Gregg Vanourek (@GVanourek) is an entrepreneurial leader, author, educator, and changemaker. He teaches, trains, and speaks on leadership, entrepreneurship, and personal development.
Vanourek is Vice Director of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management Program and Vice Center Director for the Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship at the Royal Institute of Technology. He is an adjunct lecturer at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship, and Stockholm Business School Executive MBA Program.
Vanourek is Chairman of the Board of SE Forum, a Stockholm-based nonprofit supporting social entrepreneurs. Vanourek served as Senior Vice President of School Development for K12 (a market-leading online education company) during its startup years and co-founded New Mountain Ventures (an entrepreneurial leadership development company).
He is co-author of three influential books: Life Entrepreneurs (an acclaimed manifesto for living and leading with purpose, passion, and impact), Triple Crown Leadership (an International Book Awards winner, and called “the best leadership book since Good to Great”), and Charter Schools in Action (an education reform book also translated into Japanese). Vanourek has written numerous book chapters and scholarly articles, and more than a hundred articles. His writing has appeared in or been reviewed by Fast Company, BusinessWeek, U.S. News & World Report, New York Times, Leader to Leader, Publishers Weekly, Entrepreneur, Inc., and more. He has written regular Harvard Business, ColoradoBiz, and ATD blogs and Washington Times columns.
Previously, he helped to launch the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation (as Vice President for Programs) and was a research fellow at the Hudson Institute (an influential think tank). He also taught at the Euromed School of Management (now called Kedge Business School in Marseille, France), University of Denver, and Colorado Mountain College.
Vanourek is a graduate of the Yale School of Management (M.B.A.), London School of Economics and Political Science (M.Sc.), and Claremont McKenna College (B.A., magna cum laude). He served on the board of the Vail Leadership Institute (which incubated the Vail Centre). Born and raised in the U.S., Vanourek lives in Sweden with his wife, Kristina, and two daughters, Alexandra and Anya.
Gregg brings transformational insights to his speeches and presentations. He has spoken to companies, universities, social ventures, and foundations around the world (U.S., Sweden, Belgium, Croatia, France, Italy, Malaysia). Gregg, a U.S. citizen based in Sweden, is available for speaking and training engagements worldwide.
See Gregg’s full bio.
See Gregg’s keynote address “A Quest and a Call.”
Listen to this podcast on Life Entrepreneurship.
Crafting a Life that Matters. Not sure about the path you are on? Don’t know where to go from here? Not sure about your direction in life and work? Start here and dig deep: design your entrepreneurial life and craft a life that matters–a life of purpose, passion, fulfillment, and significance. Don’t just live. Don’t sit around waiting for a break. Don’t follow the crowd. Look within. Dig deep. Find inspiration. Start. Build. Come alive. Design your entrepreneurial life. Craft a good life and good work.
Triple Crown Leadership. Not just excellent. Not just ethical. Not just enduring. All three—the triple crown of leadership. Audacious? Yes. But possible. And necessary. What kind of leadership does it take to build an organization that achieves exceptional results, operates with integrity, and stands the test of time? Learn five advanced leadership practices based on our experience, research, and interviews worldwide.
Living and Leading by Values. Too many people drift away from what they value most, or get pulled astray. Too many people work in organizations that fail to live up to their values and aspirations. Too many leaders get caught up in the game and compromise their values under pressure. At our best, we live by our values and build a culture of character and high performance in our work. This presentation provides a road map for living and leading by values—the cornerstone of good living and great work.
Startup Secrets of Entrepreneurial Leaders. “Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt the people doing it” (Chinese proverb). Startup founders, changemakers, and innovative “intrapreneurs” face the challenges of launching despite extreme time pressure, resource constraints, uncertainty, and chaos. Here we reveal the startup leadership practices needed to overcome those challenges and create impact with pioneering new ventures. For startup founders and intrapreneurs with bold aspirations.
