Changing the Perception of Education with Adam Wray

“I tell everybody on the team, I expect you to fail at times. In fact, if you’re not failing once in a while, you’re not pushing yourself far enough.”

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Episode Summary

Adam Wray is the founder and CEO of AstrumU, a Seattle-based data science startup that translates educational experiences into economic opportunity. Adam held a variety of senior leadership and founding roles at data analytics, cybersecurity, cloud, and machine learning-focused companies. He was one of the founders and the CEO of Tier 3, a public sector cloud services provider acquired by CenturyLink, one of the largest U.S. enterprise telecommunications companies.

In this episode, Adam and Aviv dive deep, explore the power of building an exceptional culture and, specifically, insights that emerged out of Adam’s experience as CEO. Adam describes his entrepreneurial journey and what inspired him to focus on education. He then reflects on the most impactful lessons he’s learned throughout his career. Finally, Adam outlines what he values above all other ideas and insights and provides sage advice to the audience on leadership and starting a business.

Essential Learning Points:

  • 00:44 – Aviv introduces today’s guest, Adam Wray who shares his background in the humanities and what he enjoys the most about his work
  • 04:10 – The problem Adam is striving to solve at AstrumU and the Four Buckets of Universal Skills
  • 08:22 – Adam shares his perspective on how the ability to focus has been impacted by the recent technological boon
  • 14:33 – The inspiration to get involved in education and three key trends that are reshaping the space
  • 22:41 – Other significant trends Adam has observed in education
  • 26:36 – Adam’s entrepreneurial origin journey
  • 29:22 – Critical lessons Adam has learned on building highly effective teams and culture
  • 32:18 – The seven values Adam fosters in his organization
  • 39:30 – Adam’s experience working at Amazon
  • 41:28 – Adam speaks to the final two values he fosters in his organization
  • 46:06 – How Adam reinvests in himself to become a better CEO
  • 48:55 – Adam reflects on a moment in his past where he expressed courage in leadership
  • 54:09 – Advice Adam would give to his twenty-five-year-old self
  • 54:52 – The two insights Adam values above all else
  • 56:14 – Final words of wisdom from Adam

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