real output than knowledge or potential.
Drawing on research by leading positive psychologists, Lee outlines how you can effectively measure your employees’ emotions—and manage the data to promote a better work environment.
Lee draws on the behavior of his personal role model—decorated tennis champion Rafael Nadal—to demonstrate how executives should behave. And how it can give you a distinct advantage in crucial moments.
Feedback plays an essential role in professional development and productive output. In this article, Lee argues HR needs to play a larger role in giving real, ongoing feedback to actively help employees in their development.
The way we react in tough moments is often an automatic reflex. In this article, Lee explains that, while this can be good, having the ability to override your default reactions to take better control in your professional day-to-day.
To Lee Newman, the business school market has been something of a fireworks show. Each business school puts up a loud display of what it stands for, and each one is pretty much like the other. Newman, newly installed as the dean of Spain’s IE Business School, is hoping to make the MBA experience more like a rocket than a bunch of noise, light, and smoke in a dark sky.
Lee was asked to contribute to this renowned Thinkers50 publication in which top business leaders write letters to the fictional CEO of a company. In his contribution, Lee suggests a new approach to leadership designed to achieve singular advantages by understanding the “‘what,’ ‘why,’ ‘how,’ and ‘when’ of human behavior.”
Written by renowned British journalist Des Dearlove, this conversation with the IE Business School Dean focuses on the merits of behavioral advantage. Arguing that sustaining a traditional competitive advantage is no longer viable, Lee outlines a framework for success based on behavior.
Written at the turn of the new year, Lee advocates for a strategic approach to improve your Behavioural Fitness and navigate the increasingly complex space of modern professional life.
IE’s Executive Master in Positive Leadership & Strategy and Lee Newman mentioned in article “The Pursuit of Happiness in the Workplace” by The Financial Times.
Writing for Global Focus, Lee discusses the benefits of “Behavioural Fitness.” He argues that the quality of your behavior is what makes you stand out as a professional, and that it can be developed through training.
2021-Present | Dean, IE Business School
2015-Present | Member, IE Executive Committee
2010-2021 | Dean, IE School of Human Sciences & Technology
2009 | Ph.D. Psychology (Cognitive) and Computer Science (AI)
2009 | Marquis Award for Best Dissertation in Psychology
2006 | Member, Executive Committee; Departmental Associate
1999 – 2002 | Founder & EVP Of Product Development
1996-1999 | Founder & Chief Operating Officer
1991-1995 | Engagement Manager
1990-1992 | S.M. Management Science (systems dynamics, innovation)
1989-1991 | S.M. Technology & Policy
1985-1989 | Sc.B. Electrical Engineering (magna cum laude, with honors, Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Xi)
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