Unleashing the Power of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Take a walk down the entrepreneurial path, including ideation, business modeling, lean startups, customer development, and building culture and organizational fundamentals like purpose, values, and vision. Learn powerful processes for hiring, onboarding, development, and rewarding people; for flexing your leadership style according to the situation; and for aligning the venture. Hear stories of successful entrepreneurs and learn about the pitfalls that get in their way—and how to avoid them. Innovation is widely revered but poorly understood and badly misapplied. Learn about the “accelerators” that dramatically boost innovation in an organization and that catalyze creativity in people. Learn how to create an innovation-friendly climate. Learn to create an entrepreneurial organization—and transform an organization of employees into nimble networks of “intrapreneurs.”
Ideation—Developing and Evaluating Innovative Startup Ideas. Learn advanced ideation techniques—how to generate original ideas for innovative and impactful startup ventures and how to evaluate their viability. Learn how to generate, develop, and pitch innovative startup ideas, and recognize potential risks and biases when evaluating them. This is a fun, high-energy, and high-impact workshop.
The Good Life. The aim of the session is to give you a perspective on what has been said and written across the ages about what it means to lead a good life, including insights from different fields (e.g., psychology, philosophy, design, leadership), ancient wisdom, and current research. The goal is to help you start reflecting on the larger context of your studies and your personal and professional aspirations. The session will address values, self-leadership, common traps, and more.
Leading Innovation through Culture and Values. When it comes to the innovation imperative, many organizations make large investments but do not realize the full potential of their efforts. Innovation appears here and there but continues to elude as a driver of performance and transformation. In this session, we connect the dots between people and processes, and between the hard and soft edges of innovation. At the center of it all, of course, is people, because the hard work of adaptation and innovation is always through the people. The session will address: how to upgrade your people processes (hiring, onboarding, developing, rewarding) to foster innovation throughout the enterprise; how purpose, values, and vision can summon innovation; why leaders must flex between the hard and soft edges of innovation; how to develop an entrepreneurial culture and unleash the creative potential of your team; how to build innovation into your alignment processes when executing existing business models and discovering new ones.
Other Speaking Topics:
“Gregg opened our conference with his moving, thoughtful, and evocative presentation titled ‘A Quest and a Call.’ It was a joy to collaborate with him on creating the topic for his presentation since he made it very clear from the beginning that he wanted to be highly relevant, valuable, and engaging to the attendees. Gregg is a gifted speaker and has a strong, clear, and also caring presence. He delivered above and beyond our expectations and set the entire tone of our conference from then on to be deeply meaningful.” –Jessica Brown, former Network Leader, Barrett Values Centre; now Programs Director, The Passion Company
“Working with Gregg was an absolute pleasure from initial preparation to execution. His approach was one of co-creation — making sure that he addressed exactly what our team needed, and it made my life so easy knowing I could customize our workshop by tapping into his wealth of knowledge across numerous topics related to entrepreneurship, leadership and transformation. When the day started, I was immediately impressed with his preparation — he had done research on each of our participants beforehand, so the day felt personalized from the first minute. And during the presentation I appreciated how deftly Gregg presented deep and powerful lessons in a variety of styles — from playful to reflective — to make sure that he reached each participant in different ways so that every single person walked away with new knowledge and inspiration.” –Alex Budak, former Country Manager, Reach for Change, Sweden; now consultant, Change.org
“In our search for excellence in leadership we come across Gregg Vanourek and his book, Triple Crown Leadership. During one of our customer events in 2015, Gregg gave a keynote presentation which was highly appreciated by the audience, consisting of managers from different companies and levels. Gregg left us with interesting thoughts and a challenge to raise our standards for how we lead.” –Fredrika Schartau, Founding Partner, Signpost
