Skip to main content

Marcum, David 1960–

Marcum, David 1960–

(David Lynn Marcum)


Born February 11, 1960.


E-mail—[email protected]


Consultant and writer. MarcumSmith, LC (business consulting firm), cofounder, 2002—.


(With Steve Smith and Mahan Khalsa) BusinessThink: Rules for Getting It Right—Now, and No Matter What!, foreword by Stephen R. Covey, Wiley (New York, NY), 2002.

(With Steven Smith) Egonomics: What Makes Ego Our Greatest Asset (or Most Expensive Liability), Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2007.

Author's works have been published in eighteen languages and forty countries.


David Marcum works in management training and consulting and is the founder, with Steven Smith, of the consulting firm MarcumSmith, LC. Their firm focuses on teaching people, especially those in business, how to create a balance between ego and humility in order to reach the next level of leadership. They have worked with a variety of industries and companies, including insurance, service, finance utilities, telecommunications, healthcare, medial, and government organizations.

Marcum and Smith are also the authors of BusinessThink: Rules for Getting It Right—Now, and No Matter What!, and Egonomics: What Makes Ego Our Greatest Asset (or Most Expensive Liability). In BusinessThink, which was also written with Mahan Khalsa, the authors present a business training book that focuses on business leaders and on creative solutions to business problems and issues while operating at optimum performance. In the process they present challenging new rules for accelerating work while revitalizing the business. Through a variety of rules, from "Check Your Ego at the Door" to "Create Curiosity," the authors discuss a program designed to significantly increase results via hard-core business thinking coupled with business leaders and employers using their intuition and emotional intelligence to open up new avenues toward critical thinking and collaboration.

In a review of BusinessThink in the M2 Presswire, a contributor wrote that the authors "offer all generations of leaders a provocative, practical process for transforming the way people think about business and address readers with a refreshing, straightforward voice that calls for a realistic, thoughtful exploration of one's own thoughts, behaviours and influence within the business world."

Egonomics, written by Marcum and his partner Smith, focuses on the dual traits of a good business leader: a strong ego counterbalanced by humility. Exploring the research findings that many great business leaders who have transformed companies from being good to great have themselves exhibited great humility, the authors nevertheless point out that a strong ego is also necessary to become a great business leader. "On the profit side, ego sparks the drive to invent and achieve, the nerve to try something new, and the tenacity to conquer setbacks that inevitably come," the authors write in their book as they introduce their principles of egonomics. The authors go on to write later in the book: "Humility is the first principle of egonomics because of its unique ability to open minds. Until we're ready to listen and learn, curiosity and veracity are never invited on stage. But as crucial as an open mind is, that might not even be the most essential characteristic of humility. Humility is a means to an end, and that end is the progress of the business."

In their book, the authors discuss how to strike a balance between ego and humility in order to reach the next level of leadership. They include case studies showing how ego can interfere with success but also how it can spark the drive to achieve and the tenacity to conquer adversity. They also include four early warning signs to look for to see if ego is becoming a liability and three key principles to keep ego healthy, which are, in addition to humility, curiosity and veracity.

"Of course, what Smith and Marcum have written is a serious primer on what it means to be a decent, successful human being," wrote Stefan Stern in Management Today. "It's not so much about ego, it's about a balanced and constructive approach to life." A Publishers Weekly contributor referred to Egonomics as a "mix of business analysis and psychological study," and went on to write in the same review that the authors "effectively demonstrate the benefits of successful ego management in [various] situations."



Marcum, David, Steve Smith, and Mahan Khalsa, BusinessThink: Rules for Getting It Right—Now, and No Matter What!, foreword by Stephen R. Covey, Wiley (New York, NY), 2002.

Marcum, David, and Steven Smith, Egonomics: What Makes Ego Our Greatest Asset (or Most Expensive Liability), Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2007.


M2 Presswire, May 9, 2002, review of BusinessThink.

Management Today, January 1, 2008, Stefan Stern, "Books: How to Be a Decent, Successful Human," review of Egonomics, p. 33.

PR Newswire, May 21, 2003, "If You Think Ego and Politics Hurt Government, You Should See What They Do to Your Company."

Publishers Weekly, July 9, 2007, review of Egonomics, p. 46.

Reference & Research Book News, August 1, 2003, review of BusinessThink, p. 112.


Egonomics Home Page, (April 19, 2008), brief profile of author.

Marcum & Smith Web site, (April 19, 2008), profile of author., (April 22, 2008).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Marcum, David 1960–." Contemporary Authors. . 26 Mar. 2019 <>.

"Marcum, David 1960–." Contemporary Authors. . (March 26, 2019).

"Marcum, David 1960–." Contemporary Authors. . Retrieved March 26, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.