Nathan Furr is an Associate Professor of Strategy at INSEAD, where he teaches innovation and technology strategy. Nathan earned his Ph.D. from the Stanford Technology Ventures Program at Stanford University and holds BA, MA, and MBA degrees from Brigham Young University.

Susannah is a designer and art historian with a research focus on the Dutch Baroque period.  She founded a women’s clothing line inspired by her research of the intricate embroidery Dutch women found the time to painstakingly render on their otherwise prescribed uniforms-details often invisible to all but the wearer-and its significance in their daily lives.

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The Learning Leader Show

  • CEO Sam Yagan said: “The single biggest predictor of executive success is how you deal with ambiguity.” And, strategy consulting firm McKinsey & Company argues that “what leaders need during a crisis is not a predefined response plan but behaviors and mindsets that will prevent them from overreacting to yesterday’s developments and help them to look ahead.” 
    • What are some of the behaviors and mindsets that will prevent us from overreacting to yesterday’s developments and help us look ahead?
      • 4 parts – Reframe, Prine, Do, Sustain
  • Uncertainty: “We’re always living in a state of uncertainty — two years ago, two years from now—therefore, part of our challenge as I see it is to make uncertainty . . . our home. This is where we’re living, every day of our lives. . . . Let’s rejoice in it, furnish it, close the door, rearrange the books, and say, Make this as beautiful as it can, given that forest fire, earthquake, or who knows what will be coming tomorrow—or tremendous beauty and love may be coming in the door tomorrow…” – Pico Iyer
  • Research from Martin Seligman: He argues that optimism and pessimism are actually learned explanatory styles that we develop over time, not inherent orientations that are a fixed part of our personality.
  • “Transilience is something beyond resilience. Resilience is being able to withstand shocks and recover. But transilience is about transformation, leaping from one state to another. It is the moment when hardened steel turns to molten metal, ordinary stone becomes smooth sculpture, and terrifying uncertainty becomes insight, wisdom, and opportunity.”
  • Finite players accept the roles life gives them (e.g., college student, manager, lawyer, parent, spouse) and play by the received rules in an effort to win. Infinite players play with the roles and bend the rules, not to win the game but for the joy of playing.
  • The most distinctive characteristic of Tesla CEO Elon Musk is his willingness to challenge the rules. “The one thing you can never do is tell Elon, ‘That’s the way things are done,’” said Sterling Anderson, former head of the Model X.  Musk’s approach is to “boil things down to the most fundamental truths in a particular area, the things you’re really sure of are base truths, or highly sure of, and then you reason up from there.” For example, batteries have long been a bottleneck to affordable electric vehicles. Musk challenged the industry standard of $600 per kilowatt hour by breaking batteries down into raw components and demonstrating that the materials could be purchased on the London Metal Exchange for $80 per kilowatt hour.
  • David Hornik, a leading Silicon Valley venture capitalist who ranks on the Midas List of the world’s top investors, struggles with dyslexia. “Because I’m dyslexic, I always have uncertainty,” he says. “The world doesn’t make sense the way it does for everyone else.” Hornik learned to play the game differently while attending Harvard Law School. “Going to law school as a dyslexic was a dramatically stupid thing to do,” he told us, laughing. “If I had to read everything, I was dead.”
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More Learning:

Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon

Episode 216: Jim Collins — How To Go From Good To Great

Episode #300: AJ & Keith Hawk – How To Instill Work Ethic & Curiosity In Your Children

Episode #303General Stanley McChrystal – The New Definition Of Leadership