“Gregg Vanourek gave a keynote presentation at our annual conference and delivered a powerful, memorable, and impactful message. We found his talk to be uplifting and highly relevant both to the students we serve and our staff. His points have resonated long after his time with us.” –Robin Wise, President and CEO, Junior Achievement-Rocky Mountain
“When Gregg Vanourek gave a keynote presentation at the Strom Center for Entrepreneurship conference, he skillfully engaged the audience with his message and stories. His blending of visuals, props, and even a soundtrack kept audience attention and energy level high. He worked closely with staff before the event to make sure his talk was tailored and relevant for both major segments of the audience—students and business leaders. Gregg’s keynote was powerful and yet playful.” –Jeanne Stolp MacDonald, Management and Marketing Faculty/Advisor, Department of Business Administration, Minot State University at Bismarck State College
“When Gregg Vanourek facilitated an advanced leadership program here at El Pomar Foundation, I was impressed with his professionalism and his ability to connect with our team. By coordinating with us in advance, Gregg delivered an engaging and inspiring program designed to give our staff tangible actions to develop both personally and professionally. Powerful content, powerful presenter.” –Gary Butterworth, Senior Vice President, Programs, El Pomar Foundation
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Gregg in his role as Course Director and member of the faculty at the Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship (SSES). Together with SSES, Gregg teaches academic courses and hosts interactive workshops for an environment of interdisciplinary students. Gregg always delivers inspirational and impactful content. Whether an audience of 14 people in an interactive workshop or 100 students in an evening lecture, he always manages to engage, enthuse, and energize in a truly unique manner. Throughout our time working together, I’ve had the pleasure of sitting in and listening to many of his inspirational lectures. I have recommended him previously, and will continue to do so warmly.” –Maria Malmrud, Education and Training Manager, Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship
“Gregg is a passionate and outstandingly skilled speaker! I met Gregg at our interactive career development course ‘The Science of Your Future,’ designed to help students at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm build their careers. Gregg did not only fulfill my expectations, he by far exceeded them and left a lasting impression. I would love to work with him again on any project of mutual interest.” –Michael Gralla, Director, Karolinska Institute Career Retreat
“BEST WORKSHOP I have ever attended” -Participant in a Stockholm “Designing Your Life” workshop, March 2018
“…could not have asked for a better person to lead this workshop, great interaction, safe and very relaxed atmosphere, etc.” -Participant in a Stockholm workshop, March 2018
“You have opened my eyes (and heart)! I will be forever thankful for the ideas you gave us. Those will influence my future opinions, awareness, and decisions. Thank you, thank you!” –Attendee in a Zagreb leadership conference, Spring 2015
“Perfection is the word to describe the workshop.” –Participant in a Stockholm workshop, April 2014
“You are one of the most inspirational people I have had the chance to listen to.” –Attendee in a Zagreb leadership conference, Spring 2015
“A fantastic workshop.” –Participant in a Stockholm workshop, April 2014
“I think you have just changed my life. Thank you.” –Attendee in a Zagreb leadership conference, Spring 2015
“Excellent facilitator who managed to create an atmosphere of sharing, honesty, reflection among a group of very inspiring participants. It was way above expectations.” –Participant in a leadership workshop, March 2015
“I liked that Gregg generously offered his deep knowledge and expertise on a complex topic such as leadership in a simple, easy to remember and beautiful way.” –Participant in a Stockholm workshop, October 2014
“I loved the workshop. I enjoyed every second of it.” –Participant in a Stockholm workshop, October 2014
“Simply excellent in all areas.” –Participant in a Stockholm workshop, October 2014
“This workshop was extraordinary. Gregg integrates well both the principles… and the real practice in the real firm. Also, participants were encouraged to speak up, share their thoughts, and I knew that everyone was really focused and listened to others’ comments.” –Participant in a Stockholm workshop, September 2013
“Great workshop with an amazing speaker.” –Participant in a Stockholm workshop, October 2014
To inquire about booking Gregg Vanourek for your event, please email email@example.com.
Triple Crown Leadership is a Winner of the 2013 International Book Awards in the “Business: General” category.