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QZ&A // gut reaction

Learning to be a leader starts in childhood

Quartz Staff
Member exclusive by Quartz Staff

Esther Wojcicki has three daughters: Susan heads YouTube, Anne co-founded 23andMe, and Janet teaches at UCSF. Esther herself runs an award-winning media arts program.

Wojcicki recently sat down with Quartz editor-in-chief Kevin Delaney to share her lifelong study of how people develop. For her, leadership is the ability to not only have big ideas but also to execute on them by listening to and collaborating with others. She attributes her success in parenting to “gut reaction,” shaped by her own childhood and centered on trust.

Helicopter parenting, she acknowledges, comes from a desire to provide children with opportunity. “But one thing they forget about is the power of being bored and the power of structuring your own day,” Wojcicki says. “Because boredom leads to creativity. And one of the things everybody wants in their child is creativity.”