When 45 Business Gurus Share Their Most Important Insights

Last month, a very interesting book entitled The GuruBook: Insights from 45 Pioneering Entrepreneurs and Leaders on Business Strategy and Innovation, compiled by Jonathan Løw, was published. In it, 45 of the world’s leading entrepreneurs and leaders -- such as Salim Ismail (Singularity University), Naveen Jain (Moon Express), Jimmy Maymann (Huffington Post), Otto Scharmer (Theory U), and Blake Mycoskie (TOMS) -- plainly discuss their ideas about innovation, entrepreneurship, and authentic leadership.

I had the chance to speak with Jonathan Løw about this book, and one of the main questions I asked was: "What inspired you to compile the thoughts of these particular entrepreneurs, innovators, and leaders?" Here is his complete response:  

The GuruBook is first and foremost about listening. Although I have been a serial entrepreneur and have tried to start a number of businesses, have worked with innovation in both large and small organizations, and have been a leader in several organizations, I do not imagine in any way that I have all the answers in these exciting but also complex areas.

I believe that the ability to listen is one of the most important characteristics for future entrepreneurs, innovators, and leaders. This ability to listen, and the curiosity that is inherent in it, may be the factor that gives you an advantage over the competition. Consider, for example, the English mathematician and physicist Isaac Newton, who, like millions of others, saw an apple fall from a tree. The difference was that Newton asked "why."

As a result of my own curiosity and desire to listen more, it was obvious that I should invite the people who, in my eyes, have generated inspiring and pioneering ideas, organizations, and results, to share their thoughts and knowledge with the readers in The GuruBook.

This book’s gurus have been asked to talk/write about what they’re enthusiastic about. That means that you can look forward to becoming more knowledgeable about:

• How to start a business without an idea.

• Why some ideas succeed while others fail.

• How to demystify the task of scaling up a startup as an entrepreneur.

• How you can be enterprising, no matter what phase your organization is in.

• How to create an innovative culture.

• Why simple questions lead to the greatest innovations.

Why businesses and local authorities aren't startups, and what both can learn from each other.

• How to become authentic as a leader.

• Why authentic leadership is a strength.

• Why there’s an entrepreneur in every successful leader.

• Why the ability to listen is all-important whether you’re an entrepreneur or a leader.

The contents of The GuruBook have weight and value because the articles and/or interviews are with people who, for years, have perfected their ability to listen and have consistently become better at understanding their customers, partners, and colleagues.

Through thousands of meetings, sales calls, customer service responses, innovation processes, brainstorms, mail dialogues, LinkedIn discussions, and so on, they have listened and then acted on what they heard. These are the insights that The GuruBook contains.

I fundamentally believe the future belongs to the curious. The future belongs to the entrepreneurs, innovators, leaders, and passionate souls who are not only capable of “listening more intently” to the world about them, but who are capable of “ listening more intently” to the world about them but who also have the ability to act on the input they get.

A website for the book -- https://www.thegurubook.org/ -- includes a list of the gurus participating as well as some more background on the book.