Andrew McAfee: Being “Geeky” Happens To Be Good Leadership Form


In his new bestseller, “The Geek Way,” Andrew McAfee makes the fascinating case that the most important technological revolution of our time isn’t what companies make, it’s in how they’re being managed.

And by his definition, being geeky isn’t a pejorative but rather a clear description of leaders who are perennially curious, not afraid to tackle hard problems or embrace unconventional solutions.

Those few assertions alone piqued our interest in having Andrew as a guest; and then we learned The Economist and The Financial Times named “The Geek Way” one of the best books of 2023.

According to former Google Chairman, Eric Schmidt, “The Geek Way” is a book that will change the way we think about work, teams, projects, & culture – & give us the insight & tools we need to harness our human superpowers of learning & cooperation. We explore all of this in this episode.

McAfee describes a new & optimal leadership culture based around four norms: science, ownership, speed, & openness. It’s a culture that’s neither deferential to experts, fond of planning & process, afraid of mistakes, or obsessed with “winning.” And when all four of his norms are in place, he says a culture emerges that is freewheeling, fast-moving, egalitarian, evidence-driven, argumentative, & autonomous. These are cultures that intentionally leverage “intense cooperation” & “rapid learning.”

Andrew McAfee is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Initiative on the Digital Economy and a Principal Research Scientist at the MIT Sloan School of Management. We invite you to listen in to this cutting edge thinker.

By Mark C. Crowley

Mark C. Crowley is the author of Lead From The Heart: Transformational Leadership For The 21st Century which has been taught in 11 American universities. He is a global speaker, leadership consultant and thought leader on the topics of workplace culture and employee engagement.