Rasmus Hougaard

Rasmus Hougaard is the founder and CEO of Potential Project, thought leader in the area of mindfulness and leadership, Forbes Contributor, author and Thinkers50 business thinker.

Rasmus Hougaard


Rasmus Hougaard advises CEOs of Fortune 500 companies and works with executive teams to create more human organizations. He is the Founder and Managing Director of Potential Project, a global research, leadership development, and consulting firm on a mission to create a more human world of work.

Founder and CEO of Potential Project

Through his company Potential Project, Rasmus has been leading their large-scale research studies on more than 35,000 leaders across thousands of companies in more than 100 countries. Rasmus has spent extensive time in monasteries in the East, receiving and teaching how to master the mind for mental clarity, focus and high performance and collaborates with Dalai Lama on leadership development ideology and thinking.

Thought Leader in the Area of Mindfulness and Leadership

His prescient views on the critical qualities of future leaders got him recognized by Thinkers50 as one of the world’s most influential business thinkers. He has partnered with forward-thinking organizations like IKEA, Unilever, and Cisco to create a more human world of work by helping individuals, leaders, and teams to unlock the full potential of the mind. Rasmus is an experienced, authentic, and engaging speaker, having led more than 1,500 keynotes and workshops.

He is one of Harvard Business Review’s most read author and author of the ground-breaking and best-selling book by HBR “The Mind of the Leader” and the recently released (January, 2022) “Compassionate Leadership – How to Do Hard Things in a Human Way”.

Compassionate Leadership: How to Do Hard Things in a Human Way (Harvard Business Review Press, 2022)

Using data from thousands of leaders, employees, and companies in nearly 100 countries, the book finds that when leaders bring the right balance of compassion and wisdom to work, they foster much higher levels of employee engagement, performance, loyalty, and well-being. Rasmus also co-authored The Mind of the Leader: How to Lead Yourself, Your People and Your Organization for Extraordinary Results and One Second Ahead: Enhance Your Performance at Work with Mindfulness. In addition, he writes for leading publications such as Harvard Business Review, Fortune, Forbes, and Business Insider.

Sought-after Keynote Speaker  

He is a sought-after keynote speaker and leadership developer who coaches and supports C-suite executives at global organizations such as IKEA, Accenture, Wal-Mart, and Unilever. His newest book, “Compassionate Leadership: How to Do Hard Things in a Human Way”, was published by Harvard Business Review Press in January 2022. Rasmus has been voted no. 1 speaker at the prestigious WorkHuman conference 3 consecutive years.

Rasmus lives in Copenhagen with his family and two cats.


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  • Compassionate Leadership: How to Do Hard Things in a Human Way
  • Leading and Thriving in a Hybrid World of Work
  • Mindfully Leading Virtual Teams
  • Three Mindsets for Leading in Turbulent Times
  • Managing Difficult Conversations with Courage and Compassion
  • Developing Acceptance in Times of Change
  • How Leadership Development Programs Get It Wrong