Transformation Lessons From Elizabeth Holmes

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Elizabeth Holmes does not need much introduction. The transformation her company produced in Health Care speaks for herself.

But sure this cannot apply to us, experts and our expert businesses. She runs a multi-billion dollar company???

We would love to invite to watch this interview for Stanford Graduate School of Business anyway, even if you think it won’t apply to your business because it is full of concrete actions we can start implementing to grow today.

We firmly believe that conversations can be transformative and this has the potential to be one of them. Elizabeth Holmes is interviewed at Stanford, the University she attended and it has at times the atmosphere of a conversation with a friend in her living room.

There is a key point in the interview (around minute 7) in which lies a business lesson beyond the main motivation and inspiration message of following our passions and committing to a mission. Around minute 7, Elizabeth starts to talk about value and how the value Theranos provides is worth billions.

The value is not in the procedures. It is certainly not in the equipment. It is in the transformational results for people.


“Transforming the economics of our healthcare system starts with the individual” – Elizabeth Holmes


Read it again. As experts, we are sometimes in love with our process and/or our techniques and technology. That is not where the real value is.

This is a key part of the interview for experts who sometimes try to “defend” their fees based on processes, procedures, techniques and technology when the real value is in the transformation for the client.

From that insight that has the potential of transforming your business today, we are going to go to some of the most inspirational moments and lessons from the interview in 3 lessons:


  • On Leaving Stanford Without A Plan B


“The minute you have a back-up plan you have admitted you’re not going to succeed. I’m not big on back-up plans” – Elizabeth Holmes.


  • Ownership Of A Mission
  • Excellence As The Foundation To Be Able To Scale


It is heart-warming to see a successful woman happily announcing that she works on her mission 7 days a week because that is what she’d rather be doing than anything else in the whole world, including taking vacations or watching TV.

We have that luxury when we run our businesses, too. We are privileged to be doing what we love, of making a difference and to have a lifestyle where we don’t have to dread Mondays or just think of escaping from.


“It is not about the money […]. It is about what you are doing. It is about results. It is about the actions you take” – Elizabeth Holmes