Dr. John Shufeldt is a driven man.
While many might consider being driven to accomplish a key ingredient of success, in this case, John is driven to learn, by being a "serial student".
His entrepreneurial bent manifested early – in the slew of moneymaking activities that marked both his childhood and his medical school days. While he always knew he wanted to be a doctor, he couldn't help his desire to improve processes and "things" that he noticed weren't optimized.
As he describes in his interview with me, his other overwhelming inclination -- his fierce desire to learn -- has had to be assuaged by going back to school every 10 years. First, his MD, followed by his MBA and 10 years later, his JD. That 10 years is almost up and he is getting set for his next adventure as a student.
When I gently accused him of being intimidating to normal folks like us, he protested and pointed out, as he did repeatedly in his book "Ingredients of Outliers" (reviewed here last week), that his journey has been a succession of small "fast failures" (one key to success, by the way), punctuated by intermittent successes. Of course, I think he's being unduly modest… but let's see what your opinion is!
Listen to his fascinating story here, and then return here to add your comments, as I'd love to hear what you think!
By Philippa Kennealy