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“A life of leadership requires passion  and discipline -- being able to say  ‘I know who I am’”



The definition of leadership varies across people, time, and cultures. 

Leadership combines both art and science and as such requires us to attempt to both appreciate and understand it.


Can the most intense path of of a business leader, a tech founder creating and shaping the future with their innovation, enlighten us about the fundamentals of leadership?


What can we learn from the hard won lessons of founders and those who back them?


What's the future of leadership and what can we learn from tech founders' journey?


Those are some of the many questions inspired by an over a decade long friendship and an ongoing dialogue about leaders and the startup world between Jim March, the Stanford GSB professor, a leadership guru of gurus, and his student and the book author, angel investor and a ‘startup philosopher’ Vlasta Pokladnikova. (Hyperlinked names of vlasta and Jim that goes to the custom bios below)



In a series of interviews with founders and investors about the founder's journey, Vlasta explores the main ideas about Leadership researched and elaborated by Jim March and his colleagues


Tim Westergren


Co-Founder Pandora

“Entrepreneurship is a fundamentally quixotic adventure. If you are doing it for the outside reward it will bring you, be forewarned: you will mostly likely get burned at the stake”


In a conversational format, the book highlights the latest approaches and thinking on the topic of leadership, summarizes insights, myths, and the truths as perceived by the practitioners themselves and questions the assumptions of leadership science and education, not unlike what Professor March has done over his long research and teaching career.


Chris Barton 

Co-Founder of Shazam

“I believe that there's not just one innovation actually with a startup. I think there's actually hundreds, or even thousands of innovations that go on, and people tend to think of just the one. But really what makes all these companies successful is all the hundreds of little innovations that go into it.”


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Vlasta Pokladnikova

Vlasta Pokladnikova has studied and worked in Silicon Valley for over 15 years, working closely with founders, venture capital firms, investing in companies and developing new products along side of founder-CEO's. In recent years, she has reconnected with her graduate school advisor driven by passion to understand how ideas from leadership theory apply to the technology startup world. The book idea on leadership and Silicon Valley organically emerged during the hundreds of hours of conversation with Jim March to whom is this book project dedicated.


Jim March

The late Professor James G. March from the Stanford Business School was a disruptor in several areas of social science including leadership. An unconventional, original thinker who valued his privacy was broadly famous in academic circles but not well known outside them. Yet, his ideas and theories resonate and continue to be cited by hundreds of popular scholars across many disciplines…

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