Don't see an advisor you admire? Let's add him to the database! - Request

Smartbits. Eric Schmidt on Defining Traits of a Global Leader.

Nick Oleksyn
co-founder at Rendors

Eric Schmidt is the ex-CEO of Google, a distinguished computer scientist, writer, and philanthropist. In partnership with the University of Oxford, he has formed the Rise Foundation with the goal of “connecting talented young people and supporting them for life as they build a better world.”

So, how do you find the most talented and promising people aged 15-17 years old? Surely, there are multiple rounds of application submissions and reviews. But according to Eric Schmidt, this search is built around identifying key principle component traits of the applicants:

  • Brilliance - you learn quickly and challenge yourself with new problems.
  • Perseverance - obstacles don’t keep you down for long. You embrace the challenge and overcome it.
  • Calling - your superpower, your passion. You care about something and have the motivation to achieve it.
  • Integrity - honesty and strong moral principles are core to who you are.
  • Empathy - you understand others and relate to their experiences.

According to Eric, “you need all, not just one, to really get to the pinnacle.

The takeaway is that if you have lofty goals of reaching excellence and making an impact, you need to develop a wholesome and balanced personality. Unfortunately, modern success culture (aka success porn) is obsessed with perseverance and hustle. Even if it sometimes leads to financial gains, such a tunnel-vision approach is nothing more than a pursuit of a futile legacy that leaves one without any sense of fulfillment or meaningful impact. So, it is essential for any aspiring leader to also commit to:

  • Ongoing intellectual advancement
  • Living a life full of integrity
  • Exercising empathy and caring towards those less fortunate


Links to learn more about Eric, his project, and his books:

How Can You Identify Hidden Talent? With Eric Schmidt (Podcast NSQ Ep. 21)

Betting early — and for life — on extraordinary people who could change the world

Rise - An initiative of Schmidt Futures and the Rhodes Trust

You may also find interesting the following book:

Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

It further illustrates how multidisciplinary and multifaceted development is a good thing. Often we get the most brilliant insights as the result of connecting experiences from different domains.