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Thinkers50 in 50 Seconds: Gianpiero Petriglieri

All 50 Second Q&As

Gianpiero Petriglieri, shortlisted for the Thinkers50 Leadership award, is short but never snappy in a quick fire interview.

What book are you currently reading?

Practical Wisdom, by Barry Schwartz

Room on the Broom, by Julia Donaldson, 2-3 times each evening, out loud.

Do you describe yourself as a thinker?

Not in isolation, no.

I’m a professor.

Thinking originally, writing, teaching are all part of what I aspire to do well.

Who or what is your biggest inspiration?

My wife and children.

Friends and students.

The open sea.

Wintery mountaintops, after it has snowed.

What does success look like?

Achieving your goals.

Living up to your values.

Loving, being loved, and knowing it.

Being able to experience freedom and intimacy at the same time, at least sometimes.

A few positive surprises along the way.

Dealing with the impossibility of having all of the above, all the time, with dignity and integrity.

What is your next goal?

Writing regularly, without rush.

Why is the Thinkers50 important to you?

I don’t just write to be read. I write to be heard.

It means a lot when people find my ideas meaningful and useful, in the workplace and beyond.

What is your competitive advantage?

I am very mindful that I am not a company, an asset or a machine.

Therefore, I do not have a brand, a market, or a competitive advantage.

I have an identity, beliefs and skills that I work on every day.

And far most important, I have amazing friends and students.

How do you keep your thinking fresh?

I teach a lot. I work with managers almost every day.

They keep my thinking fresh.

How much time do you spend travelling?

About two months a year, geographically.

At least once a day, psychologically.

What is the secret of a great presentation?

Address a question that people care about as much as you do.

Speak to people about an issue. Not the other way around.

What advice would you give to anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps?

Find your own path. Be prepared to be alone for stretches, if you must.

If you can, don’t go it alone.

Remember and imagine in equal measure.

Your voice is a distant aim, not a means.

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