After hearing Charlene’s keynote, I was obsessed and inspired with her thrive for disruption. She was officially the first female disruptor I ever met and from that point forward my groundswell continued. Fast forward, Charlene is launching her latest book “The Disruption Mindset: Why Some Organizations Transform While Others Fail” in June 2019.
I caught up with Charlene and asked her to be part of the launch of FemaleDisruptors.com. I was honored to interview her 10 years later at this pivotal time of female disruption, a time to move forward beyond the corruption and destruction of women in business.
Meet Charlene Li, Senior Fellow, Altimeter
San Francisco, CA.
After graduating from business school, I wanted to be at the front edge of disruption so I went to work at the San Jose Mercury News. After five years, I became an analyst looking at the impact of the latest technologies on business and have been doing that for the past 20 years.
I’d been an entrepreneur for 15 years fomenting disruption in my companies before I struck out on my own. I had been at Forrester for almost 10 years and after writing my first book, I wanted to approach the work in a different way. So I left and started Altimeter.
Be laser-focused on the customer problem you want to solve. Start practicing this NOW — don’t wait until you start a company to figure out how to do this well. The second piece of advice is to think through what you want the culture of your company to be. You can quickly change your strategy, but not your culture.
Having empathy and compassion for everyone around me.
One of the reasons I joined the San Jose Mercury News is because of two wonderful women role models there who guided me in those first few formative years. They taught me the importance of hitting my numbers, excellent execution (doing what I said I would do) and what it means to be a leader, day in, day out.
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. I try to do something every day that is out of my comfort zone. This could be trying something new in a speech or trying a new food (or not eating my favorite foods). Life and learning comes at the edge, not in the static, stable middle.
Barack Obama. I mean, come on, he’s Obama. I’d want to know how he keeps it all together.
I can train cats to do tricks.
In the air, anywhere we want and need it instead of buried in platforms.
Matcha Latte with almond milk. I know, it’s not coffee.
Alarms that remind me to be on time.
Childhood: Helen Keller.
Young Adult: Hillary Clinton.
Mature Adult: RBG
Let’s follow the disruption path to leadership with Charlene Li, my female disruptor superhero.