Ann Hiatt: author & renowned leadership strategist

We sit down with Ann Hiatt to talk leadership lessons learnt from of the world’s top business icons, almost killing Jeff Bezos and much more.

Imagine sitting one desk over from Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos. What about being the former Executive Business Partner to Google CEO, Eric Schmidt. Or touring the world with high ranking Google executive and business icon Marissa Mayer? Ann Hiatt has worked with all of these legends of business, and her latest book catalogues the lessons she learnt from them.

Ann Hiatt’s very first job was at 16 when she worked at a startup in Redmond, Washington called MusicWare – back when no one knew what a startup was. Growing up in Seattle during the original dot-com boom, surrounded by companies like Microsoft, Amazon and Starbucks was a master class in innovation and it changed the course of her life.

Ann is a sought-after international speaker, angel investor and sits on several boards in the UK. Ann has recently relocated from Silicon Valley to Europe and brings with her a unique perspective on what it takes to succeed in business today.

Order your copy of Ann’s book Bet on Yourself: Recognize, Own, and Implement Breakthrough Opportunities now.


Here’s what we covered in our chat with Ann Hiatt

  • Why did you decide to write Bet on Yourself? (0:52)
  • The book starts with a frank admission that you nearly killed Jeff Bezos – you clearly didn’t but can you tell us about what it was like to work for Jeff and other leaders. What did you learn? How are they different? (2:00)
  • Can you talk to us about what you see as a formula for success that we can take from these leaders? (4:50)
  • Can you also tell us about how you were hired by Jeff Bezos – what was this process like? (7:13)
  • Can you give us any insight into how the top CEOs structured their day and was there anything in their routine that stood out? (10:23)
  • Building the right leadership team is one of the key ways to scale a company. Did you learn any lessons from Jeff Bezos, Marissa Mayer or Eric Schmidt about building a reliable and quality leadership team? (15:52)
  • You worked at Google & Amazon before they became the dominant forces they are today. Disruption of the norm is at the heart of both companies. What makes a disruptor in your mind? (18:00)
  • Resilience is a big topic in your book. How can people become more resilient? (20:13)
  • You worked in the US but now live in Spain. Do you notice a difference in the attitudes towards failure and do you think it should be less of a taboo topic in Europe? (23:47)
  • You mentioned that you met Shimon Peres and it had a profound impact on you. Could you tell us about this? (28:34)

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