Episode 60

Suzanne Heywood: Learning from your childhood

Available on these channels and more

What can we learn from our childhood?

Imagine sailing around the world for 10 years starting from the age of seven, covering more than 47,000 nautical miles. You experience different cultures and enjoy some amazing sights, whilst also dealing with many hardships, including isolation, hunger, and a lack of education. That was Suzanne Heywood’s childhood, which she captured in her brilliant book Wavewalker: Breaking Free.

In this episode, Suzanne shares the highs and lows of that childhood, with events and situations unimaginable for many of us. She also talks about how she overcame challenges living at sea and on land, often on her own. We find out about her three superpowers from this experience, and what she’s learned from it in terms of how she approaches obstacles, and how she’s brought up her own children. Her experience gives us plenty of inspiring stimuli to help us tackle difficult decisions, situations, and people we face.

You’ll hear about:

  • Suzanne’s highlights of living all around the world
  • Were physical or mental challenges the hardest?
  • Where does Suzanne’s determination come from?
  • How to tackle long periods of boredom
  • Living in a confined space for a decade
  • Breaking free from a relationship with her parents
  • The shifts from boat life to university life
  • How has her life impacted relationships with her children?
  • Getting the balance right between work and family

The best bits of these conversations are captured in my newsletter Strategic Leader.

More about Suzanne

Suzanne Heywood was born in the UK but for most of her childhood sailed around the world with her family, with limited access to formal education. She came back to the UK aged 17 and won a place to study at Oxford University. After her PhD at Cambridge University, she joined McKinsey & Company where she became a senior partner. She is now a chief operating officer at Exor. She married the late civil servant Jeremy Heywood in 1997 and they have three children.

She is the Sunday Times bestselling author of What Does Jeremy Think? and Wavewalker: Breaking Free.

“My parents chucked me off the boat on an island, abandoned me in New Zealand, and disowned me in Oxford.”

Suzanne Heywood, COO & author

VIEW RUNNING ORDER

03.09 Suzanne’s highlights of living all around the world.
05.01 Were physical or mental challenges the hardest?
09.11 Where does Suzanne’s determination come from?
11.32 How to tackle long periods of boredom.
13.10 Living in a confined space for a decade.
19.39 Breaking free from a relationship with her parents.
24.58 The shifts from boat life to university life.
28.27 How has her life impacted relationships with her children?
32.11 Getting the balance right between work and family.
Alex Edmans: Dealing with lies

Alex Edmans: Dealing with lies

Pia Lauritzen: Connecting through questions

Pia Lauritzen: Connecting through questions

Frances Frei: Fixing hard problems fast

Frances Frei: Fixing hard problems fast

Aga Bajer: Cracking the code on culture

Aga Bajer: Cracking the code on culture

Holger Nils Pohl: Tackling complex problems using visual thinking

Holger Nils Pohl: Tackling complex problems using visual thinking

Paolo Gallo: Mastering your inner journey

Paolo Gallo: Mastering your inner journey

Herminia Ibarra: Mastering career transitions

Herminia Ibarra: Mastering career transitions

Alison Taylor: Taking the Higher Ground

Alison Taylor: Taking the Higher Ground

Morra Aarons-Mele: Turning anxiety into your superpower

Morra Aarons-Mele: Turning anxiety into your superpower

Share This