Massimo Backus


  • Coach
  • Speaker
  • Workshop Facilitator

Massimo Backus is a speaker on self-compassion, workshop facilitator, and executive coach to leaders looking for coherence between their intent and impact, words and actions, and alignment of personal and organizational values. He has coached and consulted across a breadth of companies and industries, including Nintendo, Fox Entertainment, Amazon, and Salesforce.


We are people having a human experience, and that is our greatest source of leadership impact and transformation.

Authentic Leadership Business Leadership Collaboration and Team Trust Conscious Leadership Emotional Intelligence and Empathy Gratitude Speakers Leadership Keynotes Leading with Vulnerability Speakers Organizational Development Organizational Psychology Positive Psychology Purpose Workshops Self-Care for Leaders Self-Compassion Self-Discovery Coaching Servant Leadership

Popular Talks

Compassionate Leadership

How to turn toxic conflict into collaborative gold through empathy and personal accountability. We focus on the connection between our feelings and unmet needs and how to take action to foster psychological safety, trust, and productive conflict.

SUPERhuman Leadership

How self-compassion helps us to do hard things without being a hardass to ourselves and others. This talk is for leaders plagued by perfectionism, impostor syndrome, or self-doubt. It is for leaders who falsely believe proving themselves worthy will give them power, only to realize they have given their power away. Whether you are a seasoned leader or aspiring to be one, this talk will inspire you to prioritize self-compassion as a critical component of your leadership toolkit.


How to manage your mindset and heartset to navigate change and uncertainty. Participants learn practice skills to use adversity as a catalyst for growth and empowerment.

Workshops & Coaching


We work with organizations to design and facilitate bespoke development experiences to establish a common language for shared understanding around leadership behaviors and expectations for a culture of high-performing leaders and teams (e.g., accountability, effective feedback, coaching, and difficult conversations). This program levels up new leaders on core skills related to emotionally intelligent leadership (self-awareness, self-management, relationship-awareness, relationship-management) and moves leaders from mentor to coach, from telling to asking, from leading in the weeds to strategically leading vision out front. This program reinforces learning through the practical application of workshop content while encouraging participants to hone their skills in small intact coaching groups.


My coaching approach leverages deep knowledge of organizational behavior, adult development, and years of experience in the business world. My work is research-based, real-world focused, and grounded in the Co-Active Coaching methodology.

I partner with senior executives and high potentials who want to elevate their leadership and personal effectiveness. My clients view coaching as an accelerator to help them quickly attain and sustain meaningful change.
My coaching expertise includes aligning purpose with impact, empathetic and compassionate leadership, navigating transitions, amplifying executive presence, elevating neurodiversity, optimizing relationships and professional networks, getting unstuck, and enhancing emotional intelligence.
Clients gain heightened self-awareness through tools that include benchmarked leadership assessments and coach-facilitated inquiry. At the same time, external perspectives are gathered and compiled into a comprehensive 360 report.

“A colleague recommended that our leadership team work with Mass to help us. We were a smart, committed, and passionate group of individuals, but we were not functioning effectively together as a team. Nine months later, I have never been more bullish on the prospect for the healthy growth of our business—both for our people and for our clients. Mass led our team through a lot of hard work, and he equipped us with tools and skills that we will carry forward and teach to our colleagues. Mass has made a huge difference in getting our team on the right path for the years ahead. We are all very grateful for having had the opportunity to work with Mass.”
— John Hamon, CEO, Fortimize

“The gratitude I feel for the time I’ve spent with Mass is beyond measure. Not just in one, but two, separate settings. The first was professionally when he beautifully shepherded me and my colleagues on a 9-month leadership development journey. The other as my coach, helping me to chart my course, at two very different inflection points in my life. Each experience was equally life-changing and here’s why. Mass walks the talk. He is relentless in his own pursuit of reflection, insight, self-compassion, and fulfillment. His own journey authentically flows into how he engages with the world. Each interaction is real and meaningful. Undoubtedly, Mass inspires everyone he touches – helping all to embrace being one’s true self.”
— Shannon Flanagan, Vice President, Global Industry Strategy

“Having worked with Massimo through several significant career decisions, one stand out differentiator that I value more than any other is Massimo’s genuine approach to our conversations about my journey. In my experience, Massimo treats our sessions like conversations between close friends: with empathy and thoughtful inquisition. I always move forward with new perspectives and optimism.”
— Brian Specht, General Manager, Artium

"I will forever be indebted to Massimo and this transformation journey he's fueled over the past (almost) 2 years."

Massimo is a workshop facilitator, speaker, and leadership coach and has worked with thousands of leaders to increase their emotional intelligence. He helps leaders gain coherence between their intent and impact, words and actions, and alignment of personal and organizational values. Massimo believes we are humans before leaders and it is our responsibility to lead with humanity, courage, and accountability. Through prioritizing compassion for ourselves and others we have the greatest capacity to achieve our most ambitious outcomes.

He works with leaders to uncover who they are, whom they want to be, and how to transform old habits and patterns that hold them back. They learn to lead with self-awareness and self-management that drives discovery, growth, and success.

In addition to coaching, Massimo facilitates leadership team experiences that get to the root cause of dysfunction and empower teams to chart their path to success.

He is a dynamic and powerful speaker at corporate events for high-growth organizations to ignite culture and drive behavior change. He blends the latest leadership and behavioral science, and talent development strategies to help his clients achieve lasting business outcomes.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a MA degree in Organizational Behavioral Psychology from Claremont Graduate University. His professional coaching education is through The Co-Active Training Institute. He holds certifications and credentials in DISC, MBTI, Hogan Assessment, Korn Ferry Architect, Co-Active Coaching Certification, ORSC (Organization and Relationship Systems Coaching) Certification (in progress), and is a Hoffman Process Graduate.

Massimo is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and loves to tell life’s great stories. These days he finds creative inspiration in his roles as father and husband.

Let’s collaborate to ensure a transformative experience.